Take Me To The Pilot
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Take Me To The Pilot

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Pop Rock


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




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"Take Me To The Pilot"

Take Me To The Pilot are a Canadian pop/rock band that have been slowly rising in popularity here in Canada. They have opened for big bands and have gone on several tours across the country to promote themselves and their two EPs. Their recent “What Makes You” tour brought them back to Montreal for the second time this year. That’s when I had the chance to chat with the band and get to know the four guys that brought together TMTTP.

CONFRONT: Can I have a little history 101 for people who might not know who you are?

JON: Mike was first, and then Adam and then Eric and then me! It started out as an acoustic act that turned into a three-piece acoustic act that turned into a band. The band was always the intention.

CONFRONT: And I read that Eric got in through MySpace?

ERIC: I answered a casting call and at the time, the role was filled and I didn’t really think about after but a few months later, I got a call in the middle of the night from Mike asking if I wanted to join the band.

CONFRONT: Well it worked out then! And anyway, today’s generation revolves around the internet. How do you think it has affected the music industry?

MIKE: It’s made it both easier and more difficult. It’s easier to do stuff so more bands are doing it because of how easy it is to put out your own record.You need something that stands out.

ADAM: We utilize the tools today but we definitely have the old fashioned DIY approach to music. Our philosophy is you have to play a lot of shows and you have to personally interact with all these people because anyone can put their music out there and spam it on the internet. And we want to span it to the world in person.

CONFRONT: That’s a good philosophy. And to do it, you tour a lot, do you think that’s really important?

MIKE: Totally! It’s one thing to listen to our record but to get the band, you have to see us live.

ADAM: I think people are making a mistake if they believe that music is about making records. Records facilitate your live show because someone can have something that they can take home so the next time they can sing along. I think that’s definitely something we try to put across in our show as well as anytime we speak to anyone. Being a musician is about playing shows, not about recording in your basement.

CONFRONT: That’s true. And do you think it’s still important to get signed nowadays?

MIKE: There’s a lot of benefits but because of the music climate, it’s kind of dangerous. It’s easier than ever to get taken advantage of and I think they key is if you’re going to get signed, don’t do it out of desperation. Don’t chase labels down. Wait for them to come to you and sign a deal that you’re happy with. Make sure that you’re comfortable with things. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in it.

JON: It seems like most people get signed for financial support. Labels are pretty much banks and we’ve been able to do most of it ourselves. Not that it’s easy to do it but the fact that we can do it ourselves, we don’t necessarily need someone to give us money and have to owe them for years.

ADAM: A record label nowadays looks good on paper because people traditionally think that having a record label means that you’re a legitimate band but the reality is that a lot of bands today that still tour and play hundreds of shows a year and sell hundreds of thousands of records, in the 80s, they would’ve lived in mansions.

MIKE: But labels also allow you to go on bigger tours instantly. It’s a step up.

ADAM: It’s the credibility to have a label because people don’t realize that you don’t need one so they still look at this traditional model even though the industry has changed.

CONFRONT: That’s true. Anyway, people always seem to get into conflicts with their labels and stuff.

ERIC: That’s nothing new though, I feel like that happens when people sign something without reading through it properly.

MIKE: Exactly. You got to sign the right deal.

JON: If someone does it right away because they don’t care what they sound like and they just want to get big, then they should be ready to follow what the label wants them to do, right?

CONFRONT: And where do you stand right now?

MIKE: We’re not looking but if somebody were to offer us the right deal, I don’t think there would be any hesitation, at least not on my part!

ADAM: We certainly don’t want to change anything but we definitely would like help to be able to do what we want to do.

JON: Connections help is always the best over financial help.

ADAM: Yeah we don’t need a label necessarily because we like to do things ourselves; we’re not the type of people who sit back and let others do our work. We like having full control. Really, what we need is an investor and that’s all a label would really be for us.

CONFRONT: Yeah you guys have released two EPs on your own anyway! And actually, why have you released two EPs rather than a full-length album?

MIKE: It just made sense! If we released a full-length, I think there would be a lot of fillers. We just wanted to make sure that the songs were all good enough on their own. We wanted 7 stand-alone tracks as opposed to 12 songs that are being carried by the one or two singles off the record. It just made more sense. And a full-length is just so much more time, effort and money. For a band in our shoes to make a full-length, you got to believe in doing that specifically and it just made more sense to do it this way.

CONFRONT: And nowadays, people’s attention spans are really short.

ADAM: Absolutely. If you’re really smart, you’d release things more often. But when we were in the studio, we weren’t sure what we were recording. We just started recording, we ended up with 7 songs so we released 7 songs. It could’ve turned out being a full-length. We didn’t go there with a specific intention.

CONFRONT: That’s good because you don’t feel pressured or any restraints. And what song do you think represents the second EP as a whole?

ADAM: I’d say ‘Traveling Heart’ because it’s got a bit of everything.

JON: Yeah it’s got three sections to it.

ADAM: It kind of follows the history of the band too. It starts off acoustically and it slowly builds up to this big sound.

MIKE: It’s probably more different than most of our other tracks too. It captures the change and the growth.

ERIC: And a lot of people can relate to it in different ways because it’s a song about missing something you care about. So people always find some kind of connection to that and I think that’s the coolest thing about that song.

ADAM: There was a woman in the states who said her husband or her boyfriend was away overseas in the military and that song brought her to tears by the lyrical content of it. Hearing stuff like that is always cool.

CONFRONT: Aw that is so cute! And what has been your biggest accomplishment this past year?

MIKE: Everything, as a whole. It’s been so many small steps but when you add those up, you realize what you’ve done.

ADAM: Yeah it’s hard to really notice it as you’re doing it until you kind of take a minute to look back and see how far you’ve come.

MIKE: But I think the album charting was really cool. That was a very…

ADAM: Surreal thing.

MIKE: Yeah! It was an obvious statement as far as how far we’ve come and the work we’ve put it. That was a way for us to physically see it paying off.

CONFRONT: Aw that’s so cute! Now, I’m going to ask my last question which is to draw something that represents you.

ADAM: This is my terrible rendition of our logo. We call it the alien wings design because we kind of started off with the center part there and then I wanted to make it a little more elaborate because I was drawing it to put on a hoodie. When I drew it, my dad came in and he thought it was a flying saucer because we have pilot wings pins so I kind of looked at it and thought it could be some kind of wings. It’s just geometry though. I’ve just been fascinated by geometry to I just draw geometry.

CONFRONT: It kind of reminds me of Harry Potter though.

ADAM: It’s just because it’s popular culture. If you show this exact same thing to people every 10 years, be getting different things. You can see the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda if you take off some stuff. It’s basic geometric shapes and I think people will look at them and find different symbolisms so it’s kind of the idea. I put it out there and people are always asking me what it means but it’s really just geometry.

MIKE: I drew the only thing I can draw! You can tell by how good it is. I can’t even draw stick figures.

ADAM: Jon is an expert at drawing stick figures. - Confront Magazine

"Take Me To The Pilot – Smart, Driven…Fun!"

Hey guys! I don’t normally write blogs which are really just an encouragement to go read another blog but I’ll make an exception. Take Me To The Pilot, a pop-punk band out of Winnipeg, is a group of awesome guys who I’ve had the privilege of hangin with a few times this year. I’ve seen them live more often than I’ve seen any other act in my life…which is kinda crazy, since I’ve seen a lot of artists more than once. Their music is really catchy, they’re charming, they’re fun…if I could choose someone to hang out with for three months and make an artist-documentary, it would be them.

Mike (vocals, guitar) recently wrote a blog explaining why they’ve been so vocal recently – tweeting, facebooking, encouraging fans to be active. It’s really just a reminder – they HAVE an active dedicated fanbase (which would probably be 20 times bigger if they had the radio play and publicity they deserve) – but it’s a good one. Here’s a snip:

The only way we can succeed in this industry is by proving to music execs that we are ‘the real deal’, meaning ‘something they can sell’. The only way to do that is by being profitable and successful without them, which is a hell of a task.

They are smart guys, as you’ll see if you read their blog (posted December 8th…if I could link directly I would!!!). Even if pop music isn’t your thing, please take a few seconds and read what Mike has to say. He’s figured out the modern music industry and is working hard to succeed against all odds. - Under the Pink

"Take Me To The Pilot – What About The Time"

Canada’s own Winnipeg based rockers, Take Me To The Pilot, have just released a new video for their latest single, What About The Time. This pop-rock track comes from the bands upcoming EP What Makes You. On the bands official MySpace band page, they had this to say about their sound,“We straddle the line between pop/punk-based rock and pure pop music. Our songs have guitars you can rock out to but also feature beats you can dance to. There’s no pretense and no worries: it’s music with hooks you can sing, lyrics you’ll remember and is simply a whole lot of fun”. Lead singer and guitarist Mike Belinki says that “We don’t just want people to listen. We want them to care about the music”. This track is guaranteed to make you move and connect with the music! Enjoy bestfans! - Bestfan

"Take Me To The Pilot - EP Release Tour"

Take Me To The Pilot is a band from Winnipeg, who is doing an eastern Canadian tour. They played Newmarkets' The Jam Spot on June 23rd along with local acts, Commonwealth, Blueshift Protocol and Brady O'Sullivan.
The concert was put on by a new entertainment company "Liquid Fire Entertainment" which also acts as a Record Label and Management company. It is owned and operated by Michael Racioppo, a young entrepreneur from King City, who previously played in local bands in York region. - Snap Newmarket

"“Take Me To The Pilot” Plays The Mansion July 4, #3 Debut on iTunes"

The Winnipeg band Take Me to the Pilot, self-described as “a rock band that plays pop music”, will be playing in Kingston at The Mansion on Wednesday, July 4th to introduce fans to their sophomore EP “What Makes You“.

This event follows the group’s performance to a sold-out hometown crowd that coincided with the EP’s release date debut at #3 on the iTunes Canada Pop Album chart and #21 overall.

The band’s new single “What About The Time” has also began playing on radios across Canada with its video (embedded below) being distributed to major National television stations.

Take Me To The Pilot formed in 2009 and includes guitarist/vocalist Mike Bilenki, guitarist Eric Grabowecky, bassist/vocalist Adam Brown and drummer Jon Stanners.

Though the band’s ultimate goal is to reach as wide an audience as they can, the boys are ensuring that their career happens on their terms. This is especially true when it comes to their blistering live show, the goal of which is to ‘Hit it as hard as we possibly can.’

The songs may be pop, but to Take Me To The Pilot, theirs is still a rock show, and they only consider it a success when the crowd leaves covered in sweat wearing huge smiles.

The band appears at the Mansion (506 Princess Street), along with Fairview and Man Club, from 7pm to 10pm on Wednesday July 4th. - Kingston Herald

"Review: Take Me To The Pilot - Take Me To The Pilot EP"

From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Take Me To The Pilot has definitely been making an impression in the music scene.

The band, consisting of Mike Bilenki (vocals / guitar), Eric Grabowecky (guitar), Adam Brown (bass / backing vocals) and Jonathan James (drums) started in 2009. And, since then they have been establishing a nice fan base all over the world.

The band released their first EP, titled Take Me To The Pilot, on June 22nd 2010. And, it was a hit. The EP received five star ratings all over iTunes, even gaining comments such as, "they sound excellent on iTunes but they sound even better live" and "awesome band".

These four young men have done quite a bit already which leaves the question of 'what can they possibly do next'? Their hit song Tonight appeared on Muchmusic's show Degrassi and these guys have already shared the stage with big names such as Fefe Dobson, These Kids Wear Crowns, Stereos, Everest and many, many more.

On Take Me To The Pilot's Facebook page the band discussed their genre further, stating, "We straddle the line between pop/punk based rock and pure pop music. Our songs have guitars you can rock out to but also feature beats you can dance to. There's no pretence and no worries: it's music with hooks you can sing, lyrics you'll remember and is simply a whole lot of fun. After being part of a classic rock band for four years, it was time for a change. I just write whatever comes out, no pretences, no expectations. Those are the songs you hear on Take Me To The Pilot."

So, with this release already a huge success, I cannot wait to hear when they will release their next EP or CD.

The self-titled EP, Take Me To The Pilot, is one worth picking up on iTunes. It is evident this band is in it for good and they are certainly a bunch of talented guys. And, I cannot wait to see their exciting future.

Rating: 10/10 - Basement Entertainment

"Interview w/ Take Me To The Pilot"

Mike Bilenki (vocals / guitar), Adam Brown (bass / backing vocals), Eric Grabowecky (guitar) and Jonathan James (drums) are the four talented guys behind Take Me To The Pilot.

From Winnipeg, Manitoba, this band is certainly one of those bands you will want to follow, if not already. Since starting in 2009, Take Me To The Pilot have already put some incredible achievements behind them.

Take Me To The Pilot recorded their debut, self-titled EP, released in 2010, with the supervision of their manager at Paradise Alley Productions. Among that, these guys have been on five successful tours, some of which with sold out shows. On top of that, their music has received rotation on some major Canadian stations. And, their hit song Tonight even appeared in Muchmusic's show Degrassi. The guys have also shared the stage with big names such as Fefe Dobson, These Kids Wear Crowns, Stereos, Everest and many, many more! With their fan base steadily growing it was no surprise these guys scored a deal with The Agency Group in early 2011.

The band's Facebook biography provides even more insight into this band and their vision. It states, "We straddle the line between pop/punk based rock and pure pop music. Our songs have guitars you can rock out to but also feature beats you can dance to. There's no pretence and no worries: it's music with hooks you can sing, lyrics you'll remember and is simply a whole lot of fun. After being part of a classic rock band for four years, it was time for a change. I just write whatever comes out, no pretences, no expectations. Those are the songs you hear on Take Me To The Pilot."

So, with one "awe-inspiring, dynamic and virulent" EP already out, we can only wait to see what they will bring on their next EP, set to be released in mid 2012.

As vocalist Mike Bilenki stated on their Facebook page, "Anybody can hear a song but if it can affect you on a level where it stirs something up, that's when it's truly powerful. Fifty people will listen to one song and hear a million different things. If the song connects with all of them on any level, then through that song, those fifty people ultimately become the same person. Moments like that are why we do what we do and that's what Take Me To The Pilot is all about. I dare you to find four guys who are more stoked about doing what we do." And, with what they have shown us already, it is clear these guys are in it forever.

I know I cannot wait to hear their new EP, coming soon. But, as we wait for it to arrive check out the interview we did with these four when they dropped by Basement Entertainment on March 23rd 2012. - Basement Entertainment

"Take Me To The Pilot to play here"

The pop band Take Me To The Pilot is landing in Red Deer for a Friday performance.

The Winnipeg band that’s toured with Fefe Dobson, These Kids Wear Crowns, Alyssa Reid, The New Cities and Neverest, will play at the Slumland Theatre, 4732 Ross St.

The band’s music has been featured on Degrassi, MuchMusic, YTV and Metro 14. As well, the single Green Eyes, from Take Me To the Pilot’s self-titled debut CD, has been chosen for Manitoba’s United Way Campaign. The band plans to donate all iTunes profits made from the song to the charity during its campaign. - Red Deer Advocate

"10 Questions with Take Me To The Pilot"

Where did the name Take Me To The Pilot come from?
The name simply popped out one day. Naming a band properly can be one of the hardest parts of the process, and we were lucky enough to come up with one that works. Orginally it is the name of an Elton John song, though.

How long have you been together as a band?
Well as a band we have been together since April 2010, however various acoustic incarnations were around much longer. Officially, Mike started TMTTP as an acoustic project in February 2009 and it's grown from there.

What have been some of your biggest accomplishments so far?
Well we've been lucky enough to be able to tour, hook up with award-winning producer Dale Penner (Nickelback, Holly McNarland) for a development/management deal, and were even included in a vote for the upcoming season of disBAND:Discovered on MuchMusic. Ultimately, though, we consider our fan base to be our greatest accomplishment. We have the most amazing fans that are more like family than anything. We love them to death.

What is your favourite song to perform live, and why?
I think this changes every night. For us, it's any song that let's us hit our stride, connect with the audience and really get people invested in what we're doing. Some nights it's a specific song or two, others it's every song in the set. We just love to play.

How would you describe your fans?
Our fans make what we do worthwhile. To know there are people out there who are connecting with the music we make is why we do what we do.

What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
We can't wait to get out on the road. We are always looking to get our music heard by new people and having new adventures on the road. We hope to play our biggest shows yet and to tour coast-to-coast. We also hope to get back in the studio in the new year and record some of the songs that didn't make the EP.

What is your favourite venue to play in Toronto?
Well, we have only played in Toronto once before, at The Supermarket. Therefore I suppose that it would be our favorite by default. Really though, our favorite venue is the one where YOU come to the show.

Where is your favourite spot inpthe city to grab a drink and hangout as a band?
We had a killer time at the Tattoo Rock Parlour last time we were in town. We got to meet Gene Simmons and Bruce Springsteen, and the drinks weren't bad either! We also spent 3 days on Queen Street which was super rad. The shopping and food were killer and Mike got a tattoo at Adrenaline. Toronto kicks ass.

What has been the craziest fan moment to date?
I think it had to have been in Sudbury on our last tour. We showed up at a high school in a town we had never played in before and did two sets following their student council speeches. Those kids went NUTS. I can honestly say I know what it's like to be Justin Bieber. All this for a band they had never seen before. We were definitely stoked.

For people seeing you live for the first time at our showcase on December 1st, what can they expect?
People can expect four guys who will give their all to make sure that everybody in that room has a damn good time. The music is gonna be hooky, loud and heartfelt and the sweat is gonna pour. Expect to dance and scream and sing your ass off. - LiveMusicTO

"Winnipeg band Take Me To The Pilot says "Bring on The Snow""

Mike Bilenki, Adam Brown, Eric Grabowecky and Jon James make up the band Take Me To The Pilot. Over the last 10 days they've been extremely busy getting ready for the holidays. They've been posting a video every day on facebook showing them doing something special to help celebrate Christmas.

The band's "12 days of Christmas" have included special Christmas cards from the band, and auctions of CD's to raise money for various charities.

On day three, Take Me To The Pilot recorded a special seasonal song called "Bring on the Snow". Mike Bilenki wrote it after reading one of his favourite cartoons, Calvin & Hobbes. The message is about appreciating your family and friends. - CBC

"#GiveYourGifts – presented by MTS"

We know Winnipeg is one of the most generous cities in the world – we all give what we can. There’s nothing that we won’t share to help out our fellow Winnipeggers.

And it’s got musician James Struthers inspired.

On December 13th, he’s putting on the first ever #GiveYourGifts concert at the Garrick, presented by MTS with proceeds going to United Way of Winnipeg.

James, along with The Treble, Dane Bjornson, and Take Me To The Pilot (singers of the amazing Green Eyes song in our campaign video), are not just giving their musical talent by performing. They’re each giving time by volunteering with a United Way agency partner leading up to the concert!

“#GiveYourGifts is about sharing your talents to make a difference in the community, because big or small, we all have something to offer,” says James. We couldn’t agree more! - United Way Winnipeg

"Believe in Winnipeg!"

From the first time I heard Take Me to the Pilot’s “Green Eyes” I knew it had a greater purpose. I mean it. It was just so brilliant and perfect. I always told myself that if there was ever an opportunity to use it for a good cause I would jump at it.

So… I sit down with some of my United Way friends one day and topic of a new campaign video comes up.

It was meant to be.

I wanted that song more than anything else in the world. It’s the perfect message. I then thought of some of the brilliant speakers I’ve had the pleasure of hearing tell their stories on behalf of the United Way over the years. I asked a few to share their powerful message with us, and boom, we had a video. Winnipeg in all its beauty served as our backdrop for I hope will be an impactful and uplifting video.

Be well.

- Ace Burpee - United Way Winnipeg

"Download our song “Green Eyes” and support United Way"

We are thrilled to have United Way use our song “Green Eyes” as part of their 2012 campaign. Check out the video the song is featured in – the stories are powerful. Both the song and United Way are all about providing a second chance, a way for people to make their lives better. To show our support for United Way and the good work they make possible we will be donating 100% of the iTunes profits from “Green Eyes” from now until the end of the campaign in January 2013.

To download the song for $0.99, go to our page on the iTunes website and find “Green Eyes”.

Thank you!

Mike, Eric, Adam and Jon from Take Me To The Pilot - United Way Winnipeg

"Take Me To The Pilot ‘Tonight’ Video"

Take Me To The Pilot are out with the music video to their new single ‘Tonight’, featuring Degrassi. The song is off the Canadian pop rock band’s follow-up to their debut EP, due out in May. Watch the Jarrod Tully directed video via YouTube below. - Pop Dirt


Take Me To The Pilot's official music video for their single 'Tonight'. the band currently on tour across Canada with The New Cities, check www.facebook.com/takemetothepilot for tour dates, music and more!, video can be viewed below. - This Time Easy Core


Canadian Take Me To The Pilot have just dropped new EP "What Makes You" along with new Video for their song "What About The Time", for fans of easy listening pop punk / rock music, you gotta check em out, stream and watch their brand new EP and Video right below. - This Time Easy Core

"Take Me To The Pilot on Indie Studio on 92.9 KICK FM!"

Hello there!!

I am so excited and proud to let you know the boys of Take Me To The Pilot will be the guests on the April 3rd edition of Indie Studio on 92.9 KICK FM. They have been up to a TON including showcases at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, touring all over the country and filming their first music video (scroll down for that). We'll chat about all they've been doing/have coming up, throw on a few tunes from their debut EP and be graced with a live in-studio performance!

Hop on Facebook and 'Like' Indie Studio on 92.9 KICK FM to keep updated and suggest who you think should be on the show in the coming weeks. Also get a preview of the band HERE.

Local music...lets spread the word!! - BE:Cause Industries

"Take Me To The Pilot - Tour Videos"

Here are a couple of videos from Take Me To The Pilot's summer tour withBrighter Brightest! Be sure to check them out in Winnipeg on August 19 at the Park Theatre! In the meantime, Check these out! - BE:Cause Industries

"Take Me To The Pilot - Tonight"

Take Me To The Pilot play this some live on Feb. 17th at the Ellice Theatre! Check out the Facebook event page HERE! - BE:Cause Industries


Take Me To The Pilot, a new four-piece pop punk act from Winnipeg,They have a new, self-titled EP created with the help of Dale Penner (Nickelback, Holly McNarland), Dale Penner gave us one of official video from these band.. check them out..
visit thier facebook and myspace page to find great feature from these guys.. - This Time Easy Core

"Take Me To The Pilot ‘Call the Cops’ Video"

Take Me To The Pilot are out with the music video to their new single ‘Call the Cops’, off the Canadian pop rock band’s self-titled debut EP. Watch the Bre Major directed video via YouTube below.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uZg_N7D-4CY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> - Pop Dirt

"Take them to L3"

Mike Bilenki knows the virtues of patience and hard work.
The guitarist and vocalist for Winnipeg-based Take Me To The Pilot, which rolls into L3 in St. Catharines as part of the Rock the Walls 2012 Wintour Feb. 28, has been preaching both since the band was founded in 2009.

“I was excited about the songs I was coming up with, so I wanted to find a way to bring the songs outs of my dingy basement and bring them to life on stage,” he recalls.

So began the process of picking a band. Over the course of a few months, he put together a lineup of bassist Adam Brown, an acquaintance from the Winnipeg music scene, guitarist Eric Grabowecky, who got wind of the group looking for a guitarist, and drummer Richard Eliuk, who was replaced in 2010 by Jon Stanners, a friend of the band’s merchandise guy. And while they didn’t have any bond before, it didn’t take long for the band to come to life.

“I think it just happened naturally,” said Bilenki. “Things seemed to come together quickly, but I think even today we’re still working on it. You should always be growing and trying to improve what you’re doing.”

The band plays what Bilenki describes as “pop, or even power pop, music.” While their influences are mixed between pop, punk and rock, Bilenki said the pop genre seemed to be the best fit.
“We do straddle that line, but I think we realized that we couldn’t really add anything to the pop/punk genre,” said Bilenki. “So we focused on the power pop. We do get up there and rock at our shows, though.”

Those shows have taken them across the nation. Bilenki said they’ve worked hard on the road, having performed hundreds of shows over the years to support their self-titled EP. They work just as hard as the big names in the business – without the perks.

“I think we played as many shows as Taylor Swift last year — those shows were played to a lot less people and we made a lot less money, but we worked hard and we have a good time doing them,” he said, adding one of the more memorable experiences was a couple of shows last March as part of Canadian Music Week festivities.

They’ve also worked hard to spread the word via social media. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, and iTunes have helped further their reach. For instance, one of their new songs is available for download via their website right now. The cost? Only a Tweet to say you are listening to it.

They’ve also picked up new fans thanks to their song Tonight being featured during the hit TV show Degrassi last summer. The song was featured during the credits of the show, and the band had their name and another song featured in a quick 30-second clip after the show.

“It was so amazing. Our song was the background to a big emotional moment and there wasn’t any dialogue, so it was a great opportunity,” said Bilenki. “Our iTunes downloads really took off and it actually helped us build up some listeners in the U.S. That’s a pretty big thing for some Winnipeg boys to do.”

Bilenki is excited to roll into St. Catharines next week for the first time. He said before the band had a booking agent he had always been looking at playing a show at L3, where they will be playing alongside Live The Story and Crystalyne. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the all-ages show. Tickets are $10 apiece and available in advance at http://www.ticketscene.ca/events/5895/.

“We’ve never played in St. Catharines before, and we’re really excited,” said Bilenki, who notes the band will be heading back to Winnipeg to work on a new album once the tour wraps up in the coming months. “L3 — that’s my unicorn. I’ve always wanted to play a show there.”
- Niagara This Week

"Take Me to the Pilot Lands"

Having just embarked on their second Ontario tour, the boys of Winnipeg pop-rock band Take Me to the Pilot are having a lot of fun.

Every question during a telephone interview with lead singer Mike Bilenki and bassist Adam Brown is answered first with a joke, then with a laugh, followed by a serious, well-thought out answer.

The band is serious about its music, but members are in their early 20s and want to enjoy themselves, too, Brown said.

“We are four guys who love doing what we are doing and we have a lot of fun doing it,” he said. “I think that shows when we play. We try to make sure everyone is having as much fun as we do on stage.”

The band, which takes its name from the 1970s Elton John song of the same title, will perform songs from its self-titled EP, along with a few new ones, at the Station Coffee House and Gallery next Thursday.

“It’s going to be high energy and fun,” Bilenki said. “We make sure to put a lot into our live shows and we really make sure that anybody who comes out gets their money’s worth.”

On this tour, the band is piloting itself from show to show in a Mazda MPV minivan, with a small trailer in tow.

“It’s not the most pimped out ride, but it get’s us from A to B," Bilenki said.

When not sleeping on the couches of family members or friends, the band sleeps in its van, which can make for a hard night’s sleep. But it’s all worth it to do what they love, Bilenki said.

Though band members only came together in 2009, music has been a part of their lives for quite some time. Brown and Bilenki met when they were 14, playing in different bands around Winnipeg.

“Adam was covering Blink 182 and I was covering Led Zeppelin,” Bilenki said. “Now, we’re somewhere in between.”

When Bilenki decided to start his own band, Brown was the first one he called. An open casting call led them to find guitarist Eric Grabowecky. Drummer Jon Stanners joined this past October, following the departure of former drummer Richard Eliuk.

The band members’ love of music and performing has driven them to seek success. Many of their former musician friends grew up and moved on, realizing that music wasn’t all that profitable.

“Either it hasn’t sunk in for us yet or we are doing something right,” Brown said.

Bilenki thinks it’s a little of both.

“I think we are straddling that line between childish naivety and mature-ish adult planning,” Bilenki said. “We were talking about it a while ago that Adam and I are the only ones from that scene that are still touring now. That feels really cool and makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something.”

Their ultimate goal is to turn their love into full-time careers – and maybe one day have U2 open for them, Bilenki said.

“If you’re going to dream a dream, dream big.”

They plan on getting there through hard work, good lyrics and dedication to the craft.

“I think what really gives you success is to have someone listen and have someone give a damn,” Bilenki said. “It tugs at your heart strings. The big goal is to just really connect and get our point across.” - Brant News

"Local band needs you to get them Discovered"

Take Me To The Pilot is hoping to get enough votes to land the band on MuchMusic's new show.

A local pop-rock band needs your votes to win a spot on a MuchMusic reality program.

Take Me To The Pilot is one of six bands from across the country trying to secure enough on-line votes to get them onto Much's new show, Discovered, which promises to offer the winning band a national audience and a lot more.
Pilot yourself here

LISTEN to Take Me To The Pilot

Voting ends Oct. 31.

See and listen to the other bands in Much's Discovered Envy Pick contest:

"If we win this vote, then we get on an episode of the show," Mike Bilenki, founder of TMTTP, who plays guitar and sings and writes the songs, said of Much's Envy Pick contest.

"You travel to T.O., get hooked up with a quote-unquote industry guru... It's definitely a legitimate forum to get your music out there, which is why we're working so hard to get our votes in."

Bilenki is only 20 but he's been playing in bands since he was 14. He formed TMTTP back in February of 2009 as a solo act. The name came from an Elton John song.

"I'm a huge Elton John fan. It was so random, it was just one day, we were goofing around and out came the words Take Me To The Pilot. I liked the way it sounded and it just sort of stuck and the rest is history."

The band as a four-piece unit -- with Adam Brown on bass, Richard Eliuk on drums, Eric Grabowecky on guitar and vocals -- has been together since May of this year and they released a self-titled, five-song EP in June and toured southern Ontario in September.

"We played our first show (locally) at Skate 4 Cancer on May 29, so we're still pretty fresh," Bilenki said. "We've already toured and stuff. I'd like to think that we're tighter than you might expect from a band whose been together for such a short amount of time."

But the band is already going through some changes. Drummer Eliuk has decided to return to school and they're in the process of picking his replacement.

Bilenki describes TMTTP's sound as a cross between pop/punk rock and pure pop. His writing was influenced by the songs of such non-mainstream bands like Making April, My Favorite Highway and The Dangerous Summer as well as bands from another generation -- Elton John, Queen, U2 and Van Halen.

Show remains a work in progress

Mike Bilenki and his bandmates with Take Me To The Pilot are busy honing their sound but a lot of work remains to be done with the MuchMusic's Discovered, which even their own publicists say remains a work in progress.

Much spokeswoman Amy Doary said Discovered replaces disBAND, which aired for two seasons but the format of Discovered is being re-worked.

Doary said Discovered was originally planned to air in November but that's been pushed back to allow the show's production team to rework the concept of the program.

"They're looking at changing some of the elements of the show," Doary said. "They don't know what elements those will be, that's why we don't have much on what the end format will be."

Doary said that even though there is so much about the show that is unknown, including the number of bands, she is certain that one of the six bands in the contest will eventually appear in the show.

"When every one's in pre-production, some things aren't decided. Originally, during the summer, we thought the show would air in the fall, so Novemberish, but it's since been pushed, which is something that's just been really recent.

"So now, they have obviously more time to film and story produce and pick more bands and of course, this contest as well, which will be a part of the series." - Winnipeg Free Press


"Take Me To The Pilot" 5 Song EP Released on June 22nd 2010
View on iTunes

"What Makes You" 7 Song EP Released on June 15 2012. Debuted at #3 on the iTunes Pop Charts
View on iTunes

"Tonight" Featured on Degrassi and received medium rotation on many top 40 radio stations across Canada in late 2011/ early 2012. Music video was featured on MuchMusic, and MusiquePlus.

"Call the Cops" music video featured on YTV.



Its hard to believe that Take Me To The Pilot started out as nothing more than a kid in his basement.

I didnt really know what I wanted at the time. I had been between bands for a year and knew I wanted to play music in a group again, but I didnt have any kind of plan lead singer Mike Bilenki muses. With no band assembled at the time, it had been a while since he had last written music, and he was not at all prepared for what came next:

A song. No, THE song.

The song in question, the song that excited Bilenki to the point where he made a MySpace page, recorded the song, and decided to reveal his new project to the world all in the same night is one which appears on Take Me To The Pilots upcoming record. The song, entitled Carry You Back (originally named A Song For Her) is more than just a simple love song it also serves as a metaphor for the group. Over time and the addition of bassist Adam Brown, guitarist Eric Grabowecky and drummer Jonathan James, both the song and the band have gone from one impulsive kid to a force greater than just the sum of its parts. That song has been around longer than the band Bilenki says, but we just werent ready to tackle it until now.

Take Me To The Pilot are, for lack of a better term, a rock n roll band that just happens to play pop music. Yes, they sing about girls. Yes, they write big hooks. But the way the Winnipeg foursome goes about executing their particular brand of pop fare is really rock n roll. Though the bands ultimate goal is to reach as wide an audience as they can, the boys are ensuring that their career happens on their terms. This is especially true when it comes to their blistering live show, the goal of which is to Hit it as hard as we possibly can. The songs may be pop, but to Take Me To The Pilot, theirs is still a rock show, and they only consider it a success when the crowd leaves covered in sweat wearing huge smiles.

In the past two years, Take Me To The Pilot have taken their special brand of party across the country multiple times, playing shows with such acts as Fefe Dobson, These Kids Wear Crowns, Neverest and Alyssa Reid, as well as tours with Canadian up-and-comers Brighter Brightest and The New Cities. The band has also seen success at Canadian radio and been featured on national and international television programs including Degrassi: The Next Generation and YTVs The Zone. And while all of these accomplishments, which were achieved on the strength of the groups infectious 2010 self-titled debut, may seem like quite a lot for a band whose average age is 21, think again, because the boys are just getting started.

Whereas the last record was an exploration, their upcoming EP, What Makes You is a firm statement. Depending how you look at it two years can be not that long at all or it can seem like forever says Bilenki. Were still a young band. Were all still growing and learning, but the fact that a good portion of those two years took place on the road gave us a lot to look back on when we were making this record.

But despite describing the new record as more mature, dont for a minute think that TMTTP have any intention of stopping the party. Tracks like Melody and Baby, Were Gonna Be Rich showcase the bands undying energy and enthusiasm for massive hooks, while songs such as the aforementioned Carry You Back serve as a reminder that TMTTP can do more than just pump you up. One such track, Travelling Heart, picks up where fan favorite from their 2010 debut Green Eyes left off.

Its a song about being away from the one you love, but knowing that no matter where things take you that you will always be there for one another, even when youre apart Bilenki explains. Its a theme thats become near and dear to our hearts as a touring band. We may get to live all these amazing experiences on the road, but you can never forget what youre coming home to.

Following the June 15th release of What Makes You TMTTP will be hitting the road yet again in the hopes of not only writing the next chapter in their story, but also to collect some more of their now-infamous road stories which include all-night drives through white-out blizzards, avalanches, and even a bunch of baboons attacking their tour van. (Actually.)

Normally it would be hard to believe that an adventure like this would start with a kid in his basement with a guitar. But after one listen to Take Me To The Pilot, youll have a hard time believing that this isnt just the beginning.

Band Members