Speaking with Spafford

Photo by Paul Citone

Interviewed by Alex Rowland

Spafford is a four piece jam band from the high deserts of Arizona that pulls inspiration from a wide variety of genres including rock, jazz, funk, electronic, and bluegrass just to name a few. Known for their lengthy improvisation and slow groove build up, it’s a guarantee that every Spafford show will be unique and keep you dancing from start to finish. With a growing reputation as one of the best up and coming jam bands, Spafford launched a nationwide tour headlining shows across the country and performing with bands like Umphrey’s McGee. Summer Camp is just one of many festivals that this band will be turning heads at. Thankfully, Festival Squad had the opportunity to sit down with these jam masters and learn a few things about them as a band and their current nationwide tour!

Festival Squad: Thank you guys so much for taking time out of your busy Summer Camp schedule to sit down with Festival Squad and talk for a bit!

Spafford: No problem!

FS: Is this your guys first year at Summer Camp?

SP: Oh Yeah!

FS: How are you guys liking it?

SP: Amazing! We absolutely love it here!

FS: So you guys are from Northern Arizona right?

SP: We started in Northern Arizona, but were now located in Phoenix.

FS: Nice! I saw that you guys got your start in the Southwest. Are you just now starting to tour thru the Midwest and along the East Coast?

SP: Yeah! As of like the last six or seven months! At the end of last year we started our break out tour and hit the Midwest and then broke into the Northeast on our tour with Umphrey’s McGee.

FS: How was touring with Umphrey’s?!

SP: Amazing, we learned a lot from those guys, they’re really good guys! There whole band is amazing, but their crew is phenomenal too. They taught us a lot and are very generous people.

FS: How’s being on the road week after week?

SP: Have you ever been on the road before?

FS: Kind of! I’ve been on a couple cross country road trips, but never on the road for months on end. I can see how it would be rough!

SP: Yeah, it’s the most fun in the world and hell on earth all at the same time. But it’s a blast! I definitely wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!

FS: Speaking of touring, you’re hitting a lot of festivals this year! Both weekends at Electric Forest, The Werk Out, Ressonance, what else?

SP: Dominican Holiday, Canyon Jam, Mad Tea Party, North Coast, Great South Bay… we’ve got a lot!

FS: The next place I’ll get the chance to see you will probably be The Werk Out this August. Have you ever played with The Werks before?

SP: We actually play at The Wind Rider Mountain Festival tomorrow and The Werks will be playing there. We’re just now starting to get exposure from the bands on the other side of the country because we’ve been on the western side of the country for the last seven years.

FS: So you guys have been together for seven years?

SP: Well the band formulated seven years ago…

FS: How did you all come together?

SP: That is one hell of a story! Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time for that

FS: No worries! So are you guys planning on releasing any more albums soon or are you all just focusing on touring for now?

SP: I mean it’s hard to do everything all at once, ya know? So right now we’re most certainly focused on touring and getting thru summer festival season then working on our fall tour. But yeah, hopefully we get some time soon to jump back in the studio and work on a studio album for sure! That’s definitely on our to do list.

FS: I’ll be looking forward to it! Thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to do my first ever interview with you! It was awesome talking with you!

SP: You did great! And you didn’t ask us where the name of our band came from!

*everyone laughs*

FS: I did my research before I came! Spafford is the middle name of your lighting man right!? He seems like a good guy.

SP: Yes! He’s a great guy! He’s a lyricist of ours and an all around great person.

FS: Thats awesome. Well I’m looking forward to seeing you guys play later today and I’ll definitely be at your set at this year’s Werk Out!

SP: Well, see you there! Hopefully we don’t get rained out!

*We all laugh because a gnarly thunderstorm had just passed thru Summer Camp*

FS: Have you guys ever had to deal with bad weather before or ever had a show rained out?

SP: Dude we used to have a curse on us or something! So long ago I remember Brian and I playing a show in Prescott, Arizona and it was hailing and there was lightning and rain and we just wanted to keep going! There was another guy we were playing with and he was like “You guys are crazy!” So yeah we’ve dealt with some bad weather before. Definitely not new to us. Rain happens.

FS: For sure. I think every festival I’ve ever been to there’s has been at least one day of rain during the weekend!

SP: It always clears up tho and we’ll have some fun!

FS: No doubt! Thank you guys again so much for sitting down and talking to Festival Squad! I had a great time and will see you in a couple hours at your final set for Summer Camp!

After this interview and watching their sets at Summer Camp, I have definitely became a fan of Spafford and will continue to follow them! Don’t miss your chance to see this rising band perform live on their summer or fall tour!

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