The digital age adds an interesting realm on our lives. It’s filled with technology upon computers, phones, tablets allowing anyone to be the next top music producer, fashion designer, meme, or “artist” of any kind by the click of a button. With social media you can be whoever you want people to think you are, the perfect soulmate (shout out to Catfish), create an online life, and be famous with hype just because you have enough followers. With all this going on it’s easy for an amazing artist and the real individuals changing the game to get lost in the sauce due to not enough “likes”, lack of marketing money and the algorithm of the internet. Consumers often forget the hard work, heart, and soul put into creating. The struggle for honest time spent for apprecation of the creation. There’s a million talented people, useful websites and information but the internet will only let you find so much within your box and network. Me finding this band was a rare occasion but it really shouldn’t be.
I’m shocked to find new music that’s good and I’m even more shocked to hear new music on the graveyard for old hits– RADIO. When I heard this band I asked myself “This must be a new Phoenix song or some band I’ve missed years ago”. Who the fuck is this?? I did a google search while driving and it turned out to be a local LA band called “PAPER PILOTS”. I immediately started iPhone voicing emails and texts to my friends to check out the song “Automatic”. I was appalled these dudes were not on the Billboard 100 but then I said to myself “Nah, they are too good to be there”.
Paper Pilots is the brain child of Justin Bocchieri who captures a real unique sound, catchy as hell timeless trippy grooves, an international sound that makes you ponder what you are doing with your life (in a good way) and maybe you should fall in love soon if you haven’t. You’ll see what I mean since you are listening to them from that link above. The Huffington post said “the band will soon experience a meteoric rise in the music world”, and have been featured on FUSETV and HBO’s True Blood. We reached out to Justin to ask some questions about Paper Pilots, his thoughts, and just say hey. This is what happened.
You have a pretty interesting, unique, one of a kind sound– whose your influences?
Thx! We’ve been called “California Britpop.” I’m pretty heavily influenced by British Rock/Pop music, anything with lots of melody. The Beatles, Oasis, The Zombies. Very recently I’ve also been listening to a lot of E.L.O. and Michael Jackson.
Tell me about how the music came together– How did you guys meet?
The project is mainly driven by me. I’ve been working on Paper Pilots for almost a decade, the first 5 years behind the scenes and the past 5 releasing music.
I’m also lucky to have some great musicians that have been working with me for years. Our bassist Ryan Hailey and I became friends when we toured together with another group in Copenhagen. Ryan suggested Michael Medeiros for drums, as they’d played together in past groups. We have a few guitarists we’ve been working with based on their availability. Michael introduced me to Boaz Roberts, who has been recording / playing live with us as of late.
Were you heading for a certain sound or did it just happen?
A little bit of both. I’m aiming the project at the arena so I’m definitely trying to make pop music, but also intimate with something artistically to sink your teeth into. I’m currently focused on more upbeat material in particular while keeping a really high threshold for catchiness and rhythm.
How does the world around you inspire your songs?
Really anything can be an influence. I remain pretty hyper-aware and take note of interactions, experiences, phrases, sounds, places, colors, movies, art. Music is interwoven with life to me so I never know where inspiration will manifest from.
What’s one thing you wish was still present (or there was more of) in the music industry today?
Weirdest/wtf/ most memorable band story so far?
At one of the first Paper Pilots’ shows, 2007 in Boston, with a different band line-up. Our drummer forgot his snare stand so he had to take a cab back to his place to grab it. When arriving back at the venue he then realized he didn’t have his drum sticks. We decided to start playing without sticks and he charged through with his bare hands. Halfway through the set, someone gloriously walked into the club holding drum sticks like they were carrying the Olympic torch! At the exact moment they handed the sticks to our drummer, our lead guitarist’s amp caught fire. After grabbing a fire extinguisher and then finishing the set, as we walked off stage my friend said to me “Well, at least you don’t have to worry about ever playing your worst show again.” hahah.
As far as memorable moments, anytime I hear us on the radio I get real jacked up.
So there is a statue being made and the city wants to put a paper pilots line from a song on it– which line from a song is it?
“The chase for endless sun keeps me on the run.” – from The Weather
Why the fuck should people come and see you guys on April 25th or any show after that?
Fuck, good question. 1) We’re debuting a couple of new songs. 2) The live band set packs a major punch. 3) I’ve got a new haircut to show off. 4) There might be glow sticks.
Before this ends I really need to know– tell me all about Automatic and what inspired it? And after I’m done reading this interview (because I’m now the people reading it) where should I buy it or stream it to share with my friends?
Glad you like it! “Automatic” is one of my faves that I’ve written. I’ve had that keyboard line for yeaaars. Separately, I also stumbled on a voice memo in my phone of me singing the “automatic, automatic, automatic” hook. So I slammed those pieces together and the song started assembling! “Automatic” is about the start of falling in unexpected love. It’s either about my girl or my french bulldog. You’ll never know!
You can stream at SPOTIFY or buy here at ITUNES
One last thing– You guys have a choice to pick one band to open up for that’s still around, maybe all dead or broken up.. who is it?
Oasis would be great. The Beatles would be cool too. Can you make it happen?
We’ll be seeing what we can do about that dream show but in the meantime.. Paper Pilots are The Bootleg Theatre on April 25th in LA with Clara Nova, Kauf, and Rainstorm Brother. Be there, see them now, soon you’ll have to deal with Ticketmaster’s high stadium prices to catch them live.
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