Interview with exPorter

Today, we sat down with exPorter to talk the band members inspiration to write music, advice for musicians and much more! Be sure to check out exPorter music on Spotify below after the interview!

Interview:

What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your
surroundings?

 

Destin Cavazos – I know it’s a cliché answer but the truth really is that inspiration for our songs can come from anywhere. Obviously being a pop-punk – emo – alt rock trio there is a vibe that we draw on from other bands in this genre. Blink-182 for sure, Green Day, bands like that are for sure an inspiration. Then for me at least, there’s bands from the 80’s like the Smiths, a 90’s band like Smoking Popes, bands like Social D, all sort of creep in somehow cause that’s what I grew up listening to. I said the other day that my dad is a huge Crowded House and Neil Finn fan and that music was always on in our house so you can’t tell me it didn’t inspire stuff I write – not a bad influence if you ask me.

But then there’s just normal random stuff that will also make their way into my songs. We have a song called “Feel Good” (off EP “Bored”) that’s about this couch we had when I was in college. That thing was a ratty old piece of crap but it was the most comfortable thing ever – I loved that couch and one day I had this idea for a song. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

 

Alec Cavazos – Musically I get a lot of inspiration from Blink-182 and Tom DeLonge in particular. Tom’s one of the main reasons I even started playing guitar and if you listen to a lot our songs you will hear some guitar hooks or harmonies and things that Blink did and even though they are our takes on things I think we owe a lot to a band like that. I like almost everything Tom does and listen to it all the time so I think it has to make an impact, you know? Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Modern Baseball and I love what they do lyrically and I know I try to make my lyrics resonate for our listeners like their music does to me.

 

But then it’s also your surroundings as well. I like to skateboard a lot and I’m always getting song ideas when I’m cruising around. I’ve made up songs from things that happened to me on family vacations, road trips with friends, I don’t think you can ever pick a single thing that will inspire you. It’s maybe what you’re listening to at the time, something you think about out of nowhere, whatever.

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

DC – Growing up I listened to all kinds of music. Our parents listened to all kinds of stuff from like the Beatles to Tom Petty, jazz, classical, everything. And while I wasn’t the one picking that stuff it was always on in our house or on family road trips. We still talk about me knowing all the lyrics to a Neil Finn album when I was like 3 years old. Death Cab for Cutie were another one that was always on and they are one of my staple bands to this day!

 

As I got older and started picking out my own stuff, Blink and Green Day were bands early on and then I started to pick out more emo bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco – all those eyeliner-clad rock stars with a sensitive souls. We also went to a lot of Van’s Warped Tour shows so all of those bands were favorites. Then getting into my college years, Arctic Monkeys were on my playlist. Also Riot Girl era and female-led rock bands like Garbage, No Doubt, Blondie etc to more recent ones like Charly Bliss, Snail Mail, Cherry Glazerr.

 

AC – One of the first shows I sort of remember going to was Angels and Airwaves and this tiny venue and I think that set the type of bands I listened to and still listen to. Blink, AVA, Boxcar are all bands that I grew up listening to. 90’s pop punk was definitely a go to for me. Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Sum 41, New Found Glory – I think there’s a reason why we are the type of band we are today J

 

Henry Kish – The Who was one of the first bands I remember listening to and I still listen to them all the time. Today I also listen to bands like Turnstile and Fleet Foxes.

 

Is there someone you looked up as a hero?

AC – Tom DeLonge. When I was first starting to learn guitar I didn’t really like it and couldn’t really connect with it. Destin picked up bass in like 2 seconds but I struggled. Then one day I sort of realized that this guy I was listening to did the same thing I was trying to do. Tom played guitar and I idolized Tom, so hey, I should do this and it sort of clicked from then on. I met him once at an AVA show and told him…I think he probably hears that a lot but it’s true. Tom DeLonge is the reason I started playing guitar and the dude is my hero.

 

HK – Well the Who and Keith Moon I definitely looked up to. I also liked Derek Jeter. Alec and I grew up playing baseball and I liked the way he approached the game.

 

DC – Oh tough one…I mean there are tons of people that I draw from for inspiration but hero takes it to a different level. I think on that level I would have to say Tim Burton. I love the work he does and have since I was a kid. Everything from imagery to themes and characters fit into my life in some way. I still wake up early every Christmas morning and watch The Nightmare Before Xmas…Tim Burton is the man!

If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?

DC – Ha, we got asked this once and I think we were all some kind of teacher or something. I went to college for English and love to read and write so I think I would still be doing that if I weren’t a musician. I also had this dream as a kid of one day opening a bunch of themed restaurants in Florida for some reason. I think cause I love going to Disneyworld so maybe I would get something like that going.

 

AC – Yeah for me my major is History so I would probably be somewhere in that world. I love old things like really old books and antiques and loved learning about history growing up. I could maybe see myself as a History professor.

 

HK – Archaeology would probably be my thing. I could see myself doing something in that field.

What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?

 

HK – I think the best advice I could give is to play music you like. There’s just something wrong if you’re playing music and not having fun. I would also say to practice more than you think you need…I know for me I would like to practice to click a lot more. And then I think I would say to make sure you listen to all types of music. I wish my younger self was more open minded to the stuff I maybe thought I didn’t like growing up.

 

AC – I think you really need to like what you’re playing and why you’re playing it. I think there are a lot of bands that are manufactured or artists that want to fit into a particular vibe cause that’s what’s cool at the moment but what’s the point in doing that? We play the music we do cause I think we all like it and it fits with what we grew up listening to and we have a lot of fun playing it. We have a lot of people come up after seeing us play and they’ll say “you guys look like you’re just having fun up there” and it’s weird cause, why wouldn’t we be having fun – this is what we like to do.

 

I think another thing I would tell bands is that this is a business and you should be prepared for it. If you want to just play music and stuff that is totally cool but once you get serious it really is a business. It took me a long time to realize that and I still struggle with it but it’s true. We love writing music and playing shows but you have to be ready to do a lot of things like promoting, you have to build a brand, and things you didn’t realize. It’s not necessarily hard work but it is work.

 

DC – First off, just create music for sure. Don’t get caught up on why you’re writing a certain thing or what the tune sounds like, just create it. I don’t think Alec or I are ever writing a song to fit a particular theme or because we think “hey, we should create a ballad now”, it’s all just sort of organic and I think that comes across to listeners. And yes, if you want to do this as more than a hobby you need to be ready for that too. When we started out we were just kids being “rock stars” like when we played Rock Band on the Wii and it was cool. But when we started to be more serious as a band and wanting to record or play bigger shows we had to learn to promote better, how to try and get more people to our shows – we’re still working on that to this day and I wish we’d thought about that earlier. We’re trying to get better at everything we do as a band every day.

Music:

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