The Band Camino Talks Songwriting & Debut Album Ahead of Local Show

The three-piece performs in Royal Oak with renforshort and Games We Play on June 10
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The Band Camino
The Band Camino —Jeffery Jordan (left), Garrison Burgess, Spencer Stewart — is touring in support of their self-titled debut album. // Photograph by Jimmy Fontaine, courtesy of The Band Camino

After selling out the first leg of their headlining tour, pop-rock trio The Band Camino is back on the road for the second leg of The Tour Camino, which includes a June 10 stop at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.

Joining them for their second tour around the country are Canadian singer-songwriter Lauren Isenberg, known on stage as “renforshort,” and pop-punk band Games We Play.

The Band Camino was conceptualized at the University of Memphis campus in 2015 by vocalists and guitarists Jeffery Jordan and Spencer Stewart. The pair moved to Nashville to pursue their music career in 2018. There, they met drummer Garrison Burgess, immediately adding him to the band roster.

Deemed “Rock’s Next Big Thing” by Billboard and a “breakout act” by Grammy.com, The Band Camino’s discography features a unique pop-rock sound that blends funky synths, catchy guitar riffs, and poetic lyrics, showcased on their 2019 EP, tryhard. The trio’s long-awaited self-titled debut album, released in September 2021, was met with praises from media outlets, including Alternative Press, People, and American Songwriter.

Prior to their local show, the three-piece discusses their favorite songs, songwriting processes, musical instruments, and more.

Hour Detroit: Your self-titled debut album was released in 2021. You became a band nearly seven years ago. How does it feel to finally have a full-length album out?

Garrison Burgess: Very, very good.

Jeffery Jordan: It’s been a long time coming. We’ve put out a lot of music over the years. The tryhard EP was technically on Spotify under albums because it had eight songs, but there were only four or five new songs. “Daphne [Blue],” “See Through,” and “What I Want” had already been out for a long time. It came at an interesting time because it was right when COVID was hitting, when we were already planning on going away to make our album. We had to cancel two tours which sucked, but we were able to make the most of a s****y situation. We stayed at a studio for over a month in El Paso in the desert and tried to make something that really felt like it was our baby — our debut album.

What is the songwriting process like? Do you focus on lyrics first or do you focus on instrumentals?

Spencer Stewart: It depends on the song, who you’re with, what your week was like that week. We’ve done it every which way you can imagine. We’ve started with a melody, a random voice note, a pair of words. You have to find inspiration wherever you can find it.

JJ: The more you do it the same, the more you lose inspiration, so we try to keep it fresh. If we started with a lyric yesterday, we try to start it with just a synth part today. We can attack it from a different angle.

Do each of you focus on a certain element of a song when you write? 

JJ: It’s pretty equal. There are some writes where one of us will be quarterbacking the lyric or one of us will be quarterbacking a certain part. Obviously, Garrison is quarterbacking the drums and a lot of other instruments because he plays the most instruments out of everyone. If it makes noise, he can pretty much make it sound good. It’s all over the place. It’s a true collaboration on all fronts, so it’s pretty fun.

Garrison, since you are a master of all instruments, what is the most obscure instrument that you know how to play?

GB: This is not that obscure, but the most obscure [instrument] I can actually play is probably a ukulele. I would love to be able to play the accordion or saxophone or something, but I just can’t get my hands on one to practice. Can we get a saxophone for the band?

JJ: Did you play horns or anything in high school or middle school? I played the French horn for a few years.

GB: I got into trumpet for a hot second, but I dropped that pretty fast.

SS: I was into cello, so maybe we should just do a whole concerto.

Garrison: That would be sick, having a full orchestra in our band.

Do you each have a song from the new album that you feel a personal attachment to? 

GB: “Who Do You Think You Are.” It’s got one of those things. Being in a band is really cool, cause just because you write some of the lyrics, it doesn’t mean the lyrics you write are going to be your favorite. Both [Jeffery and Spencer] are incredible lyricists and bring a lot of ideas to the table that I would never even be able to put into words. That’s one of my favorites on the record. It’s a message I resonate with a lot.

JJ: I would probably say “Roses” at this moment. The energy is really fun, so I would say “Roses” or “Look Up.”

SS: I was going to say, “Look Up.” It was a really fun song to write. That one and “I Think I Like You” is one that I’ve always really liked. That might be the oldest one on the record, weirdly, but that was one of those songs that as soon as it was written, it just brought a different energy. I like to write songs that stretch what people expect of us, and it came out of left field.

You’ve collaborated with singer Chelsea Cutler on the song “Crying Over You” and the Swedish music duo NOTD on “Never a Good Time.” Is there anyone else who you’d like to collaborate with in the future? 

JJ: We always say [singer-songwriter and producer] Jon Bellion and Post Malone when we get this question. Jon Bellion — we’re all huge fans of his artist project. He’s been behind so many massive songs recently. Even if we couldn’t collaborate on a feature or anything, just being able to write with him would be really cool. He’s got the melodies.

You recently started the second leg of The Tour Camino. Was the second leg planned or was it added solely in response to the great turnout of the first leg? 

JJ: A little bit of both. When we put this [first leg of] tour on sale, our album had just come out a couple months before. We hadn’t toured with COVID in two and a half years. We were hoping to do another leg, but we were going to see how it sold. Then every single show on the first leg sold out. We could kind of see that we were headed in that direction, so we put leg two on sale. Leg two is B-markets, cities we haven’t played a lot.

I believe it’s also your first-time headlining in the Detroit area.

JJ: I think the last time we were in Detroit was in 2018, with [the band] The Dangerous Summer. I don’t think we’ve ever headlined in Detroit.

Do you do research into food or sites in cities before you visit?

JJ: A little bit. We try to find some local food, a cool place to hang out after the show, maybe, if we’re feeling it. Our tour manager, Brad, is from Detroit so he’s ready for us to be there so he can take us to his spots.

GB: Everybody has a couple of cities with a lot of good suggestions now, which is nice. There’s never a dull moment on the road now. Find good food. Do fun things if we have time. It’s cool. 

JJ: There’s sixteen of us in our touring party. We have a massive group text. Between the whole team, there’s plenty of research being done, I think.

Are there any spots in Detroit that you’ve discovered or that were recommended by Brad? 

SS: Last time we were there, we went to the StockX headquarters, which was really cool. That was really dope. They have a big basketball court — half-court — in their offices, which is sick.

I hope you guys get to explore a lot of the city while you’re here. 

SS: Do you have any suggestions?

I always recommend the People Mover — it’s an above-ground transit system that takes you around the downtown Detroit area. 

SS: The People Mover!

JJ: Yeah, we’ll try to check it out!

Catch The Band Camino at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on June 10. Tickets start at $29.50 and can be purchased at axs.com.

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