Winners of Rockfest 2021, Eltham Festival Battle of the bands 2020, Doomsday Pilot is a four-piece heavy rock band formed at Templestowe College, made up of group members Pablo Benzon Tuke (Vocals), Skyte O’Malley (Guitar), Gus Foletta (Bass), and Halley Simpson (Drums). Making a name for themselves, and starting to work the pub circuit, the Diary’s KIERAN PETRIK-BRUCE sat down with the group to discuss everything Doomsday Pilot.
How was the band in its current iteration formed?
Halley: Back in the midst of 2019, around mid-year, we were placed in a music performance class. It was just Skyte and me in that class, everyone was forming groups and whatnot, and I think we were the last ones.
Skyte: The nerds!
Halley: And we just looked at each other and were like, hey, you want to play together? Sure. Then we were thinking, who plays bass? I think Gus played bass a few times.
Gus: I never had, you were wrong, but it didn’t matter.
I originally joined as a guitarist but then Skyte was better so I was like, ok, I’ll pick up bass then.
Halley: Pablo was a more recent addition
Pablo: They had another vocalist.
Halley: But they changed schools, which made it hard.
Pablo: Skyte and I have known each other for a while, so when he didn’t have a vocalist, it took him a while, but eventually he texted me, “do you want to do vocals for us”?
How has being at the same school together helped the music?
G: I don’t know if it would have worked if we weren’t at the same school
H: Obviously access, the facilities the music program has is unreal, a professional-standard recording studio we have access to whenever we can.
P: I think the way it was organised it’s very supportive, if you’ve got a lot of passion the music program will just kind of let you pursue that, even if that meant you sitting in the music room all lunchtime, every lunchtime.
Who are your musical influences?
G: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Royal Blood made me want to play bass.
S: Very into The White Stripes, Royal Blood, and Jeff Buckley is very important in expanding the more complicated parts of my writing that isn’t just power chords.
H: Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, really anything influenced by Dave Grohls drumming.
P: I sort of picked up singing, with early 2000s pop-punk so Panic! At The Disco, Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance.
Now the singing I’m doing sounds a lot like Jeff Buckley, but I’ve never listened to Jeff Buckley!
How did you get the name Doomsday Pilot?
H: We basically had a sheet of random song names and album names and we simply pieced them together Doomsday Pilot and we were like, damn, that’s a pretty epic name. It doesn’t have any real relevant meaning behind it. Also, the fact that it’s really easy to find on Google and streaming services as no other artists run by that name.
How did it feel to win at Rockfest?
H: We were absolutely off the walls when the winners were announced! We were incredibly doubtful as to whether we could win just due to the great number of artists that entered and at such a high standard. It’s a confidence booster, if we get this music to the right people, yeah, they will appreciate it for what it is, and we can get results like that.
P: Yeah, it was a nice confidence booster
G: It feels like a bit of an ego booster, but I don’t want it to be!
H:Wellhe(Gus)gotnominatedforbest bass player as well.
And you only picked up the bass two years ago?
G: Yeah about that long.
Over lockdowns, have you picked up any new instruments, or played around with any new sounds you might incorporate?
S: Saxophone Solo!
P: I want to play some piano.
H: Pablo is a bit of a freak on the piano, so imagine we would be incorporating some of that.
G: And more Cowbell!
Is the progression of the sound something discussed, something you’re trying to do?
S: It just sort of happens, it gets very boring if you do the same thing over and over again.
P: I think the way the band kind of works, everyone is in the band because the other band mates want them to do whatever their thing is.
So what’s next, anything new and exciting brewing?
S: Well, we are working on an EP, four tracks and we are in the final stages.
P: Most of these we have had for ages.
S: We just want to get them out, we hope within a month.
H: I would hope by the end of the year.