Over the last few years, Canadian alternative rock band Autopilot has become a staple in the Saskatoon indie music scene. Known for their thoughtful lyrics, powerful hooks, dynamic stage show, and obsessive hard work, they somehow seem to effortlessly walk the line between passionate art and massive appeal.
Tell us about the history of the band?
We all met through mutual friends with the drive to play music in common. We have put out three albums and a few EPs over the years, and our sound has progressed to our latest release Afterglow.
How would you describe your music?
To put a genre to it, Indie/Alt/Rock is what we are told mostly – just doing our take on it. We like to write catchy rock songs with hooks and have a really high energy show with more delay than distortion.
What are your influences/ musical heroes?
There’s a lot, but to name a few bands I would say: Modest Mouse, Spoon, Weezer, Broken Social Scene, War on Drugs, Bear Hands.
What record are you currently listening to?
Cage The Elephant has been putting out great music for a while and their newest record Social Cues is really great. Before Jordan joined Autopilot, he played with Andy Shauf. I’ve always been really into Andy’s songwriting. We still have a lot of classics playing in the van too, like Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
We all have different favourites. I know Jordan likes Domino off the new record, Jose likes Undisguised, and I like Modern Age.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
The Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
Recently our bassist was meeting us in NYC when he asked someone on the subway if he was on the right train. After talking, they eventually realised they were going to the same place. In a city of millions, he just happened to ask directions to a stranger who happened to be a friend of mine whose place we were staying at. That was a very random coincidence.
What are your current thoughts on the music industry?
It’s always quickly changing. It’s a great time to be an independent musician because there are so many ways to put out music and promote it. We have found the key is to stay educated on what’s happening within the industry and how things are changing, while finding ways for new people to discover Autopilot and cutting through the noise of millions of other bands.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own band?
Focus on writing great songs. The most important thing is the song.
What are your future plans?
We have a lot of touring coming up and three new videos that will be released this year. This summer we are working on writing a new record. Continuing to create and release new music and then go out on the road and perform it live is what we love to do, and we’re really lucky to be able to do this and have people be into it.