From A Band On The Border, The Stories That Shape 'South Of Nowhere'

Spanish Gold brings together Dante Schwebel (left), Patrick Hallahan (center) and Adrian Quesada. i i

hide captionSpanish Gold brings together Dante Schwebel (left), Patrick Hallahan (center) and Adrian Quesada.

Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of Sacks & Co.
Spanish Gold brings together Dante Schwebel (left), Patrick Hallahan (center) and Adrian Quesada.

Spanish Gold brings together Dante Schwebel (left), Patrick Hallahan (center) and Adrian Quesada.

Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

Spanish Gold is a band out of South Texas, and the band's debut album, South of Nowhere, draws inspiration from life on the U.S.-Mexico border. Singer Dante Schwebel discusses the band's sound and the meanings behind the lyrics.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally this hour, the band Spanish Gold. They take lyrical inspiration from the towns and people along the U.S.-Mexico border. Their new album is called "South Of Nowhere." Here's the band's singer and guitarist, Dante Schwebel.

DANTE SCHWEBEL: The songs that I've been writing were kind of based on this vibe around the South Texas border. You know, I grew up in Laredo, Texas, lived there 'til I was 18 and realized when I moved out of Laredo and into other parts of the country - realized Laredo was a very unique place. So as I was writing these songs, the idea to put a band together was a lot more exciting to me than being a solo artist.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPANISH GOLD SONG, "OUT ON THE STREET")

SCHWEBEL: Myself, I sing and play guitar, and Adrian Quesada plays guitar, and Patrick Hallahan plays the drums.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OUT ON THE STREET")

SPANISH GOLD: (Singing) The sun is falling in (inaudible) for you. Can't get no daylight, so what you going to do? You're running out of time. I'm in no hurry. Come on over, baby. T here's no need to worry.

SCHWEBEL: The song we are listening to right now is called "Out On The Street." I - you know - I told the band that maybe a good sonic vibe would be like, what if Michael Jackson was hanging out in Miami? What would that sound like? We immediately got congas and put a big fat baseline and off we went.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OUT ON THE STREET")

GOLD: (Singing) That's when I'm going to make my move. Out, out on the street. You ain't sleep with nobody, sleep with nobody but me.

SCHWEBEL: The song was about an experience I had where I had taken somebody down to Laredo - somebody that was from Tennessee. And, you know, Laredo's a great place - very warm people - but also can be a dangerous place. And as we were hanging out in the bars and out in the scene, she was hanging out with some of the wrong crowd. And you really got to be safe, you really got to know who you're dealing with down here - it's not, you know - stick with me, I'll keep you safe.

Another song that's loosely based on growing up in that border setting is "South Of Nowhere."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUTH OF NOWHERE")

SCHWEBEL: I was watching this film about that stretch of land that is just around Nogales, Arizona. And people risk their lives trying to make it across that desert to get into the states.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUTH OF NOWHERE")

GOLD: (Singing) Out in the South of nowhere, there sits a land of the sand, (inaudible) is where I'm waiting, the others, the promise land. We're looking for trouble this time, he's looking for freedom. And it takes some paper to see you in those shorts to run and get it done.

SCHWEBEL: These aren't bad people. These are regular, everyday hard-working people and they just need to find a better situation and it's just - this case - you know, maybe 150-mile stretch of desert that you have to make it through. And I think anybody would do anything for their family, and that's what this song's about.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUTH OF NOWHERE")

GOLD: (Singing) I ain't ever losing you, no, no, no. I won't say what I'm going to do.

SCHWEBEL: Hopefully, what people can hear is that it's not just music about - hey, girl, I think you're pretty. The idea was let's try and maybe write some songs that tell some stories. It's under disguise, we try to just make it fun. And if you pay attention, maybe underneath there's a couple of cool things to talk about.

CORNISH: That's singer and guitarist, Dante Schwebel of the band, Spanish Gold. Their debut album is called "South Of Nowhere."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUTH OF NOWHERE")

GOLD: (Singing) I ain't ever losing you, no, no, no. Won't say what I'm going to do. Hey, hey, hey, I ain't ever losing you.

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