Automatic Pilot is a band that you cannot categorize. It's about feeling safe in the sound, and using music as therapy and a way of getting everything out in the open. It's only a matter of time before this band takes flight.
Automatic Pilot has been through many incarnations, and band members have come and gone over the years. The project was once conceived as Friend of a Friend, a widely embraced modern rock band that made a big splash in the NW Indiana area from 2001-2002 by playing a variety of venues such as Tower Records, Borders, as well as Uncommon Ground and The Empty Bottle in Chicago. Automatic Pilot was conceived shortly thereafter as a whole new project that cultivates every musical genre from a predilection of all kinds of different styles. The project primarily consists of James Eric Laczkowski, who composes electronic, ambient, pop soundscapes, with hints of alternative rock, in a singer/songwriter acoustic environment. Although James is the primary songwriter, the lineup has changed over time, as the band finds itself constantly evolving. James currently tours the Chicagoland and NW Indiana area as an acoustic act and considers his influences to be The Pixies, Sunny Day Real Estate, Matthew Sweet, Fountains Of Wayne, and Wilco. Between the world of experimental pop and new wave indie rock emerges a whole new kind of project that is sometimes an emo guitar-driven indie rock band, and other times, a solo folk singer.
Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune & Sound Opinions. "Automatic Pilot tucks introspective lyrics inside grand washes of shoegazer guitar." (February 2003)
The Beat Magazine of NW Indiana & Chicago. "They are by far the most alternative band in the region. I mean this in the original sense of the word before alternative became an 'in-thing' to call any music. This is a band to follow, watch, and keep your eye on!" --- Dave Buco, (August 2001)
The Illinois Entertainer of Chicago. "The title couldn't be more appropriate. 'Turn Off The TV and Listen To This' is exactly what you should do, if this CD happens to find its way into your hands. James is a true original." --- Dean Ramos, (September 2000)
The Times of NW Indiana. "They are in a bit of a sonic flux... but has recently forged the new harder-edged sound akin to the Foo Fighters with a touch of Radiohead." --- Tom Lounges, (June 2001)
The Muse Cafe, in Lansing, IL. "These guys get better every single time they play, both musically and in terms of the number of people they bring in. They're definitely on my 'A' list." --- Chris, (October 2001)
The Illinois Entertainer of Chicago. "[They] reach into and outside the realms of pop music to come up with something clever and unique..." --- (December 2001)
Columbia College of Chicago. "With a potent combination of early Talking Heads, early Radiohead and early R.E.M., this band should have no trouble branching off and trying new sounds. Laczkowski's vocal mannerisms continue throughout their debut CD, alternating between nervous insecurity and reckless abandon." --- Collin Souter, (March 2002)
ChicagoGigs.com "I love the guy's (James Laczkowski's) voice" --- Joseph Filipak, (June 2001)
The Chronicle of Purdue University. "Judging from the vast reactions from the fans in attendance, they are all pretty much looking forward to what the band has to offer in the future when it comes to the musical creativeness that they provide in the songs they perform." Joe Juarez, (April 2002)