Exclusive Interview with Jonny Porter
Today we are sitting down for an interview with veteran musician and songwriter Jonny Porter to find out a little more about him and what is going on in his world.
In what city, state and country do you reside?
I currently live in Oakville, Ontario in the beautiful country of Canada
How long have you been making music, and what is your favorite part of it?
I have been writing music since I was around 12 years old. But I didn’t start singing songs until my early 20’s roughly. My favourite part of writing is just being in the moment with whatever emotion or memory or topic your feeling at that time.
In what genre or style would you classify your music?
The easiest label for me is rock n roll. Although it does stray into blues rock and folk from time to time but I’m at my best when I’m playing loud and hard.
Who are your top 5 musical influences? Also, please tell us who inspires you?
When I was a child I was a huge hard rock and heavy metal lover. So some of my top influences have to be Metallica, and Pantera. Those two bands made me want to learn drums and guitar and inspired me to start a band.
As a teenager I started to broaden what I listened too and found classic rock, so Queen and The Beatles definitely influenced my want to continue jamming with friends.
My 5th biggest influence really has to be Damien Rice. His music had a gigantic pull on me to try writing softer, more vocal based songs. The final result is really in the middle of those 5 influences in my opinion when pertaining to Jonny Porter music.
I also often find myself fired up and inspired after watching a great documentary. Always leads to playing the guitar.
What do you want your fans to take from your music after they leave the venue where you have just performed?
The first words always have to be “that was so loud! Next time I’m bringing ear plugs.” There isn’t a lot of smoke and mirrors at a Jonny Porter show. It’s a place to get a very unique experience of whatever song because I always like making it a little different then the album or EP.
What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
Any Tool concert and I love being in the moment with friends or other musicians playing loud. Hopefully if your lucky you can have a series of reciprocol moments with an audience.
Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
I personally love the intro song Burning Up, Coming Home.
I love the track because how Steve Kirstein and I recorded it. He had me to into the live room and instead of using a metronome I looped a guitar lick, live layered another guitar on top of the first lick and I used that as the pulse/ heartbeat of the song. It was a lot of fun to record and it turned out great!
How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
A little older, a little wiser, and there’s a lot more substantive layers to my life. I find I’m writing more songs lately and it’s some of the most unique stuff I’ve written yet I think. I’ve also evolved as a guitar player, proficiency is up, the stuff I’m writing is a lot more technical and I’m playing around with a lot of weird tunings.
If you could meet, play a gig with, co-write a song with, have dinner with or have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
It would be Tom Waits. Would love to have dinner and drinks and then I would love to just watch him do his thing while observing his process.
How many songs /albums have you released to date? Would you mind telling us a little bit about them?
I have only release a debut 11 song LP in 2017 and am about to release September 29th, 2020 a 6 song EP.
So much of my debut Gravebird was retailed from my recovery getting off of Heroin. Three of the songs on Gravebird I was shooting up in the studio hiding it from everyone, and I wrote the whole album as an addict. By the time it came out I was clean but in 2017 still had a long road to get my mind, body, and soul proper.
My sophomore EP “Look Out” coming out September 29th 2020 I wrote clean, happy, stable, I had so much to reflect on from a decade of debauchery and partying and living a pathetic cliche. So these songs will always mean more and sound better to me knowing what was going on during Gravebird 2017.
What is your dream gig?
Evening slot at any sort of bigger Festival. I’ve always adored that atmosphere.
Whose music do you listen to? Who are your influences?
Everything. I’m a metalhead, a rocker, I love folk and blues and songs that tell specific anecdotes. I love some hip hop and Pop music and I’m a country boy at heart.
If you had to, where would you place yourself in the “Sounds Like” category?
I would say Jonny Porter sounds like Jonny Porter. I truly believe my sound is unique and I challenge anyone to name a band I sound like.
How have you ended up in the music industry? What would you be doing if you were not a musician?
Well for the record I do work a job away from music. There’s no shame in it. Back when I played drums in Staylefish I supported myself playing gigs. Jonny Porter because I’m independent, even when I was on Gypsy Soul Records I funded everything myself so I retainer full control and ownership. But because no one really buys music like they used to and it costs so much to maintain a music career, I have to work full time when I’m not playing shows.
How do you and your musical style differ from other artists?
My music is a mash up of lots of influences and artists I enjoy listening to. Which I believe creates a unique blend. Some of my songs manage to be rock, blues, country, experimental all in one song. I think thats very different then a lot of acts. So many acts use formulas and stick with what has “worked” for them and they either are afraid or don’t have the power to take musical risks. My favorite artists are the ones who sound a little different every album.
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love hiking and going for walks. In the neighborhood or in the woods. I love swimming and exercising as well as much as I can, it’s the best reducer of stress and negative energy. I love my two cats, they are my life and I’m happiest when they are climbing trees. I also love playing baseball yet I don’t do enough of it anymore!
Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?
The EP ‘Look Out” releases September 29th, 2020, and because of the pandemic in Canada where I live, there isn’t much going on as far as shows. So once the EP is release I will be doing some short 2-3 songs performances just at my house on my Social Media. I’m doing some radio campaigns for College Radio in Canada and for CBC/ Stingray radio as well.
Once restrictions life will be playing as many shows as I see fit.
Can you tell us the music distribution portals where your mu
sic is available?
You can purchase, stream, and listen at my official website www.jonnyportermusic.com, as well at iTunes, Apple, Google Play, Amazon, You Tube, Napster, Spotify, as well any other online store affiliated with my distributor TuneCore.
Can you have increasing commercial success and retain your artistic integrity?
Absolutely. Easiest way? Do what I’m doing and fund everything you do yourself in the beginning. That way you build your catalogue and profile by retaining full control and ownership of the music. Then just hire what radio, marketing, and other industry help you need.
I assume you use Spotify to promote your music. How are you doing there and how can fans find you on Spotify?
I am on Spotify, some months are better then others. I’ve had around 30,000 streams on my new single Look Out and some great response. Just need to get my “followers” up. I need all the exposure I can handle and get my paws on. Small fish in a gigantic ocean.
Can you tell us your official website URLs where fans can find you online?
Spotify and You Tube just search Jonny Porter “Look Out” OR easier, just visit my official website www.jonnyportermusic.com and use the social portals for any and all social media I use.
What is in the pipeline after this project?
More music and another EP release come Summer 2021. More shows.
Thank you for your time and may you continue m making great music.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me and discuss my music. It means the world to me and would love to do this again sometime. Have a great day!
End of Interview