The Bots comprises the Lei brothers, Mikaiah (guitar/vocals) and Anaiah (drums). They’ve been recording music since they were 15 and 12 years old, respectively. They’re now both officially adults (Anaiah turned 18 last November), with a worldwide touring résumé that would be the envy of most bands twice their age.
But road-tested as they may be, they’re still experimenting to find their sound, just like any young rock band. Their early years are exceptionally well documented, starting with this adorable/astonishing performance at the Whisky A Go Go in 2009:
2011 found them fusing DC hardcore and the blues:
2013, stoner rock & psychedelia:
In an older band, this might seem like opportunistic shape-shifting. But with The Bots, it’s two very talented young artists finding their voices, and doing it very much in public.
The Bots’ official coming-out party was the full-length Pink Palms, released just last October. The latest single is “Blinded”, which will soon be accompanied by a music video directed by model/actor Norman Reedus. Pink Palms was co-produced by Justin Warfield (She Wants Revenge) and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and the band’s sonic horizons are expanding rapidly.
Bonus bizarre foreshadowing trivia: this moment from the circa-2008 music video (home movie, really) for “Old Days”, when the brothers look barely old enough to buy ice cream, and Anaiah spots a promo poster in store window for…the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was fate!
Russell discovered indie rock and Amy Seidenwurm at UCLA in the 1980s and has been a big fan of both ever since. He’s a veteran director of commercials, music videos, television, and documentaries, and you can follow his work at russellbates.com.