By Shaina Sheaff
We first talked about local band, Pageantry, last February for our 3 Songs column. Back then, we said, "We're gonna go ahead and throw the term "math rock" out there for this, but with a qualifier. If Don Caballero is Calculus, then Pageantry is College Algebra, and that's not a bad thing." Since then Pageantry has been profiled in the Dallas Observer, deemd one of the "20 Bands to See at SXSW" by Huff Po, played plenty of larger shows, and they are currently on their first tour. They're even playing INDEX Fest in Dallas in September. WDDI contributor, Shaina Sheaff, recently chatted with Roy, Ramon, and Pablo about their favorite songs, favorite music venues, and what's next for 'em. Read on for more...
WDDI: Tell us a little bit about your individual musical backgrounds and how you started playing together.
Roy - I started kind of late and mostly taught myself. Pageantry is my first band. I asked Ramon to play on a record of mine a while back and that turned into wanting to play shows so we asked Pablo to play bass and it just morphed into an actual "thing."
Ramon - Have been playing drums since I was about 11 and got my music degree from UNT. My dad and brother are both also drummers and a lot of my family immediate and extended are musicians too.
Pablo - I've been playing in bands since I was about 16. I played guitar until I came to college in Denton where everyone needed a bass player, so I picked up a bass. I got a general music minor at UNT, but I learned the most theory and skills playing with people and teaching music.
How did the name "Pageantry" come about?
Roy - I wanted something that would make sense for the places we'd go as a band. Something that was cynical but also celebratory and something we could grow with.
What did your writing process look like with Friends of the Year?
Roy - We don't have a process really, gave up on that early on.
What's your favorite song you've written together?
Ramon - I think two of my favorite songs we have written are "Teenage Crime Wave" and "Influence" (working title). Both of them are on our new record but I feel like they are the most cohesive and well thought-out songs. "TCW" specifically has gone through many iterations and an earlier version of it was released via a very limited EP recorded on a 4 track tape player and that version is very different. "Influence" just has a really nice flow.
Roy - Yeah "Influence" has this really wistful vibe to it that I think translates well. It just kind of exudes this personality without trying to which makes it fun to play.
Pablo - My favorite songs have been the ones we've written recently and are writing. That may be because they are fresh and different.
Has living in a creative community like Denton influenced your music in any way?
Roy - It allowed us to find each other but creatively it's not a part of the band. Denton is a great city though, we're just influenced by other things.
Congrats on making Huffington Post's list of 20 best bands to see at SXSW earlier this year. What was that experience like for you?
Roy - Thanks, yeah that was crazy! It was our first time playing the festival so it was a nice milestone for us as a band. Our friends at Toro Booking put us on a great bill and we got to do some cool day shows as well, so yeah it was fun.
You've been playing all over. What's the strangest thing that's happened while on the road?
Roy - I just think touring as a concept is kind of wild. It's opened our eyes to a lot of things and we've just started doing it. Weird stuff happens a lot but it's usually in a good way.
What's your favorite venue to play?
Pablo - That's hard to answer because if the show is a good show, I might be biased toward that venue. Some really cool places we've played aren't really venues, like a cereal bar in Lubbock called Serios. The Hi-Dive in Denver, Bunk Bar in Portland, and some house in Olympia were super cool. Locally, Dan's is my favorite.
Ramon - Bunk Bar (Portland), Dan's (Denton), The Mohawk (Austin).
Roy - Mine is Dan's Silverleaf. Jimmy is the man, everyone knows it. Pablo's talking about the Guest House in Olympia, which was a lot of fun.
Outside of making music, what do you guys like to do for fun?
Roy - Hanging with my dog Gaila, running and I also do some graphic design.
Pablo - I'm working a lot right now, so finding free time is hard. If I had the time I would be traveling and camping with my girlfriend and my dog.
Ramon - When I'm not working I love cooking and have a general interest in all things coffee. Most of the time I'm watching TV or working on my house with my wife and cat.
What's next for y'all? When can we expect more music?
Roy - a lot more touring. We're making our first full-length right now but not sure when that's going to come out. If you want to hear the newest stuff though you should come to a show, we're always testing out new things.
Until then, here are their "old" songs below and keep scrolling if you want to connect with Pageantry online.
Shaina Sheaff was raised in Denton and has been combing through the stacks at Recycled longer than she'd care to admit. When she's not photographing weddings or working with Help-Portrait: Denton, Shaina spends most of her free time training her daughter to become the next Mario Kart 64 World Champion and hanging out with her moody cat, Zelda.