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
Originally Posted November 2009 on Tumblr
Last day of the tour was in St. Louis. A bit of a hike from Dallas, so we left early and tried to keep the stops to a minimum. We finally pulled off in Springfield Missouri for gas and grub, and as we did so the van began making weird noises and chugging along, having difficulty going faster than about 30. It also ceased being able to go in reverse, meaning we had to be verrrry strategic about our parking.
Given all of this, we knew the problem was the transmission. Hopefully it was just the same problem as earlier in the tour, when the van was just a little low on transmission fluid and adding some fixed the rattling/chugging problem we were running into on the highway.
But this seemed a little more serious, and alas it was. The mechanic stuck a dipstick in my face. “Smell this,” he said.
“Well?” he asked.
“Uh, well I guess it doesn’t smell good or anything…”
“It’s burnt. Burnt transmission fluid. You’ve got a problem with the transmission. Sorry, but we can’t do anything for you here.”
All of the transmission places in town were closed until Monday. Presumably, it would be an expensive repair. So, we decided to ditch the van at a transmission shop (leaving a note for them) and rent our way out of town. The car rental places at the airport had one — one! — vehicle between the five of them that would be able to go one-way to Minneapolis. So we had to take that AND a U-Haul for the gear. Bummer. At least we got to enjoy the CD player for a full 22 hours!
However, we were lucky in one sense— had we chosen to take some random, small exit rather than the one for Springfield, there’s no way we would have found a car shop, a U-haul, or a car rental place, and would have almost certainly been stuck in some small town for days.
We hauled ass, still made it the show — which despite being pretty zonked from a full day on the road plus all the van crap ended up being pretty fun.
We drove straight home at 2am when the show got done, stopping for 3 hours of sleep at a rest stop. Except for having to ditch the van, it was an all-around blast of a tour!