Ahead of Upcoming Agora Concert, the Band CAMINO’s Jeffery Jordan Talks Moving Beyond ‘Sad Breakup Songs’

click to enlarge The Band CAMINO. - JIMMY FONTAINE
Jimmy Fontaine
The Band CAMINO.
The Band CAMINO singer-guitarist Jeffery Jordan began experimenting with music at a young age.

“As soon as I could, I was putting music together with words; I haven’t stopped since,” says Jordan in a phone interview. A three-piece alternative pop-rock band, the Band CAMINO headlines the Agora on Tuesday, June 21. “When I realized that I could just make something up and invent something that hadn’t existed yet, and it was there and it was mine, it gave me an identity, even as a kid.”

The Memphis native's parents enrolled him in piano lessons at age 5. He first picked up the guitar in middle school when his dad offered up 100 bucks to him or whichever of his five siblings could learn the chords to “Amazing Grace” first. Jordan then began pairing the lyrics he had been scribbling down in journals since age 6 with the guitar parts he would write and the vocals he had spent his childhood developing in hopes of living up to his father’s infamous church solos.

As Jordan got older, he began playing gigs all over Memphis as a solo project, the Jeffery Jordan Band. Being a solo artist was Jordan’s dream, up until he met Spencer Stewart, fellow singer-guitarist and co-founder of the Band CAMINO, through mutual friends his sophomore year of college. The musical chemistry was too blatant to fight.

“I had never really thought about starting a band. I was just like, ‘I want to be an artist.’ I was doing the solo artist thing, and I was bringing in songs. I was just singing the songs at that point, but [Stewart] was an amazing vocalist as well, and he had his own song ideas,” says Jordan. “The hardest part of any band or creative situation is finding people that you can collaborate with, and you like to be around all the time. That’s a very rare thing to find. We kind of realized it was too special to not pursue.”

And so, the Band CAMINO was born.

“We built our band on punk shows,” says Jordan. “Before we ever had music out, we had a really decent following for what we were doing in Memphis.”

The pandemic was scary for the heavily live-based band, but the now Nashville-based trio of twenty-somethings has experienced more growth in its time off from touring than it ever could have imagined. The first leg of the Band CAMINO’s tour in promotion of last year’s self-titled debut album sold out all 25 shows, with the crowning achievement being a 4,500-capacity venue in Dallas.

“I think there’s a new appreciation just worldwide for filling up a room of humans and seeing them face-to-face and interacting with them and getting to feel the energy and the emotion in the room,” says Jordan. “It’s something that we will never take for granted again. It’s really reassuring. It’s weird putting out music, having it out for months before we really get to tour it.”

The Band CAMINO switched up the setlist a bit for leg two of the Tour CAMINO, which focuses on smaller-market cities the band hasn’t frequently played in the past. The current setlist features a mix of songs from the debut album and fan-favorites from 2019’s EP tryhard, like “Daphne Blue” and “See Through,” which are both hovering around 40 million streams on Spotify.

Jordan shares that the band explored more dimensions to its songwriting on 2021’s debut album than it did in the years leading up to it.

Fan-favorite “Roses” along with “EVERYBODYDIES” and “Look Up” display a side of the band’s inner monologue that fans haven’t yet seen.

“We’d always kind of written sad breakup songs, and there’s a lot of those on the album, but I think it was like a switch for us in our heads, to be like, okay, we can probably use our platform and remind ourselves through music that life is really special, and we have a really cool opportunity to say whatever we want,” says Jordan.

The three tracks on the self-titled album are a social commentary on negative attitudes and crippling phone addictions. Here, the band writes about trying to break out of toxic patterns, so that you can make the most out of life. Jordan says that it was therapeutic for the band, writing from the perspective of trying to see the bright side of life.

“Growing as a band, and just growing up as a human being on earth, I think all of us definitely know that this whole thing we’re doing with our phones is weird. This isn’t like a part of our story as humanity until like the past 20 years. And, you know, humans have been around for thousands, and thousands and thousands of years,” says Jordan. “So, I think it’s just thinking about where we’re going as a society, and kind of just getting integrated into this thinking as a band that’s coming up and having to use the internet and having to be on my phone constantly and having to figure out how to use those tools and not get sucked into them and realize that life is right there in front of you. You kind of have to stop and smell the roses, or you might lose yourself and go crazy in the mix of it all.”
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