Pilot Hayes Band is a nationally touring critically acclaimed Alt Rock band. Their music is in the same vein of Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Pearl Jam. They are melting faces in the US fast. We got to interview PHB about their upcoming “MTV Summer Crush Tour” and got an inside look at their latest release, “All Things Music.” Enjoy the interview below! Keep your ears and eyes open, PHB is coming SOON to a city near you.
Who is involved in the Pilot Hayes Band?
The band is basically Chris Williams on drums, Roy Harper on sax, Mike Ferguson on electric guitar, Andy Kirn on guitars/synths, Pilot Hayes on electric and synth, Will Smith on sax, Brian Spainhour on electric guitar and a few others. The band always brings noteworthy special guests to the stages on it’s tours.
How did you all meet and begin performing and writing music together?
It all started in my moms basement in Charlotte, NC. That’s where I started my recording career. Soon after, the other original founding member Michael Ferguson and I moved to the coast of Wilmington, NC to pursue our sounds and figure out this new music world. That’s where we met Chris Williams, and furthermore Todd Hasz (Bass/flute prodigy) and nearly every other last musician in that city.
What is the significance of the band’s name?
The band’s name is a spin off of the band’s nickname. The Greasy Granny Band. Management (and Chris Williams) suggested we sharpen the name professionally so we chose the airplane image because we all love aviation and travel.
What experiences and events inspired the writing and recording of your album “All Things Music”?
All Things Music was an traveling self discovery record made in the mountains of Northern Cal, in a tiny town called Quincy. I recorded it while traveling as I always do. I played all the instruments on this one. It was a simple process. There was a music monster inside of me that had to release. All Things Music was just that. A quaint acoustic blend of originals and covers, sure to cause one to crack an iced tea and relax. The track Jackolantern is a stern example of this release. When I get to scream into a microphone at all costs, loud into the night, I do.
Can you walk us through each of the featured tracks?
“She’s Sexy”, is an acoustic blues song I wrote while touring in New Orleans. Its obviously about a timepiece who I can’t get off my mind. I didn’t really know much blues and in the midst of that a fan challenged me to learn those blues I didn’t know too much of. Now I can play some blues and have an original to prove it. All thanks to the Big Easy.
“Caught in the Eye” is a hybrid rock song written from the perspective of being airdropped into enemy war territory and trying to keep your cool. Being surrounded on all fronts leaves one with not much of a choice. This song is about fighting through that.
“The Situation” is a mellow melodic-harmoniously vulnerable track that alludes to common and uncommon nervous situations with the opposite sex. Whether it’s a party, a road trip, a concert, you’re in that moment and the only way in or out is to feel it, and embrace.
“Grenadine” is a all american soft rock-pop song written with a similar feel to “Tom Petty’s Free Fallin”. It’s simple song with hook driven melodies, Grenadine soothes listeners with calming vocal patterns and talks of Carpe Diem “Grenadine, life is short, spark me up an energy for my inner being,” With a still interlude to a relationship with a girl, “I hope you have a heart, of solid gold, so I can’t break you.”
“Wait” is a track about waiting. Wait just a little bit longer when things aren’t going your way. You can still pull through at the last minute. That’s the only thing I’m good at. Pulling through at the last minute.
“Driven”, the blaze of all fire saddles. Driven has been reviewed as the best song on the record from the common musician’s standpoint. Every seasoned musician I know has some sort of respect for this song once they hear it. It’s definitely moving. It’s got a bombastic energy at the chorus impales you with Earth wrenching vocal crushes, “Hit me with the lonely arm, when all the docks are gone”. Driven will make you hate or love this music. It showcases everything I can do in one medium length track.
“Kiss the Girl” is my flavorful version of song from Disney’s “Little Mermaid”. Its simple, fun and easy. Give it a listen on a light spring day. Pop a coffee.
“Bird’s and Bees” is a song about you know what. It actually was recorded in 2009 and put on the back burner like most of Pilot’s musical history, most of his music remains hidden and only available through his website.
“Live by the Sword” is a sweet song about living on your edge. On THE edge. Living your life to the complete fullest. As far as you can go. Taking risks, asking questions, pushing your limits, crushing your boundaries. And eventually coming out at the top around age “eighty three”.
How does this release differ from the Pilot Hayes EP and your other singles?
This record has much more production value than the 2009 Pilot EP. (Available only at www.pilothayesband.com) It was recorded and mastered on a professional level, unlike my EP, which was not mixed or quantized on any level. This record was given more thought, more of a blueprint, without the rush. I rushed through the EP. Also, I had a few beers during the making of the ep so my vocals might appear a little “looser” as they say.
What are some of the advantages to having your own studio? What does the recording process look and sound like for you and your band?
There is nothing like having your own studio. Being able to drive anywhere and press record anytime, …..is like no other. I am very thankful for that.
What went into the making of the music video for ‘Long Black Vail’?
touring the US and my iPhone camera. 🙂
What does 2015 hold in store for Pilot Hayes Band? You’ll be a part of MTV’s Summer Crush Tour, correct?
Yes, we are embarking on a massive summer tour in outdoor venues across the US. Outdoor concerts outdo indoor concerts in so many ways.
Are you currently writing new material?
I am always making new material. If I wasn’t, I’d be lying. 🙂
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