Local musician Robbie Doyen of Robbie and the Robots recently released a showcase of local San Marcos talent on a compilation CD entitled ‘SMTX 78666.’ This compilation features no less than 19 different local bands and all proceeds go to benefit Fibromyalgia research.
When asked about why he chose to make the CD, Robbie replied, “I was thinking about doing it for a while. I had an extra song that was left off of my CD and I was thinking that would go on there as an exclusive song…I was also thinking it would be even better if it was for charity, even more endearing; not just a history-making first compilation CD for just San Marcos in general. My dad has Fibromyalgia, and so I thought what better way to help out my dad, plus give money to a whole bunch people who need it to research a fairly unknown disease. I went online and found a place called AFFTER (Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding, Treatment, Education and Research) and asked if I could donate the money to them, and they said ‘Sure, wonderful.'”
It wasn’t that easy, however, for Robbie to do his good deed. There were some minor hitches in the donation process. “I sent them the CD and they almost didn’t let me send them the money,” said Robbie. “Specifically because of my song – they thought it was about drinking beer and smoking weed when actually, if you listen to the song, it’s about getting bored with partying every single night.”
AFFTER eventually came around. “They had to take a vote before they were willing to accept my money,” Doyen said, “I’ve already sent them $1000 and hopefully I’ll be able to send them another $1000 if the CD keeps selling. There are various vendors around town who have been gracious enough to sell it for no profit and it’s just $10. Valentino’s sells it, Triple Crown, Lucy’s, I’ve even got this acupuncture place I set it up at.”
“I produced it and I’ve done most of the work. I’m about to do a radio promotion for it, also. I’ve got to start to get it played more, and to sell a few more would be great.”
Robbie and the Robots most recently played at Lucy’s Locals Only Festival here in San Marcos, but before that Robbie was working toward this compilation playing gigs with other local bands. “I played at almost every benefit show. The bands were required to play a benefit show to be on the CD. That’s how I raised money to actually produce the CD. The company that I made it through gave me a good cause discount, plus they gave me an extra discount to get it done on National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. There’s a lot of goodwill that went into the making of this.”
Local artist Bonner Fowles did the painting that appears on the cover. When he asked Robbie what he wanted on the cover, the musician told him “to show people in San Marcos having fun,” so the cover art is a depiction of the San Marcos river.
Robbie’s good works don’t end there. “I’ve done other stuff for charity. For instance, my hair is just getting long again. When it gets to more than ten inches long I cut it off and donate it to Locks of Love.”
Doyen has many influences. One he mentioned was the flaming lips. “I love how he puts a positive spin on things.” Robbie added that “when I was growing up I really loved all the country music my parents listened to, like Dolly Parton; great melodies and good stories. That’s very important to me. Back then the music was all produced to sound like it was live, but now it’s all crazy effects and it definitely doesn’t sound as organic.”
Robbie and the Robots haven’t been very active recently. “I’m just getting a new band together so I haven’t really been booking shows,” said Robbie. “I really like the new group of guys I’ve got. It’s really hard with bands, you know you’re not just making music, you’re trying to get along with them. We should start playing again in September.” For now, he can be found doing a few different things. “I host an open-mic at Lucy’s, and sometimes I play by myself.” Robbie’s next open-mic night at Lucy’s will be August 25.
For more information on SMTX 78666, visit www.cdbaby.com/smtxcompilation or www.myspace.com/sanmarcoscompilation, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
By SARAH STEVENS