Meet Pinebox, Ole Miss’s hardest rocking band

The music scene is so much cooler than you probably realize

Oxford, Mississippi is a college community known for its arts and music scene. Not only do prominent artists – Moon Taxi, Umphrey’s McGee, and The Oh Hellos to list a few – visit popular venues such as The Lyric and Proud Larrys, but I have also found a local branch of really great upcoming bands that live right here in Oxford.

I recently attended a house show where I got to listen to and interview a local band called Pinebox. Through the loud music and people, I squeezed in an interview with Jon Michael Walton, the drummer of the group. The other members include Trey Umfress on guitar and backup vocals, Pace Ward on guitar, and Caleb Rushton on bass and lead vocals.

How did your band begin?

Trey and I came from the same high school in Fulton, Mississippi and we always wanted to be in a band together but it never really worked out. We met Pace and Caleb who are from Memphis. We had all played in different bands but just not in the same band. Trey met Pace and Caleb through their fraternity Delta Psi and we all started hanging out. In January during Christmas break, we started noodling around and it turned into something cool.

So how long has Pinebox officially been together?

We have been a band since mid-January of 2016.

What type of music do you play?

All of our songs are pretty sad and emotional.

Are you guys on Spotify?

We will be at the end of the month. We have a brand new EP coming out. Travis Wilburn, a local sound engineer here in Oxford, is recording it.

How many songs have you recorded so far?

We have done three songs on a demo. We recorded them in one take and we hung a rock band mic on the wall and just played through the songs so there’s a lot of character to them. We just released a new acoustic demo called Clingy.

Do you plan to keep the band together after you all graduate Ole Miss?

Yeah, absolutely. We want to tour during the summer. We just booked five shows. We have a festival coming up that I actually put on called Brofest in Tupelo, Mississippi, May 14 and 15. A bunch of different bands come together and you get to see all these bands you’ve never seen before. And then our manager, Sam Cox, booked us a Memphis show and a Jackson, MS show at Big Sleepy’s.

Stay updated with Pinebox and their tour dates on Instagram: @Pineboxms.

Thank you to the band’s photographer, Walter Lyle, for the photos.

Ole Miss: University of Mississippi