What inspired the name of the band? What are your influences and are they the same as when you started out?

Alec Cavazos: Well prior to exPorter we were Porter and before that we were adj. (Adjective). adj. stood for all the original members Alec, Destin, Jessica. Then with our first demo release we changed to Porter, inspired in part by a college Destin was kicked out of in Santa Cruz. Then we saw a band already called Porter out of Mexico so we became exPorter.


Destin Cavazos: We really liked the name Porter for a lot of reasons. With adj. at the time we thought it was clever but also thought it was kind of weak. Then AJR comes out and totally steals our idea. But with Porter there really was a lot of meaning behind it. I got kicked out of this school called “Porter College” cause of a totally stupid reason. Porter also came from John Porter who was one of the first producers of the Smiths. Our dad plays the Smiths all the time and we thought it was a good fit. But once we wanted to start releasing music we figured we had to change it because of that band in Mexico…so we became exPorter right around the time Henry (Kish) joined the band.


AC: In terms of influences, I think there are a ton of bands you hear in our music. 90s pop punk is our style I think and Blink -182 is a huge influence for sure. Green Day, Jimmy Eat World. You can also feel the SoCal vibe as well…Social Distortion to Good Charlotte and so many other bands. Then lately for me at least I think bands like Modern Baseball or Joyce Manor have made an impact on me.


DC: Yeah, I think 90’s pop-punk is the core vibe of the band, we even have a sticker that says “90s pop punk – since 2017”. But bands like Social D or Smoking Popes I think you could also hear in some of our songs. And then growing up with parents who grew up in the 80s and still play a lot of that alternative music, a lot of those bands influenced us too. So the Smiths were always on, Crowded House, and I mean deep cuts not just the hits. Then take Kish joining and we know he’s a HUGE Who fan and also loves a band like Turnstile….I think there are just a ton of these bands making their way into our songs or melodies or themes. It’s what really makes exPorter tunes unique.

How do you approach songwriting?

AC: For me, a lot the songs just kind of flow out once I get going. I’ll start with just goofing around on the guitar until something I like pops up or sticks in my head. For lyrics, I usually draw on personal experiences that usually involve girls I’ve liked or dated, basically just girls. However, they rarely turn out to be about that, usually just influenced by personal life then formed into their own story within the song.


DC: Yeah, we joke about our songs all being about girls or unrequited love, and I think that theme is there, but they often turn into their own thing. Which is kind of the cool thing I think for the listener. Take a song like “Feel Good” off our EP bored, you might think it’s about one thing or whatever but it’s a song that was written about a couch – really. 


So Alec or I will usually bring a piece or idea to the other, we mess around with it and get it close to what you’d actually end up hearing. I think the core part of what the songs started out to be usually ends up in the final song but not always. Sometimes one of us will have a song that’s 99% done already and sometimes we’ve written a song together in like 10 minutes but for the most part the process is he or I will have the idea that came from whatever, usually girls or love, then work it out. 

Why do you write the sort of music that you do?

DC: I think it’s just really about writing songs that we want to play or that we’d want to hear and it just sort of fits with the genre we’re in. We grew up going to the Van’s Warped Tour and I really think if that was still a thing, a band like exPorter would fit in the line up with no issues. I don’t think Alec or I ever set out to write a song that’s a ballad we think Panic at the Disco might do, or a Killer’s song with a country vibe…we both sort of just write what we like. 


AC: Well with “Boyfriend” (off debut album NoBrakesNoBrakesNoBrakes) I did sort of push for that 90’s pop punk on purpose but it probably would have ended up that way anyway. Really though, I find our songs to be truthful and relatable. I write my songs for myself to process and reflect but also for the listener to find a bit of themselves in it too.

How do you decide what to perform live?

AC: Well first thing is which songs we like to play and which ones we know the crowd might like. We rotate a decent amount of covers through songs we will play or rehearse but the core originals are usually the same. That will change obviously when we start playing our newer stuff from the album this year but we will be sure to include the exPorter classics.


DC: Alec and I will take turns starting the list and Kish gets involved too but I think we do have a certain amount of originals we like to do all the time, at least 2 or so core covers, like “Where is my Mind” (by the Pixies) is almost always the closer, then we try to grab some deeper cuts to throw in. 


AC: I think the biggest thing is to make sure we’re mixing everything up. We’ve done shows where it’s Destin singing lead on like the first 6 songs or whatever, so mixing it up to get the balance right and making sure the covers we do fit in is the process.

What plans do you have for the future?

DC: Keep growing is our main goal. Every year we get together to figure out our goals for the year or maybe the next, but it all comes down to growth for the band. Like when Alec and I recorded our demos (Hidden City Sessions) we basically went into the studio and did 6 songs in like 3 hours. When Kish came on, we had the goal to really focus on recording 4 songs for a cool EP. I think (the EP) “Bored” was growth for us and then we thought, well instead of an EP, let’s do an album. We’re pretty stoked that we actually got down 10 tracks and put our album NoBrakes out there. I mean that’s just the recording side of the band but we try to take that approach to every aspect of the band.


AC: Keep growing, keep playing, keep writing. We basically want to just take this as far as we can and hopefully that’s to the very top!