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Robert Andrew Freeman (born March 26, 1981) is the former guitarist, backing vocalist and primary songwriter for the pop punk/post-hardcore group Hidden in Plain View. Presently, he has his own solo recording project titled The Pilot and is a record producer, mainly for up-and-coming New Jersey rock bands.
Rob Freeman was born on March 26, 1981 in the small town of Andover in northern New Jersey. He began playing the drums when he was five years old, picked up the guitar about ten years later, and played both instruments in various local garage bands. In 1998, Freeman began his first serious musical endeavor with his future Hidden in Plain View bandmate Joe Reo, whom he had met while attending high school in Stanhope, New Jersey. Fronting the ska punk band 8 Over Par — Reo as the lead vocalist/trumpeter, Freeman as the backing vocalist/guitarist — they discovered their shared passion for music, so that when 8 Over Par split in April 2000, the two continued writing songs together. At first, Freeman also joined the band Face First as a drummer, however, he quit shortly after to devote himself fully to Reo's and his newly formed band Hidden in Plain View.
Hidden in Plain View
Upon forming in August 2000, Hidden in Plain View began playing concerts somewhat frequently, in hopes of being able to make a living out of their music. After graduating high school, the band released their debut EP Find (2001) independently and their sophomore EP Operation: Cut-Throat (2002) on Note to Self Records, while the number of fans attending their shows increased steadily.
Following several line-up changes, Drive-Thru Records signed the band in June 2003 and released their four-song sampler EP Hidden in Plain View on November 11, 2003. In spite of being criticized for its lack of variety, the EP was a perfect showcase of the band's continuous development of both musicianship and songwriting. With more sophisticated lyrics, a heavier undertone in the instrumentation and a discreet nod to contemporary screamo in the vocals, it served as a promising prelude to their following full-length album.
In mid-2004, Hidden in Plain View went into the studio with producer Jim Wirt to record their full-length debut Life in Dreaming. Song structures were far more diverse on this effort — featuring riff heavy anthems as well as melancholy ballads — as were the lyrical topics, dealing with the pressure of growing up ("American Classic"), the experience of losing a close friend ("In Memory") and the controversial subject of date rape ("Bleed for You"). Life in Dreaming was also the first of the band's records that integrated Freeman as a full vocalist with almost as many parts as lead vocalist Reo in certain songs, such as "A Minor Detail", "Garden Statement" and "Top 5 Addictions".
The follow-up album to Life in Dreaming was recorded in 2006 and planned for a release somewhen in 2007. On January 29, 2007, it was announced via the label's website that the band had broken up.
In 2004 Freeman's studio took on the name The Pilot Studio when he began producing a variety of projects between and sometimes during a busy touring schedule.
Due to the considerable difference between the number of songs Hidden in Plain View's schedule allows them to record and the number of songs Freeman writes, he decided to put his recording studio to good use by starting a solo project under the name The Pilot. As of December 2006, The Pilot has released ten songs on his PureVolume and MySpace profiles ("This So Called Life", "Miss Mirage", "The Distance I Know", "Good Enough", "Home Away from Home", "Day In and Day Out", "5 Years in the Making", "You Verse Me Verse the World", "White Noise", and "Believe What You Will"), though it is unknown whether they will ever be issued on a CD, or if he will continue making them available for free download.
Musically, Freeman's solo project does not differ drastically from his work with Hidden in Plain View. It is safe to say that The Pilot songs are far less punk influenced, featuring more sensitive lyrics and acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars, the piano and even strings. Often accompanied by drum machines, his songs are synthesized — yet not to an extent as predominant in power pop, let alone electronica songs — and at times bear close resemblance to some of Jimmy Eat World's more mellow songs.
Accompanied by Thomas J. Chipmen on guitar, Freeman played his first acoustic concert under the The Pilot moniker on October 28, 2006 at Bloomfield Ave Cafe in Montclair, New Jersey. Shortly afterwards, guitarist/bassist Jason Jaksetic was announced as the first official member of The Pilot, besides Freeman. An East Coast tour supporting Houston Calls is scheduled for December 2006.
- For Freeman's releases with Hidden in Plain View, see Hidden in Plain View's discography
- Foster – The Demo (2002)
- Houston Calls – 4 Song Sampler (2003)
- State Unfair –Demos (2003)
- Sleepwell – Coin Operated Entertainment (2003)
- Royden – Best Friends Our Worst Enemies (2004)
- Maverick – Caught in the Negatives (2004)
- The Letter You –Free from Everything (2005)
- Sound the Alarm – Sound the Alarm (2006)
- P.R.Y.D.E. – Drowning Between Life and Lies EP (2006)
- Someday Never – The Natural Trend of Breathing EP (2006)
- Hometown Anthem – If We Could Dream (2006)
- The Fallback – This City Story EP (2006)
- Hand Me Down Buick – The Greater the Risk (2006)
- Sayrelin – We've Come to the Conclusion (2006)
- SunSets North – Return To Sender (2007)
- Parade The Day – 'To Keep Us Moving (2007)
- Late Night Habit – 'The Single Life' (2009)
- Hit The Lights – 'Skip School Start Fights' (2009)
- Armor For Sleep – 'EP' (2009)
- Voted Most Random – 'Everything You Want and More' (2010)
- Royal – Royal EP (2010)
- Ally Burnett – 'The Takeover EP' 'The Seven' (2010) 'The Heartbreaker Sampler' (2011)
- The Spin Room – 'The Dreams We Keep' (2010) 'Forever & Ever & Ever After' (2012)
- All The Right Moves – 'When Your Compass Breaks' (2012)
- Like Crazy – 'A Short Story' EP (2013)
- Whitburn, Joel (2007-04-15). The Billboard Albums: Includes Every Album That Made the Billboard 200 Chart. Record Research Incorporated. p. 464. ISBN 9780898201666. Retrieved 1 August 2012.