With a back catalogue of more than 50 albums and EPs with his various bands, Jeremy Porter is nothing, if not prolific. His latest band, The Tucos, have just released their fourth album this year. We thought it was time for a quiz.
Jeremy Porter grew up in Marquette, a small city on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he was a founding member of one of the UP’s first punk bands – The Regulars. After moving to the Detroit area in 1988, he would go on to join, form and front several bands including Chutes and Ladders, SlugBug, Clashback, Fidrych and The OffRamps.
Porter then released and toured behind a solo album in 2009 called Party of One and formed Jeremy Porter and The Tucos the following year. The Tucos have released 3 LP/CDs, a live EP, and several singles.
Porter says The Tucos “sound like guitars and whiskey, hooks and heartache, energy and passion. The racket they make is Detroit rock and roll, even if Detroit isn’t quite ready for it”.
The Tucos fourth album Candy Coated Cannonball was released in January 2021.
It’s a classy mix of punk infused rock ‘n’ roll that does pretty much as described, albeit more Cannonball than Candy Coated. Give it a spin at the link below.
We fired off our 13 Questions to JP. Here’s how it went:
1. Where are you and what are you doing?
Hey P3DRO! I’m just outside of Detroit, USA, in a city called Plymouth, Michigan watching it snow outside, strumming on an acoustic guitar, and patiently waiting for the deluxe edition of ‘Black Sabbath Vol. 4’ to arrive via UPS. It’s late because of the snow.
2. What is your favourite view?
Hmm, Mount Royal in Montréal, Hogback Mountain in Marquette, Michigan, and the view from the stage at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit.
3. What is your favourite swear word and why?
That’s a tough one. I’m terribly profane. I use the F-word too much, and Goddamnit is probably a close second, but my favourite might be shitbag because it seems like a perfectly economical way to describe the kind of person who breeds negativity, agitation, hate, and fear.
4. What was the first record / cd you bought with your own money?
KISS – Alive! Double LP at Record Town or something, Fashion Square Mall, Saginaw, Michigan, 1978 or so.
5. Marmite. Yes, or no?
Well. I’m not against it, but it’s not really a thing in The States. I’ll try anything once and most things twice if you put it in front of me. When we were on tour in Texas between shows in Dallas and Houston a few years back I tried Cajun-flavoured dried crickets, and if I’m honest, I didn’t love them, so I’d give Marmite a go, sure.
6. If you could go to a gig right now, anywhere in the world, which band would you see? And in which venue?
Another tough one. I’m dying to do any sort of travel, so I could say something grandiose like seeing McCartney in London or Iron Maiden in Brazil, but I’d be over the moon just to see some friends play in a dive bar anywhere within a few hours too. I’ve never seen a Beatle though, and time is precious, so let’s go with Paul McCartney.
7. Who are your musical influences?
As a songwriter, Westerberg is always mentioned. Love Gram Parsons, The Beatles, Bob Mould, early 70s Stones. Shane MacGowan and Tom Waits are amazing poets, and for guitar let’s say Joe Strummer, Bob Mould, Keith Richards and Pete Townsend.
8. How do you like your eggs?
I make a hell of a Sicilian Omelette (Detroit Style) – 2 eggs with a splash of milk whisked up but not over-mixed. Set aside. Heat up with some olive oil and cook up some chopped bell and yellow banana peppers, hot Italian sausage, yellow and green onions, add some mushroom if you have `em, and some baby spinach. Cook just enough to wilt the spinach and heat up the peppers. Remove the guts and add the eggs to the pan, add a bit of salt and pepper, let them cook into a big circle and flip `em when it’s safe, add the guts over half and a good dose of thick-cut mozzarella cheese and fold it over. After a couple minutes flip it one last time. Add a bit of hot sauce over the omelette then top with Detroit Coney-style chili (ground beef but no beans) and a bit more cheese if you want. Serve with a piece of peanut butter toast on the side. Bon Appétit!
9. Tell us something we don’t know.
Did you know that three members of Cheap Trick recorded a version of ‘I’m Losing You’ with John Lennon in 1980 during the ‘Double Fantasy’ sessions? That version didn’t make the record, but it came out on a box set years later. It’s super great. Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson smoked a joint with Lennon, but Rick Nielsen passed on it, and he regrets it.
10. Which city do you recommend we visit – and why?
Easy one – Detroit! We’re proud ambassadors of this city and it’s very misunderstood around the world. There’s great food, culture, history, sports, shopping and nightlife here. The people are welcoming and it’s a wonderful place. Like any city, there are issues, some are deep-rooted, but I’ll make sure you hit the right spots.
11. What’s your drink of choice?
Rye whiskey over ice. Milk is second.
12. What band or album do you think we should check out right now?
Besides our new one (Jeremy Porter and The Tucos – ‘Candy Coated Cannonball’ – GTG Records), I love the new Lucero record.
NP Presley and The Ghost of Jesse Garon from Lexington, KY put out a hell of a record in 2020. The new Steve Earle record, which is all songs his son (who recently passed away) wrote, is going to be something. I’ve been listening to a band from Minneapolis called High on Stress – great songs, production, and musicianship.
So much great new music out there.
13. Do you have anything else to declare?
I declare that rock and roll is not dead, though it’s taking a hell of a beating.
Support your favourite bands – especially the indie ones who don’t sell in major numbers and can’t tour. Buy a record or a shirt, watch a live-stream and donate to their PayPal or Venmo, tell your friends.
And for fuck’s sake, when things open up – go to some shows! We’ll get through this, but it’s been a bitch, hasn’t it?
And try that omelette! xx
Lead image – credit – David Kellogg