I am Robot and Proud is the moniker of Shaw-Han Liem, a gifted musician and computer scientist who calls Toronto home. Liem co-designed and composed the music for the award-winning 2012 Playstation game Sound Shapes, and he continues to work as a video game music composer. Since the beginning of this century, he has been making a colourful kind of pop-oriented electronic music that blends organic and synthetic sounds, as I am Robot and Proud. His eighth album is called Light and Waves, it’s out now via Darla Records, and has prompted I am Robot and Proud to play shows across Japan in October and November. Here, Liem and I discuss a weather report from Toronto, making the new album with a live band, past collaborators and playing solo versus being in a band that can be a pain in the ass, camaraderie, being part of a music community, the Robot band, musical Stockholm Syndrome, touring Japan with the help of a local promoter, how Robot songs are made with the Robot band, Mike Smith, Light and Waves surprises, Robin Buckley, getting into video game music composition and co-creating Playstation’s Sound Shapes, knowing your steez, Jordan Howard, game versus film soundtracks, the gaming universe, how Sound Shapes works, that’s edutainment, Guitar Hero, growing up in Mississauga and playing music with Evan Clarke and Jeremy Strachan, Blue Light Blockade, how forgettable I am, being big in Japan and small in Canada, rock-centric electronicism, venues for weird music, gaming fans and collectors of all stripes, not knowing why things resonate more in Osaka than Peterborough, Yellow Magic Orchestra, what’s next for I am Robot and Proud, the song and meaning behind “Kira Kira Zig Zag,” and that was that.
Related links: darla.com robotandproud.com vishkhanna.com