I came for the meme but I stayed for the music.
I was introduced to Deaf Poets one day when a record, handwritten note and homemade meme appeared on my desk. A small card with an upset child on it read, “MFW I can’t hear Deaf Poets on Breakthru Radio [BTRtoday].” As a millennial, meme-enthusiasm is in my nature, so I was hooked.
Miami band Deaf Poets will give you stars in your eyes each time they play. Their garage-rock is infectious. Watch out: they will become your new favorite band. They keep it gritty with sick distortion on the guitar and throaty choruses, but aren’t afraid to add a few flowery melodies and soothing vocals to the mix.
But if their skills at shredding aren’t enough for you, they’re also just fun people. Though their appearance is cool guy-chic, with all black outfits, long hair and tattoos, they’re friendly and love to mess around. Nico Espinosa, drummer and vocalist for Deaf Poets, tells BTRtoday that joking is a “never-ending thing” for them.
“You have to have a sense of humor,” Sean Wouters, guitarist and lead vocalist for Deaf Poets says. “It’s fun when you can meet people with an open palette and you can just laugh about things.”
When BTRtoday called Espinosa and Wouters they had played a last minute gig the night before as the opener for The Growlers. “We’re still coming down from that excitement,” Espinosa says. The show wasn’t supposed to have openers, but due to last minute changes, they were asked to play. “I was super excited ‘cause the show was sold out,” Espinosa adds.
They were also getting ready to play III Points, an art installation show and music festival in Florida that features local and international acts. This was the festival’s fifth year and Deaf Poets have been there since the start. “We actually grew with the festival,” Espinosa says. “The first show we played when the festival started was at a restaurant.”
“The idea is that it’s a revolving art installation and I think this year, specifically, they’re going to successfully be able to do that,” Wouters adds.
The two practically finish each other’s sentences and admit they’ve been attached at the hip since they met in third grade.
“Songwriting is the best way we communicate,” Espinosa says about their dynamic. “It’s like a marriage—it works, but we don’t have sex. It’s a sexless marriage that works.”
“We didn’t really get musical together until like ninth grade, so it’s been seven years we’ve been doing Deaf Poets,” Wouters says. “Lost In Magic City is what we wanted our sound to be—we were able to get a solid tone idea, as well as lyrics and how we really wanted the album to be.”
Their sophomore album Lost In Magic City was released in May on WaxRomantix Records. The two say it’s an ode to their hometown of Miami.
“We were going to call it [the album] ‘305 ‘Till I Die’,” Espinosa begins to say, but is quickly interrupted by Wouters, laughing, “I still think it should’ve been.”
They tracks were setup to flow together and present a story that flows almost as one. “We really wanted to make this album a coherent piece—like every song works with the other,” Wouters says. “The album we made before felt more like a mix of singles—when we sit down we think, ‘how can we make this a story or something we can put our self in…’ I think that came out with the album.”
“The sound is very influenced by our experiences here, in Miami growing up and the last three years experiencing life in general,” Espinosa adds. “So, we wanted to really represent Miami.”
Deaf Poets officially kick their tour off for Lost In Magic City this January. Listen to the entire album on this week’s The Music Meetup and listen to the full interview with Wouters and Espinosa where we chat about memes, memories, Miami and much more.