Today’s Featured Artist – INTERVIEW – exPorter

Tell Us about:

Your latest single you have released: 

Alec Cavazos – So Boyfriend is the featured single off our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes”. The album actually got started because Destin and I had written and released two singles (Elizabeth and Lassie) during covid. They both got some decent airplay and feedback so we decided we should push for a whole album. We had a bunch of songs that we’d been working on so we ended up with 10 tracks on the album. When we were trying to figure out which song we should do for a single or if we went back to feature one of the earlier ones, we ended up settling on Boyfriend. I wrote the song about this idea of some guy who was in love with someone he couldn’t have. I know it’s a pretty common theme and a lot of our songs are about unrequited love anyway so it sort of fit. It’s not about me, but more about me wanting to write this pop-punky them about it. 

Your first single and how you felt when it was released: 

AC – Our first “single” ever was this song called “Carsick”. It’s off these demos that Destin and I recorded and it just seemed to be this song that clicked with people. I remember this early show where people were singing it back to us which was kind of a trip. Too cool to see that.

Destin Cavazos – KJEE is this local alt-rock station and every Friday they do this thing called “Phoned in Fridays” where they play almost anything so all our fans and family called in for Carsick, posted requests on insta, it was classic. Finally, someone from the station DM’d us and we thought they were pissed but they just said that maybe we should push that song for another thing they do called “Localize It” so we tried that. Finally they put the song on. It was awesome. We grew up listening to that station and it was awesome hearing our song on that station. Our mom cried.

Henry Kish – Yeah, Carsick is the “hit” song that people are always requesting.

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

AC – I don’t know if I can ever have a favorite track because they all mean something special to us. These are songs that we’ve created and while writing has always come pretty easy for Destin and I, there’s just something special about going through the process and seeing what they end up like. And the songs sort of rotate for me as far as what’s most special at the time. We don’t play “Rain Delay” a lot in our sets but when I’m practicing I play it a lot and remember how cool it was to record that one. It’s a ballad that was pretty simple but then we had this idea to add strings and it came out pretty sick. 

HK – Off NoBrakes I really like how Sister Cities came out. Usually, Destin or Alec will send me demos of the songs and I’ll figure out drum parts for it. For this one I think I heard it for the first time the night before we were supposed to record it. It’s pretty cool how that song came together. 

DC – Yeah, Sister Cities is pretty cool off the new album. All of the parts sort of came together and I think what everyone wanted to add sort of made it into the final song. Not that we don’t compromise but usually Alec or I will have an idea for what a song is and then we kind of work through it. With Sister Cities, it all came together pretty nicely.

Your favourite song to play live:

HK – Sister Cities for sure is one I really like playing live right now.

DC – Sister Cities is up there off the new album. I also like reaching into deeper cuts that we usually don’t play. Alec or I will take turns making the first draft of a set and it’s kind of cool to see if a deep track makes the list. 

AC – I think Carsick is still one of my favorite songs to play live. People still sing that song when we play it which is pretty cool. Plus I think we all sort of have fun adding something to it each time we play like. Like fore me, there’s a line that goes “ I press the pedal, and drive by” and for the last part I’m always trying to think of a new or different way to sing “drive by”.

Your most emotional track:

DC – For me I think it’s Feel Good. It’s a song about being kinda overwhelmed with feelings, both good and bad. There’s a lot at stake on that track. 

AC – Definitely “Just Me Myself And I Miss You” of our debut album. It’s a song I wrote after a breakup that seemed a lot bigger at the time. It means a lot to me because it’s one of the more truthful song that I have written and has a lot of references to that relationship. In the end it came to an end for the better, I got a killer song out of it and I’m now happily in the best relationship one can find!


The best lyric you have ever written:

DC – I don’t know if we can say we’ve written the “best lyric” just yet. I mean songs are subjective so there’s the feeling I have when I’m writing it but then there’s the feeling the listener has when they here it so which constitutes “best” I think we have written some clever lyrics for sure but hopefully “best” is still to come. 

AC – Yeah, we try not to think about what to write or why we are writing something and we both just sort of write what we’re feeling. I think it for sure makes that songs really organic but I think if we were focused on writing the best thing out there you just end up with crappy songs. I’m just happy if the songs resonate with the listener. 

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

HK – Sort of a combination of nerves and excitement, the nerves go away as the set goes on for sure though

AC – Well it’s game time when you step on the stage, so you always gotta take a deep breath just before taking that first step. The nerves are there but they settle a song or two in to the set and then it’s just fun. 

DC – It’s like getting on your favorite rollercoaster. A little tension, a little buzz, but you know you’re in for a great time. 

AC – I think we settle in pretty quick though and we all have fun playing live. We’re doing a bunch of shows to promote NoBrakes so we’re playing a bunch of stuff that people haven’t heard live so it’s pretty exciting to see the reactions. 

The hardest track to play live:

DC – It’s crazy but I’d probably say Carsick even though we probably play it the most. What makes it such a fun track is how the beat is kinda going all over the place, but it moves pretty fast. You end up needing to hit it all perfectly, otherwise you really start to lose that groove. 

HK – Probably Sister City’s, there’s just a lot more different parts to that song than our others, but it’s also probably my favorite to play as well!

AC – I’m expecting our new song “Grace and Forgiveness of the Idle of Venus” is gonna be a hard intro to do. The riff is in a really tight zone and real fast so it’s git a few quick moves I gotta make without sitting there still playing it.

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

HK – I’d say our instruments are pretty essential.

AC –The obvious is yummy delicious snacks for the long drives. We have a few quick turn around on this tour of California so having essential snacks like XXX Vitamin Water and Spicy Nacho Doritos are key. Another big thing that should also be obvious is tons of extra guitar strings and pics. Knock on wood, but just because strings don’t always break doesn’t mean they won’t.

DC – Pretzels and vitamin water, cheap sunglasses

Describe your fans in three words:

DC – Hip, trendy, and obviously great taste in music…you have to combine that last part into one word though…connoisseurs maybe?

HK – Girlfriends, friends, and stylish

AC –  Very veryyyyy epic

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:

AC: I Miss you by Blink 182. It’s a classic song that was sort of a departure from the band’s pop-punk vibe. Even if you don’t know the band you know that song.

DC: I wish we wrote “Black Sheep” by Metric. We play that song as part of our set and people fricken go nuts when they figure out what song we’re playing. We open with thumping bass and then add some guitar and drums and you can see people kind of sort of looking like they know what we’re playing, but when we open with that first verse people lose it. 

I think they’d decided to cut it from the album they were putting out and thank god it was picked up and added to the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack because it’s a rock song for the ages. I’m probably biased but the bassline on that thing is insane, you feel it everywhere. The whole song is just so sonically immense, you’ve got such a driving force of headbanger energy but also these big dreamy riffs and harmonies. It’s incredible.

HK: Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes.  It connects to me on every level and expresses what I would want to say in a song.

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

DC: We’ve got our debut album “NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes” – hopefully people are listening to it already – but we’re doing a lot of promo for this for the rest of the year. Doing interviews and starting to work out radio play. Trying to get the album singles in order, maybe a video or two. We’re also starting to book some shows this Summer to promote it as well. 

AC: When we released our EP “Bored” or other one off singles we just sort of put it out there and asked people to listen. Then we did some videos and put those out but for this being our first full album we’re working hard on the business side of promoting. There’s a lot of work behind being a rock and roll band so we’re putting in that work right now. We just played a warmup show over the weekend and it was kind of cool to see people reacting to this new stuff. We have some pretty cool shows lined up in California playing some iconic spots like the Casbah (San Diego), Strummers (in Fresno) and Milk Bar (in San Francisco) and we’re pretty stoked about those. You have all these legendary bands that have played these legendary spots and then here’s lil’ ol exPorter ready to rock them….it’s pretty cool.

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