With their musical beginnings sown in the form of the band Hans The Double, Justin and Nick paired off after that band split up in early 2008. What is important here, is that they felt the need to create their own original and exciting music, and now they are sharing it with us.
I asked the band a few questions, to get to know them a bit better:
So you are doing it! Making and producing and distributing your own music. I read that you guys did not actually plan this out, but rather it just came together, song after song till you had enough for In Transition to be a full album. I have brought your music to quite a few peoples’ attention, people from all over the world, and they all absolutely love it. Do you feel now, like you are gaining a bit of a fan base, a year after In Transition’s release?
When we had the album finished and ready to distribute, our only real M.O. was to submit to as many blogs as possible and see if anyone would run something on us. Things started to pop up here and there after that. A bunch of places just listed us as a band to check out, didn’t really say anything about us. As more people listened, the features started getting bigger.
With the internet, we’ve been able to pop up anywhere and everywhere. An Italian blog wrote a real nice review of the record. People on Last.fm started tuning in from places like
Regarding an actual fan base, it’s been easier to connect to people playing shows. When we play, we have everything in front of us to let people get to know us. However, it’s been great to use the internet as a way to get a foot in the door. We just played in
Have you guys always lived in Philly? How is the music scene of your hometown? Would you say there is a ‘scene’ there that Pilot Cloud fits into?
We’ve been scattered throughout the tri-state area. I, Nick, have spent my whole life living in different suburbs of
There’s not a tight-knit scene that Pilot Cloud is in with, but there’s definitely some interesting psychedelic, ambient, and shoegaze bands in and around the area like Arc in Round, Cloud Minder, Streaks of Light, and Ports of Call. If there’s any organization amongst bands, we certainly haven’t been privy to it. We spent most of 2008 immersed in basements writing “In Transition”, so we’ve adapted to the hermit lifestyle, but we would definitely love to be able to be a part of a handful of bands that have themselves together to essentially create a scene of our own
What kind of guitars/amps/other instruments do you guys use? What is the key to bringing an expansive sound such a Pilot Cloud’s to the stage with just 2 people?
We wouldn’t really say there’s much of a trick to us having such a big sound. Justin plays an Epiphone Les Paul guitar through a Vox AC15 amp. I play Gretsch drums and Zildjian cymbals. Nothing major there. The real key is that we play alongside the bass tracks and supplementary guitar layers onstage. We’re not playing more, it just sounds like we are. The guitar layers are likely what do the trick.
Have you always been involved in music? What are your inspirations?
We’ve each been playing our respective instruments since the late 90s. With the difference in age between us (Justin is 28, I am 21), it has taken up more of my life than Justin’s. I took up drums at age 9 after a failed stint at trumpet, while Justin took up guitar likely to impress girls when we went off to college.
Both of us stay motivated and inspired by the music we like. Pilot Cloud started out of wanting to make music we would want to hear. We knew why we liked the bands we did, and we thought we could put our own hat in the ring to stand alongside music we already listened to.
You are coming to
When you are done touring to support In Transition and have given away all your copies of it (I still think it’s worth a TON of money!), what is next for Pilot Cloud?
We surpassed a lot of our own expectations since we released “In Transition”. We toured behind it, made some cool new friends, got some kind reviews, and even had some money tossed our way. Unfortunately, the physical copies of the record are disappearing before we can order more pressings. We’ve gone through close to 300 free copies since last Christmas.
But all that being said, we have really missed the writing process over the last year, so we’re going to get working on a follow-up EP to “In Transition”. We’ve written one new song (which has been assimilated into the live set) called “Diaspora”. Beyond that, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Thanks to Nick for the interview! And thanks to Pilot Cloud (check their MySpace and listen to some tunes from In Transition) for the amazing music. Pilot Cloud's songs are songs that reveal more and more with each subsequent listen. Upon first listen, Leaf, Map, Sounds of an Era, and the title track all sound like the perfect mid-to-up-tempo shoegaze-style compositions, but keep listening. The real charms of the songs are to come, and that is the mark of some quality song-writing and talented arranging.