A local band led by past and present Dixie State University students is passionate about seeking bigger and better places to perform and record.
Students and community members of all ages flocked to Centennial Park Friday night to listen to the energetic, indie-inspired music that is Pangea. As it turns out, five highly experienced musicians with an impressive ensemble of various instruments are the perfect ingredients for a rockin’ show.
Isaac Gish, Jeff Ostler, Kyle Lyman, Tyson Christensen and Thom Valadez started playing together in their early middle school years. They all grew up in St. George, and they have collectively meshed their different music tastes into something they can all agree upon.
“We started playing together a long time ago in middle school,” said bass player Ostler, a sophomore accounting major. “We had lots of good songs, and we started meeting musicians so we could reach our full potential.”
Pangea’s eclectic and original sound comes from the combination of its members’ individual musical tastes.
“Each one of us has a number of different music influences,” said guitar player Lyman, a recent DSU graduate.
Pangea’s members describe their music as indie-alternative, taking influence from bands they admire, including The Killers and Coldplay.
“It makes it really interesting because we all have different musical likes, and it really shows in our music,” said drummer Christensen, an undecided junior.
Guitarist Valadez, a sophomore communication major, uses more interesting terminology to describe the band’s genre.
“Neo-contemporary-jazzy-tronic-retro-rock, I’d say… Just kidding!” Valadez said.
Singer and keyboard player Gish, a senior music major, said the band is always evolving.
“We don’t do covers, but we are definitely inspired by other songs,” Gish said. “There isn’t just one composer in our band; we all write our own parts and they go through the ‘Pangea filter.’ It turns out pretty cool.”
They constantly modify their music according to what they feel their fans respond best to, Gish said.
“We’re always open to change,” Lyman said. “You may not hear the same exact version of a song when you come out (and listen to us).”
They have recorded locally in the past, and now they are searching for their big breakthrough. The band has used Kickstarter as a resource to raise money for their next recording project. They reached their goal of $7,500 on Monday.
Pangea’s next recording project will be in October at Battle Born Studios, located in Las Vegas. They have the talent and connections. Now all they need is the funding. The recordings are estimated to be finished at the end of the year.
“We want to capture our sound and at least live our dreams a little bit,” Christensen said.
Gish said their ultimate goal is to make a living with their music and take it as far as they can.
“We’d like to all quit our jobs and just play all the time,” Lyman said.
Pangea performs locally and supports the music scene in St. George, but the members dream of bigger things.
“There are only a couple of venues (in St. George) that we can play at,” Christensen said. “This is a stepping stone.”
“And we’re stepping all over it!” Valadez said.
The band has performed on campus once before and had some other offers to return. They want to utilize the university but have run into some challenges. They attempted to put up fliers promoting their Centennial Park concert, but the university prevented them from doing so because of another activity taking place that same night.
“It’s hard to get a good show going on at the college when there are small events that are best suited by smaller groups,” Christensen said.
The members love playing on campus, but they are looking forward to branching out, Lyman said.
“You can’t really get a lot of emotion out of playing by yourself or in a small band,” Christensen said. “So when you have a big band with a big sound, there is a lot of good that comes out of it.”
Their band directly reflects who they are as individuals.
“As a band, we work really good together,” Ostler said. “That’s my favorite thing about us. We really want to be a band, so we are.”
Pangea’s next performance is at Jazzy Java Sept. 27. Check them out on Facebook to keep updated on future performances.