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[interview] Spanish Prisoners

Months ago, when I first found the band and began swooning over their music, frontman Leo Maymind of Spanish Prisoners sent me an email. Since that time we’ve been talking back and forth about a show in Rochester, world peace, and a potential interview. With that formerly hypothetical show turning to reality this evening, I figured it was about time to move on the interview as well. In typical fashion, I procrastinated and just got these few questions to him at the last minute. I tried to keep it brief since they are on the road with spotty internet service, but ever the sport, Leo sent over his answers. Here they are.

I’ve read a little bit about the formation of the band, but could give us the brief version of the Spanish Prisoners origin story?

I started the band a while ago, around 2008, as a bedroom recording project. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to try out and I knew nothing about recording. It was impetus to learn some software I had and try to figure things out on my own. I also played some solo shows and a few shows with friends of mine, but nothing really too solidified.

[mp3] Spanish Prisoners // November Third

Your first record Songs to Forget came out several years ago, how has the band and your sound changed leading up to Gold Fools?

The band has changed pretty dramatically- now its a consistent four piece that has been together for almost three years. It took us a while to figure out our individual roles and how to play to our strengths. Our drummer Mike was initially the bass player, and our bassist James was playing second guitar. We shuffled things around a bit till we landed on this particular configuration. The recording stretched over two years and the band was evolving that whole time.

You’re coming towards the end of a fairly lengthy tour in support of Gold Fools, is this the first tour like this you have embarked upon? Is this something you would like to do more of, or is there another direction you’re leaning towards with the band?

This is the first tour we’ve done. It’s been really rewarding so far and its been great to meet new people in every city. It has been fairly lengthy though, and unfortunately we’ve all gotten sick at various points throughout the tour, which has made things slightly harder. Overall though I think we’re really enjoying it. It’s a totally different experience playing to people in Arkansas than it is playing in New York. I think you can gauge people’s reactions much more naturally.

What are your plans for the near and distant future?

We definitely have more touring on our agenda, but we are also going to try to work on a new record when we get back to Brooklyn. We have about half of it written and I think that is the most pressing thing right now, as it’s been a while since we’ve really been able to be creative and write. We will probably try to do another tour of some sorts in summer. And I know I’m gonna be drinking a lot of iced coffee. That is my top priority.

If you live in Rochester, it would be a shame for you to miss the opportunity to catch this supremely talented band at Bug Jar, and to repay them for all the free music they’ve given us. Andy and I will both be there, and so should you be.