exPorter's Trio Does the Talking!

Pop rockers EXPORTER have a trio of musicians that have come to form this band. Since their formation, the band has had demo's released, an EP, with a debut album out and about too. The trio bans together to do the talking about their music and themselves.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

 Destin Cavazos: Alec and I have been playing music together for 10 years now, even longer if you count messing around on Rock Band. As brothers, we always had the benefit of just jamming at home growing up, and we realized we really enjoyed playing and writing music together. So we thought, hey let’s just make a band! We shuffled through a couple drummers over the years (you know how it goes) before we started playing with Henry Kish on the skins. It’s funny, our first show with Kish was his first time playing in front of an audience. But obviously, he had a great time and he’s stuck with us since.

 Alec Cavazos: We started as a three piece in 2015 consisting of us two, Alec and Destin, joined by our good friend Jessica Lord on drums. That was the original lineup and it remained that way until mid 2017, when she had to start focusing on getting into college and school work.  We then recruited our neighbor and good friend Owen Dawson to join us, pretty much after joining, he too went off to school. Destin and I wanted to keep a band going so we were stoked to find Henry (Kish), someone I had played baseball with and whose dad played drums for our dad’s band. That was in October of 2018. Since then we have had the same lineup.

 2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

 AC: In the original line up we went under the name Adjective stylized as “adj.” for our initials (Alec,Destin,Jess). When Jess left and Owen started, that didn’t really work and we changed the name to Porter. Our dad is a Smiths fan and saw a documentary that mentioned John Porter (Producer) and he told us the name. Johnny Marr is a stud so we thought that could be cool. Plus Destin got kicked out of a college named “Porter” so we thought it was natural. We put out our first demo (Hidden City Sessions) under that name even though Jess was involved in the writing if some of the songs. We went under Porter from about 2017 to early 2019 when we discovered another, already prominent band from Mexico under the same name. Growing up fans of Blink 182, we know the story of their name and how they were faced with a similar problem. Instead of waiting for any legal trouble that may arise in the future we decided to change it and saw it fitting to become exPorter as we were technically once Porter. We have received a lot of feedback on people preferring the exPorter name so it looks like we made the right choice. Plus all our merch says it so exPorter is here for good.

DC: We used to call ourselves “Porter” after legendary Smiths producer John Porter. After playing under that name for about a year or two, we started getting bigger as a band and we started looking to upload the tracks we’d been recording, but we knew there was another band out in Mexico using the name Porter. We took inspiration from our idols in blink-182 and threw the “ex” up front to differentiate ourselves and the band was officially born! I always chuckle because to me, an “exPorter” sounds like some guy carrying around all his feelings about his ex, which is a vibe I think rings true in a lot of our music.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

AC: We are based out of Southern California and formed Santa Barbara. There is actually a decent little music scene up in SB. It’s a mix of local bands like ours and around growing bands out of University of California Santa Barbara and the college party scene, but it promotes music very well. There are a handful of college bands that come and go through the years and a few that we have grown quite close to in recent years particularly. Some of the bands up here we like playing with are Loc Dawgs, Lizardsmouth, Feel Better and others; all of which vary in genre from surf rock to pop punk to indie pop.

DC: We’re in different locations but we were originally based out of Santa Barbara, CA. The music scene in town has always been pretty active, I remember catching local bands around town all through high school. There’s no shortage of groups getting out there and playing music, and there’s a good variety of venues in town. A lot of different sounds in the scene too—one band we play with pretty regularly is a banjo-based rock group called Trout Club, it’s a really unique vibe. I also think the local radio station 92.9 KJEE does a really good job of helping bands in the area build buzz, they’ve even put a few of our songs on the radio; they really do a lot in support of the local scene. 

Henry Kish: Yep - Lizardsmouth, Trout Club, Odd Army – all cool bands we’ve played with.

4. How would you describe your style?

AC: Our style in music is heavily influenced by the 90s pop punk scene and 80s pop rock scene, with bands like Blink 182, Green Day, The Cure and The Smiths as some of our leading influences. I know Kish, brings in a little separate influence that can be heard in the drums from bands like The Who, Turnstile and anything classic rock/heavy punk. 

HK: Bombastic and fun.  I want there to always be energy in all our performances, on our recordings, and especially live.  If people are moving I feel successful in what I'm playing.

DC: Our style is a high energy mix of all the rock and roll we’ve come to love. Our music really pays homage to the wonder years of pop punk, when all the kids were lacing up their Vans and screaming along to Good Charlotte down at the skate park. It’s the kind of bright and breezy music you can sing in the car with the windows down, but it’s still got enough spiky guitars and angst to keep your parents pissed off. With lyrics that dance between sensual and self-deprecating, I feel like a good deal of our songs hit on a more playful brand of pop-punk. Alec and I grew up going to Warped Tour every summer, and I think that influence is really clear on a lot of our music; that sort of rough-edged radio rock is really the core of our sound.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

AC: Well we have the Hidden City Sessions demos out in the world. That was basically 6 songs recorded in like 3 hours. Our co-producer on the new album Elliott (Lanam) filled in edits and drums for that. In 2019 we released our EP “Bored” that was recorded with Matt Molloy and Made for More recording. We also have various singles and home recordings that we put out during the pandemic. Everything we’ve done so far has been self-released. And within the next week, our debut album will also be released – NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes. 

I think all of our tracks and releases hold on to the basics of pop punk, maybe some emo pop, but we don’t shy away from experimenting or making things our own. I think our dad described our vibe in a pretty good way, it’s like if Blink and Smoking Popes had a baby. 

Some of our stuff will slow down and other pick up and make you want to run in a circle with your buds. When you listen to the new album there’s a ton of different directions we added but they all somehow tie back to who we are. Definitely helped having someone like Elliott just know who we are and what we want to do. 

DC: So far, we’ve released a handful of singles and EP’s; it’s a good mix of studio tracks and self-produced songs. Our first EP “Bored” was released in the fall of 2019 and since then we’ve been steadily releasing tracks. We did a few collaborations with another local band, Let Flo Go. Over the last year we’ve been putting out some of the singles off our upcoming album, we’ve seen those getting a lot of hype. And of course now the album 

HK: Our first album that is scheduled to release on May 25th.  I think that people can expect something that's fun, energizing, and hopefully relatable.  Our sound is somewhat like a rejuvenation of that which came before, with a more modern swing.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

AC: Well we actually have our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” out May 25th 2022. It is a culmination of songs written as far back as 2018 to songs written May of 2021. We began recording in early 2021 with a few tracks “Lassie” and “Elizabeth”, that we had written fairly early in 2020. Once they were out and received some success both online and in radio play (charting in the Top 50 SubModern Charts), we decided it was time to bring more songs to the table and present it to the world. This album has probably one of our fastest songs and maybe even our slowest one, but they will make you feel something.

And yes, even newer music is being worked on. Destin and I have about 60 originals some of which we’d like to revisit and we’re always writing new stuff.

DC: Yes! We’ve got our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” set to release May 25th! There will be a lot of new music that not a lot of folks have heard. I think fans can expect a lot from this album, right from the opening track we hit the ground running, and we bring a lot of energy throughout the rest of the songs. Anyone that’s heard an exPorter song before will definitely recognize our usual brand of upbeat pop punk, but we’ve tried our best to explore some different genres throughout the album. For instance, there’s some stuff on the album that’s reminiscent of the 60’s surf rock era; on another song we went deep into synths to create a shoegaze inspired ballad. Overall, there’s a lot that’s familiar to us on the album, but there’s definitely a little something new for everyone. Unless you like country. We sorta left out the country vibes on this one. Sorry :P

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

AC: We LOVE playing shows. We just did a car show on a golf course to help out our friend Phat J from our local radio station which was pretty cool. We have also started booking for a little summer tour here in California for in July and August and are open to extending. We also have a few one off shows planned in June starting with a hometown show at one of our favorite venues (SoHo) and others. 

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

AC: Really we just want to keep growing as a band. I know it sounds cliche but that is something we really work hard at - every next thing should be better than the last. Each song should get better, every sticker should be cooler, every band photo better...every article - no pressure :)

DC: Just keep getting better as a band, When we we're coming out of lockdown and things were opening up, we met and talked about how we wanted to do this professionally. Like should we just write stuff and put it out or would we want to tour and stuff and be a more real band. So we got out on the road and did a bunch of shows in So Cal and we really loved doing it. And I remember thinking after the last show on that little tour, "hey, we're like a band and stuff" and we really should keep doing this.

AC: So we all chatted and said yeah, we're a band so let's start doing more band stuff.

DC: Obviously last year we spent a lot of focus on wrapping up the album but now the immediate future is promote that album - NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes is out now people, you should buy it! - we have some shows lined up for Summer and just keep doing more of that.

AC: Ultimately we'd love to get signed to a label so that we can keep growing.

DC: Yep, growing the band day by day! Start thinking of the next set of songs, bigger shows. I think they should bring back the Warp Tour cause that would be cool to play.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

DC: All of our music can be found on the usual streaming platforms—Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Our website exporter.band also has links to our music and we’ve got some merch for sale on that site as well. T-shirts, beanies, coloring books…y’know, the essentials?

AC: Our music is available everywhere, wherever you do your listening I think exPorter is there for you to stream or buy! You can also buy physical CDs at our web store, https://exporter.band/shop. We are currently updating the web store to have our new merch and album, but that should be all up to date soon when we get them in stock.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

AC: It sounds cliché and all but our music comes from the heart and is all very special to us, I think the biggest thing for me is that I hope it resonates with the listener and will mean something to them, whatever that may be. It’s always pretty sick when someone says they like our songs. 

HK: We are real people, this is how we feel, and we want to create connection through our music!

DC: I want listeners to fall in love with our music. Someone listening to an exPorter song for the first time should be able to feel the energy in the airwaves. For as much energy as we put into writing intricate and clever lyrics, I must say what really sticks out about our music is how catchy it is. Both Alec and our producer Elliott have done a great job of working in punchy little guitar riffs throughout every song, and I think it really adds to the dynamic of each one. These really feel like songs I could listen to again and again. And again.

Post a Comment

[facebook] [blogger]