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Saturday night at The Last Run takes off with WNY-based Aircraft band

ADDING TO THE MUSIC SCENE — Aircraft Band members are pictured, from left: Tyler Skelton, Ian Belknap, James Warren and Justin Smith. Photo by Andrew Manzella.


SPRINGVILLE — Two Springville-Griffith Institute graduates and fellow musicians, who make up the band Aircraft, performed both originals and covers at The Last Run Bar in Glenwood on Saturday, Oct. 20, surrounded by a group of their followers and friends.

A new band, Aircraft has been playing the Buffalo and Western New York music scene since late last year.

The band consists of two Springville natives, Justin Smith on guitar and lead vocals and Tyler Skelton, on guitar and keys. James Warren who plays base, and Ian Belknap on drums, are from Buffalo. All four musicians contribute, vocally, as well.

Smith and Skelton had already been playing together for some time, eventually starting local band Dali’s Ghost.

While the two were searching for a drummer, they were introduced to Belknap. After playing with Dali’s Ghost for a while, Belknap left to play in various groups around Buffalo.

After a few years of performing in different bands, Belknap and his friend Warren were asked, by Smith, if they wanted help facilitate a new band.

Smith began to make the transition from Dali’s Ghost to Aircraft and getting Skelton on board was the last step needed to complete the process.

Skelton said that the band’s intent was to “pull together waves of psychedelia, brain-tickling catchiness and emotional depth that aims to create brilliantly bright space, no matter where you are, when you hear the music.”

Aircraft was recently named Western New York’s best new music by WBNY and Stake and Cake Records. The band is currently recording its debut album “Wilt” through Harvest Sum Records, aiming for a release by the end of November.

“We are hoping to distribute the album to as many people as we can,” Skelton said, in reference to Aircraft’s plan to get its music heard by a wider audience.

Money raised during the band’s show at The Last Run in Glenwood went toward the distribution of Aircraft’s record.

Those interested in listening to the band’s music can visit Aircraft’s website, www.aircraftband.com, which allows visitors to listen to one of four featured songs. On www.reverbnation.com, visitors can sample the band’s album. A digital copy of the band’s demo can be purchased from www.bandcamp.com.

All of the Aircraft members said that they want to produce music of substance.

Skelton explained, “Our intention is to create original, highly-potent music that comes from a place of honest emotion. We all try to grow, as artists and songwriters. Our message is to expose the listener to a higher sense of self-awareness and a fuller understanding of their sound reality.”

Smith said that Aircraft already has a close relationship with its fans. “A lot of our fan base started with friends, so we try to keep that type of relationship with all of our fans, now,” he said.

The band members said they have a “virtual potpourri” of musical influences and, with those in mind, they intend to create their own signature sound.

“We all listen to a wide variety of music, so each of our influences differ, which brings a unique blend of sounds into what is known as Aircraft,” Skelton said.

Many of Aircraft’s songs are reminiscent of the past and the band members incorporate original lyrics that represent their own experiences and the environments they live in.

While Aircraft has roots in the Springville area, the members said they are also looking to expand their reach throughout the Buffalo area. Aircraft has an upcoming show scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27 at The Vault, located at 702 Main St. in Buffalo.

For more information, visit the band online at www.facebook.com/aircraftbuffalo.
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