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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.

Nick!

Punknews 2008 Interview

Here’s a 2008 Punknews interview. Check it out below or on their site.

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While the actual release date keeps getting pushed back, Minneapolis, Minnesota’a Banner Pilot really have finished their debut full-length, Resignation Day. The follow-up to their 2006 EP, Pass the Poison, shouldn’t disappoint those who loved the band’s blend of Lawrence Arms, Dillinger Four and Jawbreaker-esque punk rock.

 

Punknews interviewer Zack Zeigler talked to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Nick and bassist Nate regarding their approach to the new album and what people can expect.

Have you noticed anything different about Resignation Day, the sound or the lyrics, opposed to Pass the Poison? What, if anything, persuaded that change in sound/direction?

Nate: Not really; I wouldn’t say we’re “going in a new direction” or “broadening our horizons” or whatever. I think the songwriting is better, but we’re definitely not doing anything drastically different, like adding keyboards or anything ridiculous like that.

Nick: We’ll save that for LP #2 — but we did try to mix it up the tempo more on this record! We play both speeds, 190 and 200 BPM. Lyrically I still draw a lot of inspiration from John Fante’s books and write songs about life’s challenges and coping mechanisms — yah know, screwy girls and drinking.

You released your first demo in 2005, what’s changed in you as a band since that release?

Nick: We got a non-digital drummer! He’s not as reliable and you have to feed him but he’s a better conversationalist.

Nate: Besides Danny [the drummer], I think that playing shows and writing songs has made us a better band since the 2005 incarnation — but not really different. I guess it’s sort of like the first question, not to disappoint, but we haven’t gone on any spiritual quests or anything over the last couple years. I like to think that the EP was an improvement on the demo and the new record is an improvement on that.

But who knows? I mean, every band thinks their new stuff is their best album yet. You never hear a band say “Aww, this new record is a fucking joke. We got high half the time and did stupid shit like hiring a tuba player and running all the vocals through a wah wah pedal. Ughh. Seriously, just get the last album.” Nope, it’s always, “We’re really stoked about the new album and we think it’s our best yet.” And then when the next record rolls around it’s all, “We made some mistakes on the last record. It wasn’t really ‘us,’ and there was a lot of stress in the band at the time, you know? But we’ve cleared our heads and now we’re really stoked about the new album and we think it’s our best yet.” That said, we’re really stoked about the new album and we think it’s our best yet.

What message do you want your music, particularly Resignation Day, to get across?

Nick: There’s really no manifesto this time around. It’s sort of all been said before. Meat is still murder, dairy is still rape, so on and so forth. Although, I recently heard the Brokedowns say on stage “you can’t soar with the eagles if you stay out with the owls” and that seems like a pretty great message so maybe we’ll co-opt it.

How have you been getting the word out about your new album?

Nate: We hand out tracks to people walking by, cold call strangers out of the white pages, etc etc. All the normal stuff. Plus we’ve been trying new ideas like putting up songs on our MySpace page. Once we have physical copies in hand we’ll be sending them out to magazines and distros and what not.

Nick: I know where Channel 11′s “backyard” is where they shoot the weather portion of the 10 pm newscast, we can hop up and down behind the fence and yell shit.

Nate: Yeah, and then if the news channel tries to give us shit, we’ll just say we were reporting legitimate weather news. “This album is going to be a total hurricane of awesomeness!” or whatever.

What’s your favorite song to play live? What’s your favorite song off of Resignation Day?

Nick: My favorite is probably ‘Saltash Luck’ or ‘Empty Your Bottles’; on the latter I get to play bass because neither Cory or I can play that drone lead yet and sing at the same time. That’s strictly for the pros.

Nate: I like the song ‘Cut Bait’ because it’s a pretty fun bass line to play. I think the best song on the record would be ‘Empty Your Bottles.’

If you could tell a kid that’s never heard of Banner Pilot to listen to one song off the new record, what song would it be?

Nate: Uh, gee, I dunno. As I understand it, no one really reads lyrics anymore, so it’d be hard to try to get a message across to a kid unless you were strictly going with the song title. So I guess I’d choose ‘No Transfer’ so they’d maybe learn about the importance of getting a transfer when you ride the bus.

What does the term “sellout” mean to you guys?

Nick: Um, what our record will do once this interview gets posted on Punknews.org? (That was the deal, right?) What the guy at the liquor store tonight said happened when I asked where my favorite bottle of Rioja was? Basically don’t change your music for money.

On your MySpace page you described your sound as a blend between the Lawrence Arms, Jawbreaker and Alkaline Trio. Were those bands your main influences?

Nick: I grew up listening to a lot of Screeching Weasel so that’s a main influence for me. We’re probably a hybrid of that with the rougher vocals of Jawbreaker/Crimpshrine/Hot Water Music. Lyrically, I look up to Blake (Jawbreaker) quite a bit, although Dingbat is pretty fucking sweet.

Nate: Mostly the first two. Not Alkaline Trio so much. Jawbreaker’s probably my favorite band, but we don’t really sound like them. I mean, seriously, does anyone actually sound like Jawbreaker other than Jawbreaker? Not really. A few bands sound like Dear You-as-performed-by-a-computer-program (ie, they understand the basic formula but it doesn’t sound right), but that’s about it. We get compared to Lawrence Arms every now and then, and I can hear that, so it’d be fair to call them a main influence.

What’s the last show Banner Pilot went to that they didn’t perform?

Nick: Nate and I went to see Tegan and Sara recently but swore we wouldn’t talk about it. $8 Heinekens? Wtf? It was great though.

Nate: All four of us? Not sure, unless you count any of the various Fest shows.

For those who have never been, what’s a Banner Pilot show like?

Nick: It’s incredible. We usually open with me staring at Danny while he checks some knobs and dials on his cymbals and I try to gauge when we can start rocking. Someone probably yells out “Boner Pilot!” and 15-20 minutes of blistering punk rock follow sprinkled tastefully with awkward banter. If someone breaks a string, Nate may play the dungeon song from Super Mario Bros. on bass, or we’ll break into a confused rendition of Lillington High.

Do you have anything special planned for the release of Resignation Day? If so, what’s the plan and where will it be?

Nick: Dillinger Four was cool enough to let us open their 3rd annual “Dillinger Fourth of July” at the Triple Rock and hopefully we’ll have the CDs by then. It’s also Off With Their Heads CD release show, so it should be awesome!

 

Scene Point Blank 2008 Interview

Here’s an interview with Loren from Scene Point Blank back in 2008. Read it below or at their site.

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Minnesota punks Banner Pilot continue to turn heads with their vintage pop-punk sound. Scene Point Blank chatted with bassist Nate Gangelhoff about the band’s new full-length offering and their recent trip to The Fest.

Scene Point Blank: Nate, you’re listed as bass & guitar. Do you play both on the record?

Nate Gangelhoff: Yep, the previous guitar player quit while we were in the studio, so on the last album I did all the guitar leads and half the rhythm tracks. Plus I always do the bass. It worked out fine – I actually write the guts of all the songs on a guitar, not a bass, so it wasn’t weird or anything. The extra two strings didn’t fuck me up. Plus believe it or not they’re actually thinner than bass strings, so it’s kind of like Bass For Dummies.

Scene Point Blank: I really don’t know much about the death of Rivethead and the birth of Banner Pilot. How did Banner Pilot get started?

Nate Gangelhoff: Banner Pilot basically started with me writing some songs along to this drum program I got for my computer. I had a really hard time coming up with tunes until I was able to play along to a basic beat and keep time. So once I had that I wrote a few things and then Nick and me came up with vocal ideas over them. The songs were god awful, but got better over time. As for Rivethead, we were a band for a pretty long time, so it just sort of naturally ran its course after six or seven years. I think Banner Pilot had technically started before Rivethead broke up, but we didn’t actually have a drummer or play shows until months later.

Scene Point Blank: What’s the significance of the name?

Nate Gangelhoff: I dunno, I guess it sounded cool?

Scene Point Blank: You’ve gotten a lot of positive press on the web. Have you seen an increase in attendance on your tours from this?

Nate Gangelhoff: Well, not really, but I guess on the last tour there were a few shows that seemed to have more people. But I didn’t say “This is because of the web, right?” to any of them, so I can’t venture a guess as to why. I guess the longer you’ve been a band, the more chances there are that someone’s heard you and will check out a show.

Scene Point Blank: How did Go-Kart contact you? Do they have other Twin Cities connections?

Nate Gangelhoff: I think a guy at this radio station heard us and recommended that Go-Kart check us out. They don’t have any Twin Cities connections as far as I know.

Scene Point Blank: Do you think the record captures who you are as a live band?

Nate Gangelhoff: Kinda, but that record was a little different, I guess, ’cause it was three people playing four instruments, you know? Can’t do that live. But I guess that’s not a huge difference ’cause I don’t really have a unique guitar playing style or anything.

Scene Point Blank: Had you worked with Dave Gardner before?

Nate Gangelhoff: Yep, we’ve worked with Dave a few times on mastering and he’s awesome.

Scene Point Blank: How many bands are you currently in?

Nate Gangelhoff: Two main ones: Banner Pilot and Gateway District. I’m not in Off With Their Heads anymore ’cause they finally found someone who can tour all the time, but I’ll definitely help out if they ever need a bass player for a stray show or recording. And I’m sort of still in the Pyongyang Metro but that’s really sporadic ’cause the singer lives in Philly now. And I might be helping out a friend of mine this winter with his new band called The San Diego Chargers (Minneapolis).

Scene Point Blank: Have you ever had just one band?

Nate Gangelhoff: Yeah, it was just Rivethead for quite awhile.

Scene Point Blank: What makes Banner Pilot different than your other projects?

Nate Gangelhoff: Well, it’s not much different. But, with all the other bands I’ve been in I pretty much just write the bass lines, or in the case of The Gateway District, the guitar parts. So Banner Pilot is a lot more involved and time-consuming because I write the guts to all of the songs.

Scene Point Blank: How active is Gateway District? Is it a side project?

Nate Gangelhoff: It’s a little more active now. We did a 7″ in 2006 and then didn’t do anything until this past summer, mostly because we were all living in different states. But this summer we started playing again, wrote an album, recorded it last month and played a handful of shows along the way. So yeah I guess you could consider us to be “active” now although we won’t be doing any six-week tours or whatever.

Scene Point Blank: You’ve been in bands for quite a while now. Have your goals changed, or do you still get the same thing out of playing that you did when you started?

Nate Gangelhoff: Yeah, it’s really the same for the most part – fun for the same reasons. I don’t remember the experience of being in a band when I was eighteen being a lot different than it is now. I think that’s a good thing?

Scene Point Blank: A lot has changed for me since I was eighteen but, yeah, that sounds like a good thing that you haven’t burnt out.

Nate Gangelhoff: Yep!

Scene Point Blank: Moving on, The Fest 7 just finished. I think I first heard about you sometime after The Fest 5, although I never saw the band until the last year. How many Fests have you played (or attended)?

Nate Gangelhoff: This one was our third in a row. I think it was my favorite so far, too.

Scene Point Blank: What’s your highlight from this year’s Fest as a performer?

Nate Gangelhoff: It was a great show and definitely our best Fest set yet. The first time no one really knew us, and last year we stupidly played all new songs that no one had heard yet. So this year it was cool to play to a lot of people that seemingly knew the songs.

Scene Point Blank: I actually missed your set, but how was playing the Sidehatch? You had a pretty prime timeslot between Coalesce and Lawrence Arms.

Nate Gangelhoff: The Sidehatch was cool – a little dark; we had to buy a lamp for the merch table just to see anything. But besides that it was great. I’m guessing a lot of people checked us out before checking out the Lawrence Arms next door, but I can’t imagine that many Coalesce fans were into us.

Scene Point Blank: You never know, but that was a curious timeslot for them. You’d think they’d be allotted closer to some of the hardcore bands.

Nate Gangelhoff: True. But shit, that’s got to be hard to schedule like 280 bands over three days. You’re going to have a couple of weird pairings, I suppose.

Scene Point Blank: What was your highlight of Fest 7 a fan? Did you stay the whole weekend?

Nate Gangelhoff: I think my favorite band was Good Luck. My goal this Fest was to see as many bands that I hadn’t checked out before, and I caught quite a few good ones. Yep, we stayed the whole weekend but I got Fest AIDS pretty bad Sunday evening so the last set I saw was at around 7pm.

Scene Point Blank: Me too, but I didn’t crash until after Leatherface. Did you stay at the Holiday Inn? Did the official post-Fest show happen?

Nate Gangelhoff: Yeah, we had a room at the Holiday Inn. It was nice being close to all the shows – the last couple years we stayed at the Rush Lake Motel, which was pretty awesome in its own right but required a bit of a walk. I think they ended up scrapping the plans for midnight karaoke on the rooftop, actually. Bummer.

Scene Point Blank: So you got “Fest AIDS”?

Nate Gangelhoff: Indeed! Not as bad as last year though. Last weekend at this show I ran into probably fifteen people who went to Fest the previous weekend and every single one of them was sick!

Scene Point Blank: Fest AIDS kept me from going to that Arrivals/Off With Their Heads/Gateway District show on Friday. I was a little better than last year, in that I didn’t totally lose my voice this time around, but I’m still coughing a week later. Is Fest AIDS a unique thing, or are viruses like that a typical result of touring?

Nate Gangelhoff: Fest AIDS is unique, I think. When I’ve gotten sick on tour on other occasions, it felt like a run of the mill illness. But Fest AIDS is a somewhat different sensation. It’s almost like you somehow inhaled the weekend, this rancid mess of smoke and PBR, and have to sweat it out of your system.

Scene Point Blank: Did you tour on the way to FL?

Nate Gangelhoff: Nah, not this year but we did for Fest 5. It’s pretty cool ’cause there’s so many bands descending on the same part of the country at once that you end up having great shows along the way.

Scene Point Blank: Thanks for your time.

 

Hipster Worm

Originally posted 8/27/08 on our Typepad blog

Man, we must have partied pretty hard the night after Portland– we camped out by the ocean and I remember we had a (loud) conversation about how the log in this picture looked like a hipster worm. As the campers nearby tried to drift off under the stars and ocean mist, they were kept up by rambling slurring along the lines of “This worm would be all like ‘I saw Husker Du in a basement.'” The next morning it just looked like a charred log. Sorry, fellow campers! We thought we were on to something.

The camping spot was neat, though— the next morning I thought there were a half a dozen people admiring our pile of beer cans, but it turned out they were checking out a huge elk a few feet from our van. It was funny because a couple days earlier in a motel we watched some elk hunting show where these two jokers crept through a field (to dramatic music in the background) and killed an elk with a crossbow, acting as if they had just pulled of a crazily difficult task. “Yeah!” they yelled as they examined the carcass. “Oh man, yeah!” Anyway, the funny thing is that this elk by our van barely moved, even as people got within a few feet of it. So what’s so impressive about shooting one? It’d be like bragging about shooting a cow.

-Nate