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Escondido band won’t be hidden for much longer

By Joe Leary

Jessica Maros and Tyler James form the duo Escondido. (PHOTO SUBMITTED/ DANA LOFTUS)

Jessica Maros and Tyler James form the duo Escondido. (PHOTO SUBMITTED/ DANA LOFTUS)

Port Moody’s Jessica Maros met U.S. musician Tyler James through a mutual friend who was recording at his home studio — the two just clicked and together they now form Escondido. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the now Nashville-based duo.

24: What’s the reason behind the name Escondido?

TJ: We looked on a map for some towns in Mexico because our music is kind of Southwestern and we picked Escondido. That’s why we chose it, but it means hidden. We found that out later.

24: Is the naming process done democratically?

JM: Normally it is, but this one was a little bit different. I met Tyler and originally he was doing a solo thing with me and I just loved his production. One day we sat down and he asked me if he wanted us to turn into a band. He mentioned the name Escondido and it was almost a no-brainer for me. It kind of fit everything that we were doing.

24: It’s nice to hear mariachi-style trumpet in your music. That’s an underutilized instrument these days.

TJ: I was a real music nerd as a kid and my parents made me take piano and trumpet lessons so I was really into it. All through high school I was in marching band, but when I went to college, I hated it and didn’t want to be in band but I always had the horn with me. I started playing trumpet on other people’s stuff and when we started as Escondido, the trumpet just fit our production style perfectly with that Spaghetti Western vibe. It was kind of a total divine thing because I have the chops from when I was a kid and now I can use them.

24: You’re now based in Nashville. I’m hearing more and more about that city having such a great indie scene.

JM: There’s a huge indie scene there and there’s way more than country. When I moved there eight years ago I thought it would be just country music. There’s this whole underground scene with just good music and I think a lot of people go to Nashville to be a better musician and to be better songwriters. It’s a really inspiring community because everyone is really good.

TJ: If you go there now it’s mainly just indie music. If you hung out in Nashville for a week, unless you went down to Music Row, you wouldn’t even know it’s a country town. But there are both and there’s a lot of benefit. Our guitar player will do a country session to make money on the side or we’ll even write a country song on the side. The big part of Nashville is the country history, but if you go there now, the first thing you’ll see is the indie side.

24: Is Nashville a good place for a young songwriter to be?

TJ: It’s the best place. Everybody is obsessed with songwriting there; it’s their bread and butter so people are there to write cool music and make cool records.

JM: It really is a great place to develop your craft. I’m really grateful that my path led me there.

24: So for you Jessica, you’re basically playing a home game being back in Vancouver.

JM: It is. We played here three months ago at the Media Club and I feel now like my parents are taking it more seriously. For me, Vancouver was a hard place to break through; I kind of had to leave in order to come back and have people listen.


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