The Band CAMINO is an alternative group from Memphis, TN. They’ve released two EPs, My Thoughts on You, released in 2016, and Heaven, released in 2017. They’ve been featured on Audiotree Live and just wrapped up a tour at the end of September. Ky Kasselman got to sit down with Jeffery Jordan (vocals/guitar), Spencer Stewart (vocals/guitar/keys), and Graham Rowell (bass) at The Prophet Bar in Dallas, TX to talk about their music careers thus far.
Ky: Let’s start by talking about your name, The Band CAMINO. What’s the story behind that?
Graham: So I saw an El Camino, and I was like “That’s a cool name,” and then I sent it to them and was like “Any band name is weird at first” because they didn’t really like it, but you have to just keep saying it over and over.
Jeffery: But we had been sitting on a song for like a month and we were like “We have to start a band, but we don’t have a band name,” so it was like a crunch at this point. We had all these names that were terrible, and then Graham was like “Camino” and I was like “Nah.”
Spencer: I kinda tried to stay out of it. I took what Graham said very seriously, that I was going to hate any band name at first. So it was like “whatever you guys choose, I’m completely fine with.”
Jeffery: So we started as Camino, and then when we made all our socials, we made it @thebandcamino because @camino was taken, and everyone just started calling us The Band Camino, and we were like “That makes way more sense.”
Ky: So that’s why CAMINO is capitalized, because it was the original?
Graham: Yeah! And also, camino means path, so that’s pretty cool. We chose the band path.
Ky: So what is your favorite song to play live?
Spencer: I think we all have separate answers; I mean we might all have the same answer.
Jeffery: “California” is mine.
Spencer: “California” is a really fun one. But so is “What I Want.” That’s the one we’ve been opening with.
Jeffery: We open with “What I Want” and close with “California,” so like the two.
Spencer: It’s really hard for me to choose between them.
Graham: It’s like a sandwich.
Ky: Do you have a favorite spot to write music?
Jeffery: I do most of the songwriting and I just love writing in my room with a piano. I write a lot of songs starting on piano, and then move to guitar. Most of my stuff was written for solo acoustic or solo piano, and that’s true for the stuff Spencer’s written as well. Most if it is like singer-songwriter-esque written with an acoustic guitar and then brought to the band.
Spencer: We both draw influence from each other anyways, so I’d say that’s true for both of us. I like to spend a lot of time just by myself in my room.
Jeffery: I spend too much time in my room.
Ky: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Graham: We like huddle up and get in the zone sometimes.
Ky: Do you have certain music you listen to before a show?
Graham: I don’t like to listen to music before a show because then it stresses me out. I’ll never be as good as what I’m listening to.
Jeffery: I like to just go somewhere quiet. The more I talk before a show, the more I run my voice out, so I usually try to go somewhere quiet and just sit and think through the set.
Spencer: Yeah, it helps to have that quiet moment to help collect yourself and help you focus on what you need to be doing. Get rid of any of the stuff that you’ve been dealing with that day, and try to clear your mind for the show.
Ky: So when you go to a new city, what is something that you make sure you do?
Graham: Get to the venue.
Spencer: Yeah, we try to find the venue first so we don’t get lost.
Jeffery: Everywhere we go, everyone’s like “You have to eat here, here, and here.” So it’s like, everywhere we go, we always eat really good food. We just ate two seconds ago.
Spencer: But yeah, just getting to like explore and get to know the city that you’re in as much as possible because it’s a cool aspect of touring that we don’t want to take for granted.
Ky: Do you have a venue that you just dream of playing?
Spencer: Madison Square Garden.
Graham: The O2 Arena.
Jeffery: There’s so many.
Graham: I want to play The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis.
Spencer: Terminal 5 in New York, that would be dope. What’s the one in San Francisco? The Fillmore?
Jeffery: There’s one in Memphis called MInglewood Hall that’s like a 1200 cap room, and we’ve never played it, but we’ve played the smaller room there a bunch of times. When we finally end up playing the main hall, it’s going to be a big milestone for us. And in our hometown. I’m sure it’ll happen probably within the next year.
Ky: What is your current favorite song or album?
Graham: Phoebe Bridgers’ Stranger in the Alps. That record is the most important record I’ve heard in two years. Specifically, “Motion Sickness.”
Jeffery: We don’t have an aux cord in the van, so we have a bunch of CDs that we just started listening to. We’ve been listening to a lot of Kings of Leon and The Eagles.
Graham: I feel like also, bands we tour with, we end up listening to them a lot because they’re our friends. Like Brother Moses, all their songs are stuck in my head.
Spencer: The Killers just released their new record on my birthday and they’re my favorite rock band of all time. They’re the coolest to me. The one track off there that I’ve been digging a lot lately is “Rut.” It’s one of their best songs in like, 10 years probably. I’ve been listening to a lot of Chet Faker’s newest record, Banks, Wet.
Jeffery: I’ve been listening to Betty Who.
Spencer: MUNA, oh my god, they’re so good. I would love to go on tour with them.
Ky: Do you have a most memorable moment on stage?
Graham: I hurt myself. Not intentionally, but like, often. The most memorable… I face-planted at a festival. I meant to do that thing where you like go into the crowd all cool. It was not cool. I literally heard everyone gasp. Sometimes I kiss Spencer in “Free of Charge.”
Spencer: We got to play Beale Street Music Festival. It was a beautiful day in our hometown and we got to get up on stage. We had all gone to that festival multiple years before, and it was cool to be able to play looking over your hometown and having everyone sing the words.
Jeffery: Probably that time we played a St. Patrick’s Day show. We played a show in March in that smaller room in Minglewood and it was just a really fun show for us. We filmed a music video that day during the show and it ended up just being insane. And the show in Little Rock. There’s a venue called The Rev Room that’s one of all of our favorite venues.
Ky: What do you want people to take away from your music?
Jeffery: I want to be someone’s favorite band. I want to be the band that is someone’s band. I always mention The 1975, but they’re one of the bands that changed my perspective on music. Songs that you just listen to all the time that relate to you in different scenarios.
Graham: In The Eagles documentary, when they got inducted into the Hall of Fame or something, someone said people lived to The Eagles. People did things to The Eagles, like road trips, or whatever. I want to be a band that is for big events in people’s lives. Just like live life. Be someone’s soundtrack.
Jeffery: The Eagles, they were the band of their generation, they represented everyone that lived in their era. It’s cool that we can express a certain type of people. There’s a certain type of people that relate to our music, and it’s almost like we can represent them.
Spencer: I really just want to make music that I would want to listen to. To live with yourself day by day, making sure that it’s all worth it. You’re not settling for just creating something that other people have done and that’s what’s going to get you to the level that you want to be, but you’re actually pushing yourself to make what you set out to make when you first started making music. We just want other people to look at it like that too. We want everyone to know that we make music because we love doing it and we want people to connect in that way.
Ky: Beach or city?
Graham: Oh god, city.
Jeffery: For what, vacation or?
Jeffery: Beach city?
Ky: What’s your favorite dessert?
Spencer: Key lime pie.
Graham: Key lime pie!
Jeffery: Chess bars.
Ky: What’s your coffee order?
Spencer: Americano, usually.
Graham: Iced Americano.
Jeffery: Iced Americano.
Ky: Pancakes or waffles?
Ky: What is your current Netflix binge?
Spencer: Bojack Horseman.
Jeffery: I just finished Westworld season one for the second time.
Graham: Game of Thrones.
Jeffery: But Netflix? New Girl.
Ky: What was your 7-year-old dream job?
Jeffery: Being a famous singer!
Graham: Playing music.
Ky: Last question, is a hot dog a sandwich?
Graham: It is absolutely not a sandwich.
Jeffery: I have mixed feelings. It depends on the context here. Is it a traditional sandwich? No. But it’s an item between bread.
The Band CAMINO is currently recording their third EP. Be sure to check out their first two EPs, available everywhere, and follow them on social media @thebandcamino.