When they aren't online, The Medic Droid's fans are demonstrating their devotion at shows. Besides antics like climbing on each other's shoulders and singing along en masse, they occasionally offer "gifts" to Donathon and Bagnod. The singer says the handmade bracelets and handwritten letters he's been given at the stage door have been nice. He's not as appreciative of the thongs and panties occasionally tossed onstage.

The Tom Jones-like action has also led to a few humorous moments, like when Sean-P, the guitarist for The White Tie Affair, placed a proffered thong on Donathon's head at a gig opening for the Chicago power-pop group quintet during the summer.

"He was onstage dancing with us, walked over, and put them on my head while I was singing," Donathon says. "I was like, 'Dude, like really, get away.'"

Chris Donathon and a fan in New York City.
Anne-Marie Smart
Chris Donathon and a fan in New York City.
The headquarters of Modern Art Records in downtown Phoenix.
Jamie Peachey
The headquarters of Modern Art Records in downtown Phoenix.

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See more shots of the Medic Droid in our slide show. The Medic Droid are scheduled to perform with Chronic Future, and Back Ted N-Ted on Friday, December 12, at The Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe.

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Thankfully, he adds, the unmentionables hadn't been worn.

With all the panties being served up and the band's getting on marquee-level tours, it's no surprise some fans think the band mates are major playas. While relaxing at the Bikini Lounge in downtown Phoenix the night before leaving for their current tour, Bagnod and Donathon discuss how they're perplexed by such misconceptions.

"People will ask us, 'What's it like living the rock star life?'" Bagnod says. "I'm like, 'What are you talking about? I live at home with my mom.'"

Despite the band's whirlwind of success, neither feels like a rock star and each is humble about everything that's happened. Which is why, Donathon says, it feels strange when girls start crying while talking to them.

"When girls come up to take a picture, they'll be shaking and stuff and they get teary-eyed," he says. "I always feel nervous when they do that 'cause I remember as a kid getting emotional when I met my favorite bands."

And fans usually get emotional when describing how much The Medic Droid's songs mean to them. So it comes as no surprise that said connection is one reason many were disappointed with What's Your Medium, which was produced by Breen. Most of the eight-track EP consists of The Medic Droid re-recording and updating "Fer Sure" and their other MySpace hits, and that's drawn criticism from their hardcore fans. Some hated the lack of new material, others though it was too slick and polished, lacking the "raw" feel of the original songs.

Donathon chalks up the disappointment to those fans' attachment to the original versions of the songs and hating the changes that were made (such as dropping the über-cheeky dialogue from "Fer Sure"). He also admits to rushing into recording the album in order to get it out as quickly as possible, since it'd been eight months since they'd released anything.

"We got really stressed out during the recording because it felt like we put ourselves on the spot to get something out," Donathon says. "I think we let the feeling of being worried about what people were gonna think and it took over. It wasn't fun to record, so it probably wasn't fun to listen to."

However, he admits, "the albums are still selling, so apparently, if there are some kids [that are unhappy], there's still plenty more that aren't."

Although they constantly laud Breen for his producing talents, Donathon and Bagnod plan on doing the next recording themselves. They're also planning on taking time and having fun with it, adopting the same "don't give a shit" attitude of "Fer Sure."

But they aren't in a hurry to start working on new material just yet. Right now, Bagnod says, getting off their two-year rollercoaster for some serious vacay is in order, before they burn out.

Or break up? Collins has repeatedly told New Times there's "little chance" The Medic Droid will be calling it quits after wrapping up their last dates of the tour, including this weekend's show at the Clubhouse Music Venue.

"It's been crazy being put on fast-forward without being able to catch up. We both never thought it would go like this ever. We never thought we'd play on the other side of the world," Bagnod says. "Some bands have been together for years and years and they learn about how to deal with all this. What most bands would do in five years, we've had to do in one or two."

"We wanna get back into why we started this," he adds. "We didn't start this to get Lamborghinis or be on MTV. We started this because we like to write music and have fun. Right now, after touring for a year straight, we aren't happy."

Donathon is a bit more dramatic, however.

"Right now, I'm in such a fucked-up place. If we continue doing what we're doing now, if we keep going at the same pace, I'll explode," Donathon says.


Chris Donathon is pissed and looks like he's about to start swinging.

With his hands balled into fists and screaming obscenities, he's all up in the grill of the Blender Theatre's stage manager, who just pulled the plug on The Medic Droid halfway through its Thanksgiving eve set.

Donathon has been sick for most of the tour. Thanks to a bout with the flu, the cold weather, and constant smoking, he's lost his voice the past three nights straight. The band easily could've canceled. But because NYC is a hotspot for The Medic Droid's fan base, Donathon put pressure on himself to perform. (He also had regained most of his voice.)

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11 comments
la sandra
la sandra

oh shit i can't believe i havent seen this article until now! i was at the blender that night, and i had started the chanting of fer sure as we were kicked out by that fucking security guard.

however, medic droid broke up yesterday. something happened between chris and hector i think.

Amanda
Amanda

Just read the article and was totally pumped to get to a computer & listen to these guys. Expecting music that was new and fresh and totally awesome. Um, sounds like pop punk to me. With the same beats and the same nasally voice, am I missing something?

Jim
Jim

It's not a question of haters (or sockpuppets pretending to be fans rushing to the defense of the band, for that matter). Make an outline of the article and you quickly find there's very little of a factual nature. The writer tries to make all this boring stuff sound interesting, but see how his hyperbole is supported: he doesn't describe a rollercoaster ride to fame or a "meet cute," despite claiming that he does. The supposedly wild antics of the band goes no farther than the singer lifting up his shirt. The alleged debauched ambisexuality of the crowds at the clubs they play deosn't sound especially wild but, as with pretty much everything else in the article, we're just supposed to take the writer's word for it (even though he seems to just be taking the band's word for it). If you like the band, fine (I went to their Myspace page and personally I liked their "hit" better when Toni Basil did it as "Oh Mickey"). But the article is a big hunk of nothing that smacks of payola.

betsy enders
betsy enders

omg...i'm very happy you wrote about the medic droid cuz their my favorite band and they really put on a great show...

Tracey
Tracey

Don't listen to the haterrs, just listen to the music. its so good and chris donathan is so cute

Mike
Mike

This is one of the most blatant instances of empty hype I've seen in a while. The writer makes no attempt to verify the frankly unimpressive claims made by the band and their management (e.g., that they had lots of interest from major labels before choosing to be on local trust fund label) and I can't help but smell a big pile of bullshit. Is this supposed to convince Phoenix residents that they're missing out on something because they're allegedly REALLY, REALLY popular elsewhere? A bunch of Myspace hits, eh? I wonder if they hooked up with one of the services that offers to use their programs to boost the number of plays your Myspace tunes receives or whether they did it themselves.

Nicki
Nicki

Great job, 'New Times'! I was so stoked to see The Medic Droid on the cover. They are a phenomenal band and really stand out from the indie rock scene that seems to dominate the Valley. It's awesome that such an innovative duo is representing AZ so well! Keep it up, and good luck to Modern Art!

Jeremy
Jeremy

I've heard these guy's album. The production is really great. I'm in my late 20's and the overall vibe of the band is definitely geared towards a younger audience so I personally can't give a fair review. My younger sister likes these guys a lot. I wish this story had more info about their label and what it is doing in the local music community.

Either way, no need to hate on em. There's a New Times every week. I'm sure somebody else you think is a fag will get the cover soon enough. ;)

Peace

Kiki Fausel
Kiki Fausel

Honestly, it was an excellent show, and this band is talented. Please, don't look at their younger fan-base. The true fans are really awesome and dedicated. And, the band plays a funky beat, and Donathon is a great guy and a fantastic vocalist. Not to mention Hector is the sweetest man ever.

soulbot9000
soulbot9000

Is there seriously nothing else going on in this city that this crappy band gets the cover of the new times? did you guys listen to their music before writing this? my guess is probably not. can we please get coverage of bands that you don't have to be a 13 year old girl in order to like them?

Scene Jean
Scene Jean

What a couple of fags. Certainly not worthy of a cover story in New Times. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

 
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