We could tell you Sad Robot started with a girl and a piano, Singer/songwriter Katherine Pawlak whose countless experiences and bad relationships made her “a bitter girl with so much shit to say”. And that all of that has given her a quirky/off beat style and a lot of material to write about.
We could also tell you that she later merged her style with two band members from Musician’s Institute (L.A.), Chris Razze (drums) and Mike Marigliano (bass) and 2 passing guitarists in the process of making Sad Robot.
Or we can further regale you with stories of our newest guitarist, Nick Perez, who is also from Musician’s Institute. In a decent bio, we would include such things as Katherine being from Connecticut, Chris from Philly, Mike from Southern California, and Nick from Vegas. All true and boring facts. But what would be even better would be a nice story made up by yours truly that you can choose to believe as much, or as little of, as you like.
Picture a lonely orphan child. Sad. Tattered. Soot stained. Singing for a few quid to feed her meager diet of hotdogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She had beautiful chameleon-esque hazel and brown eyes that changed with her mood, and a face that would undoubtedly grow up to be very attractive, sexy, soulful; a true heartbreaker with that intangible “it” factor that-… … … I digress.
Picture her a little Olivia Twist yearning for love who went by the name of Katherine-if-you-call-me-kathy-I-will-choke-you-to-death… but “Katherine” for short. A little girl like that would, naturally, go out searching for love and happiness when she grew up. A search that would inevitably allow great disappointment to set in. Disappointment that would make that girl grown angry enough to want to burn the whole fucking world down with all her exes, and the back-stabbing hypocritical society with it, in a heap of-… I digress, again… sort of. Because she did. Burn the whole fucking world down, that is.
However, after she did that, though, she thought, “this wasn’t a well thought out plan. Because I still have so much shit to say… only now there is no one left to listen.” So she set out. To find some kindred spirits. Across the globe. In an origami boat, made from scattered newspapers. Holes mended with once cherished photographs. Or something else wonderful and quirkily fantastical that I’m too tired to invent, right now.
Across the seas, through razed abandoned cities and scorched valleys, she went. All the way to…
The Himalayas in Tibet. But it might not have been Tibet because she was really bad at geography and often got things like that mixed up and didn’t care enough to do the research and check her facts. So, we will call it Tibet.
It is there she met a young boy. A lad left alone in the wild; adorably unenthusiastic about anything life had to offer. A horribly, terrible no-good typical situation for someone of his age. He was a llama herder who often moonlighted as a Sherpa and bass lute player. And being a poor boy who could not afford a proper haircut, he would attempt to do it on his own... with bad effect. But Katherine found it endearing. He spoke very little. Dreamed of one day earning enough to purchase an Xbox with which he could waste his days away. Katherine’s arm wrapped around him and said, “Your lack of care perfectly balances my anger about everything. Come with me and together we will make merry…. I think I will call you Mike.” And he smiled… sort of. It might have just been gas but it LOOKED like a smile.
“Now where should we go, Mike?”
Through his use of clicks and mute-like hand signals (most often involving the extension and gesturing of his favorite middle finger) “Mike” told Katherine of a wise old man who lived in the mountains. A man with a rusted mechanical neck and a pension for imbibing mind-altering beverages. Chris’ wisdom came from banging his sticks against the earth… often loud enough to be heard across the globe.
So they listened, and followed, the sound. It was not hard. He was not quiet. And when they found him, he was alone in a one room cave. His sticks desperately seeking an answer from a rock that was the voice of the earth. He was asking “Why the hell am I so bad at relationships with the opposite sex???” The earth answered back simply: “Because you are a man, Chris. Because you are a man.” Chris nodded solemnly and looked up to the cave’s entrance where Katherine and Mike stood.
“You’re a girl?” Chris asked.
“… No.,” Katherine replied.
“Wanna make out?” responded Chris.
“… … No.”
Chris turned to Mike.
“Do you want to make out?”
Mike responded with a series of clicks and clacks.
“He said he’ll think about it,” Katherine translated.
And the threesome headed off into the snowy Himalayas. Which was cold. Really cold. Especially for Katherine who insisted on wearing small clothes that she thought looked cute as opposed to anything that was climate-appropriate. But she kept their spirits up by singing songs about how numb she felt on the inside. Really depressing shit but with catchy melodies to which Mike would play his lute and Chris would bang his sticks (often so loud that the other two could not be heard). And the cacophony soon brought…
… an avalanche. That swept them down the hill to a certain icy doom. Burying them deep inside the snow. As they lay in their icy tomb, oxygen being quickly exhausted, tensions ebbed and flowed. Mike’s middle finger was fractured in the chaos so he lost most of his ability to communicate; but he merely shrugged it off. Chris pounded loudly on the snow praying someone would hear and come to their rescue, preferably a girl who was not interested in commitment. Their misery fueled Katherine’s creativity. And she needed to incessantly babble and sing of her woes, depleting the oxygen further. Mike’s oxygen-starved brain, built a snow xbox that he played with his imaginary snowman friend. Chris began hitting Katherine with his sticks, occasionally in time to what Katherine was singing. And just when it seemed that all hope was lost...
The snow above them parted.
A young man, stood above them. The Himalayan sun perfectly posed behind his head, giving him an angelic look. “Hi, my name is Nick. Ya’ll need a hand?” His hair, though nary an inch long, still managed to blow in the wind behind him, like a dime store Fabio. “You’re not a woman,” Chris sneared. “No, I’m not.” Katherine scowled up at him: “We don’t want to be saved. We are happy being miserable.” “I want to be saved!” said Chris. “Click-Click Clickty Yardy Fuck It” said Mike (which meant, “I don’t care either way”). “Could I call you Nicole and pretend you’re a woman and we can make out for a bit?” asked Chris. “No,” said Nick, smilingly down, politely… offering his hand out.
As he reached out, the snow, quite unexpectedly, collapsed from beneath his feet, tumbling him into the hole with our ragtag group. “Interesting, not how I would have done it,” Chris stared quizzically. “So now what?” smiled Katherine.
And with that Mike scaled Nick like a human ladder. Up and out of the hole.
“… Just like I planned ,” Nick said.
“… … Really… ?” Katherine’s eyebrow raised ever so slightly.
“No… but I do have some sick guitars and a ridiculously unnecessary number of overpriced pedals that I would love to use to help us all make music together.” And THAT was music to Katherine’s ears… and the end of the beginning of our story.
An abrupt but appropriate ending.