When Pilots Eject
There's more to this band than just great music, as James Gracey discovers. Click Play Audio to listen
Wrapped in atmosphere of cinematic proportions, When Pilots Eject are one of the most original and provocative acts on NI's music scene.
With lush, melodic music evoking the imagery and thrilling wonder of - as their name suggests - what pilots experience when they eject from a great height, the band provide the perfect soundtrack for skydiving from the edge of space.
Switching from delicate and intimate electronica to soaring and cacophonous post-rock with graceful ease, When Pilots Eject are as much a visual band as a sonic one.
'We first came together about 5 years ago as a traditional five piece - drummer, guitars, bass, a touch of keyboards and looped samples to add a bit of interest,' says guitarist David Ginty. 'None of us would sing. We've evolved over the years to our current line-up.’
This current line-up uses more electronics in creating the band’s distinctive sound. Also included is artist Marty Martin, providing visual installations during live performances that enhance and elevate the soundscapes.
‘Visuals are very important to us,’ says Ginty. ‘We like to give our audience something interesting to look at, rather than us on stage.
We always think of our music as cinematic and it is great to synchronise visuals with it. Marty, our visual artist, has become an integral member of the band.’
Influenced by the likes of Sigur Rós, Mogwai, Múm and Ulrich Schnauss, When Pilots Eject are drawn to darker, more melancholy sounds, apparent in the music.
‘We've found, over the years, that we're not very good at writing ‘happy’ music,’ reveals Ginty. ‘Melancholic music can be quite uplifting at times, stirring emotions more so than a lot of the bland rock/pop music around at the moment.
‘We bring ideas to rehearsals,' Ginty offers by way of explaining the band's own rapturous noise.
'We used to jam for hours until we had something we were happy with.
'Then we begin to structure the pieces of music. We now rely more on electronics, though, and ideas are usually bounced between laptops for a while before we get together to try to work out how to play the tunes live.’
While the band has performed steadily in the last five years, the task hasn’t always been easy.
'Although we gig often, we have always found it difficult getting the same exposure that some of the other more conventional rock/indie bands on the scene get.
Our music does not lend itself to most pub-type venues. However we have never changed our style to suit the scene.’
It’s this adherence to their own artistic vision that makes When Pilots Eject such an interesting and original group.
Embracing new technology and visual performances, they offer something unique in a music scene that has never been so vivacious.
‘With the success of Snow Patrol and Duke Special the NI music scene is being taken a lot more seriously,’ offers Ginty.
‘There are a lot of great local promoters who are always putting on nights with great line-ups of artists.
'We are writing and recording a few new pieces of music before we start gigging again, these tracks will form the basis of a new record which we’ll release in 2008.'