Memphis Music Feature: A Beer With The Band CAMINO
Ed. Note: Contributor Baylee Less sat down for a beer with the musicians of The Band CAMINO to learn more about their roots in the Memphis scene. They headline 901 Fest this weekend at Tom Lee Park. See the full lineup here.
All live photos provided by Adrian Berryhill.
Meet The Band CAMINO
Fans of The 1975, The Killers, and dreamy rock melodies, no need to fret – I found your latest love, and guess what? They’re from Memphis.
Jeffrey Jordan (vocals/lead guitar), Spencer Stewart (vocals/guitar), Graham Rowell (bass), and Andrew Isbell (drums) comprise the alternative electro-rock group known as The Band CAMINO. These four goofy young men collectively create flourishing electro-pop jams and sultry rock serenades.
Although they’ve been friends since high school, The Band CAMINO officially formed back in 2015. Despite the adolescent age of both the band and the band members, The Band CAMINO are already making waves on indie charts and international music blogs. Their contemplative single “The Black and White,” which questions the complexity of healing and heartbreak in a four minute epic piano-driven power ballad, has close to 1 million streams on Spotify.
Recently, I sat down with the boys at the Casual Pint on Highland for a beer and a conversation about their influences, band beginnings, and Memphis roots.
Baylee: Tell me about how you learned to play and when you decided musician was the career you wanted to pursue.
“We all got into music in our own way. My uncle was Duck Dunn, the bassist for Booker T. and the MG’s and the house bassist for STAX records.” Rowell explained, “Because of that, I was interested in music from a young age and then after he died I became more serious about pursuing it as a career.”
Jordan, Isbell, and Stewart each had choir and band beginnings that turned into passions and quickly into potential career moves. Isbell also mentioned his musician parents who always supported his enthusiasm for the craft.
Baylee: Where did the name ‘The Band CAMINO’ come from?
“Honestly it was a happy accident,” Jordan started. “But I’ll let Graham tell the story.”
“One day I saw an old El Camino, and thought the word would work as a great band name. I suggested it to Andrew, and he liked it. Then I sent it to Jeffrey and Spencer, and they hated it.” Graham laughed. “Eventually they came around and we only became The Band CAMINO after making all of our social media handles.”
“People became confused by what our name was, but in the end ‘The Band CAMINO’ stuck.” Isbell continued.
Rowell also informed me that ‘camino’ means ‘path’ in Italian, which feels poetic considering The Band CAMINO serves as these four budding musicians’ path to industry success.
Baylee: Does Memphis have any influence on your music? The history, the culture, etc?
“Nope, not at all. Nothing.” Jordan chuckled jokingly. “Truly, it’s a big part of who we are even though that sounds cheesy.”
He continued, “The people who play in Memphis are really good. Bands from LA or other big cities may just have the right producer or right record label, but we feel like in Memphis the live show and the talent are what really matter. That aspect of our music was always important to us in the beginning and feels very Memphis to us.”
Stewart articulated how the small-town-big-city nature of Memphis shaped his personal identity, which in turn shapes his musical identity. “It was harder for me to find myself within a smaller community, but once I found these guys the creative expression just came naturally.”
Baylee: If you could live in any time period for the music scene, when would you want to live?
Rowell answered without thinking twice, “The San Francisco hippie scene in the 60’s for sure.”
“The prime of the jazz era. It was dangerous, and I would love to go into any club and just hear jazz music.” Isbell chimed in.
Jordan went next, “I would want to live right now mostly because the possibilities are endless for the music industry. It’s a really interesting time to be a musician.”
After a few minutes of deliberation, Stewart answered, “Honestly, I keep thinking of all these different eras and can’t decide. In the end, I think I’ll choose the 80’s, but mostly because I’m really into denim.”
Baylee: What are your plans for the summer?
“We are touring on and off. Working on new songs, and filing our band taxes for the first time,” Isbell said.
“And we will be in LA in June to shoot another music video,” Jordan added.
Baylee: And finally, what are some of your favorite spots in Memphis?
A few answers included Cheffies, the Germantown Commissary, a Grizzlies game, and Captain John’s.
These boys use youthful energy and skillful artistry to produce refreshingly pleasant indie rock. Although most of their songs center around young love, “I Spend Too Much Time in My Room” reflects on the ever-increasing tendency for people to seclude themselves in their room, on their phone, and away from the outside world. It’s one of their slower tunes, but I appreciate the raw, identity-searching lyrics backed by the simple, echoing drum pattern and guitar strums.
It’s a new sound coming out of Memphis, but Isbell offered how exciting that is for the music scene here. They mentioned that when they travel everyone knows Memphis – especially for their music.
How to Listen and Support
Catch them headlining 901Fest this Saturday, May 27th, at 8:15 p.m. on the Orion 901Rocks Stage. Read more about 901Fest here.
Also look for their newest EP Heaven out June 2nd on Apple Music and Spotify. You can preorder it here.
Heaven – EP will include:
- Who Says We’re Through
- What I Want
- My Thoughts on You
About The Author
A born and raised Memphian, Baylee Less recently returned to her roots after her four-year hiatus at the University of Maryland. A new contributor to ILoveMemphis and Memphis Travel, she is excited to share the reasons she’s always loved Memphis. She enjoys live music, Asian food, and being outdoors. Follow @bayleeless on Twitter for updates about being vegan in the land of barbecue.