Virginia Tech students Tashi Gyatso and Jack Furth formed Icebox the Band at the inception of this semester and hope. Icebox the Band hopes to breathe new life into the local music scene with songs from their first ever EP, “Icebox EP,” set to release Dec. 13.
The duo met in high school and spent 50 days together on a South Carolinian farm this summer where they began to formulate the idea to create a band upon their return to Blacksburg in the fall. They’ve been inspired by a conglomerate of music genres and have developed their own musical sound
In the early weeks of the fall semester, the two busked on Tech’s residential side of campus in which they introduced themselves to onlooking freshmen by singing covers such as The Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping."
“I was just rattling off the stupidest band names I could think of,” Gyatso said.
It was at this moment that Icebox the Band was christened.
“We spent two months trying to come up with a better name than “Icebox,” and we couldn’t,” Furth said.
And so it began. According to Gyatso, their intentions to ultimately form Icebox the Band were more about experimenting with recorded music rather than to create a concrete musical group; the band’s inception was rather organic in this sense.They’ve been inspired by a conglomerate of music genres and have developed their own musical sound. The group, having grown up listening to a variety of music from indie rock to classical, decided to create music of their own. Gyatso and Furth have spent the last month and a half developing “Icebox EP,” which consists of six songs including one that was already released titled “No Worries.”
“We were going after a stripped-down bedroom indie rock kind of sound because that was in our means,” Gyatso said.
Quite literally so, the friends recorded the EP on one microphone in Gyatso’s bedroom. Whether it’s the EP’s melodic vocal layers, a vibrant guitar solo or soothing choruses, “Icebox EP” varies distinctly from song to song.
Their only audience in the EP’s development was their third roommate and the neighbors above who often interrupted their recording sessions with furious stomps in response to their loud guitar riffs.
“Something that really fascinates us is using complex techniques to create simple sounds and simple pop-rock song structures,” Furth said.
Deemed an honorary third band member, Gyatso’s laptop was the site for all of the EP's production. Considering the laptop’s less than state-of-the-art capabilities, its fan turned on frequently to cool down the overworking system.
Icebox the Band sought to emulate a “lo-fi early Mac DeMarco sound and an extremely high fidelity late-stage Radiohead, overproduced, orchestral sound” within their capacities of a laptop, a few guitars, a guitar amp, some small effects and the one microphone.
When asked if they sound like their inspirations, Furth said, “I think we sound like Icebox the Band. I think we sound like ourselves. I think Tashi and I have unique songwriting characteristics and impulses that meet really well and are identifiably our own even as we very much model ourselves in the like of other artists.”
Icebox the Band has played both at American University and a few times in Blacksburg at XYZ Art Gallery. As for the future, the band intends to play more local shows in the hopes of revitalizing the local music scene.
“When I was a freshman a few years ago, almost every week there were always some cool shows, some out of town band, local band or songwriter… You could always depend on some local music event happening and because of that, there was kind of an air people felt that they could go and express themselves,” Gyatso said. “That all kind of faded away as certain people graduated and moved away from the town. I think for the past year, people haven’t really found that sort of space to exist in the town.”
Icebox the Band anticipates a revival of the Blacksburg music scene.
“It kind of feels like something is coming back. It’s really exciting and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Gyatso said.
Beyond Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, the duo spelled out their hopes for the band’s future rather simply: “Madison Square Garden.”