Today I had the opportunity to interview band duo The Pilot Kids. The Pilot Kids were formed in 2011 by Jonny (vocals/production) and Donrique (guitars/production) Here is what they had to say when I talked to them!
You both are originally from New Jersey, what made you want to move down to Los Angeles?
Jonny: We’ve always wanted to go to LA because we knew it was the music top, the place to be for musicians. It just made sense to always want to be there. Then when we got our record deal, it was obvious we had to come here. Everyone at the label was here, so it made so much sense.
What made you think of “The Pilot Kids” as your band name? Is there a back story to it? Twitter would like to know!
Donrique: I came up with it when I was in high school. I used to design t-shirts for bands and do graphic design work. Then I had my own line of t-shirts called “Kill the Pilot” and the motto was “Fly Your Own Flight”. Then me and Jonny started making music together and tried to think of a band name. We were just making a list of all the things that were a part of who we were and that meant anything to us, and “Kill the Pilot” was one of the names we really liked. We were actually thinking of naming our band “Kill the Pilot,” but then we were wondering if people might get a little afraid if they hear something like that on the radio. We wanted to appeal to a lot of people so we flipped the wording, “Kill the Pilot” and came up with “The Pilot Kids”. It still has the meaning of flying your own plane and doing your own thing. But, “The Pilot Kids” was just a little more digestible.
You recently reached 1 million plays on YouTube. Can you talk about the journey and what that milestone means to you?
Jonny:It’s definitely really awesome to finally have gotten a million views on YouTube. We first started putting up random videos very infrequently. They weren’t really very good so no one really got into them. Our channel, basically for the first two years that it was up, pretty much nothing happened with it. At all. And then we started doing this ‘Sunday Funday’ thing last July! We thought, let’s put up a video every week. We started doing that and saw our numbers going up and that was really cool. Then, you know, we realized how important consistency is and just constantly coming out with really, really cool stuff. From that point on, our numbers have just kept growing. It’s just been really cool. Personally, I’ve been trying to do things on YouTube for many years. I’m 24 now and since I was 15, I’ve been putting stuff on YouTube and just trying to get tons of views. YouTube’s always been my favorite. In college, I was in a comedy group that created a viral following, and it was really cool but then we all broke up. I’ve had a lot of projects. For The Pilot Kids, we are at the peak of our journey and it seems to only be going up, so it’s definitely really awesome.
You incorporate some killer vocal harmonies into your work, is that something you set out to do, or something that just came naturally?
Jonny:It’s not really something we set out to do at all. When we’re in the studio and we’re listening to the new songs that we’re making on the speakers, we kind of just hear harmonies that aren’t even there, so then we just put them in there. To answer your question, the harmonies comes naturally. It’s not a thought or a goal to try to do cool, harmonious things. It’s definitely more innate.
Up to this point you’ve done a lot of covers. Can you talk about any other projects you’re working on?
Jonny: We recently put out our first EP, “Open Fire”. Since then, basically our biggest project has been YouTube, and of course we’re still writing songs. We’ve got a lot of really cool new stuff that we’ve written recently, and we’ve also started thinking about a new project. But, we’re definitely in the mindset of wanting to put out our own music. As far as projects in the works, we don’t have an EP coming out or anything. We’re making new songs, and growing musically, and focusing on gaining an online following.
Any touring plans?
Jonny: We’re not really supposed to divulge that information at the moment, but we’re definitely thinking about some stuff that we’re really excited about. It’s coming really soon! We’re re-thinking the way that a concert could be. We’ve had different ideas we’ve been trying out. I’d say probably before the year is over, we will be starting some tour stuff.
Get to know Jonny and Donrique better!
Favorite type of candy? Donrique: Sourpatch Kids! Jonny: Nutrageous!
Favorite Musician/band of 2015? Donrique: Clean Bandit! Jonny: Clean Bandit!
Favorite show/movie currently streaming on Netflix? Donrique: Holmes Inspection. Jonny: Last night I watched Cast Away for the 11th time.
Favorite covers you’ve done? Donrique: A lot of the ones we’ve enjoyed weren’t the most popular ones, but the “Faded” one was really cool.
Favorite piece of merch you sell? Jonny: Our “Kill the Pilot” shirts.
For more on “The Pilot Kids”:
Check out their website: http://www.thepilotkids.com/
Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThePilotKids
Check out their YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/thepilotkidsmusic