Mangan's opinion of this song had changed throughout the years. He almost resented it and had become frustrated with being expected to play it every concert trying to top the sing-along spectacle that came with it each time.
When we spoke with Mangan in 2016
, he revealed to us that his belief about this tune changed after attending a Tragically Hip show on their last tour and feeling bittersweet about not hearing all of the songs he wanted. "That epiphany in my brain made me go, 'I should just play 'Robots' every
show,'" he said. "What a weird thing to be conflicted about this song that just continues to be a popular thing. I'm so grateful for that song. It changed my life. Every 65-year-old or six-year-old who tells me that's their favorite song, I'm like, 'That's amazing!'
The truth is that I rebelled against it for a while and said, 'I don't want to play that anymore,' because I started to feel like a monkey. I started to feel like it wasn't just a song. It was the expectation of antics that came with the song that it was going to be bigger and more ridiculous and a wilder sing-along than it was the time before.
When we performed it, it got that way. It became, Okay. Time to play this song and now everything's going to become a carnival. It's just going to get crazy. Maybe I'll invite someone on stage? Or maybe I'll crowd surf? Or maybe I'll wander to the back of the bar and pour myself a pint? There was this ongoing thing about that song about what would happen at the end of it and that would be the most memorable moment of the night. I guess I felt like I had written all of these other songs that I felt were actually more insightful and more mature, but people just wanted the other song. I took that personally. I was almost hurt by it. 'Oh, you just want to hear the f--king singalong.'
Now I've come around to the other side where I'm just really appreciative of it. I've been able to enjoy it more lately and have fun singing it, so I'm less conflicted about it now than I probably was a couple of years ago."