>> Poro's latest EP 'Eyes' is filled to the brim with danceable indie-rock tracks! Their interview uncovers the hidden influences behind the album and details the band member's New Year's Resolutions!
Could you explain the origin of your band name to us?
Poro is a nickname that was given to me during high school by my cross country coaches. I believe their shortened version made it easier for yelling, and regardless of the emotional scars it stuck in familiar kind of way during that time. Several years later I discovered that the name also happened to mean "good friend" in the language of Papua New Guinea. Upon starting the band, it seemed appropriate to then resurrect the name to help represent the music that I was writing.
Recently, you've released the 'Eyes' EP-- could you describe the feelings and emotions that you hope this album will evoke for listeners?
The name of the EP comes from seeing the world through different lenses with each new experience that helps form new perspectives. Each song has its own perspective threaded from a different contrasting experience. I think many emotions are meant to come from these songs. Some joyful and playful while others are more solemn and contemplative. I think the variety of energy in Eyes mirrors the personality of the band pretty well.
Who were your greatest musical influences on this release-- and could each band member name the musician that has had the most impact on them?
The influences definitely vary. It's most likely a mix of Miiike Snow, Ra Ra Riot, Copeland, and Paul Simon.
As for each band member’s top individual influences:
Mark: "That's easy. Rihanna. No doubt."
Ryan: "Rihanna. Easily"
Evan ( our new drummer): "Neko Case"
What would be your dream line-up for a tour if you could choose to perform with any musical acts throughout time?
Simon and Garfunkel, Jack White, Sufjan Stevens, and then us. Stylistically it might not make sense, but I'd love to spend time with those people.
There's a complex level of string arrangements and brass instrumentation on your latest EP-- how does the performance of this release translate within a live performance? Do you bring in other instrumentalists for the live performance?
On occasion we have brought in a more full instrumentation to fill out certain performances. Most of the time however, we reduce the songs to their most essential and core elements. A lot of the string arrangements are played out by Susan's various synth sounds. It would be nice to have the live performance and recordings be as similar as possible, but they’re often two completely different factors and art forms. I would never want to dumb down the creativity of production in the studio for the sake of the lack of instrumentation in a performance. In my opinion it could lessen the song too much. Overall I hope people will find that we represent the energy of the songs pretty well in our live show.
What were Poro's largest accomplishments within 2018?
A good amount happened in 2018. Most notable, was that we had the great honor of performing at the closing ceremony of the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival. They used our song "Embrace" for their promotional trailer which played before every single movie showing during the two week long festival. It was a really cool experience to be a part of something so amazing.
Check out the performance at the Cleveland International Film Festival HERE!
In August we then released our Eyes EP, and in December our Christmas single "NOEL" as well. We played many shows in and around Ohio, and our first show as Poro in New York City.
Do the members of Poro have any New Years resolutions for 2019?
Yes we do! Each of us have individual goals of course. Among the most important of those is to transition into various new roles in our lives. Susan will be graduating with a double major in art and English. Ryan will be finishing up an intense coding boot camp that he has been working on. Evan will be becoming a father in 2019! I'll be becoming an uncle for the first time in April! I have a lot of goals to appropriately spoil that child as much as possible. As a band, we have a plan to completely finish a full length record that we have been working on, as well as forming a marketing plan for its release.
Are you planning any tours or upcoming releases in the New Year?
We are hoping to continue expanding the region in which we play in--playing as many shows as possible, however, no formal tour is planned at the moment. At this time a tour is more likely to happen in 2020 as part of the release plan for our full length record.
If anyone would like to keep up with these future happenings, we love communicating on Instagram and Facebook!