Giant Fighting Robots
Like five Zords uniting to form a MegaZord, things are starting to come together for Wade Gainer. The DJ's electronic music project is called Giant Fighting Robots, boasting a sound as bold as its name.
“The idea of epic battles is something that’s always stuck with me,” said Gainer. “It’s a sight that’s amazing to watch onscreen, but scary in reality.”
Growing up on old Godzilla movies and Gundam Wing has informed Gainer in the grandiose scope of his performance. With a sound that blends bass music, dubstep and trap, he says Giant Fighting Robots is for people who like to let loose. Gainer performs frequently as a part of the collective Party Platoon, a group whose concept revolves around assaulting boredom with military efficiency. Gainer is usually deployed at locations such as Monolith, 1Up, and Whiskey Dick’s in Tahoe.
Alongside Gainer in the Party Platoon are DJs Elektro Specter, Heidalicious and Stensen, who, armed with turntables and decked out in custom dogtags, perform together at Monolith once a month. The dance collective’s hard-partying mission inspired a group of fans, known as the Drunk Army, which has since doubled as the domain name of Party Platoon’s website.
“The Drunk Army are our fellow rabble rousers,” said Gainer. “Sometimes tequila inspires some awesome website domains.”
Gainer tends to move around, dancing as much or more than the crowd. It takes a little while for people to warm up to, but Gainer says that it’s always worth it.
“I have been incredibly lucky,” said Gainer. “Having someone compliment a show from a year ago is one of the coolest things ever.”
Dramatic crescendos, sparse trap beats, ominous distorted synth tones, and a heavy emphasis on bass characterize the original compositions of Giant Fighting Robots. Gainer says his releases have been sporadic, focusing instead on writing and refining his upcoming release: a four-part concept EP titled Vs. The World.
The EP, which will be released one track at a time over the next year, will tell the story of a plan by Giant Fighting Robots to liberate their “robotic brethren,” which include everything from computers and cell phones to blenders, working towards the final enslavement of mankind. A progression will be launched in the first episode, “Where the F@#k Is Earth,” to crafting the world’s mythos in the next chapter: “All Hail the Overmind,” building to the climacx of “King of the Monsters” and concluding with “Status: Unknown.”
In addition to the spaced out release of Vs. The World, which Gainer hopes will represent one seamless piece of music by the time of its completion, a short comic book will be released to accompany the dense, expansive story of the EP.
Gainer says he’s influenced by moments in his life when he decided to break through his doubts and take risks. Memories of jumping off a swing for the first time, getting a girl’s number in grade school, and landing a kickflip are particular memories that inspire him.
“It’s those moments in life when you look back and go, ’Holy shit, that didn’t kill me. I’m alive!’”
Seeking encouraging memories is necessary for Gainer to cope with a fear shared by many musicians: feelings of inadequacy. At times, he worries he’ll give everything he has and show up empty handed at the end of the run.
“It’s a gateway to a feedback loop,” said Gainer. “But I think the key is less about fighting it, and more so learning how to repurpose that feeling into conviction.”