It took awhile for things to come together for Brennan Moring and Noah Packard.
Moring, 28, and Packard, 27, have been playing together since their days at Sammamish High School where they won their freshman year Battle of the Bands, but it wasn’t until they found guitarist Elliot Preston in 2015 that the real music started to flow and the fringes of Peyote Ugly started to form.
Before meeting Preston, who is originally from Tallahassee, Packard had more or less given up on playing and hadn’t touched his drum set in three years.
“[Playing drums] is such an inconvenient hobby, and it’s an intrusive hobby,” said Packard. “It was really easy to get side-tracked and stop the music, so when we started the band it got me back on track. It went from a hobby that’s unproductive to something to take seriously.”
But even then, the three bandmates didn’t jive right away. Packard and Moring, who lived together, always wanted to jam with Preston, but the chemistry just wasn’t there yet.
“We sucked for awhile. We wrote some pretty bad songs,” said Preston. “I’m into jamming if it’s good, but it was always really bad, so I was like, ‘we should just write some songs.’ “
The band took Preston’s advice to heart, and in 2017, after a year of recording in Moring’s home studio, they released their first EP, a self-titled, six-track endeavor. The band said recording was what really helped them flush out their synthy psych-rock sound, and it shows. The shortest track on the record is four minutes and 24 seconds, and four of the six songs are over five minutes long.
Peyote’s studio sound varies from their live performances — which makes their shows all that much more exciting — in one key way: on their record, Moring played bass, which is his original instrument. Live, he plays two keyboards so the three-piece can fill out their sound on the high and low end.
But, that doesn’t mean the band is looking for a bassist. They like being a trio, especially since they all get along so well.
“We were all best friends before we even started playing in this band,” said Packard.
And the best friends are on their way up. They’re currently in the process of recording their next, five-song EP, and, after that, they’re looking to dive into recording a full-length record that will hopefully have a title just as catchy as Peyote Ugly is in and of itself.
“That’s one of the best ways to get your name to stick in someone’s mind — just to have enough face value to where it sticks, and then it doesn’t mean anything after that,” said Moring. “What does Death Cab For Cutie mean?”
For a more in-depth look at the band’s process, check out their mockumentary, A Quest For Tone.