Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Escondido

Jessica Maros and Tyler James are a Nashville-based duo, also known as Escondido. Impressively recorded live in a single day, the desert rockers released their captivating debut album The Ghost of Escondido back in February. While on tour with Canadian indie-rock group Islands, Tyler took the time to speak with A Music Blog, Yea? about guilty pleasures, California sun, cinematic influences, and the debut. Here’s what he had to say:

AMBY: Hello Escondido, welcome to AMBY! How’s your tour across Canada and the US with Islands going?

Escondido: The Islands guys are quality and it’s nice to be touring with such a great band. There’s been lot of snow storms and border crossings but it’s worth it to being playing the Maritimes and Montreal for the first time. Been feeling the Canadian love.

AMBY: What’s one of your most memorable touring experiences?

Escondido: Last summer we had a couple weeks in Colorado with some days off in-between Telluride and Denver… We took the longest routes possible and wound up on these crazy gravel roads through the most epic mountains.  We rented a little cabin for a week in Grand Lake just south of Estes Park where we set up a little studio and started work on our upcoming record. Lots of hiking, hot tubs, and antique stores.

AMBY: I’ve been listening to your debut album The Ghost of Escondido a lot lately. Escondido: With the record being released last year, what’s next as far as recording goes?

Thanks for listening, glad you dig it. We tracked some of our next record in a couple days between tours last fall and spent some of January and February working on it as well. We’ll finish it up as soon as we get back from this tour with Islands and hope to release it later this year.

AMBY: I know that you recorded The Ghost of Escondido live in a single day. Do you plan to ever do this same recording scheme again with another release?

Escondido: Tracking our first record was magic so we’ll most likely always try at least some elements of that approach on records to come.  We used the same studio and players on the new one, but are allowing ourselves some more time to experiment and mess around with different options.  Sometimes it takes a day to make a record, other times we’ll spend 10 hours getting a guitar tone.  What matters to us is the final outcome.

AMBY: The first time I listened to the album, it felt like the album’s opener Evil Girls should have rolled as opening credits in an old western or Tarantino film. When it comes down to this sound, what’s its inspiration?

Escondido: A lot of visual and cinematic influences like the ones you mentioned… vast landscape, open desert, sounds of the Southwest. The pop elements come from our 60’s & 70’s favorites.  And of course the most obvious one, Jethro Tull.

AMBY: Who have you been listening to lately?

Escondido: This year it’s been a lot of Jeff Lynne, The Everly Brothers, Buddy & Julie Miller, the new Beck record, and all the bands we meet on the road.  And always The Beatles, Dylan, Neil Young, and Mannheim Steamroller.

AMBY: What are some of your favourite things to do outside of music?

Escondido: Well, music had been all consuming as of late but we dig a good bonfire, hiking at Radnor Lake when we’re home, hangin’ with our Nashville friends. We try to do some non-music related trips… trade the winter for some California sun when we can. And the occasional Netflix binge.

AMBY: Who would your dream collaboration be with?

Escondido: Speaking of Jeff Lynne… making music with that guy would be the best.  Writing a chorus for Kanye’s next record perhaps.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Escondido that most people don’t know?

Escondido: We both were a foot shorter than everyone else in high school. Hmm… we both have a guilty pleasure for good pop music. What else… we both used to do a lot of design stuff… Jess in clothing & jewelry and I did a lot of album art & branding. We still dabble in it some for our band.


Thank you Escondido, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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