Santa Barbara alternative rock band,exPorter, has been playing together through lineup and name changes since 2014. Let’s hope that on their next tour, that exPorter will play somewhere near you wherever that may be.
Check out the following interview with the band. Please welcome exPorter to the blog!
Who is answering the questions?
Alec Cavazos – Guitar/Vocals
Destin Cavazos – Bass/Vocals
Henry Kish – Drums
Tell us about your latest project:
Alec: Right now our main focus as a band is to get out and promote the debut album. We
just released NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes in May and we’re trying to get as many people
to check it out. 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. We put out “Your Boyfriend
(Suckup)” out as the feature single and it did pretty good on the chart. I think it spent
several weeks on the chart for specialty shows and peaked at #24 which was pretty cool.
We just wrapped up our Summer shows so now we’re thinking up the next couple singles
as well as some video ideas,
We’re also writing new music as well. I know there are a couple songs we couldn’t fit on
the album that we would like to work with.
Where was your first concert as a fan? As a performer?
Alec: The first show I sort of remember going to was Angels and Airwaves at this tiny
venue in Santa Barbara that’s no longer there. I was just a kid but I remember a lot of it
and it really influenced me as a musician. Tom DeLonge is the reason I play guitar and is
still a huge influence on me and I think it goes back to that show.
As a musician, I think my first performance was part of this band camp I did as a kid. No
one wanted to sing the songs so I did and got hooked. That also really started our band
too cause our friend Jessica played drums in the camp and when we were done we
thought, hey, we have guitar, bass and drums so we should start a band.
Henry: I don’t remember the actual show but I know it was at the Santa Barbara Bowl. We
lived a couple blocks away from there when I was a kid. My first show performing was at
the Avocado Festival with these guys.
Destin: I think it’s funny that all 3 of us went to shows when we were kids. I think that’s
one of the reasons we’re a band….something must have clicked for us when we went to
these shows. I also think it’s classic that Henry’s first show performing live was at the Avo
fest with us. He had like a week to learn the songs and crushed it. We didn’t find out till
after that it was his first show. Anyway, for me, my first show was in Boston…my parents
took us to this festival thing called Earth Fest. My mom is a huge Lisa Loeb fan. Don’t
remember the show but I remember the energy of all these people.
As a performer, it was a show we did at SoHo in Santa Barbara. Alec and I had just started
taking lessons and as a bass player you were always sort of needed to we formed this
band called “The Spikes”. I’ve always sort of felt at home on stage so it was pretty cool to
be playing there where so many other talented bands and musicians have played.
What is the secret to writing good music?
Destin: Well I don’t want to sound pretentious and say all of our songs are good…I mean I
love them and am super proud of just about all of them but I’ll defer to the listeners and
they can decide ��
But for us, I don’t think there’s really any set formula to writing what we think will be a good
song. We usually just try to write songs that we like, or that we feel fits the vibe of exPorter
and I think we have been lucky so far in that it’s been a pretty natural thing for us. Usually
Alec or I will come up with song ideas on our own and then we’ll get together and just
show each other what we have. It can be most of a song or maybe just parts and then the
two of us will work it out until we have a song. Then we usually record a demo of it and
send it to Henry so he can start working on drum parts and percussion ideas.
Alec: Yeah, I think we have been pretty fortunate to have written any song and then have
people tell you they like it. It’s really humbling.
I think when we got “Carsick” on the radio at KJEE (in Santa Barbara) we maybe thought it
was just so we’d stop bugging them…but they’ve played a ton of our songs so we figured
they must not hate them if they play them.
But I don’t think Destin or I ever try to write a “good” or “hit” song, we just do what we like
and it’s been cool to have that mean something to listeners. Destin once said it’s a trap if
you try to write something for a specific reason cause it really always depends on the
listener. I think that’s true so we’ll just keep going with our standard process.
Do you have a bucketlist? If so, what’s on it?
Henry: I don’t really do bucket lists but I’d like to visit every continent.
Destin: For me, I’d really like to visit all 50 states in the US.
Alec: Bucket list is a tough one but maybe like maybe hit all the national parks!
What was the last thing that you read?
Alec: The last book I read was Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. I’ve been on a big tear of
his books, it’s my 3rd of the last 2 months.
Destin: Last book I read was Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. It was a good spooky
Fall read. I love Halloween so anything to get me in the mood is great!
Henry: I’ve been reading through a series called Chainsaw Man, it’s really sweet!
What are you listening to at the moment?
Henry: Lightspeed Champion, Title Fight, Elliot Smith, and Mitski.
Destin: I’ve been checking out the new Death Cab for Cutie album. It’s interesting to see
what’s new and what’s familiar with their sound. There are some cool tracks on there for
Alec: Currently, at this EXACT moment, hold music for Spectrum Internet. But also like
Destin, the new Death Cab album and Field Medic is always on rotation right now.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
Alec: This question came up on another interview and I think it was awesome that we all
said something around teaching. Henry had just done this archaeology dig as part of
school so he said he’d do that. I have always loved history and it’s my major so I would
probably be a history teacher. I’ve always loved old books and stuff, going to estate sales.
And Destin was an English major so he’d be an English teacher. I think if we could all get
jobs at the same school we could keep the band going too.
Destin: I also said that I always wanted to run a bunch of themed restaurants too like in
Florida…so maybe I’d do that as a side hustle.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Alec: My go to answer for this is Tom DeLonge – I would love to do an album with Tom
DeLonge. I don’t think is has to be songs written with him or him singing on them but
maybe he’d be into producing or something. I always thought the Boxcar album was cool
cause you could tell it was him but you also get a sense he was trying to expand from the
Henry: I’d really collaborate with anyone, I’m definitely not at the level where I can pick
and choose so I’m always open to working with just about anyone.
Destin: I think there are a crap ton of bands that we would love to collaborate with, where
should I start. I think just about any of the bands that have influenced us would be great.
Weezer would be awesome. I also think the Riot Girl era and female-led bands also
shaped a lot of our sound so I think it would be cool to work with bands like Garbage, or
Blondie or even newer bands like Charly Bliss, Snail Mail, Cherry Glazerr, etc.
But, my ONE answer if I had to pick any SINGLE band/person to collaborate with, I think
my answer today would be Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo. I keep trying to get Alec to do a
Boingo cover so if we worked with these guys he’d finally probably give in.
What do you want people to know about your music?
Destin: I think Henry had the best answer once when he said he just wants people to
know that we’re real people in this band. I mean we love doing it and it’s our dream but Ithink if people knew what it meant to us and that we were really just trying to be better as a
band, maybe that would resonate more…or maybe that’s why our songs resonate with
them already? We love being exPorter and we’re just trying to put out songs that we would
have loved to listen to so hopefully that means something when you hear them.
Alec: Yeah. When we’re out on the road together or in a studio it’s kind of surreal to think
about our lives at that moment but it’s what we love to do. We’re not a manufactured band
put together for money or we’re not doing songs that we don’t like to do cause it’s what’s
cool at the moment. We’re just three guys writing songs we like to write and trying to get
out and play them for as many people as we can.