Ryan: Band names are one of the most difficult decisions to make. What is the story behind
Port of Est?
TK: I had used the name for a few impromptu performances with my ATL collaborators
Timothy Watts and Chandler Rentz over the years. Formalizing it as the current project with
Hannah seemed to fit well conceptually. The Maine coastal landscape majorly informs our
creative process. Also, Tim and Chandler flew in a few times to lend their talents on the record
so it seemed right.
HT: Yeah, it took us a year of looking for a band name only to come back to the one Todd originally suggested.
Ryan: How and when did the band form?
TK: Fall 2013. Hannah and I met by chance at Running With Scissors Artist Studios in Portland,Maine where my wife Honnie Goode and Hannah both had spaces. I was helping Honnie move
In, and it was during one of those initial visits that Hannah and I started talking. It just so
happened that she was interested in having a electronic musician sit in on another project she is
involved with. That didn’t work out, but we immediately knew that we wanted to start our own
thing and craft a new sound.
Ryan: Your current album “Onyx Moon” is very creative and unique. Can you take us
through your songwriting process?
TK: I’ll often start with a simple beat or melody line. I search for that little spark you get this
feeling like you are tapping intosomething special then I know it’s worth developing.
We frequently grab random sounds from our environment, which are embedded all over the
place. I typically take a pretty maximalist approach initially. I often start to hear new melodies orbeats spinning off. Something rises to the surface and I grab it and start building the song from
HT: Once we both feel it, we’ll develop the overall vibe and arrangements together so I have
something to write lyrics to. Other times we’ll hit record and start from scratch together with an
analog synth, drum machine, and some freestyling gibberish through a vocal fx box.
When something works we almost instantly know it and that’s our jumping off point.
While I work out the lyrics and vocal fx parts, Todd fine tunes the nuances and sound design on the production end of things.
Ryan: Where do you gather inspiration from?
HT: The sky’s the limit, really. Maine is a good muse for us.
TK: Travel, art, and family. The Maine landscape is a big source of inspiration.
Ryan: The track “Clash” is your current single. Why did you choose that particular song to
release as a single?
HT: Clash has elements of all of our sounds. It’s got the danceability that makes you move and
it’s got the sound design that Todd does so well… It makes you think. The music/vocals break
and bend in ways that we both felt was right to introduce as a single.
Ryan: At this point in your musical career, what are some of your musical highlights?
HT: Working in this style of music was new to me, so the up close and personal exposure was a highlight in and of itself. I am always of the mindset that the highlights are just around the
corner. I think it’s how I keep myself motivated….
Love the moment and look forward to the next one.
TK: We have been getting a lot of great press recently thanks to the PR work of James Moore
owner of Independent Music Promotions. He has been a tremendous help and we are very
grateful for his support.
Ryan: Do you have any advice for new bands looking to create their first album?
HT: Recording is a vortex. It’s fun and it’s exhausting. It’s important to work with a recording
engineer/producer who’s able to balance the financial efficacy of keeping things moving and
who knows when to take the time to let a new sound develop. My advice is to go into it prepared and remain open to the possibilities that the creative hub of the recording studio allows for.
TK: Limit your palate, make mistakes (sometimes on purpose), and if you are proud of it don’t
sell yourself short by skimping on the mixing and mastering. Focus primarily on what you do
well, keep improving and do it better, then build a team around you who have the same
Ryan: My favorite track on the album goes to “Transparent”. Do you have any favorite songs,
HT: It’s always shifting for me. Currently it’s “Valentine In My Headphones.”
TK: Transparent and Clash.
Ryan: How long did this album take to make?
HT: Composing it took 2 years due to our schedules. The actual recording/mixing/mastering
time was split up over 3 months.
Ryan: What was one of the most challenging aspects of making an album that you had to
HT: The process of composing electronic music was new to me. Unlike other projects I’m in,
the music could completely change from one writing session to the next. The biggest challenge
was learning each of our writing processes and developing a new one that worked for us as a
duo. It took some time to allow for our individual approaches to meld.
Ryan: If given the chance, who would you choose to collaborate with on a future project?
HT: The Roots, Thom Yorke.
TK: Tricky and Sigur Ros.
Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
HT: We’re planning our album release party. It’s got some visual & sonic surprises….
TK: …and a lot of new music in the wings.