Former Albuquerque residents will pay UNM a special visit on Saturday to perform at Fiestas 2015.
Repel the Robot, a band comprised of Jarrett Shaffer and UNM music alum Sean Trauth, will bring its unique sound to Johnson Field after having recently played at the South by Southwest music fest in Austin, Texas.
Out of more than 1,000 entrants, the band won its spot at SXSW through Jansport’s sixth annual Battle of the Bands.
But this isn’t the first time the duo has been back in New Mexico. Now in Dallas, they came home last year to play at the Duke City’s annual Summerfest.
Though they have been playing together for the last eight years, they didn’t start Repel the Robot until 2013. The two met in middle school in Albuquerque, and continued to keep in touch over the years.
Their first EP, “Who We Are and Who We Want to Be,” was created entirely over email while they attended different schools, Shaffer said.
“We have a broad range of genres that we are interested in and have been influenced by,” he said. “I guess we like to think of ourselves as: we write alternative rock, but with influences from hip hop and electronic music ... We like to bring in a multitude of other things that we can play with.”
Shaffer said he thinks their unique mix of music, as well as their performance on the stage, are what draw the crowds.
“We grew up on pop and alternative rock of the ‘90s, and grunge rock,” he said.
They each find inspiration from different groups, Trauth said, which allows them to interchange their instruments. Both sing, mix and play various instruments.
He said a lot of their music also depends on what he is listening to at the time. The group writes all of its own songs.
Trauth is the former executive director for ASUNM Student Special Events, and he said it is great to see everything come full circle as he comes back to an event he once helped organize.
Krista Marrs, executive director for Special Events, said she definitely notices the versatility in Repel the Robot’s performances.
Marrs said she and some of her friends made a special trip out to Austin for SXSW to support them. She also saw them at Summerfest.
“Everybody was into it, everybody was super excited about seeing them, and it was people they didn’t even know, people who had never heard of them,” she said.
Marrs said it was an out-of-body experience to see them at SXSW, and even more so to host them here at Fiesta of the Bands.
“The best way I can describe their genre is alternative electronic,” she said. “They have such a lively sound. They are so energetic and their music is so incredible.”
ASUNM Special Events wants to ensure that there will be a wide variety of genres at the fiesta tomorrow, she said. Including Repel the Robot, there is sure to be a little something for everyone.
Moriah Carty is a culture editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MoriahCarty.