I had a conversation with Mike Brunetto from the New Bedford instrumental band Maritime Pilot about the band’s recent activities.
Eric: Who Is in the band and what do they do?
Mike: Michael Brunetto: guitar, Mark Arruda: guitar, Michael Connor: guitar, Nick Vuona: bass, and Henri Chandanais: drums.
Eric: How did the band form?
Mike: Maritime Pilot came to be following the end of Wood For Fire in July 2011, which Henri, Nick and myself were members of. Henri and I wanted our next band to be more along the lines of the post-rock/instrumental music that we loved and were influenced by, without being just a rehash of what we had done in Nature/Nurture. Nick texted me and asked if we had a bass player yet, and having played for the prior year in Wood For Fire with him and knowing what a good bass player he was it was a no-brainer. We played for a few weeks as a trio, and decided we needed something else to add to the music, and asked Mark if he was interested in playing. Even with two guitars we didn’t feel like the picture was complete. Connor joined up about month before our first show. Henri and I had been planning on asking him to be part of Nature/Nurture just before that band ended, and we were really into the idea of having a third guitarist. As luck would have it, he was available and interested in playing. We played our first show in November 2011 with this line-up.
Mike: It was Henri’s, though you should see the epic band-naming email we had while we were trying to come up with it. It’s equally massive and ridiculous.
Eric: How are the songs written? If they are not “about” something as instrumentals, do you try to convey different feeilings for different songs?
Mike: Sometimes they come out of jams, but normally someone has a riff and build off of that. Other times one of us has the bones of a full song demoed out and we start by learning that, and then forming it into a final piece. I don’t know if they are particularly “about” anything, but we consider them to be more like a soundtrack to an imaginary film. Since they have no vocals, I think anyone can apply their own feelings or moods or imaginary visuals to them. Maybe that adds to their enjoyment of them. Vocal-less bands can sometimes be tedious to listen to, but maybe leaving things open to your individual interpreation helps you connect with it more.
Eric: What are some of the main influences on the band?
Mike: We all love lots of different things. This band seems to be bringing out our love of Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Mono, etc. Less angry riffs, more collective sounds and ensemble playing.
Eric: Why is it instrumental and will you add vocals at some point? If you do, will it be a new person or will one of you sing?
Mike: I think we all just like instrumental music a lot. I probably listen to more post-rock/instrumental stuff than anything else these days. Not being much of a singer or lyricist myself, I find I relate to it more than other types of music. I don’t see us adding vocals but who knows…it would most likely come from one of us than from adding another person. With three guitars, things are already pretty dense.
Eric: Thanks Mike. Maritime Pilot will be playing a free show at the Blackwatch Pub on Saturday, July 21st. You can follow them on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MaritimePilot.