Sierra Pilot
Photo: Ron Boudreau Images

Waterloo-based quartet Sierra Pilot have created an arena rock sound that has given them opportunities to share a stage with the likes of Monster Truck, Buckcherry, Crown Lands, and more. They’ve just released their latest single, “Keys to the City” a summer rock anthem accompanied by a video that perfectly captures the spirit of the song. We caught up with Sierra Pilot to chat about the song, the music scene in Waterloo, and the band members’ superhero alter egos.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Keys to the City”. 

Sierra Pilot: “Keys to the City” is an upbeat, crunchy-blues rock anthem that was inspired by the great arena-rock bands of the 90s. It’s a song that captures the sound and feel of invincibility and letting loose to have a good time. We got the opportunity to work with the amazing Canadian Producer/ Mixer Brian Moncarz who mixed the track. He seriously brought this one to life. We think this is our best release yet!” 

FTS: What’s the music scene like in Waterloo? Are there any notable bands or artists you think our readers should know about? 

Sierra Pilot: The music scene in Waterloo is so strong right now! So many great bands that have set a bar for us to raise as a band. As for local bands, there are so many great bands. Hard to name just one but I’d have to go with our buddies Excuses Excuses. I went to high school with these boys and have seen how much they’ve truly achieved as a group and couldn’t be more proud. Plus they kick serious ass on stage!”

FTS: What was the coolest (and/or weirdest) live show you’ve ever played?

Sierra Pilot: Sierra Pilot has played some very cool shows over the years and a few weird ones too. The weirdest was under a Chinese Restaurant in Toronto. I can’t even remember the name of the venue. We played to 3 people and a random homeless dude passed out in the corner who had clearly pissed himself. The floor and the stage were so sticky that during our set I jumped up and both my shoes came clean off my feet. I wiped out and I took a headstock to the face. I played the rest of the set with a bloody nose. 

FTS: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound? 

Sierra Pilot: The main inspirations behind the Sierra Pilot sound would probably be Nine Inch Nails, Big Wreck, Guns N’ Roses, and Three Days Grace. We all have a history of loving and playing metal, but I was primarily influenced by and raised on 90s Alt-Rock; Nirvana, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, and the list goes on! 

FTS: If each member of Sierra Pilot was a superhero, what would their superpower & name be?

Sierra Pilot: Jay, our lead guitarist, would be “Ginger Wizard” and his super power would be infinite knowledge… but only when he drinks Jack Daniels.

Ryan, our bass player, would be “The Creature” and would be like Highlander… you can only kill him if you cut off his head… but good luck with that! And he would be from Mars (you would understand if you met him)

I (Taylor) would be “Zookeeper” and my superpower would be the ability to control animals to do my bidding. Right now I am trying to train my dog to bring me a beer from the fridge.

 And our drummer would be The Shapeshifter”,  because even now their faces change all the time!”. We have gone through more drummers than Spinal Tap!

Check out “Keys to the City”, the new single from Sierra Pilot!