In an attempt to shine light on local music, The Lantern’s “Columbus’ Own” is a weekly series that will profile a new Columbus band each week.
Pace of Glaciers is really a “wannabe band,” its members said. They’re still five days out from their first gig: a Saturday show at Donato’s Basement on High Street. They’ve also only had about three months to refine their sound, described on their website as “dark-indie written for night drives through small towns.” It’s a concept inspired by their backgrounds — all come from small towns in Central Ohio.
“When I was really little, I used to be into skateboarding, and we moved (to Johnstown) and there’s no concrete, all gravel roads. So I had to find something else to do,” said guitarist Ryan Conley, who picked up the guitar at 12 years old.
Singer and guitarist Joey Teale began playing various instruments when he was 8 years old, practicing in a barn in Centerburg, Ohio.
“I grew up in a town with a population of 2,000, and my graduating class was 85 people,” he said. “My high school was surrounded, three sides of it, by cornfields and the other side was a golf course.”
Teale and Conley met when they were 14, playing in bands that would often cross paths. They reunited again in October to form a two-piece. In December, they decided to add vocalist and bassist Steve Pileski, a first-year in marine biology at Columbus State, originally from New Albany, Ohio. Pileski and Conley previously played in a band that had dissolved, so the timing was right for Pace of Glaciers, Conley said. Pileski’s addition led to the recruitment of his high school acquaintance, drummer Cody Carrel.
When Carrel was in middle school, he moved to Galena, Ohio, after living in a series of shelter homes.
“People would dress up like hillbillies when they came to play us (in football games) and stuff,” Carrel said.
Like his fellow band members, Carrel said he came to music because the lack of activities in rural areas.
“In my middle school, kids would start tapping their pencils and make beats. So I started doing it and became like, the best at it,” he said.
Carrel’s time was divided between music and sports until an injury caused him to shift his focus.
“I actually played rugby for Ohio State and the second practice I tore my Achilles and sprained my ankle for like the tenth time and was like, ‘I am done playing rugby and getting hit in the head and stuff,’” he said.
When Carrel was asked to join Pace of Glaciers last fall, he was living in the Acacia fraternity house at Ohio University, despite not being enrolled in the university or a part of the fraternity, because his friend was the social chair. Carrel was playing in a ‘90s cover band at the time and jumped at the chance to play with Teale, Conley and Pileski, whom he had made acquaintances with in high school through mutual friends.
“The last time I played was at Halloweekend at OU. I played that, and the next day I packed my stuff and haven’t been back,” he said.
The four of them decided to change their name from Lom Peor to Pace of Glaciers, a phrase that stuck out to Teale from Alan Lightman’s book “Einstein’s Dreams,” which is a fictional collection of dreams Einstein had about worlds with different conceptions of time.
Their sound, with elements of shoegaze– a genre known for riffs, feedback and distortion– is new for all of the members, but especially to Conley, who used to play eight-string guitar in a death metal band.
“This is mellow for me,” he said. “Honestly I feel like it helped this band a lot because with metal there’s really no rules, you can just go with grooves and rhythms. That band made me realize that I didn’t have to do stuff a certain way. It made me open my horizons.”
The best explanation for the genre of music they have gravitated toward: “When we play, it’s the sound that comes out,” Carrel said.
In December, Pace of Glaciers released an EP titled “The St. Clair EP,” named after the street they live on, and the subsequently named house they live and produce their music in. The cover of their single, “Champagne,” features the Columbus skyline, symbolic of the city that inspires their music.
“I think us coming from places where we’re used to going outside and seeing trees everywhere and fields and places to walk around, to a city where there isn’t that, it’s inspiring,” Teale said. “You long to be back in the forests and fields and near open spaces. It’s almost mentally claustrophobic to be in the city, but it’s still awesome being close to everything.”
The band plans to release a music video and another EP in April, with a full album to follow in the winter. This summer, it plans to play shows in various cities around the country.
“This is my hobby and I want to travel with it and do things with it, not necessarily because we want to be famous or be a huge band or get rich or something,” Teale said.
They consider their first show at Donato’s Basement to be a dry run for those shows.
“For our first show, we’re not trying to go up on stage and just play our instruments because that would be really boring considering how chill our music is. So we’re going to have some lights and things to look at,” Teale said.
Tickets are $8 and the show starts at 7 p.m.