The State Of Music: Part 22: Connecticut: Ports Of Spain
As the positive reviews for the upcoming State Of Music Volume 1 album continue to roll in there appears to be many plaudits for Connecticut duo Ports of Spain. The main reason why I do this site in the way that I do, focusing more on interviews as opposed to reviewing is because I am totally useless at reviewing. It takes a kind of writing that I am just not that good at. Music always feels personal, to myself and to the bands and I never feel comfortable or able to explain why I like it. Like many of the bands involved in this project so far, they are not genre specific. They just make good music that deserves to be heard.
Ports of Spain are no exception. Ask me to define them and I honestly couldn't, but what I do know is that I honestly hand on heart know that I love their Winters Teeth EP. Listen to the full EP below and read my interview with the band, and hopefully by the end of it you will love them too.
CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who are Ports Of Spain and where in the world would we find you?
Ports of Spain are a two piece indie rock band from New Haven Ct. formed by Sam Carlson and Ilya Gitelman
CMM: And how would you best describe the state of Connecticut?
Connecticut is an interesting mix of have and have not, New Haven especially. Some of the wealthiest people in the U.S. live right down the road from housing projects. Musically speaking it's every bit as diverse. New Haven has a slew of rock bands, singer songwriters, rappers, etc. even a burgeoning noise scene.
CMM: How long have you been recording music and how did it all start?
The two of us have been playing music for years and years, but only came together as a band about a year ago. Our first E.P. was released last October, and we have another in the works.
CMM: How best would you describe your music?
CMM: What is the music scene like in Conneciticut right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?
Melting pot? Everyone is trying to play with everyone, and people are constantly setting up shows. I guess DIY is the movement right now. Not so much musically, but more as an attitude. Rock, Dub, Jazz, whatever; everybody want's to be putting it on for themselves. CT. is full of party houses that host bands, so it's never too difficult to find something.
CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?
New Haven is a pretty rough town, and CT is being hit pretty hard ideologically by all of the Occupy Wall Street stuff going on over here. Tenacity is more important than ever, and I think that's a major contributing factor in the Do It Yourself spirit. Everyone want's to proove that they can make it on their own, cause frankly that's what it takes these days.
CMM: What other influences does the band have, musical or otherwise?
We're both big readers, and we tend to go for the same books. Just finished Ulysses, moving on to Infinite Jest
CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?
So far we have only one E.P. out as Ports of Spain, "Winters Teeth." There is a new E.P. in the works for release this spring.
CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourite places to play both in and out of state?
We play a good deal. We're big fans of Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield Ct. and The Oneonta Theatre in Oneonta NY. The Space in Hamden Ct gets the prize for best staff though. Cool environment too. The whole place is decked out in antiques and curiosities. If it wasn't a venue they could claim it as a pretty legit omnium gatherum. The majority of our shows are at houses and lofts. Their not really publicized venues, but they're every bit as fun.
CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you?
We've got a bunch of new material, and plan to be in the studio in the coming months. Other than that, getting back to playing out. Hopefully some sort of an east coast tour again.
CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?
firstname.lastname@example.org portsofspain.bandcamp.com - IT'S FREE!
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