Jay Vance used to play bass for Skankin' Pickle, until he was taken hostage by six reprobate robots with a penchant for metal and funk back in 1997. Ringleaders GTRBOT666 (a Johnny Five look-alike wielding a double-necked guitar) and DRMBOT0110 (a white mask sporting dreadlocks, red lipstick, exploding eyeballs and a drum kit) are powered by evil desires and a whole lot of compressed air. As the live-music act Captured! By Robots, they humiliate Vance while making a racket that sounds eerily human.
I spoke with Vance, a.k.a. JBOT, about their April 22 performance at the Annex.
You're coming to Madison on Earth Day. Are you going to work this theme into the performance?
I don't know, man. In not too long, the Earth's going to abort the human race. Either that or we'll die of idiocy. The Earth's gonna be just fine as soon as we're gone. It's not all about saying, "Oh no, the polar bears are disappearing." You see, there are these things called cars, but who wants to think about that?
Great, the hippies are going to hate me now.
Are you afraid that angry mobs of hippies will veggie-bomb the show?
No, but I do think Madison hates me. I don't understand you guys. Years and years ago, when I played O'Cayz, people would let loose. But the crowds that come to my shows now just stand there. Last time I was in Madison, I told them things weren't working out. By the next song, they were jumping around. What gives?
Maybe beer's getting too expensive...
Drunks just love us. You might be on to something.
Or maybe it's that Madison's full of students. Have you considered giving the crowd an assignment?
Yeah, there'll be an assignment: Rock out with the cock out. And if you don't have one, rock out anyway. Just as long as there's rockin' going on somewhere.
What will the crowd be rocking out to this time? New material?
We'll be doing some new stuff and old stuff. I might be going back quite a ways, into the  Ten Commandments tour, even before that.