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Pilot for Kite: Kearney's techno-rock machine gaining momentum with meaningful music
Ryan Larsen
Antelope Staff
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Luke Mills rocks on stage during a Pilot for Kite concert.
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Pilot for Kite plays a set at the Garage during a CD release concert Feb. 18.
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Mills spray paints a Pilot for Kite stencil onto a T-shirt in true DIY fashion.
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The new Pilot for Kite CD, "The Sinthetic Age," was given away for free at the release show.

“With every song I want to grab a specific emotion and just relate that emotion to everyone in some way, and let them identify with it,” said lead singer/songwriter Luke Mills as he describes the purpose behind Pilot for Kite’s music.

Pilot for Kite is known for its Christian-based techno rock sound that has developed a major following in the Kearney area. Recently local performances, including a CD release party at The Garage and an acoustic set at Bico’s, have generated increasing buzz.

Mills, the lead singer for Pilot for Kite, also plays guitar and keyboards, all while owning and operating his record label, The Alien Patrol.

Mills clarifies that Pilot for Kite is not a band, but rather a side project of his. “Pilot for Kite consists of mainly just myself,” he said. “A lot of times I’ll play alone, but I find guys and hire them on to play live with. Many of the guys are interchangeable depending on where I perform.”

Mills said that if he had to list his core bandmates, he’d mention guitarist Rob Paz, bassist Tim Stratton and drummer Aaron Asay, all who currently reside in Kearney and played at The Garage show. “We definitely have the most fun. All we really care about is putting on a show and having some fun,” Mills said.

Pilot for Kite started in the fall of 2006. Since then Mills left the Kearney area and toured with bands in eastern and southern regions of the country. Just recently he came back to Kearney to re-establish his roots. He has played at many local venues and plans on more shows in Kearney during the coming months.

The live element and the unique sound are reasons to look into Pilot for Kite, according to “Scuba” Steve Morris, a sophomore business administration major from Kearney, who also serves as the sound technician for Pilot’s live shows. “People can always expect a fun, entertaining show,” he said, “and the sound is something new and fresh.”

Mills said that even though his music incorporates a lot of keyboards and “non-real” instruments, he tries to make his lyrics as real as possible to deal with real issues. An example of this is in the song “O’ Material.” Mills said he wrote this song because as a society we are constantly bombarded with materialistic things that we have to buy to feel better about ourselves, and it just isn’t right.

Christianity plays an important role in Pilot for Kite’s songs. But Mills said that he isn’t one to push his beliefs on people. “I think Christianity is something that everybody should take a look at in their own lives before they just throw it away.”

Despite the success of Pilot for Kite, Mills said that his record label is his primary focus right now. “Helping out other artists takes up most of my time,” he said, “but I definitely plan on a Pilot for Kite acoustic project and some touring in the summer and fall if there is a demand for it. Otherwise, Pilot for Kite is just whatever it needs to be at the time. It’s just a musical outlet for me.”

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