Music: Up Your Sleeve by Zoo Pilot – Austin, TX

Maddi Pissed 2 Zoo Pilot is an indie alternative rock band based in Austin, TX.  They combine the classic pop sounds of bands like the Beatles, Kinks and Beach Boys with current indie sensibilities to create a unique and timeless sound.  The two main members, best friends Brad Paxton (lead vocals and guitar) and Josh Nichols (bass, keyboards, and drums) had been playing together and separately over the years before forming the band in 2012. With the group writing, recording and producing the songs from Brad’s home studio in Austin, TX, Zoo Pilot brings engaging storylines, complex arrangements and intricate melodies and harmonies back into the modern pop fold.  The group is currently preparing for a series of shows in the greater Austin area to promote their debut albums “Broken” and “Up”.
Why did you select this song as your current single?
It has pretty direct lyrics that deal with something a lot of people can relate to.  The song seems a good length for radio and moves along well with some interesting changes.  That, and it did the best on a pay-for-play radio service.  I’d like to say “because it’s the best one I’ve written” but I’m not sure that’s true.
How does this single relate to the rest of the album?
It continues the storyline of a man going through the various stages of grief after a painful breakup.  This one sounds like the “anger” stage to me – a very important and necessary part.  It helps when you stop remembering only the good qualities of a person and realize it wasn’t just you.  Most people aren’t all bad, you just share a bunch of shitty qualities together and it doesn’t work after the rose-colored glasses come off.
What was the writing process for the song?
I wrote it fairly quickly, maybe a day or two in an apartment in Flanders, New Jersey.  The lyrics and music came simultaneously.  It was the only time I ever lived with Josh (bandmate) and I don’t remember there being much furniture.  There was a good sized main room which had a lot of echo on account of the wood laminate floors and lack of things to absorb sound.  That’s good for a songwriter because you sound larger than life and more confident than you would in a carpeted closet.  Maybe that helped inspire the accusatory tone of the lyrics. Hmm…
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
Of all the songs on the album, it’s probably the most specific in terms of what was happening at the time.  For that reason, it’s easy to go back to that period in my life whenever I sing it.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
A balls to the wall face melt.  Ever see a man cry on stage?  This is your chance kids.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
ALMOST.  You’d have to listen to 15 seconds of one more song to get the whole picture.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
No video planned.  This seems like one where I’d have to really emote in it, and frankly that’s just embarrassing.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
To make myself feel better about things, because expression through other mediums seems like work.  I’d like to write something that’s considered great by more than 17 people.  The music nerd in me hopes they’ll like the chord progressions, melodies, harmonies and arrangement.  The idea that a song could connect with someone who experienced something similar is meaningful.

Brad looking straight ahead with mummy
Social Media:
“Broken” at CDBaby:
“Up” at CDBaby:   

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