It took months of late-night practice and recording sessions to create, but Oxford band Pinebox released their debut EP, “With You In Acadia,” on June 19. The EP is made up of five songs that were recorded with Travis Wilburn at Keystone Studio in Oxford. Pinebox will also play an EP release show tonight at Proud Larry’s.
The group features Caleb Rushton singing and playing bass, Trey Umfress and Pace Ward playing guitar and Jon Michael Walton on the drums.
“I think ‘With You in Acadia’ is a result of four kids who needed to get thoughts out in a creative way that they all four respected, all four stood behind,” Ward said. “We had something to say, so we said it, and we all got together and said it together and made an EP. So that’s why we care so much about it now, because it’s a chunk of us. It took a lot out of us.”
Rushton went into further detail about the challenging but overall rewarding process of writing and recording the EP.
“It was a really intensive process because we didn’t have a lot of time to work on it,” Rushton said. “You have work in the day so we had to work on it like two hours at a time, off and on for a couple of months, so it’s nice to finally get it out.”
“It’s been like an emotional drainage the past few months, and now it’s just like you can step back and smile,” Umfress said.
Pinebox is relatively new to the music scene, as the group started playing together in January.
“Caleb and I had been jamming around since November. We got with Jon Michael over Christmas break, made sure he could do it, and Pace was like the last piece to the puzzle, and then we all came together,” Umfress said of the band’s origin.
The members have experience in a wide variety of projects they previously played in, and all bring a host of different influences to make their sound.
“I played a lot of metal and hardcore. I played drums in school too, so that’s where I learned all my chops,” Walton said. “I played with some gospel drummers that got me into different styles of music too.”
Umfress’ first band was a funk band, but he later played hardcore and acoustic music before Pinebox. Meanwhile, Ward and Rushton both previously played in emo bands before Pinebox, whose sound is a mixture of loud indie and alternative rock, emo and shoegaze.
The band broaches a multitude of subjects on the EP, exploring relationships and the emotions tied to them among other themes. One song, “Rasselas,” is named after the book ‘The History of Rasselas: Prince of Abyssinia.”
“’Rasselas’ is about a book that explores the ideas of necessary evil, like you can’t have good without the bad,” Rushton said. “It’s almost like a retelling of some of the major points in that book, but it also deals with that greater concept of necessary evil.”
“With You in Acadia” is currently available on the band’s Bandcamp page and on Youtube, with plans for it to be released on Spotify and iTunes in the future. Pinebox plays their EP release show at 9 p.m. tonight at Proud Larry’s, with Brian Hillhouse and Carlos Danger slated to open.