The Nashville-based band The Protomen is quickly allowing its legend to spread, inaccuracies and all.
"There's a lot of hearsay and mystique about the band," said violinist, guitarist and sometime-keyboard player Sir Dr. Robert Bakker. "It's pretty ridiculous. There's a lot of fake material we like to send people."
This much we know is accurate: Bakker is the stage name of a Quad-City native, a 2002 graduate of Davenport Central who left to pursue the music business in Murfreesboro, Tenn., a Nashville suburb.
All 10 or so members of the band are accomplished musicians and sound engineers who decided to make their own over-the-top group.
"We're kind of doing an exaggeration of every aspect of rock ‘n' roll: stage names, we perform in complete costumes with facepaint, all of our songs are really based on earlier compositions, I guess you could say," Bakker said.
The band has based its performance on the Nintendo video game "Megaman," but takes its music from the late 1970s and ‘80s.
"As bland as you can be without being totally bland," he said in a telephone interview while nearing the Canadian border. "We all think rock ‘n' roll's ridiculous and we try to take that to the extreme."
The band has created two rock-opera stories in separate albums. The first act came out five years ago, and the second was released last year.
The second was set in a post-apocalyptic world, with music including that of Meat Loaf and arena rock.
"All of the sounds are rough with an influence of punk rock," Bakker said. "It's been steadily picking up steam since the day we got started."
The Protomen play Saturday night at the Redstone Room in the River Music Experience, downtown Davenport.
The band has played music festivals such as South by Southwest and Bonaroo, but it also has been a regular at San Diego's famed Comic-Con, as well as the Pax festival, the country's largest gathering of video game fanatics.
While Protomen started by playing for a specialized audience, "we have managed to play outside the niche," Bakker said. "We never intended to be in a niche in the first place. It just happened and it was a lot of fun."
He said the band is among those that want to put a different spin on the sounds from Nashville.
"There's a legion of budding rock stars in Nashville who are out to defeat the country stereotype," he said. "We hope we're leading that battle."