The Band Camino's Fans Bought Them a Billboard

The Band Camino is your mom's favorite.
The Band Camino is your mom's favorite. Jimmy Fontaine
It’s a tale as old as time.

A small-town band rise through the ranks with some independent releases and tour with a few big-name acts before landing a record deal. What sets The Band Camino apart is their energetic and fast-growing fanbase.

“The crazy part to me is that every night there’s a large amount of people that love our music. That’s awesome and exactly what we want, but that in itself is kind of humbling because they show up and they care, so it kind of keeps us on our toes. It makes us realize that we’re all doing something more than just one of us — it’s bigger than us,” says bassist Graham Rowell.

Only a few years into being a band, the group have amassed millions of streams and hundreds of thousands of social media followers who fell in love with their modernized brand of pop-rock. They’ve written out “a lot” of tattoos and completely sold out their first headlining tour. Rowell still references one major moment when speaking about their fans:

“Our fans bought us a billboard in Times Square, which is insane but, like, in the best way. [Our manager] Jameson said to us, ‘Hey, I have a surprise for you. Your fans did something in New York.’ I was expecting like a gift or I don’t know, but I was like, ‘Dude, where are you taking us?’ So we came around the corner from the subway, and he was like, ‘Okay, so they got you a billboard.’ And we were all, ‘What?!’

"I’ve never heard of any bands’ fans getting them their first billboard in Times Square. We were all pretty hype on that. Honestly, it was just crazy and I teared up. A couple of them flew up for the show and came to Times Square to see our reaction, and that was just really cool.”

It certainly helps that the Memphis four-piece — Rowell, co-frontman Jeffery Jordan, Spencer Steward, and drummer Garrison Burgess — craft catchy magnetic melodies that stay in your head. Each cut is full of earnest and honest lyrics that encompass their experiences.

“[That's] kind of the weird part about a band growing in fame in your early 20s. You’re growing up in front of a lot of people,” Rowell says.

For example, there's “Farsighted,” from their tryhard EP. Wrestling with the discrepancies between their perceived online personas and their true selves, the band were feeling the unique kind of identity crisis that accompanies periods of growth. Jordan and Chase Lawrence of indie rock band COIN put it into a song, which Rowell describes as a cathartic experience.

The group have another support system driving their popularity: their moms. Known as "The Moms Camino" online, the women use Twitter’s search function to like, retweet, and interact with fans talking about their sons on social media.

“It’s very wholesome that they love supporting us,” says Rowell. “It’s much better to have moms and dads who are into our music than not, so I’m pretty happy about it.”

It’s also a good tie-in to their Spotify bio: “Your mom’s favorite band.” It was written out of necessity after getting verified on the music-streaming platform, but it has never changed. While the group legitimately hopes to appeal to multiple generations, the one-liner shows they’re not taking any of this too seriously.

Now they're in pursuit of high hopes. They moved to Nashville last year and spent the months leading up to tryhard releasing roaring rock anthems instead of their typical pop sound.

Music is so integrated into their lives that they can’t see themselves doing anything different. Rowell jokes that he might become a history professor or that Jordan would be a farmer in another life. It’s the second meaning of The Band Camino. After choosing Camino after the car, they discovered that “Camino” also means “path.” They've worked hard to stay on that path.

As Rowell says, “I just really love making music with these guys. We all definitely bring something to the table, and I feel like that’s what makes it The Band Camino. It’s all four pieces of us.”

The Band Camino are scheduled to perform on Wednesday, October 9, at The Van Buren. Tickets are available via Ticketweb.
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Taylor Gilliam