Meet Carpetland: State College’s Own Rock Band
To many, music is an escape — a release and form of self-expression. To State College-based rock band Carpetland, it’s exactly that and so much more.
“If you are into music it’s not just entertainment, it’s medicine for your soul. I can think of a lot of different situations in which I have listened to a song and been truly affected by it on an existential level,” said John Ott, guitarist and vocalist.
Carpetland has five members: Ott, Dan Hosterman (bassist and vocalist), Sam Christensen (guitarist and vocalist), Evan Callaghan (drummer), and Ryan Zieminksi (keys).
Ott and Callaghan attend Penn State. They’ve been playing music separately from each other until almost a year ago, when they came together and formed Carpetland. Christensen and Hosterman were childhood friends and attended State High together. Eventually, they realized they share many of the same musical influences like The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, and Tame Impala. Those influences inspired them to start playing at Zieminksi’s house, aka Carpetland . The name stuck. Now they’ve moved to the new “Carpetland,” one with its own studio.
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The guys have released singular songs and a few EPs, and they’re currently working on a full-length LP. Although they’ve been at it for a while, they’re still working out the perfect writing process. Since all members write music, it takes time to develop the process that works for the whole band.
“You’ll be listening to something and have this unbelievable emotional response to these sound waves…we want to make music that can [have] that happen to the listener,” Christensen said.
Certain themes drive Carpetland: existentialism, anxiety, pain, girls, and absurd situations to name a few. Some songs are vague and let the listener interpret the meaning based on personal situations — others are straightforward.
Carpetland performs live in cafes, clubs, and even in its own house. Each venue comes with a set of different vibes and atmospheres. For now the guys prefer house shows. “It’s a big difference seeing how many people actually come and pay attention in both places,” Hosterman said. He added that at bars, people aren’t always active participants — they might be there, but they aren’t always there just for the music.
Christensen’s favorite part about performing live is, “Seeing people enjoy our music [and] seeing people sing our lyrics back to us.”
The band faces some obstacles along with all the spurts of productivity. Sometimes it’s difficult to get everyone on the same page 100% of the time. They are confident that despite the times when they don’t feel like working on music, they’ll always get it done.
“Music is an emotional release to the point where we have to do it,” Christensen said.
The guys describe their music as Post Psychedelic, Progressive, Neo Humanist, and Philosophical rock. The end goal, one dear to many musicians, is to be able to sustain themselves through music so it can become a full-time job. They know they can’t shoot unreasonably high, but high enough to have the drive so essential in the industry.
Carpetland’s next show is November 4 at 8 p.m. at the Carpetland house. If bars are more your style, there’s another November 17 at 8 p.m. at Café. Stop by and jam.
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