There are plenty of reasons why Tommy & the High Pilots just might be the hardest working young guns in rock ‘n’ roll. The Santa Barbara-based fourpiece has toured relentlessly since the 2008 release of their infectious debut, Everynight. In addition, the High Pilots (lead singer Tommy Cantillon, guitarist Mike Cantillon, bassist Steve Libby, and drummer Matt Palermo) have each sacrificed the security of their nine to fives in order to book their own shows, sell their own merch, and enthusiastically pursue their musical dreams-not matter how unglamorous it gets. (Think playing dirt fields and performing opposite puppet shows.)
“Every once in a while, we don’t know where we’re going to sleep. We don’t know if we’re going to have a $3 meal, or if you get to get pricey and go to Denny’s,” laughed Tommy Cantillon. “But even the bad things are things we laugh off that make us smile at the end of the day. : Our heads are down and the blinders are on. We’re going for it.”
This Tuesday night, the road warriors return home for a very special holiday celebration at SOhO with fellow Santa Barbaran Omar Cowan. The aptly dubbed Wreck the Halls concert is the band’s second seasonal homecoming performance in as many years and, for Cantillon, one of the best parts of the holidays.
“Getting to come back here is probably the most exciting thing about [Christmastime],” he said. “We want [Wreck the Halls] to be an event, and Christmas is a great opportunity to make an event out of a show. It’s fun. We decorate the heck out of the place. We get to go all out, basically, and we’re a band that wants to go all out in everything that we do, so you’re gonna get Christmas songs. You’re going to walk into a winter wonderland when you walk into SOhO. And hopefully this is something that can continue and be something that we do every year.”
Tommy & the High Pilots play SOhO (1221 State St.) this Tuesday, December 22, at 7 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.