1. First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
Hey! We’re Paper Pilots and we’ve been called “California Britpop.”
2. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
3. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
The struggle mainly comes from the large disparity between how quickly I may “write” a song, which can sometimes be as quick as 10-15 minutes, versus the amount of time it takes to finesse and properly record it. I can usually hear how it’s supposed to be in my head and it’ll sound glorious inside my brain, but tweaking and working on the presentation of the song in order for the outside listener to “pick up what I’m putting down” can be very time consuming and often expensive. $$$
4. If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
Does the moon count? haha. I can’t wait to play The Greek Theatre, which is actually just up the street from my place. Madison Square Garden, Wembley Arena, just a couple small venues I look forward to conquering!
5. What do you consider your biggest musical success?
We’ve had a lot of success at radio. Getting featured on World Cafe, ALT987, etc. Driving around LA and hearing our songs on FM.
6. What inspired you to start making music?
When I was 8 years old I saw 10 seconds of the video for Green Day’s “Basket Case” and decided from then on I was going to do music. I started learning guitar and writing songs pretty much immediately. I grew up in a very musical / artistic family. Music was constantly around as a kid and I’m lucky to have a family that’s been supportive of my aspirations. My dad is a wedding singer and one of my first memories was watching him memorizing lyrics for a gig. (He was learning “Achy Breaky Heart.”
7. If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
John Lennon, hands down. His voice cuts deep with attitude but is also effortlessly angelic.
8. Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
Good question, had to think for a sec. I default to musicians. Steve Jobs made his own path and followed his gut to make something great that he believed in. Now everything that he created seems obvious and wired into our DNA. Johnny Depp was a big inspiration, especially in the early years. I liked that there was always something off about his roles, but at the same time hyper-relatable.
9. What’s your favorite book?
My friend Bailey Stone Barnard just wrote a novel called “Monopole” that I’ve been really digging. The Rum Diary was incredible. Almost more than the plot in books, I tend to tune into the style of writing. Something that “reads” really well attracts me and having words constantly going through my brain helps with lyric writing.
10. What do you like to do other than music?
I run a non-profit called Sound Art, which places free music programs into afterschool programs & community centers throughout Los Angeles. If I’m not busy with Paper Pilots or Sound Art I usually want to sit on the beach and do absolutely nothing or chase my french bulldog around.
11. Who is your favorite musical artist?
The Beatles. They’re all encompassing. They were able to create pop music that was also creative and challenging. This is something I strive for with my own music.
12. What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Don’t let a more “realistic” pursuit get in the way of whatever it is that you want to do. If you want to be a musician, do it.
13. Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
Don’t really have one. Or never really thought about it. Good questions today! I’ll go with 2, because as The Boss says “Two hearts are better than one.”
Be sure to follow Paper Pilots on Instagram at @paperpilots and check them out on Spotify.