Overseas Band to Watch: Psych-Pop/Indie Rock Band Deco Pilot
Deco Pilot formed in 2010 when a group of young and musically-inclined friends decided to join forces to write and record a number of upbeat, melodic songs that expressed a shared love for atmospheric pop, classic rock and catchy rhythms with a synth-infused glisten, all wrapped around poignant lyrics about life in the big city, soul-searching and young men’s dreams of meeting the ever-elusive “girl with the diamond heart,” a reference to their song, “Diamond Heart.”
Following a year of rehearsals in a make-shift studio/flat in London, the band had enough material to record and release This City. The debut EP features four thrilling tracks marked by stylish guitar riffs and creative hooks, inspiring synth arrangements, thumping bass lines, big, driving beats and crashing cymbals, rounded out by soaring vocals and choruses, that are evident on their crowd-pleasing eponymous single, “You Know What I’m Looking For.” The single kicked off the band’s rising status among London’s large and influential indie rock scene.
Deco Pilot originally formed in Liverpool at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), a school generously funded by Beatles’ legend Paul McCartney. It was at LIPA where Mexican-born brothers, Jose Lopez Portillo (vocals) and Juan Lopez Portillo (guitar), met fellow Mexican-born keyboardist Giancarlo Bonfanti. The trio hit it off famously and were soon recording their own songs. Not long after their convergence, Swedish bassist John Franklin, who was studying music in London, joined the band. Only weeks after jamming together and channeling their energies to formulate their distinct sound, the band members, all in their early twenties, officially formed Deco Pilot.
“You Know What I’m Looking For” – Deco Pilot from This City
Late in 2011, the internationally staffed band set out on a tour across Mexico, and soon after, played a number of well-received gigs in Paris. In the springtime of 2012, having refined their sound by leaps and bounds and adapted to the important lessons of live performance, Deco Pilot were being invited to play alongside bands like The Milk and The Futureheads at the Brownstock Music Festival in Essex, and at Bath’s International Music Festival‘s Party in the City, respectively.
Earlier this year, the band’s growing popularity opened the doors to collaboration with director Steve Glashier (who has previously worked with Juliette Lewis and Fatboy Slim) on the making of a music video for Deco Pilot’s signature song, “You Know What I’m Looking For”.
In an interview, the band members told IRC that they’re working on new tracks for their debut LP, which they plan to release later this year, or early in 2014. In fact, the band tested out some of the new songs, which are not completed, for excited crowds that came out to see them in London earlier this month at venues like The Rattlesnake and The Ginglik.
“This City” – Deco Pilot from This City
“I believe the audience really can feel that we enjoy ourselves on stage and it helps build a nice connection,” Franklin said, continuing: “A new fan in the audience at The Rattlesnake told us: ‘You’re the best new band I have seen in ages.’” Vocalist Portillo said: “we’re arranging to visit other cities in the U.K. for summer and we’re planning in going back to Paris in October,” with Bonfonti adding: “we want to tour Europe and start building a fan base in other countries.”
For a multicultural, talented new indie band with a captivating sound, a hot new EP and single, popular music videos and an expanding base of fans inside, and outside, of the U.K., the future looks promising for Deco Pilot.