Gig Seeker Pro


Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | MAJOR

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | MAJOR
Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Mandatory Ambulance"


Mandatory Ambulance

Melodic solos and catchy hooks punctuate the latest release from Houston’s Pale, a band that backs a stadium-sized sound with consistently solid songwriting and addictive choruses. Hit-worthy “The Window” and “The Tongue” are the highlights here – driving beats and swirling guitars, along with singer / guitarist Calvin Stanley’s love-gone-wrong lyrics, propel the songs to almost orchestral heights. As with much of 2005’s Here, Stanley also laces the EP with religious imagery and seems to pay penance through fractured relationships, the drudgery of late nights and the typical struggles inherent in every man. On “Mistake,” he sings: “Where are you now? /haven’t made a sound/but your eyes could write scripture…what I wouldn’t give to have been wrong this time.”

On “The Light,” the album’s sing-along love song, he tells the object of his affection, “I live for your smile like a dream coming true/just close your eyes/know that I’m seeing you…you are a love song.” You can almost picture the swaying lighters held high in concert.

The rhythm section of bassist Stephen Wesson and drummer Travis Middour, along with guitarist / keyboardist Robb Moore, creates a moody framework for such of the EP’s five tracks. “Mandatory” and “The Ghost”’s polished balladry are the best example of this, and take the band down a slower climax, however, that shows why Pale are frontrunners to break out of Houston’s music scene (Moore’s solo near the end of “Mistake” proves this). If Mandatory Ambulance doesn’t help Pale get the national attention they deserve, maybe the industry truly is dead. – DAC

Envy Magazine
- Envy Magazine

"Jan. '09"

H-Town’s hottest veteran quartet resolve to rock in ‘09

By Shea Serrano

“Robb. Just Robb.” That’s how the eccentric guitarist of Pale – Houston’s seven-year-old indie-rock quartet finally flirting with big-name record labels and national recognition – answers when asked for his full name. And considering the nonchalance with which the other members of the band accept his I’m-kind-of-a-big-deal mono-monikered stance, you’d be forgiven for taking “Just Robb” seriously.
Thankfully he’s joking, and a few awkward minutes later he discloses his last name, which is Moore. But within the deadpan there’s a telling story about Pale. They’re playful, even droll, when they aren’t working – anything but when they are. “We’ve learned that’s the only way to get to the level that we want to be,” says singer Calvin Stanley.
Pale – made up of Moore, Stanley, bassist Stephen Wesson and drummer Travis Middour, all of whom are single except Middour and range in age from 26 to 33 – released their last album in ’07. It got high praise from local music insiders who couldn’t get enough of the band’s mainstream-ready wall-of-sound style, akin to a less bombastic U2.
Two years later, the buzz is back – and building through a busy schedule of projects and performances. Recently, Pale played several high-profile concerts, for which they typically go high-fashioned in bold, color-coordinated suits or slick all-black, as when they opened for Blue October last month.
This month, they’ll release a music video for “Bad Intel,” the first of two teasers (“Houstone” being the second) for their long-awaited album, that’ll be in rotation on MTV2 and Fuse. Oh, and the boys were just confirmed to play at a high-powered celebrity party following the Saturday night festivities of February’s NBA All-Star game in Phoenix.
Watching Pale prepare for the new album inside their tiny Northwest Houston practice studio, the singer’s assessment is on point. During sound check, the band members drink Lone Star beer and trade barbs regarding everything from Moore’s status as the Keith Richards of the band (Talented at guitar and, um, other pleasurable endeavors), to the expediency with which one should eat a Big Mac (“not fast”).
But once they get around to playing, Pale is all business. Stanley’s emotive alto – and occasionally soprano – wail is the real show pony of the band, and he wrote the majority of the songs on the new album. His voice gives meaning to mostly thematic lyrics, which either spiral back to the experience of loss – a possible nod to the recent passing of his father – or proffer a take on Pale’s status in the music world.
“Overall,” says Stanley, “after everything, I think we’ve found a way to laugh at ourselves and say, ‘we’re still here and we’re still gonna get this thing done.’ And we find ourselves doing the best work of our lives; ’09 is our year.”
- Houston Modern Luxury

"Houston Pess July '10"

Moody Houston alt-rock band Pale premiered its video for "Catastrophic Skies," a song that was once under serious consideration for one of the Twilight soundtracks, last week. David A. Cobb of Houston Calling was invited to the set and sent in this report...

Photos by David A. Cobb

In late April, I got a call from Pale's singer/guitarist Calvin Stanley asking if I would be interested in checking out a video shoot for the band's new song, "Catastrophic Skies." I was intrigued, as I had never gone to a video shoot before, had been listening to an MP3 of the song for a while, and was curious to see how the band's video would play out. Plus, Stanley indicated that the shoot would be par with a Hollywood production.

One Saturday morning in early May, I drove to the edge of downtown Houston, past where I'd normally feel even remotely comfortable venturing, and ended up at a dilapidated mill or warehouse in the Fifth Ward that is apparently where Art Cars go to die. It was immediately obvious that the video shoot was indeed a massive event, complete with everything you'd expect in a Hollywood-style production: make-up, costumes, pyrotechnics, catering, generator trucks, photographers, extras, and hangers-on like me.

The first person I encountered was Hank Schyma (lead singer/guitarist for Southern Backtones), who I would later find out plays a fairly prominent role in Pale's video. Schyma and I have spoken on many occasions, and I am a fan of the Backtones' music, so my inquisitive nature led us down the path of discussing his band as opposed to what I probably should have been covering.

Why I didn't question the eye patch still baffles me…

Prior to "Catastrophic Skies," Pale had a trio of videos under its belt, some successful, some not so much.
"'Glowing Black' was my favorite up 'til now," Stanley says. "It seemed to fit the song very well, and it was in working on that video that I met some of the same people who worked on this one. There is, however, no comparison between experiences.
"We shot 'Glowing Black' and 'There' in one six-hour day in the same place. Jason Konopisos directed those, and he's just that good. I'm sure we'll work with him again. 'Catastrophic Skies' was the kind of experience that many Hollywood veterans who worked on it said it was the most legit set that they'd ever worked on.
"I loved being told what to do for once. The same concept and sound as big as it was that I saw in my dreams, I literally now can watch. It's a miracle."

Southern Backtones' Hank Schyma

It was also readily apparent that the theme of the video was some apocalyptic aftermath, with upwards of 50 extras dressed in Mad Max-style finery. In case you're curious, apparently skateboards, cigarettes, make-up, motorcycles, musical instruments and microphones survive the apocalypse (or whatever).

I spoke with each of the band members- guitarist Robb Moore, drummer Travis Middour, bassist Stephen Wesson and Stanley - during the shoot, but mostly left them alone to focus on the video. Director Sean Duke, along with cinematographer Chase Rees and the rest of the crew, kept a level head throughout my time on the shoot, despite the heat and tedium of watching one scene over and over.

"It was a huge production," Stanley says. "Much bigger than we anticipated. It was an honor to have what started as a small, independent project turn into a virtual media love fest. We had the best of the best come in from around the state to work on this and volunteer their talent and time, initially because they believed in this song and the band..."

I gave up after the crew nailed the video's initial scene, although I was curious to see how the entire video would take shape. Moore told me that he heard that the video would be ready by the end of May - a deadline I knew to be rather aggressive - and it surprised me when I found out last week that Pale was holding a premiere of the "Catastrophic Skies" video at River Oaks Theater. I hadn't returned for the second day (and night) of filming, so I didn't know what to expect.
"I was very surprised it came together so quickly after filming," Stanley says. "Chase Rees, who shot the video, also edited the entire project. He was so in love with what we had achieved, his impatience level met mine, and that's a beautiful thing. With this band, I want it now, I want it fast. Everyone worked hard and wanted to be able to see their work, so yeah, it was fast.
"Personally, I'm thrilled with the final product," he says. "The band is thrilled with the final product, which is highly satisfying considering I had to build this thing so quickly. I've gotten to where sometimes I don't inform them properly. It's a bad habit, but there's a motivation that comes with that.
"After we had finished the song for the Twilight film people, they didn't get back in touch with us. Our record label was dragging its feet, doing anything. Our manager had just committed suicide. My philosophy for surviving in this business and keeping the band inspired to rise above the many heartbreaks we've been put through is to always outdo ourselves whether anyone is paying attention or not.
"My first priority was to reward the guys for all their sacrifices and perseverance with something a bit eternal; a great concept on the big screen - and trust me, when our parents saw this with glowing approval for once- that's a hell of an accomplishment."
Despite its theme, the video for "Catastrophic Skies" is not all serious. Between Schyma's eye patch and Southern drawl, Stanley's Texas fetish and Moore's joke about his guitar, the video contains plenty of humor.

Pale's Calvin Stanley
"My favorite part of the video has to be Robb's solo," Stanley says. "I practically lived with this man for almost a decade and still geek out with fan boy lust when watching him play. He's going to be a legend whether he knows it or not."
"Catastrophic Skies" seems to be laying the groundwork for another film, and Stanley says he has plans for a trilogy: "I'm already writing what would be the prequel and then will move on to the finale. If we manage to obtain and expand this team and (hopefully) pay them, I'd like to go bigger and more intense with both projects. I'm also considering writing a feature-length film under this concept."
Stanley says the band has recorded more than 20 new songs for an upcoming release, but wants to spend some time focusing on spreading the word about Pale's new video. "We have a lot of plans to get this video out," he says. "It's gonna cost some money but that's the game and we're done screwing around..."
"Much like this video, we are expecting a masterpiece in a very thorough story that I think everyone will want to hear," he says. "Stay tuned at and please join us in our fight to get Houston recognized internationally for what it is: An incredible artistic community."
View the edited version of "Catastrophic Skies" here. The extended cut is also available here.
- Houston Press


(LP) Here - 2005

(EP) Mandatory Ambulance - 2007

(LP) In The Time Of Dangerous Men - 2011



Profile: Pale
Taking their name from a poem that states life is a pale representation for what lies ahead, Pale has earned a place in the hearts of music lovers with a sound that sticks to your soul like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.
Sonically intense and melodic, life for the Houston-based quartet started almost a decade ago when they came together based on a common love of powerful, thought-provoking music. The band members each had their own diverse and sometimes very different musical influences, but ironically, this combination seemed to effortlessly mesh to create Pales unique sound.

These guys are not only like brothers to me, they are the most talented group of musicians Ive ever worked with, states Pale guitarist, Robb Moore. Calvin [Stanley] is our principal songwriter, and he has a keen knack for writing songs that dont end up sounding like a carbon copy of his influences. The whole band feeds off that creativity which allows us to each add our own influences that, in the end, form the signature Pale sound.

Pales new CD, IN THE TIME OF DANGEROUS MEN is on A-Blake Records (co-owned by Blake Barnes and Pale) and is the result of over a year of soul-searching and musical experimentation that showcases Pale at the top of their game. The 12-track outing, produced by Grammy winner Steve Christensen, is a deep, pensive look by Pale at the world around us.

Pale traces their origins back to the club days of Houston. After the implosion of Stanleys original band, he first brought on talented drummer Travis Middour, and, soon after, added bassist Stephen Wesson who suggested they also bring in Moore. We had all known each other from the local music scene. Chemistry developed between the four of us almost immediately, Moore recalls.

In 2004, after rising to the top of their local field, Pale released HERE, their debut outing, to positive feedback. The album immediately gained critical praise, with their hometown Houston Chronicle calling the CD moody and often marvelous. The Dallas Observer cited the records exceptional songwriting. The band toured extensively on their own in support of HERE, as well as playing support slots for acts as diverse as Roger Waters and Depeche Mode.

Their next release, the six-song EP MANDATORY AMBULANCE, came out in 2007. Like its predecessor, it was produced by Lars Goransson (Fastball, the Cardigans, Blondie) and again was well received by the media. Envy magazine listed MANDATORY AMBULANCE as their National Pick of the Month, citing Pale as a band that backs a stadium-sized sound with consistently solid songwriting and addictive choruses. After seeing the bands performance at a SXSW showcase, Wayne Kramer of MC5 fame, stated, Pale is definitely on the verge of big things. Pale was determined to take their bands musical stance in a more lush and epic direction with MANDATORY AMBULANCE, and thats exactly what they accomplished. The Houston Press lauded: Calvin Stanley's soul-searching, lovelorn lyrics make him a viable candidate for best local songwriter this year.

Pales live shows continued to grow, gathering fans and industry kudos along the way. The group opened for Blue October and Earshot, among others, playing coast to coast, from the Roxy in Los Angeles to the now-defunct CBGBs in New York City and points in between.

In the summer of 2009, Pale relocated to Los Angeles to attract industry awarenessand thats exactly what they did. Almost immediately, a representative of the Twilight movie franchise saw one of their many live shows and contacted the band about including the song, Mandatory Ambulance, in the then-upcoming film Twilight: New Moon. The band lost out to a track from Thom Yorke.

While in Los Angeles, Pale played all the top venues in the city and signed for management with the legendary Caresse Henry, who was known for her work with Madonna, Paula Abdul and Ricky Martin, among others. Once again, the possibility of a song in Twilight: Eclipse, then the next installment of the popular vampire film series, materialized, this time for their brand-new song called Catastrophic Skies. Pale recorded the song with Houston-based Steve Christensen as producer in order to submit it for consideration for the films soundtrack.

Early in 2010, things took a darker turn for Pale, and following the unfortunate death of Henry, the band, who had again lost out on a spot in the Twilight franchise, moved back to Houston permanently. Disappointed, but undeterred, their survival instincts kicked into high gear.

Band Members