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Jacksonville, Florida, United States | INDIE

Jacksonville, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Rock


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"Indie chamber musicians mend listeners with the four steps of healing"

Chris Pringle from RICE says, “There’s good music, and then there’s bad music, and we just follow the inspiration.”

Jacksonville’s quartet of mood music creators doesn’t even know how impassioned they really are. On a Saturday afternoon in a neighborhood in Arlington, Paige McMullen, Summer Wood, a UNF graphic design senior, Michael Martin and Pringle (all dressed in blue) managed to flood an entire backyard and all of its occupants with the most gorgeously galvanized music Jacksonville’s heard in a while. With only a lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums, a much exploited tambourine and overwrought vocals, RICE literally involves any soul that consumes their sound. When it comes to their music, it’s been described as poppy, western, jam band-ish or just flat-out random. Whatever it is, they make excellent use of drawing in listeners with an initially charming melody which builds with every hit of the drum and bash of the tambourine. Once the sound has grown so big it’s about to topple over, RICE adds stimulated vocals into the offbeats which create a pulsating effect that wills everyone in the crowd to lean into every beat with much vim. “So, our name originally just meant rice, as in the food,” said Pringle. “But then Paige, our guitarist, came up with this clever acronym. RICE stands for the four stages of healing: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.” Up until a few weeks ago, they were more or less a revolving band, with temporary keyboard, violin and bass players, but have recently decided to stop being fickle and make the member list official. Wood, drummer and Jacksonville native, is a recent addition to RICE. The band’s temporary keyboardist introduced her to Martin, Pringle and McMullen. “We needed a new drummer,” said Pringle. “Summer just came over one day and really complimented our music.” Wood is a classically trained pianist and has been playing drums for about five or six years now after taking only a year of lessons. In addition to playing in RICE, she also drums in Matrix Infinity, an all-girl, avant-garde drum-synthesizer duo. In RICE, she’s been able to seamlessly blend her drum parts with their pre-existing parts by focusing on the feelings of the songs. “I think most of the lyrics are about love,” said Wood. “And I try to incorporate those feelings with the music.” McMullen comes from a punk background but can write extremely smooth leads, Pringle said. “Paige writes the guitar leads,” said Wood. “Chris writes the guitar rhythms, Mike writes almost all of the lyrics and I write my drum parts.” It’s a collective effort, and they’ve really unified as a band as of late. “We always have a mini five to 30-second meditation before any performance,” said Pringle. “And I think it works.” This summer, a possible tour is in the making with local group Opiate Eyes. “This Friday, we’re recording at the storage unit with Tom Essex from Skinny Records,” said Pringle. “We plan on bringing a handle of whiskey and some cranberry juice along to keep hydrated.” They met Essex in a park in Riverside. They were just drinking red wine, playing music and cloud-gazing when, through serendipity (never having met Essex before) began making plans to record and play together. “It’s such a small, little artistic community,” said Pringle. “It’s so awesome to make connections like that.” As for Wood, after graduating, she hopes to travel and continue to play music, she said. “A lot of people in Jacksonville have so much talent, and I hate to see amazing bands play a lot locally and then see people get sick of it,” said Wood. “I hope that bands here will eventually tour and bring their music elsewhere.” RICE plays the Sinclair May 1 with Opiate Eyes. - Kim Nelson


'Breathe' EP released July 2010



The band RICE began as all good things should—amongst friends. A collective consisting of Michael Martin, Christopher Pringle, Paige McMullen, Summer Wood, and Ryan Turk, RICE was conceived on an unusually cold night in November of 2009. Since that night, a series of fortuitous events have carried the band from the precious stages of infancy and transformed it into a young flower, fragrant and bright, with aspirations of maturing into a full bloom, with melodies that will ease the troubled hearts of all who listen.
In the few months of its existence, RICE has managed to develop a loyal following throughout Jacksonville, Florida, a quiet city in which all the members have lived most of their lives. RICE’s music has received a wide array of comparisons that range from Modest Mouse, due to the impassioned and inexhaustible vocals of Michael Martin, and to Mogwai, due to the dark and oftentimes beautiful and haunting melodies played by the other members, to only name two. Still, when asked what type of sound they are aiming for, the band members simply smile and say, “We are only following the inspiration.” And so far, the inspiration has given this small band from Jacksonville a degree of success that, although small on a grander scale, astonishes and excites its members, nevertheless.
In April of 2010, RICE was honored to receive a review in the official campus newspaper of the University of North Florida, known as the Spinnaker. And in May of 2010, RICE was invited to join Skinny Records at Warehouse Studios, a local label in Jacksonville, Fl, where Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded their first album. On July 31, 2010, RICE released their first EP, entitled Breathe. This EP has received great acclaim from friends and supporters alike, and has even had the privilege of having two of its songs played on “The Indie Endeavor,” a National Public Radio broadcast. In August of 2010, RICE played its first out of town show in Gainesville, Florida, with fellow Jacksonville band, Wild Life Society and Gainesville gem, Cassette, at Common Grounds. Currently, RICE is working on its first full length album and looking forward to playing more local and out of town shows.
Throughout its young life, RICE has and continues to receive unending support and encouragement from family and friends. To each and every one of them, the band is tremendously grateful and hopes to continue on the bright journey it has started. RICE is a band of love. It is love that it aims to spread.