ilyAIMY's rob. Singer/songwriter, acoustic guitars. Heart 1 of the band.
rob | Heather Aubrey Lloyd | Kristen Jones | Rowan Corbett | Sharif Kellogg
Guitars, vocals, eBow, bass, banjo.
Someone once told rob that what he does to his guitar is illegal in three states. They meant it as a compliment. They went on to say that "rob is that perfect combination of complete proficiency combined with punk rock 'fuck you'". And he took THAT as a compliment too.
rob is the progenitor and theoretical leader of the band (though the latter is a bit like herding worms) and is the scowly-growly member of ilyAIMY. Entranced by a finger-picking goddess as a freshman at the Maryland Institute College of Art - he slowly lost his way as a visual artist and discovered in music a faster, more immediate, more PERSONAL method of self-expression and communication.
Having started as a bass player, rob incorporated slap-bass and Primus-esque strumming techniques into an unorthodox guitar style, resulting in the above alarming compliments.
While attending MICA, rob started out playing bass for performer Audrey Morris (now Sense of Wonder) and then was drawn into a performance / music / art / communication project called i love you And I Miss You (comprised of rob, Will Schaff, Clifford Roelle, and Carin Wagner). Upon graduating in December 1997 with degrees in illustration and performance art, i love you And I Miss You went their separate ways, but as rob was 1/4 of the band, he kept 1/4 of the letters and the word "ilyAIMY" went on to be first his illustration company, and then the umbrella under which all of his forms of expression were released.
He worked various day jobs (a bookseller, a high school teacher, a security guard, a "public programmer" on the stage of the Maryland Science Center, a button maker, and a button counter) and freelanced as an illustrator while developing a musical style through various bands. Over the years there was Common Thread, power-trio Strength in Hare, reggae act Red Zion (with writer Andrew Luttrell), Chimaera's Bridge (with fellow singer/songwriters Audrey Morris and Syl Smith) and cover band Area 51 - eventually culminating in the current incarnation of ilyAIMY.
When he met Heather Lloyd in the summer of 2001, the plan (dream?) coalesced to quit the whole day-job scene and not bother waiting for labels or management. By September 2nd, 2003 - they had quit their day jobs, let the leases run out on their houses, moved into a Saturn, and out on to the open road. After five years of almost constant travel, rob and Heather settled down just enough to have to own beds again and have an actual mailing address.
Over the years of travel, an important part of both the professional and social side of music has always been the Open Mic scene. ilyAIMY hits one almost every night they're off - and when, in 2008 ilyAIMY got a little more sedentary, one of rob's first missions was to create an open mic scene from what he'd learned from all across the country.
Since then rob has been the creator and host of a number of open mic nights in the Washington / Baltimore area, some award-winning, all Loved - he's even spoken at the Library of Congress on the subject of open mics and their effect on American music, the coffeehouse scene and "counter-culture". His open mics have been selected to represent "National Open Mic Night" by Shure Inc and declared one of the best-of DC by DCMusicDownload.com.
When not playing music, touring or hosting his open mics, rob works selling sitars, repairing guitars and tuning hammered dulcimers at the eclectic House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, MD and continues to do freelance illustration, graphic design and sound engineering, including recording and mixing all of ilyAIMY's most recent Live release "Another Live" as well as Sudanese singer/songwriter mOsno's 2014 release "Novella" and The Honest Mistakes' upcoming 2016 release (as of yet untitled - but it's awesome).
rob was playing a Seagull Spruce-top acoustic 6 string till he pulled it in half in Illinois. Then he was playing a beautiful violin-top Alvarez, but he put a hole in it in Boston. Currently he's happily married to his carbon-fiber Composite Acoustic OX. She's from Louisiana and has a thick accent and can defend herself quite well.
That "laser slide thing" is an eBow. Yes he'll show it to you. No you can't have it. Yes, there's glue on it. It's the cellist's fault.