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Updates & Stuff

Hey there! It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update. Here’s some news:

-We’ve been working on a new album, on and off, mostly off. It’s slow going but we have a bunch of songs now and I think a lot of them are pretty great. We just need to flesh them out some more and hopefully we’ll have a new record for ya’ll before too long

-I started another band called Partial Traces awhile back. It’s a lot mellower, more indie pop/rock than Banner Pilot, so you might not dig it. Or, you might! You can check out our first album Glass Beach over at our Bandcamp page

-Fest and Pre-Fest a few months ago were our first shows in quite a long time and they ruled. Was super fun being back there and seeing a ton of friends

-We are playing Chicago at the Metro with The Lawrence Arms in April, definitely excited about that one. Tickets on sale this Friday. I bet you can figure out how to find them using Google or whatever.

That’s about it, I think? New shows and new tunes soon*, check back! – Nate

(* “soon” being defined, you know, loosely)


Two Videos

Hey, Nick made a couple of super cool videos for songs off of Souvenir. Modern Shakes and Dead Tracks, check ’em out! – Nate



Yo, Guitarists

Note: this is old news (well, 3 weeks old or so) and I just forgot to post it here when I posted it on Facebook. So, here it is!


We have some crummy news to share— Corey has decided to leave Banner Pilot, and played his final show with us last weekend. It’s been awesome to have him as part of the band for the last few years, and we’re bummed to see him go. Luckily, it’s just because he has other cool stuff going on in his life right now, and not for a bad reason like him being adamant about moving the band in a ska direction.

Luckily for all of you, you can still check him out in his other band, The Manix, and we recommend you do so.

So, what does this mean for the other three sad sacks in Banner Pilot? Well, it means we need a new guitar player! If you’re interested, shoot an email over to Here is the criteria:

1. You need to be good enough at guitar to play our songs (this is not necessarily the same thing as being “good at guitar”)
2. You need to be able to sing backups and occasional lead vocal parts live
3. You need to not be a piece of shit

Being down for touring, driving a van, etc are also important, but those are the three big ones. Beyond those things, we’re open— for example, don’t feel like you have to have a gruff voice or whatever.

We’re kinda just looking for a live / touring guitarist for now, but if it really works out (and you want to, obviously) it could become a songwriting / recording thing, too.

So wish Corey well on his next adventures and drop us a line if you feel like trying to fill his big shoes

Shirts, and stuff

Don’t forget– our new album Souvenir comes out this Tuesday on Fat Wreck! You still have time to pre-order it from Fat or from iTunes. Wouldn’t that be a nice way to start your Tuesday, with a link to some MP3s in your inbox? Come on, it would be awesome.

You can check out an interview I did with Absolute Punk as well.

And we have three new t-shirt designs you can grab– click on Store up there.

Finally– 2nd single comes out tomorrow. Check back!


Next Shows, Next Album

The annual D4th of July here in Minneapolis is always a good time, and this year has morphed into a festival of sorts with three straight days of shows. We’re playing on the 4th itself, w/ our buds The Flatliners, A Wilhelm Scream, and many more. If you’re thinking about taking a vacation in Minneapolis, and can’t decide between January or July, GO IN JULY you big dummy and check these shows out. More info here. Tickets for our show here.

Later in the summer, we’ll be playing Awesome Fest for the first time, which should be…. I feel like there’s a funny and appropriate adjective I could use here but let’s go with “enjoyable”. On top of that, we’ll be heading down the west coast for a series of shows leading up to it. More info soon.

Finally, we’ll also be playing the greatest Fest, The Fest, like we do every year.

So, plenty of chances to see us this year.

Any new music, you ask? Well, we have 13 new songs written, and I’m working on the music for #14 right now. We’ll keep plugging away at them, making them better, and then record the best 11 or 12 as soon as we’re ready. I think they’re sounding pretty sweet.

What will it sound like? Here’s one preview: On previous albums, the rhythm guitars were doing power chords for I’d say 97% of the time (occasionally breaking away for the stray octave or ‘journey chord’). On this next album, I think that’s dropped to 75-80%. That’s right: WEIRD CHORDS. Tons of them. I’m talking, ‘stretch your pinky finger up four frets’ levels of strangeness. Inverted chords. Lots of “drone notes”– a major increase in them. Like, so many that there might be a senate hearing on these drones.

To be clear, the songs themselves don’t sound weird, it’s just that some of the chords are weird. Don’t get scared; I think it works. Hell, when it comes out everyone will probably just be like, “What the hell are you talking about? This sounds like every other Banner Pilot song. Drones, my ass.” Either way, I’m stoked on how it’s sounding and hopefully ya’ll will like it.



PS – I totally flaked on the Europe diary, huh? Jeez. I actually wrote most of it out but never got around to finishing it. I’ll wrap it up and post it (nine months after the fact, but whatever) at some point here

On Cassettes / Midwest Show Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to Chicago and Madison last month, and Fargo last weekend. All of the shows were a good time. Viva midwest, etc.

Speaking of Fargo, you know what I learned this weekend? Fargo really likes cassettes! I think we sold a total of 7 Pass the Poison tapes between the entire west coast tour in January, and the Chicago/Madison shows last month. We brought five to Fargo… and they were gone in 10 minutes! More people wanted them, too, which resulted in me uttering the bizarre phrase, “Sorry, we’re sold out of cassettes.” Nobody bought any CDs! I think it’s awesome; just unexpected. Bands: load up on tapes next time you play Fargo.

It makes me…. well, not nostalgic for cassettes, but it makes me remember things about them. I would actually listen to entire albums back then; you barely had a choice unless you wanted to try your luck with fast forwarding. I think some fancy cassette decks had sweet technology where they could recognize silence and automatically stop at those points; in other words, you could skip forward by exactly one song rather than having to wing it. And then sometimes you’d be like, “No, stupid tape player, that’s not a new song, that’s just Fugazi doing a weird stop part!”

Also some tape decks had “Auto Reverse” where you could just click a button to go from side a to side b; you didn’t even need to eject the tape and manually turn it around with your hands. Damn. I wish the internet was around back then so we could read archived articles by tech nerds geeking out over that stuff. “Move over, Samsung, because Auto Reverse is a game changer. I want to give the Sony CEO a hi-five, and now I can because my hand isn’t busy flipping tapes over.” Or, “It’s amazing to think that we now have a portable stereo system that can hold up to sixty minutes of music and be held in two hands.”

Anyway, tapes—objectively speaking—are pretty crappy, but they’re a…. unique music format. I’ll give them that.

Oh, and speaking of Chicago, did you not make it, but would like to deceive your friends and pretend that you did? We can help! Just buy one of the limited edition posters we had made for the show. Years from now you can point at the wall in your basement and tell your buddies, “Yeah, I saw Banner Pilot before they turned into a ska band,” and watch them gape in amazement. These are sweet, high quality silkscreened posters. And — I’m not just saying this — we barely have any left, so grab one now if you want one. “Act now!”, in other words.


November Updates

Greetings! Time for a quick update. This particular update is all about NEW things.

NEW shows– check out the, you guessed it, Shows page for that. West Coast, we’re heading your way for the first time since 2010. Seattle and Portland? Haven’t seen you since 2008. Vegas? We’ve gambled (on—get this—baseball games) in your fine city, but have never played there… until now. So go check it out and get stoked, ‘cuz we are. Let’s spread the stokage (stokageness?) around.

NEW t-shirts. Check out the Store page. Why not celebrate Cyber Monday by purchasing some new clothing? You get to warm your body, we get to dupe you into being a walking billboard for us. Win win!

NEW photos! Yeah, that’s pretty exciting, right? I’m going to let you guess which link you have to click on to find them.

So there’s the NEW stuff. As for OLD stuff: our tour last month with Dead to Me was a blast; thanks to all the great bands we got to play with and to all the people who came out. And Fest was the best weekend of the year, as always!


New Song and New Shows

As you should already know (unless you haven’t been keeping up with Banner Pilot news, in which case, shame on you; start becoming an informed citizen), our third full length album Heart Beats Pacific is being released by Fat Wreck Chords this October 25th. You can preorder it now at various places like Interpunk, Shopradiocast, Amazon, hell, even Best Buy’s “Classical Music” Store. So please, go order it from one of those places.

You’re probably asking, “Waitaminute, slick. What if it sucks? Then I’ll have wasted my money and have an album I hate. Are you trying to pull a fast one?” Of course not! And tell you what, you can even check out the first song on the record right here at Alternative Press to see if you like it. See? No risk.

Cool. In other news, Riot Fest (Red Bull Riot Fest, to be exact) was a great time. We had a fun show and it was really cool too see All play and meet those guys afterwards. I got a cut on my index finger right before we played and had to utilize my middle finger for the majority of the bass lines. It felt a little like I was flicking the crowd off, but I assure you that was not my intent.

Later this week is our first Minneapolis show in awhile. It’s at the 331 Club as part of the premiere for a new film called The Other F Word. It sounds pretty interesting and you can read more about it here. The show is this Saturday— the film is at 7pm at the Ritz; the show starts at 10pm at the 331.

After that is our tour with Dead to Me to Fest 10; see the Shows page for more info. And once we’re back, we’ll be doing an album release show November 5th at the Turf Club.

Basically, the next month is jam-packed with awesomeness.



This Autumn (free emo song title right there)

Hey, how’s your summer been? Not good? That’s awful; sorry to hear that. But I’ve got good news: fall is on the way! And with it we’ll have three cool things going on here in Banner Pilot World (as we call it).

#1: A new album. Our third full length, it’s called Heart Beats Pacific and it comes out October 25th on Fat Wreck Chords. We’re stoked. Read more about it here.

#2. We already announced that we’re doing Riot Fest in early October, and The Fest 10 in late October, and now we can announce (“announce”; that sounds so goofy) that we’ll also be touring the east coast with our pals Dead to Me that month. THEY have a new album coming out on October 25th too, so it’ll be extra awesome. On top of that, October also has us playing shows with great bands like The Flatliners, The Menzingers, Broadway Calls, Off With Their Heads, Nothington, and more.

#3. We’ll be playing our record release show in town at the Turf Club when we get back. November 5th. Our new album will be there, it’ll be our first local show in a long time, and we’ll be “tour tight”, as we call it. So you gotta come check it out.

That’s all for now!


Useful Information About The New Album

Our new full length album is now complete! That’s pretty cool, huh? It’s not “done done”; we mix it this monday through wednesday, and then master it later in the week. But as far as the actual music goes, it’s all wrapped up.

Here, while you wait for it to come out, are some Factoids about the new record:

Number of songs: 11

Number of songs longer than 4 minutes: 1

Number of songs in drop d tuning: 2

Number of songs with piano: 1

(I’m probably freaking some people already, but don’t worry)

Number of minutes the full album is: click here

Number of songs that, in my opinion, sound like Jawbreaker: 1

Number of songs a random person in a suit and tie you stopped on the street would think sound like Jawbreaker if you played them Jawbreaker and then this album back to back: 11

Number of songs ideas written in the first 12 months or so after Collapser wrapped up: 50+, although many of these are just riffs i stitched together, not “songs”

Number of people who would think “This album is…. kinda not so good” if we had used nothing but those songs: everyone

Number of songs written in the last 10 or 11 months that ended up on the record: 9

Number of lessons we can learn from the last 3 factoids: At least one, “It’s a good thing we didn’t rush this album”

Number of days we spent in the studio: 21, once mixing and mastering are done

Number of days Jacques, the engineer, worked from noon to 6AM or later: at least four

Number of songs Zack from Dear Landlord sings backups on: three

Number of times I ate a Con Uovo pizza, which is a pizza with egg, cheese, and black pepper on it, from a nearby restaurant for dinner: some crazy number

Number of times someone made the boneheaded decision to purchase White Castle despite the plethora of outstanding food establishments within a short walk from the studio: Only 1, I think!

Number of days I biked to the studio: 17 so far, with 4 days left

Number of days I was stoked to be biking to the studio, and not shivering my way home in sub-zero stupidity, staring at the ice beneath my feet, like I did last January when recording In Desolation at the same studio: Every Single Day

Number of album covers I designed before we finally found one everyone liked: 15+

Number of album titles we had before settling on one everyone liked: 1

So there you have it! Now you have a pretty good understanding of this album. Look for more info — the album cover, tracklisting, some MP3s, a release date, etc etc — in the weeks and months to come. For now, i’m stoked to get this mixed/mastered!


A Brief History of Banner Pilot and the Internet

First, in 2005, there was

It was a pretty lousy website, but it did the trick. The message board proved to be awesome. It soon became nothing but spam bots talking to each other. Literally. Check out an archive.

Soon enough something called MySpace came along. “Finally, we can add blinking lights and glitter and glitches to our website!” we, along with thousands (millions?) of other bands thought. Actually, as awful as Myspace is — it is just a pile of garbage at this point — it was pretty slick at first. An easy way to post songs… people could communicate with you directly (“OMG FREE iPOD MINI CLICK HERE TAKE SURVEY!” and so on), you could post upcoming shows…. and with that, had no reason to exist and died of neglect, before finally getting an awesome facelift under new ownership. “What you need, when you need it”…. at least they kept our slogan.

Myspace worked OK for awhile, say, 2005-2009 (damn, that’s actually a pretty long time!) but its inner core of crap become more and more apparent over the years. So, since that time we have (like most bands nowadays) had a mixture of different sites: Facebook (for short updates that disappear one week later), Twitter (I think Twitter is awesome but it’s obviously limited), Bandcamp (for tunes), Tumblr (for longer posts), Storenvy (to sell stuff), and probably more I’m forgetting. Some of those, particularly Bandcamp and Twitter, are really really awesome sites. But it still feels kind of disjointed. Thus: A way to centralize some of this stuff. That’s the slogan of this website!


New Album (well, sort of) This Fall on Fat!

Originally Posted 7/29/10 on Myspace

Big news! Our album Resignation Day has been remixed and remastered and is coming out on Fat Wreck Chords September 14th! This isn’t some mild “We boosted the gigawatts on the 128kbs range blah blah” or whatever– this is a dramatic improvement. It sounds sorta like Collapser now. Plus we added two out of print songs, changed the layout, and even re-sequenced it a little. Get stoked, people.

Here’s some background info I wrote for

When we originally recorded Resignation Day back in 2007, issues came up during the recording that left us with little time for mixing. As a result, the record didn’t sound too hot. This was kind of a drag ‘cuz we didn’t feel like we did the songs justice. But! Sometimes you get a second chance; sometimes you can take something that was subpar and make it right, like when that Jason Mraz guy covered Blitzkrieg Bop. In our case, we were able to get Jacques Wait (who we worked with on our last album Collapser) to take a look at the original tracks and take a stab at remixing them. What he came up with was awesome, sounding like a new album. Usually something billed as a ‘remix’ will cause you to say “Uh, I guess the guitars are…. warmer now?” or “Oh, that’s cool that the ride cymbal has more zing in that one part now. Glad I bought this again”, but in this case we’re talking about a dramatic difference. Plus we added two more songs that are out of print, re-did the layout, and even changed around the sequencing. It’s like a whole new experience, maaan.

So if you checked out the album the first time around and didn’t dig it, give it another chance. We think you’ll like it. It’s like that one fairy tale where the first bowl of porridge kind of sucks but the second one is perfect.

– Nate

News Update!

Originally Posted 2/3/10 on Myspace

Current mood: voluminous (awesome Myspace emoticon unavailable)

Kind of quiet in ye olde Banner Pilot land for the last few months, so I figured an update is in order. Hooray!

Haven’t played a ton of shows lately cuz we’ve been working on new songs. It’s going well, I think. I came up with 15 or 16 rough song ideas (just basic chord progressions and melodies) and now we’re kicking them around with the full band, adding vocal melodies, fine tuning stuff, etc. I think 7 or 8 of them will end up working out. Hopefully, that means we’ll be able to record a new album at some point towards the end of the year, but it’s kind of early to say for sure. I’m digging what we’re coming up with so far.

Pretty soon we’re switching back to playing old songs to get ready for shows we have coming up. A couple local shows with our friends The Flatliners and The Dopamines (both at the Triple Rock), then SXSW, and then a bunch of shows in Europe. Should be a blast– check the myspace page for details.

In non-Banner Pilot news, we just wrapped up the new Off With Their Heads album and I’m really, really stoked with how it turned out. Look for that later this year. And then in a couple weeks we’re doing a new Gateway District album, which should also be out later in the year. So yeah, check both of those out when they come out!

That’s all for now; look for more frequent updates once we’re back on the road, and once we’re getting closer to finishing up the songs we’re writing


We Have a Winner!

Originally Posted 10/15/09 on Myspace

Last month we announced our Six Words contest which promised all sorts of goodies and had one simple rule:

“Tell us in six words, no more no less, why you should win this contest”

We had over 130 entries as people tried to use the six word limitation to their advantage and come up with something clever. And we now have a winner! Contestant Justin will get a free CD, free vinyl record, free book, and free t-shirt due to his winning entry:

“would love to hear it!”

The thing Justin understood, that all the losers did not, is that Banner Pilot is all about breakin’ the rules*

So congratulations, Justin!


*note: please follow the rules in all future contests

Collapser Contest!

Originally Posted 8/10/09 on Myspace

Current mood:sneezy (awesome Myspace emoticon not available)

Since our new album Collapser comes out on September 1st, we thought it would be cool to run a contest in which one lucky winner will win a free copy and some other stuff. Our accountant told us this was a terrible idea, but we said “We’re not paying you to be a buzzkill, man.”

So here’s the contest: you tell us in exactly six words — no more, no less — why you should win the contest. If we pick your entry, you win! There’s no real criteria beyond the word length; we might pick one because it’s funny, or well-written, or because it makes the most compelling case.

To participate, just add a comment to this blog with your entry. If you win, we’ll shoot you a message to get your address and stuff. If you’re a a total dork and don’t have a Myspace account, you can instead email us with “Contest” as the subject line.

If you win, you get the following goodies:

Collapser – CD or colored vinyl, your choice

Resignation Day – CD or colored vinyl, your choice

You Idiot (my book)

A t-shirt of your choice. You can look on the myspace page and pick your design and size, but this is the one item where we might have to make you pick an alternate if we’re out of a particular combo.

Now, don’t be a jerk and say something like “So I can forget my leprosy” unless you actually have leprosy.

Alright! Tell us in six words, no more no less, why you should win this contest. Contest ends Sunday August 30th.


Our New Album is Done!

Originally Posted 6/21/09 on Myspace

Current mood: knighted (awesome Myspace emoticon unavailable)

We mastered it yesterday. Really excited for it to come out– it’s definitely the best thing we’ve done so far. I know every band always says that about their new record, even if their new record is indisputably awful. I mean, do you ever hear a band say “Just finished the new record. It’s not nearly as good as our old stuff. Kind of sucks, even. Catch us on tour”? Of course not.

But this time, we’re totally telling the truth.

Look for it this fall!


Nov 2008

Originally Posted 11/20/08 on Myspace

…lookout, Banner Pilot blog update!

In the “Feels Like Summer in October” Dept….

The fest was sooooooo fun, thanks to everybody who checked us out in the side hatch.  Got to see a ton of awesome bands, see lots of old friends and make a bunch of new ones – and hey I barely got FestAids, nice!

In the “College Radio Blast” Dept….

A couple of weekends ago we got to play a few live tunes on “Out of Step”, a punk show on Radio K at the University of Minnesota.  The mix is a little wacky but you may get a kick out of the interview portion of the show… Nate was on fire!  We guest DJ’d for a while with hosts Adam and Nate and got to play some tunes including a classic from “Steve Dude and Friends” – I’ll post a link on the main page if I can figure out how.

In the “Holy Shit I Might Get to See ‘Road Pizza’ Live??” Dept…

The Hanson Brothers are playing one of the Triple Rock 10th Anniversary shows in December!  We were lucky enough to get on the bill as an opener.  Color me stoked.

In the “Other” Dept….

We’ve been hard at work on LP2 and are planning on recording in the first couple three months of 2009 with Jacques who did OWTH’s “From the Bottom”.  I think we’ll have enough for 14 songs and we’ll use 2 for a split 7″ with a yet-to-be-determined sweet band and they’ll both come out on some yet-to-be-determined label(s).  Vinyl for Resignation Day should be out on Kiss of Death Records by Xmas and might just end up becoming the must-have gift of the season by my calculations.