Fresh from the release of his EP ‘Fly the Nest’, AMBY was thrilled to sit down with Toronto singer-songwriter Pilot Light before playing his sultry, acoustic jams in front of a packed house. Read on as we discuss the (not so) glamourous life on the road, writing songs naked, the harsh reality of nature and having ‘Aha!’ moments in song writing.
AMBY: Hey hey! How are you today?
Pilot Light: I’m great! How are you?
AMBY: Wonderful, thanks for asking. We’re lucky enough to be connecting with you before your show tonight, so let’s get started! ‘Fly the Nest’ is your EP, it came out in September. First of all, congratulations, I absolutely love it!
PL: Thank you!
AMBY: How would you compare it to your first record, ‘In Threes’?
PL: Well, they are quite different in nature. I produced ‘In Threes’ by myself completely and on ‘Fly the Nest’ I worked with producer Ross Ciutrillo, so that in itself was a much different experience. ‘In Threes’ is a bit more of an honest performance; more raw and vulnerable, whereas ‘Fly the Nest’ had a much more polished edge to it. ‘In Threes’ holds a very special place in my heart – it was the first project I had done as a solo singer-songwriter. It was a new challenge to create a body of work without the input of a band or producer; there was nobody there to bounce ideas off of…
AMBY: You were a sort of one-man band, which is totally awesome.
PL: Yea, awesome, and at the same time, there was a learning curve.
AMBY: You should absolutely be proud of both records, and also the fact that you write all your own music..
PL: I do!
AMBY: What has been your favourite part of the song writing process thus far?
PL: My favourite part of writing a song would have to be that moment you come across something new and you know it is good enough to expand on, whether it be a cool riff or melody or lyric
AMBY: A sort of ‘Aha!’ moment.
PL: Right, exactly!
AMBY: So, I know you actually wrote a song in the shower, was that during one such aha moment?
PL: Well, I’ll try and keep it PG I guess…
AMBY: Somewhat PG, somewhat PG.
AMBY and PL: [laughs]
PL: It was the first song that I wrote naked! [laughs] Actually, one day I was looking out my back window and saw a bird that had built a nest in the balcony above. I started thinking about the mother bird and how she abandons the nest leaving the baby to fend for itself and just the harsh reality of nature. We, as humans, don’t really have to deal with that.
AMBY: We are definitely more protected.
PL: Right? Most people don’t leave home until they are at least 18.
AMBY: Let alone be left home by themselves as infants!
PL: Exactly! So that provided me with some inspiration and into the shower I went and it all started coming together – melodies, chords and the idea of flying your wings and starting life again on your own.
AMBY: Awesome! The EP actually has some pretty cool album art that features you with some wings. Were they heavy?
PL: They were made of cardboard so they were actually pretty light and definitely economical.
AMBY: You were on tour earlier this year; do you have a favourite memory from that time?
PL: There has always been one moment that stuck out as if to say “Yes, this is life on the road”. It certainly is not as glamourous as most people might think. So we had gone from Windsor to London with the other musicians that I was touring with and the car was absolutely rammed with gear, to the point that when we pulled over they got out and laid down on the roof to stretch out and get some rest before the gig that night.
AMBY: The glamourous life on the road.
PL: So that definitely made me think “Ok, this is for real”. It was such a great tour. We went to Quebec City and it was the first time I had been that far East in Canada; it was just beautiful.
AMBY: So what can we expect from you in 2016? Are there any plans to tour? Will you be trying out some new material?
PL: Probably try and hit the road again after the Holidays… and the snow [laughs]. I’m absolutely working on some new songs; I was actually just playing a few earlier today and they are almost ready to be tested out live.
AMBY: Something for us to look forward to for sure. My final question for you today is: What is something about Pilot Light that your fans don’t know yet?
PL: Well, I have been toying with the idea of not being a solo artist anymore. I’m thinking more and more about playing with a band, whether it be a backing band or a band where all members have an equal hand in the song-writing process and I have kept that to myself until now, so there you go!
AMBY: Well, I am definitely excited to see what 2016 has in store for Pilot Light. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today!
PL: My pleasure.
Thank you Pilot Light, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Heather Cook | @Outroupistache1