Daring Spam Allstar founder talks folky tres, Cuban flavor

(l-r)Tomas Diaz, Jose Elias, Mercedes Abal, DJ Le Spam, AJ Hill, Ted Zimmerman, Chad Bernstein. Courtesy Spam Allstars
















As the founder and leader of local band Spam Allstars, Andrew Yeomanson (a.k.a. DJ Le Spam) has brought his daring sound to Miami’s music scene with a multicultural appeal for more than 10 years.

The Miami Hurricane had the opportunity to speak with DJ Le Spam about the band’s beats and gigs.

The Miami Hurricane: Your sound is very unique and mixes elements from many genres of music, with electronic and Latin ones included. Can you explain your sound?

DJ Le Spam: I got into sampling, so I make drum loops and beats and baselines, and that’s the bed. Then, we improvise on top of that with stuff that’s unlike other genres. Our music has such a strong rhythm element to it.

TMH: What instruments does your band use and how is it combined with electronic DJ elements?

DLS: I play the drum loops and the baselines and our guitar player plays the tres, which is a folky Cuban instrument that gives a lot of flavor to our unique sound. Then we have a trumpet and trombone and saxophone and flute. Then we have our percussionist who gives beats, that would normally feel static, a lot of flavor and feeling.

TMH: Which musicians have inspired your sound?

DLS: Everybody from the famous Nigerian Fela Kuti to James Brown, to jazz musicians like Cannonball Adderley and Charles Mingus. I like obscure music a lot and I have a large collection of it, so guys like Charlie and Edie Palmieri and the famous Cuban bass player Cachao have inspired me. Sometimes though, I just stumble upon something that will inspire me to add a new beat to the mix.

TMH: Since your sound is so unique, what genre of music do your listeners or followers normally gravitate to?

DLS: People who like hip-hop and soul, people who like jazz music, they all seem to like our music. Our sounds are really varied. Eighty percent of our tunes are instrumental, but we have some with vocals in both English and Spanish. It’s really been a surprise to see how many different types of people connect with us.

TMH: What has been your most exciting accomplishment as a band?

DLS: We have played at major music festivals like the Ottawa Bluesfest and the Montreal Jazz Festival, which were great. We also did a soundtrack for Billy Corben’s new film called “Square Grouper.”

TMH: Do you have an ultimate goal for the band?

DLS: It’s been so many years together with the band that it’s already exceeded my expectations. I want to continue producing music, but nothing compares to the feeling of playing for a live audience. It’s a main function of music in society … to play for people, so that’s something we will always want to do.

Upcoming Show: Aug. 25 at Will Call (700 NE 2nd Ave., Miami)

For more information, visit spamallstars.com.