Interview: Tamayo Band

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately and it’s been such a privilege to talk to all these bands and get to know more new musicians. Tamayo is a classic rock inspired band led by a former secondary school classmate of mine, Michael Tamayo. It’s nearly been a decade since I last spoke to him and it was great to talk about his musical project.

Tamayo Band are based out of Gainesville, Florida. The band are multicultural and take inspiration from a wide variety of genres: rock, folk, reggae, prog rock, electronica, jazz, Latin, and psychedelia. They were formed in 2018 and the lineup are Michael Tamayo on bass and vocals; Karina Tamayo on synthesisers/keyboards; Hannah Toombs on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, ukulele, and violin; Trevor Zwaan on guitar; Nathan Quails on drums; and David Wells on computer production and keyboards. There are a few other auxiliary members who join them for performances: Ivan Padilla on percussion, Seb Saya on lead guitar, and Jon Cantino on vocals and guitar

Embedded below is their latest release, the reggae inspired “I Love It When You Think of Me”. I’m getting some “Dyer Maker” vibes from it and I love that. If you like Santana and Fleetwood Mac, you might like Tamayo Band.

If you want to see a video of them performing live, see the embedded video below from April of 2020 where they perform for Save The Scene Virtual Music & Arts Festival:

If you want to learn more about Tamayo Band and their music, keep on reading!

Angie Moon: How did the band meet?

Tamayo Band: We all met in late 2017 at open mics around Gainesville  Fl.  I fell instantly fell in love with the rawness and honesty of our vocalist’s voice (Hannah Toombs) and the cool laid backness of our lead guitar player Trevor Zwaan. The three of us then enlisted the help of some friends to hold down drums (I sing and play bass) and we started performing in February of 2018.

Angie: How did you all get started playing music?

Tamayo Band: Besides David and Trevor who started playing in their 20s the whole band has been playing music for schools. church, and garage bands since we were early teenagers.

Angie: How would you describe your music?

Tamayo Band: An eclectic and enigmatic fusion of folk rock, prog, jam, and funk. We like to call ourselves a jam band but as songwriters we reside more in the world of Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and Santana. We just like to make good music you know!

Angie: What are your favourite albums of all time?

Tamayo Band: Abraxas by Santana, Dark Side of the Moon, Rumours, American Beauty by The Grateful Dead, and Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix. We also can dabble quite frequently with modern electronic, hip hop, and rock music. Bassnectar is a big source of power for Michael, and Hannah and Jon find a lot of inspiration from Vampire Weekend and Hozier.

Angie: What are your live shows like?

Tamayo Band: It’s a psychedelic journey into all of our minds. We usually start with our intro song called “The Visit” and explore our mood that particular night. We improvise a lot and are not afraid to go places where we haven’t before. Then we like to end with our single “To Live” to complete the circle of the story that we have weaved through out the music.

Angie: What was writing and recording your latest single, “I Love It When You Think of Me?”

Tamayo Band: It was like a dream. we were hanging out after a party one night and were watching a Bob Marley concert when we just got hit with this wave of inspiration that was like Bob was speaking right to us. And the lyric just came to me and Trevor right then. It was written in probably 20 minutes and we recorded it that next year.

Angie: It has a reggae inspired sound, who are your favourite reggae artists? 

Tamayo Band: Definitely Bob Marley, but we listen to a lot of Steel Pulse, Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid and Passafire.

Angie: Is there much of a rock music scene in Gainesville?

Tamayo Band: Yes, it is the hometown of Tom Petty, Don Felder, and a number of other classic rock heroes. We play regularly with amazing bands and musicians from all walks of life and get to open up for some major touring artist like Twiddle and Perpetual Groove. Bands like Marcus King (who just put out a single with the Black Keys), Papadosio, and Dumpstafunk also come through.

Angie: What social justice causes do you advocate for? 

Tamayo Band: As a band we are very progressive and can be found playing and marching for a number of different causes. We performed at March For Our Lives in response to the horrendous amounts of school shootings that take place in America. We are very pro-immigrant and have written music criticising the terrible treatment that migrant farmers and undocumented people are subjected to.

Angie: What are your favourite political or protest songs? 

Tamayo Band: Probably Hannah and I’s “Yoga Song” which is a soon to be released song. But in a larger scale I love the messages of “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and  “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar.

Angie: How are you coping with the pandemic as a band?

Tamayo Band: We’re surviving and staying home. We have been lucky enough to be able to preform live streams occasionally because some of us live with each other!

Angie: Any words for your fans? 

Tamayo Band: We love you! New music and merch is coming! Keep an eye out for live streams on the Tamayo Band facebook page, instagram, and website!

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Proud to announce that our debut single, To Live, drops on SoundCloud and YouTube 10.24.19. and Spotify/Apple Music next week. We’ve been gearing up for this stage of our musical journey for a long time, and it feels absolutely amazing to be able to start sharing our music to you all! A huge thank you to @louie_dager for all the production help and to @kevinjammin for taking wonderful promo shots to make this release look absolutely beautiful! Finally we would like to thank all the fans of @tamayo_band who come out show after show to hear these songs grow and evolve just as we have. To Live is a song about pain, reflection, and ultimately, rebirth. We hope you connect to our intentions and message and find what you need in the story of our own spiritual awakenings 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Thank you, we love you, and we hope you stay kind – @tamayo_band

A post shared by Tamayo Band (@tamayo_band) on

You can follow Tamayo on their website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

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