>>> about the band
Members: Tim Watson, 28, (bass); Brian Kelly, (vocal, guitar); Chris Aguis 29, (percussion, guitar); Mike Delorenzo, 26, (percussion); Eric Hirsch, 29, (keys, guitar, bass); Mike Areephituk, 29, (percussion) // Most are native New Yorkers // Formed in 2005 // Single “Stars Still Pretty” made AOL’s top 10 downloads of 2009
After searching for Aeroplane Pageant all night at Brooklyn The Party last week at Public Assembly, I found them at the table furthest from the stage, where they had been sitting for quite some time. The members, all six of them, towered over this diminutive reporter as they simultaneously answered questions, shared moments of deep insight and rarely gave a straight answer.
How did you meet?
We’ve known each other — we met Eric through a friend — but we’ve all known each other since we were little kids, so in some sort of capacity we’ve always been playing music together. We didn’t form the band though until 2005.
How did you come up with the name for the band?
That’s 200 percent a secret. Honestly, maybe we were in a trance or maybe Wallace Stevens had something to do with it. It sounded good—lots of e’s and a’s. I really don’t know…
When did you move to Brooklyn and what brought you here?
The good vibe. There’s a great Thai restaurant down the block. It’s sort of diverse place, it’s easy to walk around. There’s a lot more sky than there is in the city. You can kind of see stars, you can see the sky. Nice bridges, decently cheap rent.
Who are your biggest influences and why?
I would say in between Megadeth and the old Sinatra songs. Old, old melancholy whiskey dry stuff. Flaming Lips, The Velvet Underground. Nirvana — we love Nirvana.
What do you take from your influences?
Their love of music, as cheesy as that sounds. They just don’t give a fuck. They just make good music, that’s all that matters. The enthusiasm that comes through their recordings, the punk rock ethic of just making whatever the fuck you want. We’ve always held that close to ourselves of just making music that we like, and that’s it.
What’s it like now that “Stars Still Pretty” made AOL’s top 10 downloads this year?
It’s cool. Our parents are proud of us. They don’t give us dirty looks anymore about wasting our lives.
What’s the concept behind that song and video?
There’s this Portuguese poet from the 19th century named Fernando Pessoa, and I’d been studying him for a long time. It’s an idea of there being many selves within a person and not being able to find the center. It was just the idea of modern anxiety and trying to find a place where you kind of feel not like you’re fucking going crazy.
The video is a loose narrative but its very cerebral. It’s more of a surrealist, absurdist quality to it. It was a dream that I had. It borrows from a lot of paintings and filmmakers from the ’60s.
How has your music evolved from when you first began playing together?
We definitely spend more time making music. When we first started, it was more like jamming in a rehearsal space. Now we’re more focused on the songs, just trying to concentrate on good songwriting, like the melody, and rhythms. Recording has opened up a lot of ears and eyes to what we’re capable of, whats possible for every band, especially now you don’t have to spend a lot of money to record anymore. A lot of artistic freedom.
Does the artistic freedom help your music in a way?
There’s no limitations. Now is like a great time to be in a band. You might not make a ton of money doing it, but you have the ability to record for cheap and make whatever the fuck you want. It’s like an amazing time to be in a band. There are so many bands out there right now that are making great stuff, and they’re doing it in the vicinity of their own place for little cost. Theres nothing better than making exactly what you want. The whole infrastructure of big labels has been destroyed, and that’s a great thing in my mind.
What are you working on right now?
We have some cool stuff. Kevin Allison from (the now-defunct MTV sketch comedy show) “The State” has a podcast show called “RISK!” They have cool people there like Janeane Garofalo. They’ll be using our music. We will be going into the studio with Shane Stoneback, who just recorded the last Vampire Weekend record thats coming out. Otherwise, we’re just writing and recording again right now. We’re looking to put out an EP or maybe an LP by early spring.
(Photo by Aaron Cansler)