The aroma in Kavarna was amazing. Hints of coffee, french toast and friendship permeated the atmosphere. INAP and I discussed the Wisconsin music scene as well as what the future holds for these musicians.
J: It’s interesting that you say that, because I’ve talked with other people in the area. And, we really want to see this area blow up artistically. There is so much talent and personally, I want to see an artistic renaissance…
Mark: That’s happening in Milwaukee.
J: And, put Wisconsin on the map. Why should our talent have to leave Wisconsin to get solid work? We should be able to have people stay here.
Steve: We’ve had that conversation going to a bigger city; Austin, Portland and L.A. We love Wisconsin. We love the people here, our families are here and we want to do this here on our terms and our turf. It’s a struggle. It’s harder, because you don’t have those avenues like in L.A. You go out to L.A. and its known for being an industry city.You’ve got to work harder to prove yourself, but it’s possible, because bands are doing it right now.
J: Speaking of concerts, I’ve seen you guys twice now and each time I’ve been impressed. Your performance is professional; it’s tight and polished like a precious gem. The first time I saw you I immediately thought, “These guys need to be on a stage in front of a larger, more national to international audience.” Where do you hope to see things go in the future?
Peter: First of all, I was just going to add to what you were saying in the last question. I think it takes good musicians to hear things; not just what you’re doing, but what your colleagues are doing. I think we are very, very critical to each other. Almost more critical than complimentary and we say it. Sometimes it hurts when somebody says they don’t like what you are doing and I’m sure that I’ve been in those situations in which something that I have said is the same way, but it’s just like the symphony.
A good conductor is the person that hears everything in the orchestra and makes everything come together with the ensemble. I think that’s what a good band does; they play well together and they play within this pocket.
Steve is so great at solidifying the rhythm, because he is a great drummer. And we can always count on that. It never fluctuates at any show. Really, he is so solid at every single show. And you can really play off of that and that, is why we sound so good. I think a lot of it has to do with the backbone. Adrian and Steve are just like this <makes a hand gesture by crossing index and middle fingers>. And me, I get to just float above and it’s really, really fun to have great ensemble, and, to work on ensemble in a band. I don’t know if a lot of bands do that. I don’t know, I’m not in other bands. I don’t know if it’s a priority to play together. That’s what we strive to do.
Mark: Bands like Field Report; they collaborate really, really well. And, they stay quiet, which helps them be successful.
Steve: It’s nice to be able to push yourself as a musician. I mean, just playing with someone like Peter who plays cello all day, everyday and just his knowledge of music makes me want to step up my game. Every guy in this band, I appreciate and respect.
Peter: I’m sorry, that wasn’t really your question, so what was it again?
J: What are your goals for the future?
Mark: I guess short term would be working on playing in different cities and getting air play on the radio stations. Then touring to those areas that respond to the radio play. I guess, basically, try to get national.
Adrian: Long term goals would be worldwide, of course. But overall, it would be the same goal: experimenting with our writing and keeping it fresh.
Mark: If I feel like I’m writing the same thing like I have in the past, I can’t finish it. I feel like I would be repeating something. Unless I feel like something is really fresh and something is really groundbreaking for myself, then I feel it wouldn’t be fit for the next record.
Steve: Going back to the radio…we’ve got like 600 stations on there. Some have heavy rotation. We’re mapping out all those cities and we intend on touring those cities. It’s crazy, one of those radio stations we’re at number 14 right next to David Byrne. People know who we are and we’ve never been there. So, that is working out great so far.
Peter: I think that has to be our focus right now. We just started this radio campaign and we’re in week five. It’s eight weeks consecutively. And, we charted really well for being an unsigned band. We charted at #170 at first on CMJ and are now down to #114.
Adrian: And that’s for an independent release.
Peter: I think has to be our direction. We have full-time jobs and family lives. We have to be smart as a band and do most of our stuff online and spread it other ways. If you cannot do live shows, the best way to do it is through spreading it. Just conversing with you, was great. Typically, you have to set up five or six interviews to get more interviews and press.
J: Aside from music careers, tell me some things your fans may not know about each of you?
Peter: Let’s do it this way…Steve will answer for Adrian, Mark will answer for Steve, Adrian will answer for Peter, and Peter will answer for Mark.
Steve: But after the answer is given we can add to it if we’d like to.
Mark: Steve is an incredible graphic designer. He designed both of the record covers and the artwork inside. He works at a small firm in Milwaukee called Mindspike Design. He’s one of the best designers there. He’s been getting a lot of work on his own. He has two kids and is a great dad.
Peter: I was just about to say that.
Adrian : And, he can bench 305.
Mark: Instead of going to his lunch break, he’ll lift weights. <everyone chuckles>
Peter: If I add to him being a great dad, I’ve seen him in photos on Facebook and he is riding a tricycle with his kids. He’s just playful and it’s really cute to see his interaction at home is totally him being himself.
Steve: Adrian is Mr.Outdoors Man. He surfs, he runs, he bikes and he’s just kind of an outdoorsy man. He also a car guy. He’s keeping with the manliness thing. He knows how to fix cars. He build things.
Peter: Good with his hands.
Steve: I’d like to be more manly, more like him.
Mark: He’s McGuyver. He took a bunch of mic stands the other day and put them all together to make one.
Adrian: I hold Richard Dean Anderson responsible for all my tricks.
Adrian: I have his autograph on top of my piano.
Adrian: Peter stays busy with INAP, but it doesn’t stop there. He’s recorded on more albums than any local players I’ve known. He’s played on the Un-Loop three or four times. He’s recorded for a ton of solo artists. He’s played on tracks for the bands Icarus Down and Delta Routine. He’s a pretty good Frisbee tosser, which I am not. He’s been playing cello since he was five.
Mark: He’s half Asian.
Adrian: He’s half Japanese and half Welsh, to be specific. He’s more punctual than most New Yorkers.
Peter: What people don’t know about Mark, I do. Mark is one of the first people I met when I came here. But other than that, I would dare to say he is my best friend. I have a very strong love for Mark and his music. What we do in this band is take his music and make it better. He’s an extremely gifted songwriter. He can also sing pretty well and he has hands the size of watermelons. He can reach an eleventh with one hand on the piano. Mark is also an extremely good father to his dog. I had no idea he was such an animal lover. When he first told me he was going to get a puppy, I was like “Oh my god.That is the worst idea ever”. But he said he was really good with dogs and he trained the most amazing dog. This dog has the most amazing personality.
J: So he’s like the dog whisper?
Peter: He is the dog whisperer.
Mark: I learned everything from that guy.
Peter: Not that this dog was bad, but Mark raised this dog on his own. Mark is a very visual and also aural person. When I would play a solo concert and Mark was in the audience. I’d look at Mark specifically and he would have this ridiculously charming smile on his face. He just can’t help, but smile when he hears something he likes.
When it comes to visual things, shoot, the picture that’s on the front of Need Money for Rocket Fuel cover is his idea. He got a shopping cart at four o’clock in the morning and paid a homeless guy twenty dollars for the cans he collected. He’s a very crafty person; really just visual. I come to band practice and his entire apartment is filled with paintings and drawings for school.
They’re all just fantastic. I think, “How have you been a musician all these years and yet you have this other visual talent and you portray it on a piece of paper.” Some people might have the vision, but they can never explain it the way they want to. So they draw it. Mark has both. He can explain it both verbally and visually himself. It’s probably why he’s such a good songwriter.
Our time together had ended as the day moved past noon and life crept back into our coffeehouse bubble. A friendly hug good-bye and well-wishes for the future secured not only a new partnership professionally, but also one friendship-wise.
For more information on I’m Not A Pilot, visit their website at www.imnotapilot.com. To purchase music from these talented musicians visit CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon.com.
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© 2012 Jenna Cornell, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a quadrust.com. Virtual Music Cafe, Heroes in Music and Stepping into the Twilight Zone are property of Jenna Cornell.