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SAY WHAT?(2) - EMusician

SAY WHAT?(2)

Daniel Anderson and Michael Harris. Idiot Pilot. Bedroom rock. Self-produced. 18-year-old whippers. Or snappers, we can’t decide which. Strange We Should Meet Here. Great record title. Great hair. Great sounding record. Largely undecided as to whether they can kick Steely Dan’s collective asses. ‘Nuff small talk. Read on.
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EQ: OK . . . the blurb that I got that was connected to you all sounded like a piece of unmitigated horse crap: “recorded their entire record with free software downloaded from the Web” . . . true? And if so, what software? And how the hell did y’all swing that?
IDIOT PILOT:
We recorded everything ourselves save for the vocals on about 10 or so of the 14 tracks on Pro Tools Free, which we downloaded off the Internet. Because of the lack of tracks (eight), we had to use our space as constructively as we could, so a lot of the tracks contain more than one element. We would have to put the guitar and background vocals on the same track, for example.

And we were running it on a piece of crap Windows 95 and recording whatever actual instruments were being used (guitar, bass, piano) through the mic input in the back of the computer. We used a microphone or a direct cable. Usually it would crash four or five times during each recording session. And all the programming was done using Fruity Loops, which we had a friend pirate off of Napster.

The mics that I used varied but they were generally all the same type of standard vocal mic. The kind you would use if you were performing live, nothing spectacular or professional in the least. We called them “K-Mart Mics”, because honestly they were just beat up old microphones that were sitting on the floor. Whatever mic worked that day, worked that day. I have actually yet to upgrade my mic setup on the new recordings because we haven’t started recording final vocals yet, and this time around I am doing much more direct-in on everything. I have become a huge fan of AmpliTube and AmpFarm.

EQ: And now that you’re on like this big label, are they insisting that you continue to work like this, the cheap bastards?
IP: Actually, the label would prefer that we didn’t do it ourselves, but it’s definitely the way we are most comfortable working so it is very possible we will continue to do so on future recordings. We have updated our equipment significantly since then, though. We’re now working with a Pro Tools Digi 002 setup.

EQ: OK. Lightning round: producers whose stuff you like.
IP: Nigel Godrich is an amazing producer. We are also big fans of Ross Robinson. The tones that he can get on the drums are incredible. The RZA is amazing, just plain amazing. Terry Date is also really talented, the guitar tones on all those Deftones records are like mean double-edged swords. Butch Vig is pretty dope too.

EQ: Records no one in their right mind should ever, ever listen to. At all. At any time.
IP: Muse. Linkin Park.

EQ: You’re a two-piece so, in a fight, you all versus Steely Dan.
IP: [Daniel] Well, Steely Dan are way more grizzled than I could ever hope to be so they are obviously pretty tough, however, I don’t think they would totally beat our asses because we have the whole youth and speed thing going for us.

[Michael] I’m gonna have to say us, because I may be small but I’m crazy. And Daniel has the biggest guitar arms I’ve seen.