12 QUESTIONS WITH JEREMY PORTER

Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
Yeah!  I started playing in bands when I was 15 with The Regulars in Marquette, Michigan.  At 18 I moved to Detroit and joined Chutes & Ladders.  After a couple years I formed SlugBug and recorded and toured with them for 8 years before doing the same with The OffRamps for another 8 years.   There were a couple more, shorter-lived projects in there, but now it’s Jeremy Porter & The Tucos.

What inspired you to start playing guitar?
I grew up in a musical house – lots of records, always a piano.  I was encouraged to be creative.  Then I got into metal, which was intimidating as a guitarist.  Then I heard The Clash and everything was ok.

What was your first electric guitar?
A $40 Crestwood.

What are your top 5 favorite records?
Tough!
Let It Be (The Replacements)
Exile on Main Street (Stones)
Decoration Day (Drive By Truckers)
The Nils (S/T) and New Day Rising (Hüsker Dü)

Honorable mentions to Springsteen’s Nebraska and Quadrophenia by The Who.

What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
It’s tough to say – there have been a lot of ups and downs.  Being in The Regulars – one of the first punk bands from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – is something I look back on proudly.  I’ve also been proud to put records out on some great labels over the years – Mag Wheel Records (Toronto), Red Eye Growler Records (Chicago) and especially, these days – New Fortune Records out of Detroit.  But I guess just the fact that I am still at it – still making records and hitting the pavement and having fun doing it after all these years.

How did you hear about Reverend?
For years Ken kept telling me I had to check them out.  “We’ve got this one that you would love….” he’d say.  Then Jason (from The Tucos) has been playing this prototype bass that sounds great, and I used a Reverend they had at The Loft (Recording Studio) on the new record and it just felt great.  Finally I had the itch to get a new guitar the timing was right.

What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I have the PA1 Pete Anderson Signature model.

What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
It’s a lot of fun to play.  It feels great – the neck and the action. It stays in tune. The P-90s sound killer and it looks bad-ass.

What amps and pedals do you currently use?
I have a Matchless Chieftan 35w head that I run through an Avatar 1-12, Avatar 2-12 or Marshall 4×12 bottom depending on the room.  I use a Boss Overdrive, MXR Line Drive (for boost) and occasionally a Boss Chorus and Morley Wah.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
Sure. Traveling and whiskey.  I love traveling and seeing new places and things.  I love whiskey – bourbon and Irish mostly.   Fortunately for me these things go hand in hand with playing music.

Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Just figure out what you want to do and own it – whatever that is.  Whether you want to write songs and tour, play covers in a bar band, or just sit in your basement and play along to records – or anything in between.   If you can align your goals with (or maybe just a notch above) your ambition then you will be happier than if you jump into something you aren’t really up for.

Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
Jeremy Porter & The Tucos have a new record called Partner In Crime out on New Fortune Records LPs, CDs and download.   We’re playing everywhere supporting it.  Please visit www.thetucos.com and http://www.facebook.com/JeremyPorterMusic for all the details.