By Ashlee Oakley
Psychedelic rock band Aircraft, composed of “the observations of singer/songwriter” Justin John Smith, as well as the guitar expertise of Ty Skelton, melodic bass lines of James Warren, and powerful-without-overpowering drummer Matt Cosmann, will be performing a local Halloween show at Springville Center of the Arts (SCA) on Friday, Oct. 28.
“This show will feature new light design and neon backlight stage designs,” says Skelton. Members Skelton and Smith both grew up in Springville, and are graduates of Springville-GI. They began playing and creating music together in Skelton’s parent’s garage, within sight of the high school they graduated from, and haven’t stopped since. They were also both part of the prominent Buffalo band, Dali’s Ghost, for four years, before rearranging their musical focus toward building their Aircraft. “Because they’re more psychedelic than strictly new wave, the pop songs come off explosively, big and shiny within that pleasingly tight song structure. Phoenix by way of early Pink Floyd and terrific vocal harmonies and a fun Talking Heads vibe,” praises critically acclaimed and awarded local music website, buffaBLOG (www.buffablog.com)
Their new album, “7 Gems from the Sparkling Void” (available via Admirable Traits Records, www.admirabletraitsrecords.com), features songs that have a funky, nostalgic feel, with a beat you can dance to. They will be playing for approximately an hour and a half, with Alexmmmk, an acoustic act featuring local musician Alex Krolikowski as their opening act at 8 p.m. Skelton says, “It will be nice to come back to see the people and breathe the creative air that inspired us to pursue a musical life many years ago.”
According to the band’s web site, their songs focus on “a unique take on the nature of reality, that is expressed through the song craft.”
When Smith is asked what he thinks about when writing a song, he gives an example: “I’ve always wondered if I was born in the same hospital room that my grandfather died in.”
Introspective and thoughtful lyrics, combined with a passion to share their music with the world and an outside-the-box attitude, have given Aircraft what it needs to be a prominent Buffalo band, and their debut album “Sonic Boom” (2013) received rave reviews, and set off a tour throughout the northeast. In 2015, they also made a tour to promote the release of “7 Gems from the Sparkling Void,” which was a favorite on indie radio stations not only locally, but across the United States, as well as the United Kingdom. To top off a series of successes, the band’s song “Dig a Little Deeper” was featured as Buffalo’s local television news WGRZ’s promotional song for the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as news broadcasts.
Aircraft has also continued to play many regional concerts and festivals, including Griffis Sculpture Park/Essex Art Center’s Night Lights Fall Music Festival and North By Northeast (NXNE) music festival in Toronto, Ontario.
As for the SCA, executive director Seth Wochensky notes, “It’s great to see the return of these talented native sons. Given what I’ve seen of these guys, they are going to put on a far-out show that is going to blow the windows out on this place.”
It is an all-ages show, that the SCA hopes all ages will indeed get excited about— a rock show, for Halloween, right in the middle of town and within walking distance for many locals. At $10 per ticket (at the door and at www.springvillearts.org), the SCA hopes to see a fantastic turnout. This half-homegrown band would love to see local, familiar faces, and are optimistic of an outstanding turnout, before their spacecraft re-launches and they make their way back from the village of their roots, to the city of their fame.
Feel free to dress up in your best Halloween attire and join them for what will definitely be an entertaining and pleasantly unpredictable Halloween space odyssey.
For more information about this show, please call the SCA at (716) 592-9038, or message the SCA’s Facebook page. For questions directly to the band, please contact Skelton at firstname.lastname@example.org.