On its debut EP for Dim Mak Records, Sound Surgery, KILLBOT mobilizes for annihilation.
The electronic dance music collective featuring JDevil [aka Jonathan Davis of Korn], Sluggo, and Tyler Blue stands ready to terminate everything in its path. Fusing together dubstep anarchy, heavy metal precision, and JDevil’s immortal voice, the trio engages a new phase for destructive electronic music.
Forge ahead with them or get the fuck out of the way.
KILLBOT was born in January of 2012 not via some elaborate SkyNet-style plan, but by some good old-fashioned online chatting. JDevil had stumbled upon Sluggo’s “The Dark Crystal” track and, as a diehard fan of the film, veritably freaked. The legendary singer began corresponding with the Phoenix-based “metalstep” pioneer and invited him out to his Southern California home to cut some tracks.
Meanwhile, Sluggo had just met the California-based rising producer Tyler Blue online (who specializes in dance-heavy bass music), and the two hit the road together for what would be an impromptu jam in JDevil’s lair. It was more like a band coming together and less like lonely DJs emailing each other ProTools files.
“We got in my studio and just fucking went for it,” recalls JDevil. “It was one of the most natural things I’ve ever done. I can’t really describe it. After 12 hours, we had two songs, and I knew that KILLBOT could be like the Swedish House Mafia of bass music—just way more evil.”
“You can tell right off the bat this is something no one has done before,” adds Sluggo. “The three of us bring a lot to the table. We’re a good team, and we made something completely original between my ‘metalstep’, Tyler’s club groove, and JDevil’s darkness. It’s a monster.”
That monster came to life with the hip hop-infused assault of “Wrecked” and the violent, visceral sex crunch of “I’ll Fuck It” as the first two songs they laid down in that winter session. On the latter, a guttural guitar riff by JDevil builds alongside the synth swells before exploding into a classic freakout scream from the frontman. Everything subsides into pure dance floor madness.
“There was no calculation,” Tyler remembers the process. “Sluggo and I came up with the backdrop, and then JDevil did his thing. It was really where the elements of this project met within a perfect storm.”
JDevil grins, “That was a fun one. It’s this crazy metal techno shit. I wanted to express indulgence, and it’s like a call-to-arms for people to have a good time. It’s sexy, and it’s dark. Live, it gets people moving.”
The track that will undoubtedly get crowds grinding and grooving is the first single, “Wrecked.” From the moment it hits, this track is set to demolish any set of speakers and take no prisoners.
Another favorite, “Feel Alive,” walks a fine line between industrial goth elegance and modern EDM mayhem. JDevil’s croon evokes the ’80s bliss of some of his oldest influences, while paving the way for a new sound altogether.
“Our frontman has been pushing the boundaries for 18 years, and he’s not looking to stop doing that anytime soon,” says Tyler. “‘Feel Alive’ is a powerful track musically, and Jon’s voice is the icing on the cake.”
“I pushed myself hard on that one,” the singer admits. “I wanted to hit notes I haven’t hit, and the music that Sluggo and Tyler put down was perfect. The song is about just wanting to feel something. It’s like we’re all so fucking numb, but there’s got to be a way to feel. You’re trying to reach that and you don’t know if you ever will or not.”
KILLBOT certainly do reach a nirvana of their own though. It’s through sex and violence of course, but all of the best art is. Hence, the robotic masks Tyler and Sluggo don and JDevil’s priest collar, black eyes, and grill.
“What’s behind the mask is important,” Sluggo goes on. “The helmets are robotic. They’re not gore-y. They tie us together. At the forefront, you’ve got JDevil. Nobody in rock has ever done what he’s done. Together, we’re the supervillains of EDM.”
At the end of the day, the bad guys in KILLBOT are going to emerge victorious. “I’m not in this as a passing phase or some bullshit like that,” affirms JDevil. “I’ve been into electronic music my whole life. This is my opportunity to stir shit up. We’re here to stay.”
Prepare for destruction in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…