Prizefighter Profile Week: Meet Aaron Porter
Our week-long series continues where we profile band member from MNSKA band The Prizefighters, we introduce you to frontman Aaron Porter. Stay tuned for more bios from the band as Prizefighter Profile Week rolls on, culminating in the big Triple Record Release show on Friday night at the Triple Rock at 9pm!
Name: Aaron Porter
Home Town: Robbinsdale, MN
Band Role: 90% of the time I act like I’m the Neil deGrasse Tyson of reggae, and 10% of the time I sing and play guitar
Years active in the band: All 7.5 of them!
Instrument of choice: My 1963 Hofner SuperSolid guitar!
Do you play any other instruments: Drums, bass
How did you get started in music: Music runs deep in my family, and I wanted to be a “rock and roll paleontologist” when I was younger, but I guess writing music held my attention more than digging in the dirt.
How did you discover ska/reggae/rocksteady/etc: That’s a long story, but I would have to give the most credit to a friend who turned me on to Rude Radio (on Radio K) in 1997, and that exposed me to an entire new world of music (and subculture once I started going out to shows). I listened to the show religiously and spent every dime I had on CDs. I got my first electric guitar around that time and pretty much learned how to play by playing along to every song on Oolooloo by The Pietasters as well as the first Specials album. My heart has been beating to that rhythm ever since
What other music genres are you interested in: Soul, punk rock, and I’m open to hearing good music as long as it’s honest (hint: most music out there does not fall into that category for me)
What other hobbies do you have outside of music: A lot of my hobbies revolve around music; record collecting, DJing, art/design, 60s fashion/culture, and so on. I also love singing loud and ridiculous songs to my cat, dog and girlfriend first thing in the morning.
Favorite band: The Skatalites
Favorite book: Magazine!
Favorite movie: The one with that guy in it from that other movie…what’s his face…
Favorite TV show: South Park.
What has been you favorite performance/show you have played: Backing Stranger Cole was a dream come true for me, and even more incredible that Charlie Organaire was there onstage with us! Then backing Roy Panton & Yvonne Harrison (also with Charlie Organaire) a few months later was equally amazing; it’s such an honor and a pleasure to be able to perform with these immensely talented pioneers of Jamaican music!
Has there been a show where you just didn’t feel it/What did you do to improve on it next time: Anytime I feel rushed or can’t hear myself on stage I feel like the show is rough for me. Thankfully I’ve learned how to roll with situations like that for the most part, but sometimes it’s just too hectic and I have to just feel the music from a deeper place within myself and trust that I won’t screw up too bad! I really need to start doing vocal warm-ups and taking better care of my voice before shows, though!
What are you must proud in your musical career: I’m always looking to the future, so whenever I am able to just slow down and take a look back and appreciate everything I’ve done up until this point, I think about how ecstatic a younger me would be to see how much I have accomplished, and that’s really what keeps me going. I would say that the biggest thing that I am proud of though is the feeling of trust and appreciation that I felt from Stranger, Charlie, Roy and Yvonne when The Prizefighters were their backing band. The one rehearsal we got with the artists just a few hours before the shows seemed more like a light-hearted reunion between friends rather than a stern business meeting. Truly humbling and mind-blowing all at once!
What would you like to improve upon: Everything! There’s never going to be a reason to not keep on pushing; complacency is the death of innovation and creativity. The day your art becomes “good enough” is the day you die, and that’s the way I feel about my music.
What would you like to see happen for your career: I would love to record and release music in a collaboration with some foundation ska/reggae artists, even some of the original studio engineers/producers!
What would you like to see happen for the future of MNSKA: I have made so many great friends via the ska scene through the years (both locally and internationally), and I would love to see that scene grow even bigger and stronger. T he MNSKA scene has come a long way over the years, and I want to see this wonderful community remain strong and grow even more vibrant the more we continue to keep the ball rollin’!
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why: The ability to skateboard on the moon and not die in the process.