True musicians are hard to find these days as many are manufactured and pre-packaged pop stars. (*cough Cheetostar *cough) Boo, hiss on manufactured bitches!
But I have been digging deep and have been on the search for some true, fabulous rock stars that deserve a little TLC from Danity Donnaly. Future Pilot is an independent band based out of the fabulous state of New Mexico. Now typically I’m not a huge fan of grunge, rock and roll, but when I came across Future Pilot‘s music I knew I had to talk to the guys from this group.
Originally formed in 2004, Future Pilot is the perfect example of a true rock band…they play their own instruments AND they write their own jams. I.admire.that. Band members include lead Derek Spaulding, Max Friedman on bass guitar, Chris Griffin on rhythm guitar, and Elliott Minkin on the drums. I was lucky enough to speak with Derek (the lead dude) from Future Pilot and he filled me in on life with the band and his passion for music.
Danity Donnaly: So, Derek, tell me, how did you first get into music?
Derek Spaulding: We all come from different musical backgrounds, but the one common thread we all have is that we were into music from a very young age. The Beatles were the first group that made me want to do something with music when I was about three years old. I got into MIDI sequencing when I was about 13 and started actually creating things.
Danity Donnaly: I can see how the Beatles would make you want to rock. So what’s up with the band’s name? How did you come up withFuture Pilot?
Derek: I was at the University of Texas at Austin on an Air Force scholarship. While there I met up with a fellow scholarship recipient who wanted to start a band. As it turned out, we didn’t really fit in with the throngs of people who were there to become pilots. It was an ironic name for our band, and we liked the sound of it. Although my friend didn’t stay in the band, the name carried forward.
Peep the interview in its entirety below….AFTER the jizzz-ump.
Danity: I definitely think the name is fierce. So what genre do you classify your music in?
Derek: We are a grungy, alternative rock band, but we try and keep a somewhat progressive feel to the music.
Danity: So you’ve personally been involved with music since you were 13, when exactly did you form your band and what inspired you to make music together?
Derek: The band was formed in 2005. It was me and Chris at the time, and we both had shared the same taste in music for a while. It was only a matter of time before we started playing and writing together. We used recordings to get other people interested enough in the band to want to join.
Danity: Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues and do you have any upcoming shows?
Derek: We have performed at a few places in Albuquerque like The Tavern, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, The Launchpad, and The Compound. The Launchpad and The Compound both have amazing sound systems, and we’d go back to either one at any time. Our least favorite venue is Club Cafe in Pittsburgh. Those guys were the biggest assholes ever. We don’t have any upcoming shows at the moment.
Danity: Ok, on to some juicy-ness. Can you tell me who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Derek: I write most of the songs. The topics range from stories from my past to things that presently preoccupy me. When crazy things happen to me or the people I know, that’s usually a good thing to write a song about. The material that is expressed in our music will continue to change as our circumstances do.
Danity: Ok, so could you briefly describe to me the music-making process for Future Pilot?
Derek: Our process is pretty straightforward. We take a guitar riff that someone is confident about and play around with it until something comes from it. Sometimes it takes a long time, and sometimes we scrap everything we’ve come up with. We just try everything we can think of and don’t necessarily have a final product in mind. That can have a tendency to get in the way.
Danity: So you’ve been together for a few years now…how has your music evolved since you guys first began playing music together?
Derek: As more people are assimilated into the musical creation in this band, the sound of the music reflects that. The music has changed in a way that reflects everyone’s unique playing style.
Danity: What’s your ultimate direction for your band and most importantly, are you seeking fame, fortune and big bling?
Derek: We’re ultimately seeking to move people. If we write something that makes people feel something at all, that will satisfy us. If it takes fame and fortune to allow us to do that, we’ll take it.
Danity: Awesome! Well, I surely hope that you guys make it happen. As my readers read this I’m sure they are dying to know how they can gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD that Danity’s peeps can check out?
Derek: We have a website at www.futurepilotband.com where people can order a copy of our first album. You can also find the album available for download on itunes. Plus, there are a number of songs to listen to at www.myspace.com/futurepilotband.
Danity: Ok Mr. Derek, let’s mix things up a bit here with some fun-ster questions. If you could duet with ANY musician who would it be and why?
Derek: I would duet with Stevie Ray Vaughn. Who am I kidding? He’d sound ten times better without me thrown into the mix. The only reason I say that is because I would love to have gotten a lesson from that guy.
Danity: Awww yeah. That would be pretty sweet. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Derek: As for the band, I see Future Pilot being a band that is regionally well-known for doing something creative in rock music. I see myself happy, no matter what happens.
Danity: If you could go on a date or hang out with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Derek: I would hang out with Jack Black. The guy is freakin’ nuts, and he also epitomizes fun and music blended together. To know what’s going through his head…
Danity: Ha! Yes, I love Jack Black. He is a freakin’ hoot. Derek, lastly, I need to know what I like to ask all people I come into contact with…do you consider yourself classy, sassy or trashy?
Derek: All of the above. Depending on what the situation is, I can be a strange mix of those traits combined.
Well Derek, you freakin’ rock and your music is seriously jammin’. I’m totally digging “Ghost In My Dream”. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and I wish you all the luck in all your future endeavors. Keep rockin’!
So, my dear bitches…check out Future Pilot’s Myspace, peep out their music and tell them Danity sent ya.