It’s not that Spafford has anything against Phoenix or Arizona; it’s just that the super heavy prog-jam quintet doesn’t like being called a "local" band. And as of now, the group is starting to earn the credentials necessary to be called a national act. Not only have more of their shows over the past four years been outside of The Copper State than in it, but as of April 12 they will have participated in their first full-fledged, national-level music festival.
“When we play Phoenix bar shows it's OK to be called local," says Spafford lead guitarist Brian Moss. "The people that are there, that live there resonate with us being an Arizona band because when we go to Tucson, Phoenix, or Prescott, everyone would say, 'they're local.' But to be billed as a local band by McDowell Mountain Music Festival last year where we brought out a lot of people — that's what we mean when we say we don't like being known as a local band.”
On April 1, Spafford will be playing the kickoff show for its latest tour, which will include a slot at Euphoria Festival in Austin, Texas, supporting headliners Bassnectar, Above and Beyond, Dillon Francis, and STS9. Other performers include Juicy J, Griz, Tycho, Cherub, Lettuce, and more than 50 others.
"Festivals are a great way to get our name out and really to solidify our current fan base. Our fan base is the strongest thing I've seen in any band I've ever been in. It's just as supportive as it is critical, so we are super stoked to be going out to Euphoria and showing Texas what Spafford's got,” Moss says.
The trip will also include a stop in Amarillo, Texas, as well as a headlining Saturday night set at Winston's in San Diego, a renown hot spot for jam bands on the rise. And even though the guys in Spafford are beginning to look outside Arizona to extend their career, they still are thankful for their base of loyal fans from the Copper State.
“Word on the street is a ton of our Phoenix fans are coming to see us at our first headlining show at Winston's on a Saturday night," Moss says. "A lot of our fans travel with us from Phoenix, which is one of the most amazing things we have ever been a part of. At first they were just familiar faces, but once we got to know these people, [and discovered] they were from Phoenix and they really know us ... that's one of the most amazing things that has happened to us as musicians.”