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Back From the West Coast

Hey, thanks for everyone who came out to our west coast tour earlier this month. We had a bunch of great shows, and it was fun to see a lot of old friends, and play with excellent bands like Broadway Calls (sorry guys, I think I accidentally stole your patch cord), The Bombpops, Dan Padilla, Bastards of Young, Dun Bin Had, Madison Bloodbath, and tons more. Plus, you may not know this, but we live in a geographical area that gets cold during the winter. So, it was nice getting out to sunny California for a couple of weeks. Note: the image to the right is the first Google Image result for ‘california surfer dude.’

So my Gallien Krueger bass amp AND my Gallien Krueger bass cab busted at the same time, at the same show, in Portland. Bummer. Typically this would mean I’d have no choice but to borrow stuff for the rest of the tour and wait until I got home to look at fixing it; a mixed bag where I have to bug other bands but also don’t need to carry an amp in every night. But, because the internet rules, it actually worked out—I posted a message saying my amp was broken, and because I’m an idiot I wasn’t sure why it broke or if there was anything I could do, and eight minutes later someone wrote to say that they knew someone who worked at Gallien Krueger who could take a look. And guess what? We were twenty miles from Gallien Krueger headquarters at that exact moment! What are the odds of that? Well, there are approximately 57.5 million square miles of land on earth, twenty divided by 57.5 million is 2,875,000…. so one in 2.8 million odds! Well, actually, wait. I think I did that wrong. Let’s call it one in a hundred.

Anyway, it was great—they were super friendly and helpful, they gave us a tour of their rad warehouse, and they fixed up my stuff in no time. As it turns out, the Guitar Center employee who sold me the setup was full of crap and I never should have been using that combo in the first place. Damn you, Guitar Center employee. I bet he was also lying when he said my bass case was wicked. But now the cab is outfitted with a new, superior speaker and I’m good to go. Sounds better, too. So: blessing in disguise!

Up next: three Midwest shows in March. Chicago, Madison, and Fargo. And then this fall, we’re heading back to Europe! We’ll also be touring Russia for the first time ever. Very excited about all of that; look for official dates and info soon. Between of all of that, we’ll be writing the first few songs for our fourth album. I already have 10 or 15 rough ideas on my laptop. Most of them are pretty bad. But not all of them!

OK, I think that’s it for now! Oh yeah, and the Bike and Breaking Banner shirts won that t-shirt contest, if you were wondering. We still have a few left after tour—click on ‘store’ up there if you want to grab one!

-Nate

Choose or Lose 2012: Banner Pilot Shirts

We’re leaving for tour in a couple weeks and are planning on having two new shirt designs with us, meaning you’ll be able to purchase snazzy things that you can use to clothe yourself, or clean up oil spills, or whatever you like. We have seven designs, though, and can’t decide on which ones we should use. At first, the solution seemed obvious: skip the whole thing; too much to figure out. But then we thought, let’s put it to a vote!

So, please look at the seven designs below and pick which two you like best. If you don’t like any  of them, go find some other website to be a jerk on, you big jerk.

Please select carefully as I can’t think of a more important vote you will cast all year.

Thank you!

-Nate

——-

The Nominees!

“Tiger”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Girl”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bike”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Watch Man”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Snow Crest”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Retro Rockers”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Breaking Banner”

Set List 2012: You Choose, We Decide

So, one thing I noticed on our last tour was that some songs got a better reaction than others. Interesting! It would seem as if everyone does not like every song exactly the same.

I thought it’d be fun to let you, the listener, help us pick our set for the next tour—this way, there’s a better chance that we’ll play the songs people are most excited to hear. Right now, we have no idea (well, we have some idea with the older songs, but not with the new album). Go ahead and vote for your ideal set list below. You can pick up to 14 songs, because, come on, we’re not going to play more than that. Could you theoretically game the results by entering the poll answers over and over and over again? Sure, but that would make you kind of a loser.

Anyway, let’s just stick to the honor system here. Pick your ideal set, one time. This is a great way for YOU to decide what YOU want to hear! It’s democracy at its best*

*note: if you pick stupid songs, we reserve the right to ignore the results of this poll and play whatever we damn well feel like

OK, let’s do this!

-Nate

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!

-Nate

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.

-Nate

 

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!

-Nate

Useful Information About The New Album

Hey-
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!

-Nate

Studio Blog #3: Pianos, Saxophones & Guitar Leads

One song left! That’s right, we’ve recorded 10 songs and are hitting the last one later tonight. Very excited. Now, it’s not like those ten songs are “done”; in fact, not even close. We still have to fix a few things, add vocals, I gotta record guitar leads, we need to figure out and add backup vocals, gotta record a piano part (don’t worry, it’s a four note part in one song. That’s it. We might make it rad and have each of us play one of the four notes) (not joking), sweet saxophone part must be added (is saxophone the worst instrument ever? I think it might be. It’s always goofy and it ruins otherwise good songs. Go check out that one Green Day song on Warning; I think it’s Jackass. Decent song and then, suddenly…. the sax kicks in and it sounds like the theme song from a court room comedy out of the 80s. Not Night Court specifically, just that kind of show. The only cool thing involving a saxophone, ever, is the image included in this post. Is it a clip art-looking dude playing a sax…. or is it a woman’s face? OH DAMN!), etc etc etc. But it’s still a nice landmark because after we track the 11th song, the fun part begins and these start to actually sound like songs. The good thing is, we’re already pretty stoked on how these are sounding, even in their exceedingly raw and stripped down current form.

Right now I’m at home sifting through the original demos on my computer, making sure nothing was forgotten. I’ve already found one missing lead! I don’t think we’ve used it since this original Garageband demo (looks like I wrote it way back in November 2009), so maybe it sucks; i have no idea. But i’m glad I found it now rather than after the album is done.

After going through all the practice space demos I’ve discovered there are 68 guitar leads I need to record. That sounds kind of crazy/ridiculous but I guess it’s accurate. Don’t worry, these aren’t wanky shred fests, just dopey little leads that, in some cases, you won’t even notice.

OK, back to it!

-Nate

Studio Blog #2: The Reverse Crunch Wrap

Well it’s day three and we have five songs tracked; probably will get one more done before the end of the day. A little slower than expected, but it’s sounding pretty great. We listened to Collapser for a second to double check a snare sound and these new songs already sound better as-is than that record. So, we might just call it a day and have a rad 5 song instrumental record. Or maybe not.

One thing demo-ing and recoding songs has reminded me about is the awesome names we have for various drum parts. You definitely know what a roll is, and you might know what a Taco is (snare/bass drum, snare/drum drum… this intro is an example). But do you know what a Burrito is? A Reverse Crunch Wrap? A Fruit Rollup? Those are all legitimate drum parts we have. Maybe for the next studio blog we’ll do a video where we play each part, and you try to guess what each part is. First person to get it right, and explain why, gets a free t-shirt (or maybe nothing if we’re low on shirts.) Look for it later this week!

Ok, back to recording/Super Mario Brothers now!

-Nate

Studio Blog #1 : Deadly Towers

Here’s an interesting thing about being in the studio: the first couple days of being in a studio aren’t very interesting. I’m not sure how I can convey any intriguing updates; “Hey, guys, quick update: we nailed that one fill!” or “After trying a few different options we decided the ping cymbal works best because of the outro section”…… not really that mind-blowing. So I guess I’ll just talk about what we’re doing between songs for now.

We brought back in the same hacked X-Box we used for Collapser and have started revisiting some truly awful NES games. As of right now we’re playing the game Deadly Towers while waiting to record the next song, which has the dummy title ‘Neon’. Perhaps some of the game will slightly influence our playing of the song, and months from now you’ll be like, “That one drum fill reminds me of a guy trying to kill a weird blue slime.”

Yesterday we ordered pizza from this place that specializes in weird toppings (Mac and Cheese Pizza, Burrito Pizza, etc), and came up with a great idea: Gum Pizza! Instead of sauce and cheese, it’s all gum. Your pizza would last forever.

OK, you must be getting pretty stoked to hear this album by now. I’ll keep the updates coming. Within a couple days they’ll be sounding more like actual songs and I’ll have more relevant info to report!

-Nate