All Over The Place: Pilots In Orbit Stay On Course

A young New Jersey band has its ups and downs but still moves forward.

Pilots In Orbit are a young up-and-coming band from Union. They have been together for over three years. They released their first EP Did You Grow Up Too Fast? on Bandcamp last November. (It is still available – name your price!)

They met in high school where three of them played in one band while Sal Montalvo sang in another band. “He had just left that band. A friend recommended that he sing for our band. We asked him to jam with us and it went from there,” recalled guitarist Adrian Amador.

The band, who are all in their early twenties, also includes Andrew Rivera on bass and Francis “Nikko” Whitt on drums.

The EP compares favorably with the modern college rock as played by some band favorites: Bloc Party, Interpol and Minus The Bear.

Amador noted that the band has a lot of the same musical tastes and inspirations.

The EP was recorded in the basement of a friend of the band, Marco Boccadillo. “He gets some professional sounds just recording in his basement. It took us about two months just to record it all,” stated Amador.

Boccadillo also mixed the album.

When asked how the band decided which songs would go on the EP, Amador stated, “We thought of it as which songs fit best together rather than slapping together five random songs.” The songs chosen were those that the band felt were the strongest.

Pilots In Orbit toured recently with another local band, Minor Motion. According to Montalvo, they went to Amherst, MA first. Amador noted that they also played in someone’s backyard in Cambridge, MA. “It wasn’t planned but it was the standout of the tour,” he recalled.

For the members of Pilots In Orbit, it hasn’t always been easy being a band. They have had a couple of shows shut down, including one at Kean College, where some of the band members go to school. Amador noted that “those shows were just not meant to be.”

Montalvo added, “Those places weren’t volume-friendly. We were asked to play. We ended up playing in the cafeteria [at Kean]. As we started, they shut us down. All the people working there couldn’t hear the orders. They asked us to turn down and that’s impossible for us.”

The band used Bandcamp to release the EP. It gives bands a platform to release their music independently. “You can choose your price, let the person buying it choose their price or give it away for free,” explained Montalvo.

“We’ll be happy if people share it with their friends,” added Amador.

Future plans include writing songs for a possible new album. According to Amador, the new album will be “more intricate and mature sounding."

When asked about the songwriting process, Montalvo said, “We get in a room together and start fiddling around with ideas we have. We’re more instrument-based. Writing a song always starts with melody first and the song comes afterwards.”

Song lyrics are written by Montalvo.

“I don’t like restricting myself. I let the music guide what the words are saying,” said Montalvo.

Pilots In Orbit play on Thursday, September 27 at Mexicali Live at 1409 Queen Anne Road in Teaneck with the bands HRVRD and gates. The show starts at 6 p.m. They are also playing at The Womb in New Brunswick on October 25 with The Saturday Giant, Vasudeva and Green Paper.

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