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Pilot Scott Tracy.

SCOTT STANTON dropped out after dropping in. In the '90s, he walled away from professional skating and started a band, the Causey Way. The band made fun of cults. Ironically, the band almost became a cult to Scott. Not so fun. Scott walked away from that and blipped off the radar, married bandmate Tracy, and four years later, sitting on a porch strumming a guitar and tickling a Casio keyboard, got the itch to start another band. Scott came full circle back to music and skating. This go around, for the pure joy of both. His voice is high. The music is slithering, full of synthesizers, playful, q and sneaky, and made by older, wiser punks. Think Devo, not Crass. They dress up like pilots and stewardesses and it doesn't bother them in the slightest if you think they're gay.

WHAT GOT YOU reinvigorated with skateboarding? I know for a little bit you were disenfranchised with all the big money coming into skateboarding, but lately you've been recharged.

When I first got disenfranchised with skating, it was not because of the big money. Big money had not hit skateboarding like it has now in these "extreme" days. There were many changes going on with skateboarding that rubbed me the wrong way. Competition and the cliques just felt wrong and it kind of killed my love for skateboarding. I remember a pro contest in Houston, Tex, where this hit me once and for all. I remember talking with many pros at that contest and we shared our thoughts on where skating was at the moment. I guess we were all jaded. As far as gaining that love hack and being recharged, I recently went skateboarding and had so much fun--and that got me excited about skating again. The guys I skate with on Wednesday nights make it fun. It's a good group of people and that's definitely got me going. I'm learning new tricks again. We all push each other. I now feel that same level of excitement and realness that I felt when I first started skating. I once again feel like I want to skate like Neil Blender, Lance Mountain, Dan Wilkes, Mark Gonzales, Tom Groholski, or any handful of people that inspired me. As for playing and creating music, I feel the same way. It's just plain fun.

Why do you have themes to your bands, with the Causey Way and now Pilot Scott Tracy?

I'm not really sure. We once played a show in our street clothes and with no gimmicks and it was boring. Truthfully, I think it has a little to do with the fact that it is something to hide behind. As far as live stuff, we like to put on a show and give something for people to look at. After all, it is called a "show," and we like to involve the people that are watching. I guess we like to go beyond just the music, keep it interesting. Maybe that goes back to liking Devo so much as a young feller. It's punk rock music. It goes all the way back to the bands I played with in high school. We dressed up like punk rockers and that was a uniform itself It's an event. It's always a little over the top, but we have fun with it.

How did you come up with the concept and the idea of Pilot Scott Tracy? Why airline-themed?

The drummer from Man (or Astroman?) and Servotron gave Tracy and me a Thunderbirds/Pilot Scott Tracy action figure when we were in the Causey Way. We had that thing hanging on our fridge for a while and we said if we ever had a new band we'd call it Pilot Scott Tracy. Years after the Causey Way ended, we got the bug to play music again. We played music and wrote many songs, but the idea of starting a band and playing live just exhausted us. One day, we were on a country drive and small talk led to the idea of Pilot Scott Tracy becoming a band. That talk led to airline themes. Tracy instantly got excited about the idea of Pilot Scott Tracy and we drove home and started on the important stuff--airline outfits and airline themes for a show. It wasn't long before we had a tour set up across the country. That was just Tracy and me then, but now PST airlines has four new employees.

What are some benefits to being in a band with your wife?

Definitely that we get to travel together and see many things. That's just great. Usually, being in a band is like 45 minutes of fun and then the rest of the day is travelling and going and going and going and then a lot of waiting, and then you do the show that is 45 minutes of fun. Now it's usually all kinds of fun. Another good side is that we can practice at home on the porch. It makes it a lot easier than having to get together with a full band and practice. But with the four other members of the band now--two of the members are in Gainesville and two are in Pensacola--it's more complicated. We have this great basement in Michigan that we could practice in all the time, but we don't have the rest of the band.

How did you get people who are so far-flung from you?

They're all close friends of ours from Florida. Tracy and I moved to Michigan when she finished her PhD. I should tell you who makes up the band. Pilot Scott Tracy is Captain Kick Ass, Miss Susan, Lady Christa, Bayou Joe, and of course myself and Miss Tracy. Our friend Christa lives in Gainesville and plays the organ really well. Christa sat in a few shows when Tracy was pregnant and couldn't play. That worked out great, so we were like, "You've gotta be in the band.'" Chris Boland and Susan Barlow are long-time friends that we always wanted to play with. They are a couple too, and Tracy was joking around, "If they get married, we will pretty much be the geekiest band next to Abba." We're pushing a new fad: three married couples in a band versus the trend of simply one married couple. It's basically a dream band because we all get along really well. We're planning on doing it as long as we can.

From your singing pitch, which registers pretty high, are people surprised that you're the singer and not Tracy?

No, and that surprises me. I always expect more people or reviewers to rip on my voice. Tracy is starting to sing more songs for Pilot Scott Tracy. Tracy sings very good and I have sung in other bands with traditionally good singers, and I wondered if people said, "Why in the hell is he singing?"

When you rode for Zorlac, they'd autograph your boards and try to sell them for more. You said, "I'm not really happy that you're doing that, but never, ever put a peace sign next to my name." What's the problem with having a peace sign next to your name?

I think it helped them sell the boards to shops. I couldn't believe it when I went in a shop and saw my named signed on a board and it was not my signature. Add insult to injury, they put a peace symbol next to my name. Back then I was sort of a know-it-all, straight-edge kid. Damn, I put an X on everything. I thought I was Ian MacKaye back in the day or something. Anyhow, I suppose in my young, narrow mind I equated the peace symbol to hippies and equated hippies to drug use and that was not me. Plus, the peace symbol seemed to be popular symbol with the rich, normal kids trying to rebel and feel like they were children of the '60s. I tried so hard to be original so I had to hate whatever I thought was popular at the time. Thinking back that's pretty lame to fake a signature for sales. Ahhh, whatever.

Do you think you're at a time and a place in your life where you're just having more fun with it?

That's clearly what it is with both music and skateboarding. I'm definitely having a blast with both. It's just really fun and I guess a lot more real feeling in some ways, not being in the competitive side, which is definitely in skateboarding but I never thought of it being in music. I guess we grow up with an idealization of the way we think something will be and then the realization hits and messes it all up.

That's one of the really good things that come with age. You see the cycles and, "Oh, it's just another wave coming through. No big deal." Does your son Tex help you out with that at all?

Tex definitely makes it easier to blow off getting caught up in the non-important side of being in a band, but he has not slowed us down on the creative side. Just last week we recorded a new album for Alternative Tentacles and Tex went with us. He was cool. Tex just sat in the rooms with us and enjoyed the loud music. Having Tex has brought a new perspective to things, but lucky enough we were really grounded before we had Tex. Music is simply a passion of ours and in order to keep it something we love we don't get involved with the industry of music. The fact that we even put some albums out with a label means we are involved in the music business side a small bit. But it doesn't overcome us. The business side is actually a very, very small part of our life, but creating music and having fun is a huge part and I believe it always will be. You don't need good knees or ankles to make music.
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Author:Taylor, Todd
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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