Interviews: exPorter

This is a new interview with the Alternative Rock/Pop Punk band exPorter from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

AC: The name exPorter came from our prior name, which was simply Porter. Now that came from a few places, one of the colleges where Destin was enrolled before being kicked out was called “Porter”. It’s also the last name of the first manager of the Smiths who is a big influence on us. Our dad is a huge Smiths fan and had seen this documentary on them that talked about John Porter. This was right when the college thing happened so we thought it was a pretty good sign.

DC: We loved the Porter name and got a new brand built around that including our mascot to this day. But, when we went to upload music to Spotify in 2019, we had recently seen an ad for a Mexican rock band Porter, who was ironically playing with Morrissey of the Smiths. As fans of Blink 182 and seeing their lawsuit about their name from Irish band Blink, we figured we might as well change in now so we don’t have to worry about it in the future.

HK: We kind of all sat down and shot around various potential names, but settled on “exPorter”, meaning we were Porter before. It is also a direct reference to Destin being an ex-Porter student.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

DC: It is the genre we grew up with to put it plain and simple. We grew up playing Guitar Hero and songs like “The Kill” and “Dammit” were our go to songs. The bands that write Pop Punk music are the ones we were the ones we tended to follow, we would go to the Van’s Warped tour and those were the bands we would want to meet and go on tour with. The energy they bring compared to other genres during live shows is unmatched.

AC: I think our influences come from a lot of different genres but the pop punk, emo vibe , always felt natural to Destin and me when we were first writing songs and performing. At the time, a lot of other bands were doing things that seemed a bit more focused on what they thought folks wanted to hear. Whether it was just a bunch of random covers or songs about weird stuff, it just wasn’t what we wanted to do. We were always drawn to what we try to play and I think it makes a difference when people hear our stuff or see us live.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

AC: Well Destin and I are brothers so yea I’d say we knew each other, at least a little ;) We’re 5 years apart age wise but musically I think we’ve always been pretty close so it made it easier to form a band. Henry and I also played Pony baseball together as kids. We played on the same team a couple times but were rivals on our high school baseball teams, but we always remained friendly. Kish was really brought on through his dad who was playing drums for our dad's band for a while. We had this show booked and we were in the market for a new drummer so the match was perfect.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

AC: For me, easily Blink 182. Tom DeLonge is the reason I wanted to play guitar and still continues to inspire me with every song he puts out! I saw him with Angels and Airwaves when I was like 10 which is right around when I started taking lessons and before that, I hated practicing. After that, though there was like this thing that clicked. I will also add that Modern Baseball has inspired more of my recent stuff and has definitely helped my writing grow in a way to help make my songs relatable.

DC: I’m definitely a product of the late 2000s emo rock era; I think bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance really made a big mark when I discovered them in my teen years. For me, that genre really cemented music as a powerful medium for dealing with all of life’s emotions. It’s cliche but I just picture, “eyeliner running as you’re screaming along to the latest emo anthem” as a core value of musical experience. On the flip side of that, I really take a lot of inspiration from 80’s rock, like I love the type of music you’d find in all the classic 80’s movies. Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, Oingo Boingo, etc., I just really enjoy the bright and poppy energy of that era. All very catchy and danceable, I think it’s hard not to be drawn to that sound.

HK: For me, The Who was one of the first bands I remember hearing as a kid and they are definitely a strong inspiration for me. I mean it’s an iconic band so I think they influenced a lot of people but they are one of my go-to bands. I’ve been listening to Turnstile a lot lately and I think how they have grown has shown me that bands can still to that.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

DC: That question comes up a lot and I think our answer sounds cliché but it’s the reality, I think both Alec and I draw from all kinds of things for our songs. I mean, off our EP “Bored” there’s a song that was written about this couch I had going to college, not the one I got kicked out of, but a better college – Go Bruins. We don’t really have a set thing we go to for inspiration. It can come from a book I’m reading or a song we heard or whatever. I’m a big reader, so a lot of my inspiration comes from books and stories I’ve read over the years. Everything from Stephen King to Twilight to Shakespeare, there’s always something interesting that you can begin to explore outside of the narrative. The same thing with movies, I’m really drawn to the kind of imagery and themes woven into all the A24 movies coming out these days. I’m just really into storytelling, so I definitely try to translate that into how we convey ideas in our music. As a pop-punk band though, we for sure use a lot of the common themes but really our songs come from anywhere.

AC: I mentioned Tom Delonge being my hero so I know I draw influence from him or Blink but really the song ideas come from anywhere. We joke a lot about all of our songs girls and unrequited love or getting dumped which they are but I think we do them in a relatable way. The songs are all about stuff that’s happening in our world at the moment and I think that makes them true to the listener. It’s not like we’re these millionaires and a manufactured band that’s writing songs about what people “want to hear”, they’re all coming from our lives and emotions. Musically, I know my inspiration in songwriting comes from stuff I listen to, listening to my favorite bands Blink, Modern Baseball, etc, and hearing something cool in there. Know I can do that too with a guitar lick or a melody.

HK: Well Destin and Alec are the main songwriters and will usually work on stuff on their own. For the drums though, as a huge Who fan, I’m definitely drawing inspiration from Keith Moon, but we are a relatable band I think. Real people doing real things and I think that connects with people.

6. Where was your last gig?

DC: We last played at SOhO, a local venue that has welcomed so many great bands, so it is always an honor to play there. SOhO was also home to the first live performance Alec and I did as a band, sometime back in 2012/2013. It was soon after that that we began writing our first songs and officially forming as “adj.” (pronounced adjective). It’s a special venue to us so it’s cool to get on that stage when we can.

7. Where would you like to perform?

AC: There’s this iconic guitar shop in our hometown called Jensens. That shop had a stage that was sort of home for us and always provided a good atmosphere, but sadly it has closed the doors to its stage room. It really sucks because we played so many shows there and Destin and I grew up there. It’s such a legendary shop and meant so much to us. You can check out our Sort of Live at Jensens to see how intimate that stage was. So if we can ever get another chance to have that stage open up and get another show there it would be awesome. As for other future places, one day I would love to play at the Santa Barbara Bowl has gone to some of my favorite shows there!

HK: I'm not sure I have a favorite venue to play at. Playing the Santa Barbara bowl though would definitely be a dream come true. I grew up like 3 blocks away from it, and it's where I saw my first concert ever, it would be epic. But really, if people are out to watch us play anywhere, then I'm happy

DC: The (SB) Bowl would be awesome. We used to go to shows that our hometown station (KJEE) put on called the Summer Roundup. So many cool bands would play that show of it would be cool to get on that stage someday. KROQ in LA did a similar show called Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Forum. I think if we could get Summer Roundup and Almost Acoustic Christmas at those spots that would be ok with exPorter for sure.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

DC: I think any of the pop-punk bands from the 80s/90s would be awesome. would love to play a show with Weezer. I’ve seen them so many times and they’re always such high energy. I think exPorter for sure is high-energy live so I’d love to be able to share in that type of lineup. I also think if Oingo Boingo ever came back around I'd pretty much sell my soul to get on the lineup.

HK: I think for our band if we got to play in a lineup with bands like Turnstile, Title Fight, or King Gizzard my life would be complete. Even if it was a 30 min opener slot I’d want to do it.

AC: I think my dream show lineup would be Blink 182, Modern Baseball, Joyce Manor, and exPorter. I don’t care when you put us on I think the crowd would be rowdy all night!

9. Who not?

DC: I don’t think we are at a point in our career to really limit any type of shows just yet. The sky is the limit and we are just happy to get out and play with whomever and wherever people will have us. As long as the lineup made sense you know? I don’t know if a country then pop-punk spoke work jazz trio would be a good show for everyone but I guess we would try it. We did this show where we got to open for Hinds and this other band called Hearty Har and on the surface, it looked like a weird bill – pop-punk/Americana rock/hard alt-rock – but that was an awesome show. I think every set was awesome and everyone was having a good time. I fricken love Hinds so I would have done it regardless, but we could have missed out if we thought the bill was off. Plus Hinds and the Hearty Har guys were all so cool to us. We were the opener so they could have treated us like shit but they did the exact opposite. So maybe that would be where we draw the line? Maybe we wouldn’t want to play with any band or performer that took stuff too seriously or thought they were the end-all of everything? We just want to put on a good show and have fun and love hanging with the other bands so if it’s a band that’s all about themselves maybe it wouldn’t be a good fit.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

AC: I definitely get a little anxious before every show, but I don’t know if I ever have gotten stage fright really. Although one time in an elementary school talent show I was my brother's assistant for his magic show and I think I got a Lil spooked, but I was also in like kindergarten. I think the biggest key is to just breathe and relax and know that no one will notice any mistakes or slip-ups you may have. Just go out and have fun and that is all anyone will remember from the show. I know for Destin, he’d probably get up on any stage for anything. He did theatre as a kid and always seemed to be a natural on stage. Then you have Kish whose first time playing live was at his first show with us but he got up and did it without freaking least not that I could tell. As a band though, we just sort of hook up before we go on and say “let’s do this” and off we go.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

AC: Our band inspiration pulls from all over, we all bring in our own little aspects. From Pop-Punk to Hardcore and Brit Pop- Rock of the 80s. I think if you listen closely, you can find all of these and much more in each of our own parts. You will for sure have some Blink or Green day in there, but you also have parts from the Who in Kish, you’ll also have some Social D and Good Charlotte, some Smiths or Smoking Popes or other 80s or 90s bands. I think it’s a good mix.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

AC: There was this one show where this guy asked me if I wanted to smoke...I guess that’s a pretty rock and roll thing but I don’t smoke AND it was right in the middle of this public space so I thought that was pretty weird. There was also this show where a fan asked Kish for a drumstick but instead of handing it or tossing it he sort of just hucked it at them. I thought it was going to stab them.

DC: Yeah, we’re just starting out so I don’t know if we have gotten to the truly weird stuff yet. I think it’s more like normal stuff we’ve been asked about but weird in how we handle it? Like tossing out drumsticks is pretty common but chucking them out and full speed like you’re hunting something was weird. There was also this time when we did a house show and after our set, this girl whose house it was was all, “hey you guys should check out my house, want to get a tour” and I thought was for sure into one of us which again is pretty common rock and roll stuff. Alec was totally oblivious and was all, “nah, I want to go to Taco Bell” which was the actual weird part.

13. What do you think of your fans?

AC: They are the best! I think as a band if you have someone coming to check you out or hear your stuff you have to say that, how can you not? But we really do appreciate everyone that comes out to our shows and listens to our songs or buys our merch. I will never forget the first time someone placed an order at our online store. It was for one of these coloring books we have and I think it was only like a $1 order but we were blown away that someone took the time to place that order and very humbling to think someone cared about our band like that. 

DC: I really can’t thank fans enough for supporting us. When Alec and I were rocking out on Rock Band on the Wii as kids I’m sure we had these dreams about having fans love us, but in reality, it is surreal to have anyone like our band. When we put out a song and someone reaches out to say they like it or to get a comment on one of our videos saying the video is sick or fire is fricken awesome. We’re just a band of real guys writing songs about stuff we like so to have someone like that is very special to us.

HK: Growing up the idea of performing live or recording music was always this dream and we’re doing that as exPorter. The idea of people liking it is more than I could have ever hoped for. I hope we keep making music that connects to our fans and brings them joy.

14. What do you think of our site?

AC: I think your site and others like it are awesome! As a band, we are very passionate about the songs we write or the way we perform so it’s inspiring to see other people are passionate about music as well. The music scene as a whole is strange in that anyone can write a song or release it or write about it but if you’re not passionate about it then what’s the point of doing that? I hope our passion comes through for fans but I can definitely see that passion that the Core puts into the content you put out for your readers.

DC: First off, I would just say “thanks” as a site taking an interest in music and bands in general, especially right now in working with exPorter. It means a lot to us and I hope all of the other bands feel the same way. At the end of the day, you all don’t have to give a crap about anything music-related but the fact that you are doing something is pretty special. If we get just one extra listen or someone likes us or follows us somewhere or maybe buys our album because of your site, it’s pretty cool. It’s like with the fans, no one has to like us, or sites like yours don’t have to care, but when you do it’s pretty cool.

15. Something to add?

AC: Well first off I hope people have enjoyed getting to know us. Second, I hope everyone goes out to listen to our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes”. We just put this out and we’re hoping people like what they hear. We put a lot into making that album and we're so stoked to release it so it would be great if people actually heard it. Thirdly, come out to see us when we hit the road. Right now we’re doing some shows up and down California in August but we’re hoping to expand that. We love playing live so come out and check us out if you can – we promise Kish doesn’t fling sticks out to the audience anymore!

DC: Yeah, check out NoBrakes if you can, and thanks again for having us! Alec and I are writing new stuff and we’re planning more shows where we can so hopefully we can continue to connect as exPorter grows and grows.

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