Paper Airplane Pilots
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Paper Airplane Pilots

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"CMJ New Music Monthly"

...Paper Airplane Pilots' songs are all about the nuggets--poppy-scented harmonies, blissed-out licks and dreamy, half-speed breakdowns--that keep your head swirling. - CMJ New Music Monthly, Oct. 2003


...The Pilots are as gaga over the glorious convergence of girls, guitars, and string sections as anyone from Teenage Fanclub to the Elephant 6 collective. (4 out of 5 stars) -

"Reckless Records"

...You will swear that you asked out your middle school sweetheart while any one of these songs was playing. And if you're in middle school now, you'll be inspired to do so immediately. - Reckless Records

"Chicago Reader"

...Pop crinkle and jangle [that's] nearly flawless. - Chicago Reader

"#3 Record of 2003"

...Their press kit bears no shame for the band's pop and power-pop influences (Teenage Fanclub, GBV, Cheap Trick, Big Star), and I can actually say that this band seems at least capable of equaling if not surpassing some of its influences in song-writing ability, given that this is only their debut release. A very bright future is ahead for this this band. (Catherine Nicholas) - Left of the Dial

"Time Out Chicago, 7/13-20/06"

...New York can keep its preening art-rock pretenders and Los Angeles its baldly ambitious poseurs. Here in the Midwest we make power-pop, dammit, and Paper Airplane Pilots are the kind of power-pop band we can all be really proud of, particularly because they know the importance of occasionally downshifting into a moodier low gear. - Time Out Chicago


Western Automatic Music - Spade Kitty Records (2006)
History of Flying - Spade Kitty Records (2003)
Welcome to the Drunktank EP - Debris Records (2000)

Song samples on


Feeling a bit camera shy


It's the happy recollection of your older brother lending you his copy of Big Star's "Sister Lovers" when he went off to college. It's the fond memory of "Ooh La La" by The Faces playing on the car radio when you kissed your high-school sweetheart for the first time. It's the Badfinger song that nurtured you through that nasty breakup. It's the soundtrack of your life, filtered through and amplified by the pop song. Memories laced with triumph and tragedy. It's the Paper Airplane Pilots.

Western Automatic Music, Paper Airplane Pilots' second release from local imprint Spade Kitty Records pulses with enough exhuberant pop hooks and shimmering riffs that would drive Robert Pollard back to the tape machine. If Brian Wilson heard Western Automatic Music in 1966, he may never have left the sandbox.

Hailing from Chicago, Paper Airplane Pilots have been championing their unique amalgam of power pop and classic rock since Jeremiah Wallis (vocals/guitar) and Ryan Duffy (guitar/vocals) formed the first incarnation of the Pilots back in 2000. After self-releasing an EP, Welcome To The Drunk Tank, the Pilots added Jim Kompare (bass/vocals) and Tom Collier (drums/percussion) for a solid new line-up, and the group released their debut LP, The History Of Flying on Spade Kitty Records in 2003.

Fellow Chicago indie-rock purveyors and admirers are familiar with Paper Airplane Pilots by seeing them play with some of their favorite local bands (The Changes, Devin Davis, M.O.T.O.) as well as national acts (Of Montreal, The Wrens, Tobin Sprout). 2005 saw the Pilots play a hand full of East coast and Canadian dates, as well as returns to old favorites in the Midwest, and more territorial conquests are planned for 2006.

Littered with battles of the heart won and lost, Paper Airplane Pilots teem with nostalgic spirit and autumnal meanderings of times past, present, and future. Sentiment is a lost commodity in rock, but Western Automatic Music makes a case for its revival.