When his band Holden unexpectedly folded in 2007, Tom Cantillon – the Tommy of the High Pilots – took off from his native Santa Barbara, Calif., for a year in New York City using the inspiration of the Big Apple to fill a songbook. Returning to the Golden State in 2008, Cantillon formed the High Pilots with Steve Libby (bass), Matt Palermo (drums) and Cantillon’s younger brother Michael (electrics, acoustics and keyboards) then promptly recorded those freshly composed songs for the CD Everynight. With the 2010 release of American Riviera, a followup, six-song EP produced by Marc McClusky, the group embarked on a national tour last September with St. Louis rockers, Ludo. Cantillon claims Talking Heads and Tom Petty as influences and calls his writing a “hybrid style” including “in some weird way: the sand, ocean and mountains lying under the skyscrapers and subways,” making it a potent and valid collection of his coast-to-coast experiences.
Tommy and the High Pilots
Fri, Dec. 3, 11pm