Localized: Reviver, Pilot This Plane Down and Nine Worlds – August 2008

Get your black t-shirt ready, August 8th’s Localized is going to be a plague-driven experimental metal fest. Reviver will open and Pilot This Plane Down and Nine Worlds will make sure that no ones leaves without transcending space or time. Well maybe space, not time. Either way, Urban Lounge (a private club for members) will host, and you would be a complete mooncalf to not experience so much talent for a mere five bucks. In a spirit of reverence, I talked with Pilot and Nine Worlds to figure out what the hell is going on in hell these days.

Alex Johnson – Drums
Josh Hardesty – Guitar/Vocals
Justin Wilson – Bass
Kory Quist – Guitar/Vocals

Friends often make the best band mates, but sometimes they make the worst. Take for example Nine Worlds, a group of musicians that have traveled, fought and esteemed one another for two years. After a recent incident with a pink dildo that forced one of the members out of the band, they have regrouped and have rededicated and refocused their energy into playing the heaviest and darkest music they know how to. They are in their honeymoon phase and seem to have found a sense of Zen. All the skunky-sour diesel doesn’t hurt either.

SLUG: Give me a brief history of the band.
NW: Josh and Alex started the band two years ago while Josh was studying music engineering at the Seattle Art Institute. When Paris Green broke up, Justin decided to join Nine Worlds and moved to Seattle. Nine Worlds went through a few line-up changes while living in Seattle and replaced Tyler with Donny Miller. Then in the summer of 2007 Nine Worlds and XUR went on a two week west coast tour. This is when they met Kory who played bass in XUR at the time. Josh graduated andNine Worlds made the move back to SLC. Back in SLC, Nine Worlds went through another line-up change, teaming up with Kory on guitar and vox, and are now in full force.

SLUG: It seems to be a trend in metal-related music to have a theme or some sort of concept driving the music. What is the concept for your band?
NW: Well, music is art and art is the imitation of life, so I guess you could say that LIFE is the theme of our music. Not to mention that the world around us is going to shit, so I guess a lot of our drive in writing music and lyrics is the failing world that we see everyday. Everybody is fucked, and it’s too late to turn back.

SLUG: Why have you chosen to be a musician? Why not express yourself in some other way?
NW: We all grew up with music being a huge part of our lives. Back in the day, we went to shows because we didn’t fit in with the jocks or cool kids, we needed our own thing to relate to. Shows and music were the only place we felt comfortable and accepted. So with that being said, we play music because we have to, it runs through our veins.

SLUG: What is the plan for recording?
NW: We just finished pre-production on a four-song demo with Andy Patterson, and we got a few more songs in the works. We hope to to be ready to record a full length next spring, and hopefully it will get picked up by a label.

SLUG: What ties you together as a band?
NW: Living in Seattle for two years was quite the challenge. Five dudes in a shitty two bedroom cockroach-infested apartment. We were broke, working shitty jobs and all the while trying to write, record and tour. Then there are the many tour stories about breaking down in the middle of nowhere, getting into fights with band mates, good shows and making new friends. Couldn’t ask for more.

Nine World’s demo songs are currently on their myspace (myspace.com/ ninexworlds ). Be prepared for post-metal delicacies, including a chilling clip of the slaying of a false prophet from There Will Be Blood.

Matt Wigham – Drums
Jason Weidhauer – Bass
Sean Miller – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Clement – Guitar/Vocals

It seems like bands always have that one short and/or squatty and/or ugly member that just seems to hold everyone back – usually the bass player or the drummer. Not so for Pilot This Plane Down, they are all tall, slim and clean cut. They have jobs and families and are one of the older functioning bands in Salt Lake. There is something special about a band that can keep its original members for more than five years. Coty Creighton was an original member, but now drifts in and out as he sees fit. He even helped record their latest album Glory of the World, which will be released on the night of Localized.

SLUG: How has the band dynamic changed over the years?
PTPD: It started out with Chris and me making noise around one a.m. every now and then. It was literally noise – nothing but feedback, breaking things, drums and yelling for an hour straight. It was pretty nutty stuff, but we would record it onto cassette tapes and go home and listen to it over and over again thinking how great it would be to make a band out of it. We asked Matt and Coty, who were playing in another band at the time, and later Jason to come check out what we were doing and see if they wanted to be a part of it. At first, it was totally disorganized and improvisational; Ideas flew around all over the place. We talked about recording soundtracks for independent film and incorporating film or other visual media into our live performances. We really tried to blend as many mediums into what we were doing as we could. At one point we even tried to play our improv mess in real time instead of in musical measures. We all played to a giant digital timer and made changes based on different time intervals. It was a great idea on paper, and utter crap in practice. Slowly we organized the mess into something more coherent that we could reproduce live and the result was the material we put together when we recorded Airs with Andy Patterson. It was much more listenable than what we were doing before, but a lot of the improv/noise elements survived in transitioning to that first record. After Airs, the music dynamic became much more conventional. We wrote actual, individual songs instead of the 21-minute jam fest featured on Airs.

SLUG: Talk a little about the conceptual aspect to your music.
PTPD: I suppose the main theme of the new record is that life is impermanent, and whether for good or bad, it’s always changing. The theme revolves around the story of a civilization that comes to power, spreads itself too thin and eventually collapses. Dan Christofferson did an amazing job with the artwork, referencing different civilizations that have fallen over the years. There are various other themes and ideas strewn through the album, but there really isn’t any message or agenda to it at all. It was intended to be pretty broad so you can walk away from it with whatever you find.

SLUG: What about the themes of decorating or lining objects with bodies and flesh. What would be a good translation of that symbol?
PTPD: I’m not sure that it means anything in particular. I intentionally tried to be as brutal as I could with most of the lyrics, but it was only meant as part of the story, not for the sake of being all gore-metal like Chris said. I actually just referenced different historical figures bent on changing the world in their own image. The imagery of flesh and bodies wasn’t really as much symbolic as it was historic. The lyrics aren’t meant to be as gore-metal as this question makes it appear.

SLUG: Why have you chosen to be a musician? Why not express yourself in some other way?
PTPD: I don’t know if any of us consciously choose to be musicians. I don’t even know if we actually are musicians. I think we all just fell into something we enjoyed. Pilot has been nice since we’ve been able to incorporate other art forms into the music. The new record, for example, will be an enhanced CD that includes video footage that we used to project behind our live performances. There are also some remixes that Coty did of Airs, and video clips that go along with those as well.

SLUG: Tell me about Coty’s influence on the band. How does his coming and going affect how the band works together?
PTPD: Coty affected us in ways that could not be duplicated. It seems like half of our arrangements are fueled by what Coty does with them. He filled in a lot of the blanks generally found in a 4 piece band. Fortunately, we have been able to keep it together without him and our performance has faced minimal damage. We have a blast.

SLUG: Briefly talk about your relationship with Exigent Records.
PTPD: Without Exigent this album would not be. We don’t have the money to put into this. Colby Houghton, owner/operator of Exigent, has been a long-time friend of Sean’s and mine. He was interested in Pilot This Plane Down before we split the first time, when he was just gathering bands for the label. We were honored that after all this time, now that he has some really good music going, he was still interested in us. He’s not putting this out for the opportunity to make money. He’s into the art of it – which is good, because that’s all we’ll bring.

August 8th is sure to bring some noise to awaken your sleeping soul and drag you from the depths of your cantankerous filth. Who knows, you just may find that special someone lurking in the dark corners of the Urban. Whatever the case, your soul needs this concert as much as Mark Foley needs high speed internet.