Robin Mordecai is a songwriting multi-instrumentalist developing his own sound as an artist while working as a sideman, assistant engineer and future producer.
An Austin native, he started his musical life in his seventh year with piano lessons he continued until the age of 14. That's when his drumming kicked into high gear. As a sophomore he joined the Lake Travis Jazz Ensemble. He also played in various pit orchestras for theater companies in Georgetown and Kerrville honing his reading chops. He and classmate, guitarist Alex Campbell, formed Maiden Austin in 2007. The band was short-lived but it definitely got the ball rolling. After creating and testing a few other projects, Robin hooked up with guys he had worked with in church bands and formed The Encounter Project which had some regional touring success and resulted in Robin’s first recording studio work, putting his first song "Love On You" out to the global market. After a four year run with the guys in the EP, Robin got a call from former high school drumming buddy Chris Saad wanting him to come to L.A. and restart their band DrumJam, an on/off project they’d had taken to the Texas State Fair when they were still in high school. Robin was ready for a change and thought L.A. would be a logical next step. By the time he got out there, however, Chris had taken an audition with Stomp and left for San Diego while their other school bud and DrumJam mate, Zac Hennig, told him he hated L.A. and was going to Vegas. So Robin, now on his own and looking for work, answered a Craiglist ad posted by the band Varna and got the gig - as their new bass player. He loved the band but after months he just wasn’t feeling at home in L.A. While in studio with the band, Robin confided in the producer. When asked “where are you from”, Robin answered “Austin”, the producer immediately said, “what are you doing here? Austin is where it's at!” Robin took that to heart, packed up and headed back home where he began playing drums with various artists like Pauline Reese, Matt Wilson, Lisa Morales and Grace Pettis. He spent a year playing a weekly gig with the great Dr. James Polk at Capital Grille where he met his good friend and bass player Michael Stevens. During this time he was periodically playing drums and bass at Riverbend church and began working with Casey McPherson who pulled him in on his Alpha Rev project. It was this and a special event at Orb Sound Studios that gave him the opportunity to work with the legendary Alan Parsons as Alpha Rev’s bass player for Parsons' masterclass recording session. Robin’s interest in the recording process really grew and he began to explore his own talents in that arena working at the Covington Compound - a studio owned by drummer, pianist Kirk Covington - where he continues to do work.
In 2015, Robin was ready to get his own music out so he took what he’d learned and produced his own EP, “Here Goes Something” on Fable Records. He launched the project with a show at Threadgills World Headquarters and later joined Dave Madden and Suzanna Choffel back at the TWH for a triple bill. Robin has made guest appearances on KOOP Radio, Wimberley Valley Radio and SunRadio’s Bridge Radio. Though he continues to perform on drums with musicians like James Speer, Kirk Covington, Dave Scher, and Bob Patin at Eddie V’s and the Elephant Room, his own project moves forward having played shows at Guero’s Taco Bar, El Mercado and the One-2-One.
In my own words:
What do you write in a bio when you’re writing about yourself? I’ve always found it very difficult to write down or verbally tell people about who I am and what I do. Mostly because I’m terrified of being considered self-centered, which begs the question, why am I in the music industry? To answer it simply, I love music. I know that's a pretty cliche answer but I was raised with an appreciation and love of this language that is understood around the world.
I was pretty much born in to music. My mother is a percussionist, my father is a trombone player and booking agent, my grandmother played piano, my grandfather was a trumpet player, and I could continue but honestly it wasn’t a matter of if but when. I was the kid with headphones in his ears tapping along (loudly) to the song with my drumsticks. Although drums was my first instrument, and is still my primary instrument, I quickly picked up the guitar and began songwriting.
I wrote my first song at 16, for a girl obviously, and haven’t really looked back. Joined my first band, which was short-lived, when I was 17. Joined my second shortly after, and that too was short-lived but we gained some traction and I learned how not to act. The third band, The Encounter Project, lasted almost 4 years and was full of lessons, but eventually I left Austin and moved to L.A. Joined a band called Varna playing bass, learned more about myself in 5 months than any other point in my life, and figured out everything I never wanted to be as a musician and most importantly as a person.
I came back to Austin, made some mistakes, fell in love, started a new band, quit the new band, fell out of love, greeted depression like an old friend, and began writing again. Then came my first solo EP, Here Goes Something, in 2015. I played every instrument except the organ and the two guitar solos, engineered parts of it, and produced it. In 2016 I joined the band Alpha Rev playing bass, and Casey McPherson showed me just how a real band is supposed to work. Because of him I got to work some of the most amazing people, some of whom I can call friends and some of them, like Alan Parsons (yes that Alan Parsons), were early entries on my bucket list of “People I want to work with.”
So here we are in 2018 and I’ve got new music coming soon which I can’t wait to share with you. I hope to see you at a show or just around Austin sometime. We can trade stories and puns and check out each other's playlists.