Photo Credit: Tabor Allen
The Long Beach-based pair Pageants struck up a friendship long before the music made them a perfect match, and while there have been some hills and valleys along the way, they are focused on the here and now. A present-day that includes their new album, ‘Sun and Settled Days,’ out July 30. We talked with Pageants’ Rebecca about those doubts, the new album, and why their city is absolutely obsessed with rollerskates.
Kendra: What came first for you two, the relationship or the music?
Rebecca: The relationship came first. We met in high school, first down the street from my house at a friend’s garage, then again when Devin was placed in my art class. He was new to school. Our teacher moved the girl who sat next to me to a different seat and put Devin next to me instead. It felt like we were being set up. We liked each other but didn’t end up dating until after high school at which point we were both playing music, so it caught up to us pretty quickly.
Kendra: When Devin started touring with Cherry Glazerr, did it feel at certain points Pageants was never going to exist when he got home?
Rebecca: I had moments of doubt because Pageants certainly wasn’t going anywhere fast without Devin around. If I was going to continue pursuing the project while Devin was touring then I was going to have to do it on my own and find new members. It felt wrong on every level, not to mention the sadness that accompanied that potential outcome.
Kendra: It’s been noted that a lot of ‘Sun and Settled Days’ is about processing that chapter of your lives where the band, your relationship was strained due to constant distance. Would you say this record was not only therapeutic to put together but also a chance to turn the page and move forward for good?
Rebecca: We originally started tracking the record when Devin had a short break from touring. I was trying to get the ball rolling as best as I could. By the time we got to dive back into working on the record, he had quit Cherry Glazerr. It felt good to have my person back in my day-to-day life.
Working on songs like ‘Please Hurry’ (which I wrote for Devin right before he was about to come home from a long tour) would have been a lot less fun to work on if the long distance situation still stood. Making this record was a chance to move forward and give ourselves a chance to make the music that’s important to us.
Kendra: Listening to and watching the video for “It Might Be Crazy,” it gave off this very ‘60s/’70s vibe. Which I think comes naturally for those in Long Beach due to the abundance of roller skaters one can find near the beach on any given day. That skate scene aside, where in Long Beach would you say is the most comparable to ‘Sun and Settled Days,’ and why?
Rebecca: Haha, yes the skate scene in Long Beach is absolutely thriving in every way. We did actually try to capture this question in our music video for ‘Where Did The Time Go!’ We were both born and raised here in Long Beach and wanted to show the city through our lens.
We featured most of our favorite places but if I had to pick one I’d choose ‘The Bay’. Some people call it ‘The Peninsula’, but growing up it was always just ‘The Bay’. Going down there on a hot weekday when it’s mellow is one of my favorite things. I’m not a super solid swimmer so the fact that there are zero waves makes for a very floaty-friendly experience. We also have an inflatable kayak that we take through Naples (which is our version of Venice, but Venice was already being built so we’re Naples instead) so that’s pretty sweet. We go down there to take a day off and relax, and that’s exactly the vibe that I wanted the album title to reflect.
Kendra: Having been in the LA area for over 15 years now, I feel like Long Beach doesn’t get enough of that LA-music scene love. Are there any local venues you’ve enjoyed over the years you can shout out and show some love to?
Rebecca: Long Beach needs a legit venue. There, I said it. That being said, we have a lot of really cute bars that have stages that are super fun and intimate to play. We’re actually playing a free album release show at this bar on 4th St. called Vine! It’s comfy and intimate and always feels like a party with friends.
My favorite kitschy spot is The Prospector (because it’s got an old-timey prospector theme, duh). The shows there are always fun and the karaoke there is the best in town. There’s also Alex’s Bar, which is really fun. It’s got this spooky aesthetic inside (HBO’s ‘True Blood’ used Alex’s as the vampire bar, Fangtasia). Then there’s Que Sera which has these cool globe lamps above the bar that feel very cinematic.
Kendra: Lastly, it’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Rebecca: It’s really hard to get a good sense of where the state of music is at right now. That being said, we’re just going to keep working at our own pace and try our best to be creative. We are self-releasing this record so this whole process has been very DIY. We’re keeping our shows local for now, so keep your eyes peeled for shows in LA, Long Beach & OC! Also gearing up to get some sweet swag in our merch shop, so follow along with us on IG @pageantsmusic for updates!