EMQ’s With exPorter
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with USA based Rock trio, exPorter. huge thanks to them all for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Henry: Hello, my name is Henry Kish and I play drums.
Destin: Hey there, I am Destin Cavazos and I sing and play bass in the band.
Alec: And I am Alec Cavazos (yes, Destin and I are related) and I play guitar and sing in exPorter.
So exPorter as a band really got started in 2018 when Henry joined, but Destin and I have been playing in bands for a long time. We started as a three piece in 2015 consisting of us two, Alec and Destin, joined by our friend Jess on drums. That band was called Adjective (adj.),it was our first band that started this and it remained that way until mid 2017, when Jess got into school. We had our friend Owen play drums for a bit and changed the band name to “Porter” since “adj” used the first initials of our first group.
Destin: Yeah, Alec and I have been playing music for more than 10 years, even longer if you count messing around on Rock Band. That’s some real exPorter trivia for you about our history and how we got started. Our dad came into the mancave and saw us rocking out on the Wii and said if you want to be real rock stars you better learn how to really play instruments. But exPorter was born when Henry joined. We had a show that we needed a drummer for, so we asked Henry to play, and you could tell this was a good line-up at that show. It was his first time ever playing in front of people, but he killed it and we decided to really pursue this music thing.
How did you come up with your band name?
Alec: So after adj, we went to Porter based off of this college that Destin got kicked out of and off of John Porter who was one of the Smith’s first producers. Our dad is a huge Smiths fan, saw this documentary of the band and asked what we thought. It was pretty coincidental that those happened at the same time, but we really liked the name Porter.
Destin: We had some cool marketing materials made up including our mascot “Porty” and everything. And, for the record, my getting kicked out of that school was total B.S. When Henry joined and we knew we wanted to started recording more of our own stuff, we found out there was already a band named Porter out of Mexico – so we had to change it again. We’re pretty big fans of Blink-182 and knew about their legal hassles with their name so why not change ours before we got sued? We talked about a couple of names, we thought about Porter-123 and then settled on “exPorter” … and we got to keep “Porty” which was cool.
What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?
Alec: All of us live in the U.S., though we’re in different states right now. We all grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and that’s where we started playing. SoCal obviously has a HUGE music scene in general and Santa Barbara actually has a pretty cool scene going on at the moment. There seems to be a cycle that happens with bands here with a lot of bands coming out of here like Toad The Wet Sprocket, you have reggae like Iration or Rebelution, Lagwagon… they were all like 90’s and early 2000’s and we’re hoping the next cycle is starting with exPorter. A lot of cool bands right now that we’re playing with… Loc Dawgs, Trout Club, Lizard’s Mouth. We’ve played shows with them and others and there’s just a good vibe with all these bands.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Destin: We’ve got our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” that just came out in May so we’re really working to promote that – hopefully people are listening to it already! If not, hop on over to your favorite streaming type site and give it a try.
The feature single we went with is called “Your Boyfriend” and it did really well on radio getting up to #24 on the specialty charts. We’re figuring out the next single to feature but we think it’s going to be ‘Lusitania’. We did some low-key release with it and it got good response, so I think it’s time to get that one out there for you all.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Henry: For me, The Who was one of the first bands I ever heard and they’re a pretty big influence on me today. I’m also really into Turnstile these days.
Alec: Tom DeLonge has probably been the greatest influence on me for sure. He’s why I play guitar and I love his stuff from Blink to AVA to Boxcar. Not a lot that guy does that doesn’t make an impact on me.
Destin: I think it’s classic that Blink gets back together and now they’re doing probably the biggest tour next year with Turnstile. Two bands that easily influence us so how do we get exPorter on that show???
I actually have a ton of bands that have influenced me. Like how can I not pick all the Pop-Punk and Emo bands that I grew up listening to? Blink, early Green Day, Fall Out Boy, MCR, Panic!… I also grew up listening to a lot of 80’s bands too, because that’s what our parents listened to, so you’ll have a band like Crowded House in there. And I’m talking deep cuts and Neil Finn’s catalogue so there’s a ton of great music just from him that’s gotten into my brain.
Finally, you have the Riot Girl era of female-led 90’s Rock bands also had a significant impact on me; bands like Garbage, The Cranberries, and Lush, they put out such a punchy, pithy brand of Rock music, I don’t think there’s a lot that really holds up to that genre in terms of energy. You see some of that flavour coming back these days too, with artists like Snail Mail, Cherry Glazerr, etc. and I think it’s exciting to see that fiery feminine energy becoming more mainstream again.
What first got you into music?
Alec: As Destin said it really does go back to the Wii for us. Once we started with lessons it wasn’t that long till we were writing songs together. Destin really picked up the bass easily, but it took me a while to figure it out with the guitar – but once I did I don’t think I’ve stopped playing.
Henry: For me it was my parents that got me into music. I got my dad’s old drum kit as a way I think to keep me busy, but I loved it from the start.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Henry: I think exPorter would and should collaborate with just about anyone. We’re just starting out so we can’t be picky.
Alec: Yeah that would have to be Tom DeLonge for me. Like maybe helping us produce our next album.
Destin: Man, so many bands to choose from here but I think my answer would have to be Danny Elfman, with or without Oingo Boingo.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Alec: Riot Fest would be a cool one. It always has such a banger line up full of bands from various genres that I love including some of our idols so sharing a stage with them would be awesome!
Henry: Maybe the craziest festival that I know of is Woodstock 99. Though there were tons of absurdities going on, I can’t deny that the videos of those concerts are pretty awesome. Plus who wouldn’t want to share the stage with Kid Rock?
Destin: When We Were Young fest, it’s definitely our vibe. Those are ALL the bands we grew up listening to. I think that since Warped Tour is gone that would be the next best thing.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Alec: If you count words as a gift, I’d say a guy saying we sound like Green Day and the Sex Pistols is definitely weird. He came up to us after our last show this Summer at the Milk Bar (San Francisco) We don’t get Green Day all the time, but we will hear that every now and then and never have we gotten Sex Pistols, but hey San Francisco people know best!
Henry: Maybe if I ever receive a gift, I’ll let you guys know, but as of now I’m just happy to see us play. That’s the greatest gift.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Henry: I think we really just want people to know that this is a real band, and we love playing together. Having anyone listen to our music really means a lot.
Destin: It’s very surreal and humbling to have someone listen to our music and say they like it. We’re not a manufactured band just putting out something cause it’s what’s cool at the moment. We’re three guys playing music that we love and to have you like it is more special to us than you would ever know.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Alec: To me Kurt Cobain is the obvious answer. It would’ve just been interesting to see where Nirvana would have gone as the 2000’s came and now into 2020’s. I would imagine a giant reunion tour, like Blink and MCR.
Henry: I’d be really interested to see what Kurt would be up to nowadays.
Destin: David Bowie. The man is such an icon.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Destin: Well like I said before, we love playing. I love writing and playing music with these guys and getting to run around to different towns and rock out at different venues. Right now, I think the worst part is having to lug all of our equipment around to shows.
Henry: I love improving and learning from others and I absolutely hate making mistakes on stage (even if nobody notices).
Alec: I love performing most of all for sure and I definitely hate like writers block when I really am in the mood to write which is like always. I can’t stand when I have an idea and I know what I want to say but can’t say it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Henry: I would love there to be less blah pop music and a way to make us somewhat more popular.
Alec: It would be great to have easier access to radio and streaming programs, it’s all very political and easily bought nowadays. We’ve been pretty lucky to have stations all over the country play us and we’re grateful for that, but getting on regular rotation is not easy. Same with playlists, super grateful for the ones that have us on but when you look at some you know it’s just paid for crap.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Destin: Ah man, these questions aren’t fair…how can I choose when there are SOOOO many great ones. But since you just want “one” of my favorites, Everything in Transit by Jack’s Mannequin.
Henry: “Songs for the Deaf” (Queens of the Stone Age) just came to mind.
Alec: Blink-182 “Untitled”. There are definitely others that I think sometimes challenge it, but it remains in top because with every listen it gets better!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs or Downloads?
Alec: I personally love CDs, I have so many now it’s crazy. I think physical copies of an album is so much more fun to show-off and enjoy owning it, but streaming makes it so easy.
Destin: Cassettes look cooler, but nothing really plays them anymore, so I’d go with CDs.
Henry: Vinyl for sure, no question!
Destin: Yeah, we’d love to put our stuff out on vinyl, but it was crazy expensive. Maybe we can add that to things we’d like to change in the industry – cheaper ways for small bands to produce actual records.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Alec: I’m kind of hoping that we haven’t had our best gig yet 😊 One thing we try to do as a band is to try and make each next thing better than the last thing. It can be a show or an album or even T-shirts so hopefully our best show is still out there. But if I had to pick one so far, I’ll go with one of the first shows we did with Henry. We got asked to do this Halloween show and it was for like 3 hours. We didn’t have a drummer and we’re supposed to fill 3 hours? But we pulled it off. We had people yelling for more and we’re like, “we don’t have anything else”.
Henry: I think the shows we’ve done at the Milk Bar have been great. It’s been the last stop on our last tour, and I think they’ve just been really high energy.
Destin: The Hinds show is a personal highlight for me just cause it was soooo cool opening for them. They’re a favourite band of mine and we got asked to open like a week before the show, but we were in for sure. Henry was in Colorado, so we flew him in, we had an hour to practice and then it was show time. There was another band called Hearty Har which is John Fogerty’s son’s so he was in the audience. It was pretty surreal, and I think we had an awesome set. All of the bands had great sets and all of them were so cool to us the whole time. A highlight for sure.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Alec: This question has come up before and I think it’s awesome that we all said we’d probably be teachers. Henry did this archaeology dig as part of school so he’s an archaeology professor. I have always loved history, so I’ll be a history teacher. And Destin was an English major, so he’d be an English teacher. We could all work at the same school and do the band thing on weekends.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Alec: Well for me it has to be every member that has ever been a member of Blink-182, I’ve always been curious as to how that would all turn out. I’d imagine it’d be awkward at first but at the end we’d all be hugging.
Destin: Jordan Peele, Chris Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Gerard Way and our friend and first drummer, Jess Lord.
Henry: Samwise Gamgee, Arragorn, Frodo, Gandolf, and Gimli.
What’s next for the band?
Alec: Right now our main focus as a band is to get out and keep promoting the debut album. Remember, we just released “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” in May and we’re trying to get as many people to check it out. It’s about a year out of our lives so we’d love to have you take a listen. So far, the reception has been great from what we know, but we want more and more people to listen and let us know what they think. Then it’s figure out the next single to feature, probably ‘Lusitania’, just sayin’. And then it’s plan out some Winter and Spring shows. Hopefully get a nice little tour for Summer ’23. And writing, Destin and I have a bunch of new songs we need to go through.
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people? Please include any links
Destin: Instagram is probably the easiest way to see what we’re up to, we’re pretty active there –
For streaming, check us on Spotify –
And to see us messing around, you can check out our YouTube channel –
Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?
Destin: Awesome…as a 3 piece maybe we can get this right 😊 I’m going to go with – Bap.
Alec: Muffin? Maybe? My instinct to what I would say goes to roll, but I’m going to go with muffin.
Henry: I have absolutely no idea, I think this falls into the French fry debacle. In the US they’re called English muffins, but I hear that’s very wrong. I’ll go with crumpet because it sounds the funniest with a British accent.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Alec: Just to say thanks for having us here. Like we said, it’s pretty cool to have someone listen to our stuff and hopefully like it. Having people take any interest in our band is awesome and you should know how much we appreciate it.
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