Good day Damned Pilots! How are you guys doing these days?
Pretty good, our record just came out and next month we’ll be touring Europe, so it’s all good!
First of all, please introduce your band and band members to ourreaders.
We are the Damned Pilots from Trieste, in notrh east Italy. I am Don Nutz (drums), Sgt. Ote sings and plays guitar, then there are Erik Space on bass and Willer HZ on lead guitar.
I’d like to know about the formation of the band. How did you guysmeet and all. Also, is there any special story behind the band title?
I lived in Holland for about 10 years, where I played with different bands. I went back to Italy for a little while to check out if things had changed. I stayed there for about four months, and during that time I got back with some old friends and met new musicians. Without even realizing it, after a few jams I already had a new band and we were already working on this very project. I am the only one who’s left from that first group of people and after a few changes in the line up we finally found the actual one. These were three years during which we toured europe five times and the U.S. once, we recorded a demo and two records, the last of which, ‘Overgalaxy’, came out on december, the 15, for Sliptrick Records. We thought over the name of the band for quite some time, we wanted it to be connected to the sci-fi scenario; we’re all sci-fi and super heroes comicbooks freaks. So we came out with the Damned Pilots, the superheroes we always wanted to be – hehehe.
I expect a long reply for this one. Can you please tell us aboutthe concept and lyrical themes of all your previous releases?
The concept behind the Damned Pilots has its roots in the stories of four rejected rebel space pilots, who live in the year 3000 and are constantly fighting against their arch enemy Gorguss and his evil fleets, rulers of many solar systems and galaxies. In order to make a living, the Pilots work as marauders and looters. They are wreckers paid by rebel commanders and they travel rhrough space on a hippy van from the 70s. The space van, which is also an ancient relic, was found by Damned Pilots in the deserts of planet europa, which once was known as Earth. The van was then pimped and coustomized for space combat with some nuclear and hyperspace weaponry. Lyrics are about the exploration of new planets, encounters with monstrous characters such as ‘Sylvanic’, a bigfoot from outer space, and also about fights and wars lost to our enemies, vengeance and apocalypse.
Is there any special reason for choosing your music conception?
As I said earlyer, we are very connected to the sci-fi scenario and we also dig the steampunk culture and the Mutoids. We are really fascinated by concepts like time travel, the crafting of new worlds, of new eras where to live and turn our listeners’ dreams into reality.
How do you guys manage to create music at all? What challenges do you face while writing and recording an album?
Personally, I consider myself a devouring listener, i’m a music junkie, I just can’t do without music and I am really influenced by the things I listen to. In our songs we are always looking for originality, we want the songs to sound like songs of the Damned Pilots. It’s not so easy to explain, but if you listen to our songs, despite being a bit different from one another, they all have a constant dark melodic character, although we try to keep a stoner approach in our grooves. We often slow down tempos as if we were a doom band. Among our biggest influences there are bands like Trouble . We try to write catchy songs that are easy to remember, we focus on songwriting rather than on technical skills, we want to remain in the head of our listener even after the first listening. This is one more characteristic we have, we self-labeled our music ‘doom pop ‘, out of our passion for catchy melodies, typical of pop music. The Beatles, as well as ELO, influenced us a lot in that regard.
Your latest album Overgalaxywas released back in 2016. How was the experience working on the studio? Any funny or even sad happenings during the studio work?
When we entered the studio we were very well prepared, we had already recorded a demo for our record in the Netherlands at the Voodoosound Studio of Paul van Rijswijk, using a 24 analog tracks. We only kept two songs out of that session, namely the two ballads, then we re-recorded further at home, so that we could figure out what to do and a way to not throw away money and time in the studio. Given the expances, we rehearsed those songs and we played them live a lot prior to entering the studio again. The final record was recorded at Track Terminal Studio in Trieste, it was produced by Ron Goudie (Death Angel, Stryper, Poison, TSOL) and was mixed and mastered by legendary Bill Metoyer (Trouble, Corrosion of Conformity, Slayer, Omen) in his studios in Los Angeles.
You guys are still underground/underrated, although your music has been appreciated by the critics worldwide. What, according to you, is the reason behind it?
Are we really underrated? Are the critics really appreciate us worldwide?
That’s cool, I didn’t know… We still have to find out what the secret behind the Damned Pilots is, but I think it’s the ambition and enthusiasm of who carries this band.
I took this info from browsing an internet searching info about DP, and there is a lack of really big names who could speak about your band; but from the other hand there are alot of pretty positive reviews etc, that’s what I meant.
Can you throw some light on yourpast as musicians?
We all played in other bands and made records, we’ve been all playing for quite some yars now. To name a few of our old bands, there’s Inflated, Doomraiser, 1ne Day, Naja …
Tell us about your favorite bands, from whom you gain inspiration.Are you having any favorite artist/band that has emerged from metal/rock soil?
We like a lot of different bands, and we listen to different kinds of alternative music. Among our influences are the Kiss, Saint Vitus, Grand Funk Railroad, Voivod, Celtic Frost, Trouble, Kyuss, Misfits, Black Flag, 80’s trash metal, Alice In Chains, Dark Funeral, Motörhead… Talking about new bands, we really like Crippled Black Phoenix, Bölzer, Oranssi Pazuzu, Portal, Inter Arma, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Blackberry Smoke, who are the new Lynyrd Skynyrd.
How is the metal scene going in your country?
The scene is bigger in larger cities, while in smaller places there is a shortage in venues and places where to organize live concerts, so it’s not that widespread. Metal, like stoner and punk, are genres for ‘outcasts’, here metal did not manage to survive as strong as it did in other european countries. However, there are a lot of cool and very active bands who still go live, like our fellow citizens Grime, Black Gremlins, Saturnine, Ufomammut and Black Rainbows.
Tell us if you have played abroad.
We did five tours in Europe and one in the United States, on March 3 we leave for our sixth European tour promoting our new album ‘Overgalaxy’.
Are you working on any music videos, mightit be videoclip or lyric video?
We are working on a new video for the song ‘Gorguss’, which will be about our archenemy and it will be out in March. The video will be influenced by some cult sci-fi tv series from the 70s and the 80s such as ‘Space 1999’, ‘ UFO Project ‘, ‘Galactica’, we are doing an incredible job with the director Mario Orman, we build models, robots, monsters, hopefully people will like it so that we’ll get a little fame – ehehe
Rapid fire section. Just for fun. So just chill, and just type thefirst thought that comes to your mind when you hear:
Religion – shit
Overgalaxy – dedication
Black Sabbath – Tony Iommi
Drugs – not everybody can use it
World wide war – shit
Thanks a lot for your time! It’s really nice to know more aboutyou. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?