Apples In Stereo front man Robert Schneider has been busy lately making music for little kids, though he imagines grown-up fans will appreciate the effort too.
Schneider's new project, "Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine" was released last week through kiddie indie Little Monster, the same label that released Medeski, Martin & Wood's children's title "Let's Go Everywhere."
"On Apples records, I try to use interesting music instruments and fun arrangements. So I use those same aesthetic choices and rules and transfer them to kids' music," Schneider says. "So now, instead of fuzzy guitars playing a crazy melody line, it’s a xylophone. Instead of grown-up stuff, it's about puppy dogs and clocks."
The music doesn't end with just an album. Schneider is also busily developing an animated television show pilot by the same name with Puny Entertainment, the animation house behind Nickelodeon's "Yo Gabba Gabba." The group is currently working to create its first pilot episode.
"The premise is... Robbert Bobbert is an inventor that invents utterly useless contraptions," Schneider explains. "It's about discovery and invention, using math, patterns and designs to show how everything is connected. I imagine a high awesomeness level, combining a little educational with some whimsy, like 'Jimmy Neutron' or 'Powerpuff Girls' meets 'Sesame Street' and 'Banana Splits.' The music fits into little chapters."
Schneider says he's always written kids music and is finally happy to have the album and the show as his outlet. He writes songs for specific children and situations in his life, including his eight-year-old son Max and the 1st and 2nd grade science fairs he attends.
Robbert Bobbert was "just been a side thing" before the Apples in Stereo went headlong into making a new set. Schneider says he and the band have already begun work on the next album and will reconvene next week to hash out more tracks. "This record will have the sounds of classic R&B that's played through that UFO that appeared at the end of 'Close Encounters [of the Third Kind]' that hummed music as the lights flashed. Just imagine a dancing jukebox," he says.
He hopes to release the as-yet-untitled set toward the end of the year or early 2010. "I want to take a full year, to make this one perfect. Almost every record I feel like I made a mistake in every album. This time, I'll make sure everything is great."