For the record, what is your name and what did you play in Hidden In Plain View?
Rob Freeman - I played guitar and did some vocals
Your new record Resolution comes out on Tuesday. Are you more satisfied with it than you were with Life In Dreaming?
This is a really tough question based on the fact that so much drama was going on around the record. I mean they are two completely different records so it's very hard to compare the two. I really love the songs on "Resolution" but I can't say that I am satisfied. I mean would you feel satisfied if your band broke up? I feel bad saying that I am not happy with the record because I feel like in a way that it insults the people that worked on the record and that is the last thing that I would ever want to do. Brian Mcternan is not only the greatest producer that I ever worked with but he is one of the greatest people I have ever met. You have to understand that the band was on the verge of breaking up before we even left for the studio with members threatening to quit and others being very distant from the group, it was a very low point for the band. What people don't realize is that the producer's job is a whole lot more than just pushing buttons and figuring out vocal harmonies. Sometimes it's more about keeping a band alive. In this case Brian deserves a fucking gold medal because it really is amazing that we even really got a record done considering all of the circumstances.
I'm just not satisfied because I feel like we never really got to complete the record. With so much confusion and drama going on during the recording process things were definitely over looked, probably because we spent more studio time looking at the big picture trying to keep our band together (which obviously was the most important thing) but by doing so it became a very big distraction when it came time to record. For example because I wrote all the lyrics and melodies for the group and a lot of vocals were being written for newer songs while we were in the studio, Joe would be learning the parts in the studio. So after 2 months of recording on the last day that we were in the studio it was just Brian, Joe and me and we left there thinking that we took care of all of the vocals for the record and everything was done. But when we got the mixes back we realized that there wasn't a good balance in the vocals and that we needed more of Joe's voice on the record. So we actually started re-cutting some of the vocals at my studio. Unfortunately we disbanded before we got to finish the job so the tracks were left unaltered for the release.
With The Pilot starting to take up a lot of your time when you where in Hidden In Plain View, did that effect your musical views with the other members of the band and did that eventually lead to creative differences through out the recording process of the new album?
The Pilot never pulled me away from HIPV. HIPV was always my first priority and I think that my work ethic for the group basically speaks for itself. As it always said on The Pilot website, The Pilot was just for the fun and love of making music. It only became more serious after HIPV broke up. I write songs constantly and so a lot of the songs that I wrote wouldn't work for HIPV or the other guys just were not into the tunes (if you listen to the older Pilot stuff its pretty obvious how different the sound was). I didn't take offense to it but instead of just throwing the songs away, I put them up on Myspace. Actually I think by having The Pilot it helped with any creative differences because it acted as an outlet to release some of my softer or different songs.
Were there any other reasons why you guys decided to break up besides wanting to do other things?
There were just a lot of communication problems mostly because people weren't being honest with each other. We weren't seeing eye to eye on a lot issues which turned into these stupid arguments. Bottom line is we just weren't happy anymore as a band and I think everybody just got really tired of holding thing together and trying to make things work. It's so hard to be in a band, ask any band out there. Everybody from the outside looking in sees it all as fun and games. Yeah it IS a lot of fun, so much fun in the world sometimes, but seriously the music industry is so hard sometimes. There was a great deal of pressure on us to have a solid follow up release and people just handled that differently. I didn't want the band to split up. I mean if you read my lyrics on the new record it's quite clear. Bendy, Our Time, Hear Me Out, Circles, all songs about the band, how far we came and how much we had to look forward to. But in the end there just wasn't enough fun to keep us afloat anymore. The bad out weighed the good and that was when I knew it was over.
What are the other members of the band up to now? Have they started any other groups?
Mike aka Ron is in a band called The Farm League. Definitely check them out, it's really good stuff. Spencer is playing drums for Charlotte Sometimes and that's also really good stuff to check out. Chris started a group called Hotline. I haven't heard any jams yet but I'm looking forward to it. Joe moved to Philadelphia and is getting married but I haven't heard about any new music projects.
I read somewhere last summer that Resolution originally had a release date of October 31st. Was there any specific reason why the label kept pushing it back?
Well that was the original release date but like I said we decided to go back into the studio and retrack some vocals. So that was the big reason for the record being pushed back.
Is it true that you recorded a large portion of the new album by yourself as the rest of the band gave up on it so you had to complete it by yourself? And if so, will your new project The Pilot resemble the direction that Resolution was in?
Gotta love rumors. No, that is not true. The Pilot has 5 members including myself so the record is not gonna sound like Resolution. Maybe you'll hear a resemblence in some of the vocal work but everything else is a whole new collaboration with new musicians.
What do you think of the state of Drive-Thru Records at the moment now that arguably two of their best bands have decided to go their own ways?
I was really sad to hear that TEN took a break. We had a really great history together. But once Richard Reines releases his solo project and launches his world tour, look out!! Haha!!
Are you glad you are still signed to Drive-Thru with The Pilot or would you have hoped to test the waters to see if there was any interest from other labels?
Of course I'm glad. I have a long and great relationship with all the people at DTR especially Richard and Stefanie. From sleeping on their couch when I was 18 out on tour with Face First to selling almost 100,000 records together. We have made a lot of great memories together and I'm looking forward to making more. And they are from Jersey, I wouldn't trust anybody else hehe.
How have your influences changed from writing in Hidden In Plain View to The Pilot?
I always just write about whats going on around me. I never set out to write a certain song. I try not to force anything and just let it come out naturally.
When can we expect an album and tour with The Pilot?
Sooner the better. I am working with Drive-Thru now on trying to put together something as soon as possible.
Along with your new band, you've also been working with other bands. Do you have any upcoming projects you're helping out with that you can tell us about?
Yeah absolutely. I have been working with some great new bands and few that you have already heard about. I recently did some new material for Hit the Lights which is so incredible. Some new songs for Houston Calls which is equally as bad-ass!! I did some new stuff for Racing Kites which is really great and you can check out on their myspace. Also check out Parade The Day and pick up their new EP along with The Crosstown Rivalry and pick up their EP as well. I am very lucky to get to work with a ton of great bands that you can usually find more info about through my website www.thepilotmusic.com (launches August 1st) and I'm always looking to work with new people if any bands or acts are interested they should definitely get in touch.
Now for the last question..are there any chances for a farewell tour any time soon?
I can't say that I see it in the very near future. But ya never know!!
That's about it. Anything you want to say to the people reading this?
To the fans thank you so much for all of the support over the years. Without our fans we would have never left our practice space in Chris' parents basement. I really feel like we let you down when we broke up and for that I am so sorry. I really wish things could have worked out. Thanks for all of the wonderful memories and please keep in touch.
i bought the cd today and found myself wondering what the state of the band was like while it was being recorded. the first question confirms my suspicions, but it still seems hard to believe that these songs were recorded in such an atmosphere! they just seem so, like, bright, and energetic. great cd though and i'm SO bummed they're over. this is probably the band that i am the most glad i got to see live before they broke up.
this band was why i kept my dreams high with my music, we even have our band named after their lyrics, pretty much my biggest influence and i just love them, can't take it that they're not together anymore but while they wouldn't probably come to play in Poland i'm so glad that they recorded this new album. it's really awesome that they released it, even not fully happy with the material, i think it's really great.. and yeah, rob sings a lot on resolution, that's true.. can't wait for the pilot album
This cd is amazing... I read the other interviews with 4 of the other members (how come Spencer wasn't interviewed at all I wonder), and it seems a majority of the problems probably stemmed from Joe... but that's just me. I love this album though.