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The Los Angeles trio A.i. mixes traditional rock structures with synthesizers, electronics, and programmed percussion. Comprised of brothers Nick (vocals/guitar) and Zack Young (drums/percussion) and bassist/keyboardist Milen Kirov, the trio’s roots date back to the members’ childhood days. Nick Young received a guitar for his birthday in 1989; Zack Young got a bass soon after, and the two siblings started taking lessons to perfect their skills. Also instrumental in their development was their filmmaking father, Robert Young (known for directing the 1988 family drama Dominick and Eugene and the Farrah Fawcett TV thriller Extremities), as well as their great uncle Joe Young (a founding member of ASCAP and a Tin Pan Alley vocalist during the early 1920s and ’30s). In the late ’90s, the Young brothers joined forces with Pablo Manzarek, the son of the famous Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek, and began shaping A.i.’s quasi-psychedelic rock sound. By the new millennium, A.i. had signed to Dreamworks Records and entered the studio to work with ex-Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna. They issued their debut album, Artificial Intelligence, in the summer of 2002, but Manzarek left the group during the following tour. Bulgarian musician Kirov joined in time for A.i.’s performance at the CMJ Music Marathon, and the revised lineup returned in 2007 with Sex & Robots. ~ MacKenzie Wilson