Local band People Who Could Fly on the rise in preparation for Pot of Gold

Performing alongside Death Cab for Cutie and NOFX, People Who Could Fly soars to new heights with upcoming album and musical projects

The local band People Who Could Fly has gone through a few member and direction changes, but for the last three years, has been playing strong. 

People Who Could Fly is a local alternative indie-pop band from the Phoenix and Tempe area. The three-man band is comprised of James Mills and brothers Josh and Jacob Paige. 

Within the band, Mills plays the guitar and acts as the lead singer. He graduated from UA in 2013 with a degree in marketing.

Jacob is a freshman at ASU studying sustainability and plays the bass and keyboard for the band. His brother Josh is a graduate student, also at ASU, pursuing his masters in electrical engineering and plays the drums.

Mills said he started playing instruments when he was seven years old, while Josh and Jacob started at six and three, respectively. Combined they have nearly five decades of musical experience.

As brothers, Josh and Jacob have known each other their whole lives, but they met Mills online while looking for a singer they said. Josh said he considers finding Mills the real start of the band’s history.

Mills is self-employed and works in social media marketing and website design, he said. A skill “that comes in handy a lot with the band.”

The band is active on numerous social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook, although Instagram is their most popular they said. Their music is also available to listen to on Spotify.

Jacob said that managing the accounts is a team effort but admits that Mills does everything when it comes to the website.

For the band, having an online presence is huge, Mills said. It has allowed the band to touch people all over the world in countries such as Argentina and Venezuela, he said.

The band even has a fan club mailing list. Anyone who signs up will get a free download for their EP “Neon-Electric Unplugged” Mills said.

The band writes a lot of their own music Jacob said, and when doing shows, they try to have as much original content in the lineup as possible.

When writing new songs they often start with a single keyboard line or guitar rift. They come up with one bit and then expand and write a song around that. Sometimes they move past their samples entirely. 

“What it started with is not in the song at all,” Jacob said of their song "Pressure."

When they are not writing their own music, Mills said, they will perform covers of songs and often upload them to their YouTube channel.

Playing in a popular band and being students can be hard work, but Josh and Jacob both share the same mentality for it. “We really try to prioritize the band if possible” Jacob said.

Read more about how University students balance their schoolwork with their musical endeavors by clicking here.

If it is possible to do a show or go to practice and skip a class without it impacting their grades, Josh and Jacob said that is what they always try to do.

Mills, who has already graduated, said it is important not to “let your major define you.”

“A major is just a piece of paper, what you want to do in life is up to you,” he said. “You’ve got to have a passion.”

Josh is planning to graduate in the fall he said, but that is not the only big event coming up for the band. They will be playing at the Pot of Gold music festival on March 18 next to names like Death Cab for CutieNOFX, and Flogging Molly.

Mills said that they have worked with the producer for the show before and, when deciding upon local talent to include, he reached out to them directly.

“It is a huge honor to be thought of and be chosen,” Mills said.

In addition to the upcoming concert, Josh said the band has started working a new EP with plans to release it in late May.

Reach the reporter at amckenn2@asu.edu or follow @AndrewMcKenney on Twitter.

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