Pilots of the Sixth
e-mail interview November 2005
Pilots of the Sixth are a young band
making a big noise on the Cambridge scene. With a nod at The Libertines
and a wink at The White Stripes, their gigs are joyous, toe-tapping
celbrations of life and noise. With their first demo just recorded,
R*E*P*E*A*T thought it was time to give them the sixth (ha ha) degree
to find out what happens when a boy picks up a guitar...
Pilots of the Sixth - who, what and
Billy: Mikey, Joe, Jordan and me.
Mikey: Four boyos from Cambridge out to have a good time. Also, trying
to knock the uprising of shit Emo bands off of their high horses.
Jordan: Just a few lads playing good music because we're sick of hearing
Joe: The three of us had been playing together for a while and we got
Billy in on drums which gave us a much needed kick up the arse and made
us into a band of young gentlemen/brothers.
Describe your sound to a brain-deaf, colour-blind music hating Royal.
Jordan: Rocky stuff with a kick, which will get your foot tapping.
Joe: There's not much point if he/she is deaf and blind and to be honest
a Royal is hardly going to want to spend half an hour sticking to the
floor at The Portland Arms. But anyway, three different song writers
with influences ranging from really old blues to skiffle and rock and
roll with a love of Englishness.
Mikey: If you left a rose and two glasses of orange juice in an ice
cavern for two weeks then sent a blind Londoner in we would be the sound
of the bloke and the orange mutant rose man fighting.
What can people expect at your gigs?
Mikey: People can expect to get their boogie on. It's like a room full
of life. I don't like the people standing at the back of most gigs I
go to see, so we have a bunch of different styles so hopefully everyone
can have a bit of a rave.
Jordan: Quite a drunken audience, a good night and probably some pretty
Billy: A chance to dance and somewhere to watch people who love what
Joe: You never know and I don't think we do until we get up on stage.
We played our first gigs at The Portland Arms so that feels like our
home as a
band. Getting all our friends and their friends into that back room
for half an hour was really special and Mikey fucked his neck up so
his head was all tilted to the side, which was funny. Jordan got off
his face at a gig at a village fete in front of children and O.A.Ps
that said we were like The Kinks and The Small Faces.
Who would you like to imprison 90 days without trial?
Jordan: My Chemical Romance.they'd be first against the wall, and George
Bush deserves it.
Billy: Myself, just to see what it's like and if the food is any good.
Mikey: "The girl next door," then I would get nicked myself
and hopefully share a cell with that sexy minx.
Arctic Monkeys or Gold Bears?
Jordan: Goldbears. But I like The Monkeys.
Joe: Me too.
Mikey: The Monkeys on the stereo, pack of Gold Bears in the hand.
Billy: Arctic Monkeys, because the packs of Gold Bears are too small.
Do you think that free downloads etc will be the death of CDs?
Joe: I think downloading is good for sampling purposes; to see if you
like the music. I remember downloading the original "Babyshambles
Sessions" a few years ago and just being amazed. But you can't
beat having the actual CD, the artwork, the lyrics; they're all part
of the package.
Mikey: I think a CD isn't just about the music on the disc; it's about
the finished article and having the artwork and lyrics.
Jordan: Yes and no.
What can you tell us about the tracks on your demo, 'Arbury Demonstrations'?
Jordan: All three tracks have a different sound going on. The track
I sing on is the most trashy and distorted whereas the others are cleaner.
excited to see what people think of the whole thing.
Mikey: The three tracks on the demo are all very close to home. Stories
of friends and foes. Hacan, Joe and I all sing on the demo and I think
tracks display our diversity.
Joe: My track, "Piccadilly" is about the first time Mikey
and I went to London and were a bit awe struck by the big smoke. It's
also got a verse
about the first time we had a fight when we were on holiday. I realised
I needed personal space every now and again after that.
Billy: I drummed for 2 hours pretty much non-stop in the studio; so
I loved making them.
What do you listen to when hoovering?
Mikey: "Downloading Porn With Davo" by The Moldy Peaches
Jordan: Foreign Beggars, Johnny Cash, The Cooper Temple Clause, B.R.M.C.
Joe: "I believe I'll Dust My Broom" by Robert Johnson, I bought
a 60 tracks box set of his for £3 from the Folk Festival this
Billy: I don't Hoover, that's Joes job.
Little Britain or League of Gentlemen?
Billy: Little Britain
Mikey: League Of Gentlemen
Jordan: Little Britain
Joe: Neither, thankyou.
What are your plans for world domination?
Jordan: Well, we'll have to see if people like the demo, try and promote
ourselves as much as we can and see what happens.
Joe: We only just recorded a demo; it's all a bit living for the now
at the moment.
Mikey: When we've conquered Blighty and got them behind us we'll drown
America and then it should be easy.
To paraphrase you and William Blake, enough, or far too much?
Billy: Should I know who William Blake is?
Mikey: "I think I've taken far too much."
Jordan: I don't think you know your limits until you've tested them.
So, "Far Too Much."
Joe: I think we don't have a full sense of enough yet. William Blake."Songs
of Innocence and Experience," I think that explains our sound quite
nicely. I spoke to Dave McCabe (lead singer of The Zutons) after their
gig at The APU about a year or so back and he said I was "too young
and inexperienced to write good songs," he actually said that!
We're getting more experienced all the time and after hearing Mikey
sing "No One Cares" for the first time I saw another side
to myself. A bit of naivety is good as well though.
How can our readers hear your music? Why should they bother?
Mikey: Grab a copy of the demo at our gigs or through Repeat (look here
Jordan: Come to our gigs or our demo might be released on lil' label
Joe: I think people should try and get hold of it because it feels like
we're doing something special and what've you got to lose apart from
price of a packet of 10 fags.
Billy: Close your eyes and wish you had one, then look under your pillow
and if it's not there then you wasted your time looking.
What's best, chips or cream buns (squirrels or badgers!)?
Mikey: Chips are fucking tasty.and healthy too. Oh yeah.squirrels.
Billy: Chips easily. Squirrels because they can climb trees.
Joe: Squirrels because Jordan says so. There are black ones near us.
Jordan: It's got to be chips. Soon everyone will know the answer to
the squirrels/badgers question once the squirrels have rebelled against
parks and nuts then you'll see. Watch your back, they're coming.
Pilots of the Sixth's debut CD is available from February
20th on Big Badger Recordings through R*E*P*E*A*T Records. Look here