Fresh off a successful spring tour for their recently released album, Lost in Magic City, Miami’s Deaf Poets are not content to sit around. They’re gassing up and hitting the road once again to shatter a few eardrums around the rest of Florida, and they’re taking some hometown friends with them.
After performing on the same bill one night at Fort Lauderdale’s Poorhouse, Deaf Poets and Peyote Coyote realized they would be a perfect match for an extended night out. “We love them as people, and as a band, we vibe together,” Deaf Poets drummer Nico Espinosa says. “We have a similar sound. So why not spread some South Florida love around the state with us?"
The aptly named Poets on Peyote Tour will kick off in Fort Myers this Thursday, August 24, and after stops in nine cities, including St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Gainesville, will wrap up September 1 at Dada in Delray Beach. “It’s going to be the first time we’ll get to tour with another band from our foundation, from our scene,” guitarist and lead singer Sean Wouters says. “It’s fun to take Miami with us and go out there.”
It’s an opportunity for Deaf Poets to wow new crowds in places the band has never jammed before. For example, a few years ago, after opening for Matt & Kim, the duo sold plenty of merch and signed lots of autographs. They also inspired some instant fanaticism. “Some dude asked me for my shirt,” Espinosa recalls.
That wasn't a band shirt from the merch table. It was literally the shirt off Espinosa’s back. “I was like, dude, this is the only shirt I’m wearing,” he continues. “I didn’t give it to him because I would’ve been naked, but it was definitely a cool moment for me.”
For anyone who’s had the pleasure of attending a Deaf Poets concert, it’s easy to understand such infatuation. The duo has made a habit of standing out.
“We try to play in any kind of setting,” Wouters explains. "A few weeks back, we did this community thing called Wake Up, Miami. We performed at like 8 in the morning in front of the Metro in downtown.”
Does it ever feel like too much?
“It’s never enough because we love to play,” Wouters says.
Unfortunately, one of the reasons they need to get so creative with concert locations is because so many live music venues — Grand Central, the Stage, Studio A, Tobacco Road, and so on and so on — have shuttered.
“For me,” Espinosa says, “it could get a little frustrating when you're touring... Luckily, we still have the meccas, which are Churchill’s and Gramps, at this point. People in Miami always want something new and fresh, and it can get kind of difficult to promote. It would be nice to see some more shops open up.”
Though Deaf Poets have, in passing, discussed leaving their beloved Miami one day for greener pastures, they’re not quite there yet. For the time being, they’re concentrating on touring as much as they can.
In fact, the goal is to live a nomadic rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Espinosa says if he can realize that dream, he’ll know he’s made it. But there is a humbler aim.
“If I can pay my rent without working two jobs and delivering food, that would be awesome. If I could sustain myself on just music, be on the road as much as possible, and really do this 100 percent without distractions, that would be success.”
“Yeah,” Wouters adds. “Nico couldn’t have said it better.”