Stepping into the Spotlight with Spanish Prisoners

, Staff

Every week we like to spotlight a rising band from outside of New England. Today, we get to know Brooklyn’s Spanish Prisoners. You can catch the band in Boston when they open for Youth Lagoon at the Middle East Downstairs on Thursday, March 29.

Band Name
: Spanish Prisoners

Band Members:
Michael DiSanto: Drums (South Jersey, NJ)
Leo Maymind: Guitar (Riga, Latvia)
James Higgs: Bass (Los Angeles, CA)
Amberly Hungerford: Vocals, Keyboard (Ottawa, Illinois)

Gold Fools (2011)


How did you form/start?

Initially Spanish Prisoners were Leo Maymind. Then it picked up Amberly Hungerford. Then James Higgs. Then Michael DiSanto. Along the way there were several formations and some other people. James used to play guitar and Mike used to play bass.

Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…

… 50% inspiration and 50% perspiration.

What song of yours should people listen to first and why?

“Know No Violence”. We released it as our first single, so it was the foot we put forward first. Also, we just released our first music video featuring the very same song.

Walk us through your songwriting process.

Our first album was the result of a lot of brooding in our respective apartments, recording track upon track, and building up arrangements, then sending mixes to each other for feedback. A lot of deliberation of the amount of reverb and the EQ on snare drums. Someone would take a song under their wing and disappear only to reappear with a different sounding song and we would all learn the changes.

Tell us a little bit about your latest album.

We self released it after almost two years of work. It has drums bass and guitars, plus keyboards and samples and drum loops, we all sing in turns. We put it out for “pay what you want” on and NPR rated it one of the top five albums released on bandcamp in 2011.

What has your most memorable moment as a band been?

Playing an extremely dirty and dusty basement show in Allston. Everything was brown and black by the time we left, and we carried a lot of the dust back to New York, primarily in our lungs.

What has been the hardest part of building your name onto the national level?

All the emailing.

Who are the best bands from your hometown that we might not know about?

Field Mouse, The Crinkles, The Can’t Tells

What band would you most like to open for?


Who is your all-time favorite Boston band?

The Pixies

What are your thoughts on playing Boston?

Boston, more than any other city we’ve played (including New York), has been receptive to and enthusiastic about what we’re doing. We love playing in Boston.

What can people expect from your live show and why should our readers catch your next stop in Boston?

Everyone sings and presses a lot of buttons, in addition to all the usual arm flailing. We’re playing next at the Middle East Downstairs opening for Youth Lagoon. It is sort of the culmination of our first US tour and we are extremely excited for it.

*All questions answered by Michael DiSanto.

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