Denton's Pageantry didn't intend to become an actual band, but over the course of the past year, Roy Robertson and his backing musicians did just that. It's not uncommon for a tightly-knit music community like Denton's to share band members, change names or make adjustments on the fly, but it's interesting to watch a group of musicians morph from backing band into a truly democratic unit.
"I started playing with these guys last summer, and at the time we played my solo material," Robertson says. "It's much more of a band now. I still write the songs, but it's more collaborative."
Robertson's collaborators are Ramon Muzquiz on drums and Pablo Burrull on bass. I mentioned how bands in Denton share members: Muzquiz and Burrull met while playing in Young and Brave, and Burrull used to play in The Polycorns with Caleb Ian Campbell. Campbell now has Roy Roberson as a bandmate in his new project, Team Tomb.
But side projects aren't distracting Pageantry from their work. The band is recording their first EP as a group and have tested the material live in the past few months, including recent shows with Terminator 2, Danny Rush and the DDs and Ryan Becker and Last Joke.
"When we started, we just played songs off [Robertson's solo EP] Wonderness, but we're actually starting to phase those out," Muzquiz says.
"And the songs from Wonderness that we still play have changed," Burrull continues. "The arrangements have shifted. Now it's purely Pageantry."
Whereas Wonderness was a measured and intimate affair bordering on folk, Pageantry's EP is shaping up to be intricate and more aggressive. The drums are now a driving force, providing a solid foundation to Robertson's affecting falsetto and layers of electric guitars. The band doesn't improve upon Robertson's songs so much as expand on and realize their potential. Muzquiz is particularly mindful of the mix of sounds on the band's new songs.
"Roy's always had this element to his music of merging some dirty things and some really clean things. I want to keep that going," he says.
Pageantry are also working on a short tour at the end of July, with additional local shows on the horizon, which just might include their first in Dallas. In the meantime, the goal is to stay busy, and stay young.
"I try to eat healthy and exercise," Robertson laughs. "Hopefully responsibilities won't come my way. Responsibilities come to those with wrinkly skin."