Robb Torres is hoping Musikfest will provide more than just outlet for his music.
The former Trapt guitarist is optimistic that today's debut festival gig will be an important stepping stone for the future of his project, Robbery Inc. The blues-based hard rock band is scheduled to perform on the outdoor TD Community Stage at SteelStacks.
"I love Los Angeles, but some of the toughest crowds are in L.A. This is more kind of my style of music," Torres said during a late July phone interview. "I'm really digging in to the music that Inspired me. Soloing and improvising is where I live."
Fronting Robbery Inc. has allowed Torres to tap into his roots as a blues and jazz player, a freedom he did not necessarily have performing with alt-metal rockers Trapt. (Trapt opened for Puddle of Mudd at Musikfest in 2009.) The band is rounded out by bassist Liam McCormack and drummer Matt Camgros.
"The Trapt gig was cool. I really dug the intensity of the music, but it's not necessarily my background," he said.
The biggest challenge Torres said in bringing Robbery Inc. to life was stepping up to the plate as a vocalist. Torres said the singing aspect of the performance was a whole new world for him. He admitted there is still room for improvement.
"Most of it is about being confident and accepting the sound of my voice for what it is," he said. "I'm trying to put in the practice and discipline in my vocals and really getting what works for me and what doesn't. I'm starting to find my voice."
Those who turn out this afternoon for Robbery Inc.'s set will be treated to cuts off of their debut EP, Crave. Torres described the music as being straight from the soul.
Torres added that the group is taking the DIY approach, growing a fan base one gig at a time.
"I was lucky to find some guys who really believe in the music and really believe in the project. They want to be a part of the band, as opposed to just being paid," he said. "I hope that (the songs) connect with people and they see that this is a real project, not just thrown together."
Robbery Inc. performs 4 o'clock today on the TD Community Stage at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. Admission is free.