The change came about due to ‘Little Bear’ being a trademarked name in the US but on the plus side there are not many bands who can say that they’ve had two debuts which have grabbed the country by the cajones.
Whether it be as Little Bear or as PØRTS, the live shows have always gone down well and they have amassed a cult following during their time together while also picking up a few celeb fans along the way too.With the single ‘Gameplay’ due out on the 25th of this month, and available to download on October 12th, we thought it was a great opportunity to catch up with the guys to talk about the new music and also the journey since the change of name.
What have been the main hurdles since the name change from ‘Little Bear’ to ‘PORTS’ in April of last year?
I think a lot of people were comfortable with ‘Little Bear’, ourselves included, and a name change can just take a little time to getting used to. The biggest hurdle I think was mainly the fact we stopped gigging for a long while to really focus on getting the album finished. It’s all wrapped up now, so we’re looking forward to taking to gigging again.
Where does the moniker ‘PORTS’ come from?
Wish it was a simple as divine inspiration ha, but we actually went through a lot of names before finally settling on PORTS. There are a LOT of bands out there ha, ha. Stevens lyrics would have a lot of maritime references and the fact we grew up in a city with a port. Even though it hasn’t really been used, it still registers with you, so we just felt it suited.
With the debut single ‘Gameplay’ due for release on September 25th, what can fans expect from the new music?
Olivia Newton John and Shaggy performing emotional lullabies with the odd piano solo by Jeff Goldblum. ha. It will follow very much in the same vein as before. We’ve been told a few times now that while each song is very different there is just that PORTS feel to it. I think that will be seen across the board for the album.
Have you a confirmed a date yet for the release of the debut album ‘The Devil’s A Songbird’?
No date confirmed just yet, it will be the in New Year. The plan for the first couple of releases is set and that’s paving the way to the date.
What would you say have been the main influences for the new album?
This is a question we get asked a lot, and depending who in the band you ask you will get completely different answers. This has been a long time coming too so a lot of those influences would be over the past while. But I think for myself it would be Local Natives, Middle East, Ben Howard, The Staves, Volcano Choir....to be honest, ha....this could go on forever.
The new album was mixed by Dan Long at Headwest Studio... how did that come about?
We all loved Gorrilla Manor by Local Natives, which was mixed by Dan, so we got in touch. He liked what we were doing, so it was great to have him on board for the album and we couldn’t be happier with the result.
The Derry leg of the single launch is taking place at the Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company on September 26th, what’s the advantage of having the Echo Echo as the venue?
Echo Echo is an amazing space and it’s also something a little different. On the night as well, we’ll have projection mapping to make the Derry gig that bit more special.
So what’s up next for PORTS after the swell of gigs in September and October?
Lot’s more gigging, we’re going to do a few shows across the water and just really get back playing as much as possible.
The new PORTS single ‘gameplay’ will be available to download on October 12th and tickets have sold out for their Echo Echo gig on the 26th.