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This Is Northern New South Wales

P I L O T S

  • Music

Promo copySummer might be officially over, but the party certainly isn’t! The Yacht Club DJs are gonna perform at the Beach Hotel on Sunday April 13th, you can be sure to hear some brand new aural goodness from this devil-may-care duo. It doesn’t end there. The event will also be host to Byron Bay favourites Mt Warning, Pilots & Safari DJs. We got a chance to chat Pilots Kit Bray, and see what mischief they have been up to…

Hey Kit! What have you been up to today?
I was at work today. Digging Holes.

Oh really!?
Yeah! I was labouring on a construction site.

So you guys are currently in the process of recording your EP, right?
We’ve just finished it actually! It was incredible. It was the most professional, exciting recording process I’ve ever done. Well we’ve worked with everyone before.

Did you guys work well together? Was it a pretty fluid process?
Yeah! It was really smooth. Usually recording’s quite stressful, but everything just worked out. It was right on time, we weren’t behind, we got everything mixed as well. Yeah we all got on.

When are you going to release the EP officially?
Well we’re probably gonna release the single within the next two weeks. We’ve just gotta go through all the printing stages, so it should be printed within a month. So probably within three weeks to a month it’ll come out.

You’ve also been playing a few live shows recently, particularly in Byron. Do you guys still get amped to play to a home crowd?
Yeah it’s really good, but you just gotta space it out, you know? ‘Cause it’s so easy to play too often in Byron. We’re being offered to do heaps of shows, but it’s getting to the point now where we’re gonna have to start turning down gigs (laughs).

You’re in high demand, you’ve gotta be a bit more selective.
(laughs) Exactly! We try to just play a show once every two months in Byron, you know?

That’s a good formula. Do you have any plans to tour overseas at some point?
Yes! Definitely. This is kind of why we spent so much money doing the EP. We kinda went all out on it trying to step to the next level, you know? We could have spent less and done something with less budget, but we saved up all our money from all our shows last year and thought, let’s just try and do this the best we can. We’re all aching to go do crazy touring.

Do you all have equal part in the writing process?
Yeah, we keep everything really equal. I’ll start the skeleton of the song, the base of the song, but then I’ll take it to rehearsals, and everyone puts heaps of their ideas into it which changes the song completely. And changes it structure wise. I think there’s one song on the EP that we completely wrote at rehearsal, but then I go home and write the lyrics.

So you’re all moving in the same direction with the band then?
Yeah, definitely. I mean I don’t know if we’re getting rock-ier, like it seems to me that maybe we’re slowly getting rock-ier. I do so many solo shows, so I’ve been playing for the last four years. I’ve always been in rock bands, playing electric guitar, and then I kind of moved away from it and did a lot of folk stuff, and now I’ve moved back into it which I enjoy way, way more.

What can we expect from a typical set? Do you guys go mental?
Quite mental. The first half is tame-ish, and then the last four songs I usually go pretty crazy, screaming and jumping around (laughs). Definitely high energy.

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It’s all happened quite quickly for you guys, hasn’t it?
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I’ve been playing full-time music for so long, and I kind of planned this before it started, and had a bit of a strategy. Once we got everyone on board, we all just gelled so well. Me and Byron have been friends for ages.

How did you guys link up initially?
Well me and Byron were like, let’s start a rock band! I think back in 2011. It was like six months of us screwing around, and we couldn’t find a drummer. Then Harry just got back from Japan or something, and he was starting uni and we just hit him up. That’s right, I called him. I just cold called him, I didn’t know him. He ended up being my next door neighbour (laughs) so we everyone was like, “Oh wow!” We actually recorded Coast to Coast before he was even in the band, so we showed him that and he was like, “Woah!” And yeah, we all just got together and started rehearsing, and then once we got our set done, we just kind of got really good luck. I’d already had shows booked for my old band but I kind of just switched it over. I kind of just wrote off my solo stuff, but I had a band as well, and I already had a relationship with media, so it was an easy progress, if you know what I mean?

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
Weird shit always happens to me! One time I was doing a solo show, and there was like 150 people there, and it was quiet, because it was quite an intimate part of the song. And then I heard running footsteps behind me, and some guy ran up behind me, and dive tackled me off the stage, I free fell, landed on top of my guitar, smashed my guitar. Then when I came to, he was on top of me, and all these guys in the crowd we’re calling him off me, and he was just tripping out on mushrooms or something (laughs). He didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t breathe, I think I nearly broke a rib or something.

Was he cooked?
Yeah I think definitely. It was really weird. I’ve seen the video footage from the security camera I managed to get off them, and he just tackles me and is on top of me. I think I must have knocked myself out. And everyone from the crowd was just watching, and when they realized what was happening, they all ran up and had to pull him off me. I felt like I almost died, I fell onto concrete so it was pretty crazy.

So what are you guys looking forward to for the rest of 2014?
We’re just looking forward to getting to that level where we’re able to tour, and being accessible to the rest of Australia and the world. We need to get booking agents and management, peopling helping us, so we can focus on our music, and we can play way more live shows at way more places. Just that next stage in music where we can take some of the pressure off managing ourselves.

For more from Pilots – facebook.com/PILOTSMUSICAU
Tickets available through Moshtix and sundaysafari.com for this weekends show with Yacht Club DJ’s and MT Warning.