Five Firsts: Justin Schultz of Robo-France 29
NAME: Justin “Schultzy” Schultz
BAND AFFILIATION: Robo-France 29
INSTRUMENT: Bass, Vocals, Megaphone, Train Whistle & Assorted noise makers
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I was given the Michael Jackson “Thriller” tape when I was about four years old. I remember thinking that he personified what it meant to be a rock star. At that time, no other musician came close to him. I loved that tape. I’d sing and dance along to it and get scared when the demon voice kicked in. Eventually, I wore that cassette out on my old Talk ‘n’ Play.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at SPAC. I think I had just graduated eighth grade and went with some friends. Petty has always been one of my favorites, so it was really special for that to be the first concert I went to. It was a really laid-back show. I’ve seen him a bunch since, and the crowds are always bigger, and it’s gotten harder to hear the music. So I remember that first show fondly.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A Washburn guitar. And I sucked. Because I thought all you needed to do was get an instrument. I didn’t realize the importance of practice yet. After some time off, I picked up the bass and actually put effort into practicing. And I haven’t looked back since. The first bass I got was an Ibanez Soundgear 405. It’s still my primary instrument.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … It was either a bluesy piece or a classical piece with one of the SCCC ensembles. The first song I ever sang live was “Take the Skinheads Bowling” at open mic. I had a bunch of different emotions running through my head. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I kept thinking “sing strong.” I tried to remain confident & composed, and I didn’t end up doing too bad.
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … I used to do a bit of jamming with some different friends, but nothing really came out of that. I played in a few of Schenectady Community College’s ensembles. But Robo-France 29 is the first real band I’ve been in. I’ve known guitarist-vocalist Josh Breden since high school, and we decided to get something going a few years back. It didn’t take too long for us to round out the line-up and get out there playing. We honed our skills playing the weekly open mics at Appletini’s in Colonie, and we started booking real Robo-France gigs shortly thereafter. We’ve had a lot of fun and play with – and for – some really cool people. I’m happy to say this is the first band I’ve been in.