There are certain bands that embody the spirit of Miami, gathering the energy that shimmers on the street like heat haze. With its smart blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with Latin jazz, hip-hop, electro, loads of funk, Spam Allstars are chief among these. The band has come a long way since a Montreal transplant named Andrew Yeomanson (better known as DJ Le Spam) formed the first scaled-down incarnation 16 years ago.
New Times recently caught up with Yeomanson to talk about Spam Allstars: ¡Fuacata!, a documentary named for the defining Thursday-night residency at Little Havana club Hoy Como Ayer.
The documentary by David Orth glimpses at the formative years that yielded the band we know and love today. ¡Fuacata! makes its debut next week at MIFF. The film -- alongside Bruce Weber's short about Liberty City -- will play as part of the Florida Focus program March 11 and 14.
New Times: So, you guys got your very own documentary. How's that feel?
Andrew Yeomanson: We've never done anything of this size or scope before. It's a real glimpse into various personalities that have taken part for the past almost decade, and it'll give people that might not know us as well a little insight into the characters that are part of the band. It covers more the last decade than what I would call the incubation period, from our very earliest shows to about 2001.
How'd the idea for the documentary come about?
manager had put out the idea of getting some different content to
reveal a bit about the personalities. And then David, who we've known
for years, came to us with the idea, so we said, "Yeah, let's do it!"
The documentary is titled ¡Fuacata!. What was that weekly club night like?
thought it would last a month at most, but it really seemed to capture
people's imagination. That first run from 2001 to 2003 was really how a
lot of people found out about the band locally. And soon we started
getting national press from this little local gig.
When you first started Spam Allstars 16 years ago, did you ever envision what it's become?
didn't envision anything then. I just thought it'd be this little
project I'd have that'd be my own. So, no. If you'd told me in '94 or
'98 it'd take over my life, I'd have said, "Yeah, right." We've been
very fortunate, and we have our supporters in Miami to thank for that.
guys have successfully extended your reach beyond Miami. Yet you remain
quintessentially Miami. What does it mean to be so representative of
We just try to be good representatives. Miami is
such a diverse place, and I think we reflect a little of that. And it's
very humbling to have people see us as that.
What was your reaction to the documentary when you saw it, and what do you hope people will take away from it?
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than finding it extremely uncomfortable watching myself [laughs], it
was very flattering. I hope people find it entertaining and get a sense
of how we are as people.
March 11th at 9 p.m., Tower Theater, 1508 SW 8th St., 305-642-1264, and March 14th at 7 p.m., Regal South Beach Cinema 18, 1100 Lincoln Rd., 305-674-6766.