KISKA, Pilot to Gunner

Bonfire Presents:


Pilot to Gunner

Easy Creatures

Thu, March 16, 2017

8:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Off the coast of Alaska lies the Aleutian Wilderness, a chain of sixty four volcanic islands which form the northern cap of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Toward the western end of the chain, you will find Kiska — a small, isolated, and unpopulated land mass, noted mostly for its shipwrecks, bomb craters, and active stratovolcano. Despite its rugged history, a ceaseless pounding from both man and nature, the island itself remains unfathomably beautiful.

When it came time to name their band, Philadelphia-natives Owen and Adam Staszewski (vocals / guitar, respectively), Ean Kyler (bass), and Adam Francois (drums), felt a strong connection with the existence of this island.

"It evoked an image in our heads of an isolated place separated by water from an already cold and isolated place [Alaska],” says Adam Staszewski. “The mood and sound of the album is also a reflection of the name [Kiska] — heavy, majestic, desolate, and ominous,” adds his brother Owen.

Heavy, majestic, desolate, ominous. There are no better words to describe Kiska’s self-titled, debut release. Leaving behind the more radio-friendly leanings of the quartet’s former band, Desoto Jones, the musicians reinvented themselves with Kiska, pursuing a heavier, more dynamic, and frenetic direction.

“Everything we’ve done in the past has shaped us,” says Staszewski. “Our past successes, mistakes, and missteps have all contributed to what we really wanted to be doing musically. We wanted to write an album that would speak for our new identity as Kiska and be a cohesive set of songs. It is really exciting to be a new band without dragging ten years of history behind us.”

In comparative terms, sonically the record falls in the general vicinity of bands like Jawbox, Failure, Rival Schools, and Hum — driving, dynamic, and aggressive, but with clean and resounding choruses. A delicate balance of space, power, grit, and color.

“We did our best to consider the role of all the instruments within each song,” says Staszewski, “as a four piece, we felt that each part was completely integral to the aesthetics of the song as a whole.” This palpable sense of simplicity gives Kiska the necessary breathing room to explore a full range of dynamics — both musically and lyrically. While listening to the record, many curious lines (ex: “the earth is no place to be,” “am I dead or sleeping,” “your soul is too cheap to sell”) are presented as glimpses into an existence beyond our own.

“I’ve always had an interest in unexplained phenomena,” explains vocalist Owen Staszewski, “even as a child, but it wasn’t until I got older that I realized there is something really big at play. These ideas of being unwilling pawns in an interstellar drama are woven thematically into the record — that combined with a sense of social unravelling, spiritual self-questioning, and the endless endeavor of liberating oneself of the ever destructive human ego.”

Heavy ideas tackled on a heavy record — a formula reminiscent of a legacy of noisemakers from all eras.

Spartan Records is proud to partner with Kiska on their debut release and cannot wait for fans, both loyal and new, to embark on this one-of-a-kind sonic journey. Please stayed tuned to for updates, song premiers, and release news. Thank you for listening.
Pilot to Gunner
Pilot to Gunner
-| Commenced activities May 1998, New York City.
-| Released Hit the Ground and Hum EP on San Francisco upstart Metoo! Records (Eric's Trip) in early 1999. Produced by Geoff Turner at WGNS in Washington, DC (Girls Against Boys, Shudder To Think, Jawbox).
-| Tours up and down Eastern Seaboard and Central states, including shows with Hot Water Music, The Dismemberment Plan, Cursive, Superdrag, Bright Eyes, Atom and His Package, Q and not U, Ann Beretta, Small Brown Bike, Engine Down, Ultimate Fakebook, Hot Rod Circuit, The Van Pelt, Radio 4, Lifter Puller, The Swirlies, The Rapture, and Atombombpocket-knife have endangered the existence of copies of the EP.
-| Released 7" early winter 2001 as debut release for SincAudio, the label founded by Scott Sinclair, whose paintings grace the covers of all Hot Water Music releases. Features two tracks from 1999 session at Rare Book Room (Les Savy Fav, The Lapse) with Turner and Nick Vernhes.
-| Games at High Speeds, recorded at Fort Apache (Pixies, Billy Bragg, Buffalo Tom] with Brian Brown (Juliana Hatfield) released on Gern Blandsten Records (The Van Pelt, Chisel, Garden Variety, Radio 4) . Completed two tours (Eastern US , South, Central, Canada) in Summer 2001. Van stolen September 2001. Toured Eastern Seaboard, South late November/Early December 2001. Played over 100 shows in 2001.
-| Games at High Speeds ups the ante on its predecessors in every way, at once making good on and blowing apart comparisons to WIRE, MISSION OF BURMA, POLVO, BLUETIP, NATION OF ULYSSES, and JAWBOX.
-| Building Records is proud to release Games at High Speeds with a bonus track in Australia, with an accompanying tour to take place in September 2002.

-| Pilot to Gunner is: Scott V. Padden- Vocals, Guitar, Patrick Hegarty- Guitar, Vocals, Kurt L.
Herrmann- Drum Kit, Martin McLoughlin- Bass Guitar
Easy Creatures
Easy Creatures
When Philadelphians Jeff Tirabassi, Joey Simpers, and Mark McKinney set out to form Easy Creatures, it was a rekindling of a decades-long relationship.

Simpers and Tirabassi once formed the rhythm section of 90’s post-hardcore outfit Walleye, while McKinney wrote and played guitar in the melodic and emotive Railhed. Both bands — having toured the U.S. and released 7”s and LPs on Jade Tree — had achieved a modicum of notoriety beyond the confines of their home First State before calling it a day and pursuing life outside of music. Twenty years, three kids, five restaurants and a skate shop later, the friends returned to the practice space.

As is often the case with old mates, Easy Creatures’ sound is like picking up where you left off, but at the same time having something new and engaging to say. In 2014, the band released a split 7” with Chicago’s All Eyes West (Jump Start).

With the addition of singer Greg Polard (vocalist for the straight edge hardcore band One Up in the early 2000’s) and Paul Butterly (Kill Verona/Little League) Easy Creatures has recorded four new songs at Gradwell Studios with Steve Poponi (Fight Amp, Jazz June) which captures the essence of the band’s melodic power.

After releasing their "Low Fidelity EP' on Self Aware Records and playing consistently to support it, Easy Creatures decided to take stock with a State of the Nation for the band. Resulting in the decision to concentrate their efforts on writing a proper full length LP and looking to their roots for genuine influence. Dropping a guitar player and taking notes from the late great catalogs of Government Issue, Dag Nasty, American Standard and Verbal Assault, the quartet plans on entering the Magpie Cage Studios with J Robbins at the helm in late May.
Venue Information:
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107