Early in March, Nick and I (Nick and Sam Take on the World…) got the opportunity to have Dana Margolin, the driving force behind the raw, lo-fi but undeniably powerful Porridge Radio play a set for us in the URF office which was broadcasted on our show. Dana was kind enough to join us in the studio after her set for a short interview so we could learn more about the band. She spoke with us about about the Brighton indie scene, what drives the themes behind Porridge Radio’s songs and which of her band-mates would be most suited to life as a hologram.
Sam: What do you think about the music scene in Brighton? Which venues do you prefer playing?
Dana: Well, it’s a great scene to be part of, there’s loads of people involved, there’s loads of great venues everywhere. It’s great, there’s so many good bands. At the beginning it was quite hard to get involved with it because everyone knows each other and so they put on their friends and that’s quite a hard thing to access from outside but I think when you put in a lot of hard work into getting to know people and getting to know who’s putting on what shows and getting involved it doesn’t really matter what venue it’s at. Love Green Door, Sticky Mikes alright if a bit smelly.
Nick: I quite like Sticky Mikes, I think it’s nice
Dana: It’s so smelly though, the smelliest place. There’s loads though, Hope (and Ruin) is good, West Hill Hall is brilliant but it’s more about who’s playing.
Nick: For those who haven’t been to West Hill Hall, it’s literally like a village hall up by the station, you feel sort of like you’re down in Devon or somewhere in a tiny village hall, plus its bring your own beer which is also why it’s great.
Dana: Not the only reason though, don’t need beer to have fun. Porridge Radio is straight edge.
Nick: Are you guys straight edge?
Dana: Maybe… not. Sometimes. I usually don’t drink at shows. I really don’t like drinking for most of the shows we do.
Nick: Is that just playing or gigs you go to as well?
Dana: I drink if I’m in the mood to drink but generally just don’t feel like it. I’ve gotta be in the mood to drink but often it can just make me feel lethargic. If I’m playing I play way better if I’m not drunk.
Sam: When we saw you play you supported Alex G at Bleach, that was a great show by the way, we really enjoyed that. You played some of your songs from the Hello Dog Friendly Split EP you did with West America and I felt there’s sort of a 90s indie rock, emo influence on that, maybe not.
Could you enlighten us to what influenced that? What were you listening to when you wrote those songs?
Dana: Firstly I’d like to say that was released on Memorials of Distinction, best label – a micro DIY tape label in Brighton. Most of the songs I don’t think about what I’m listening to at the time because I’m always listening to a hundred different things. I think mainly for the last year or so my main interests have been bedroom music on Soundcloud I find and that’s most of my taste at the moment just really badly recorded people being sad in their bedrooms, so that’s my main influence. I Don’t Listen was actually written in the summer when we went to stay with Sam, who drums in Porridge Radio, we stayed at his house and after a few days in the shed with him and Josh, who runs Memorials of Distinction I got really angry because we’d been cooped up for so long and just wrote a really shouty song. The sound comes from everywhere and all the things I’m listening to but it’s generally the feelings that make them.
Sam: And branching from that, the songs that really come to mind are all very much about interpersonal relationships. Are there any events that appear in multiple songs that have had a huge impact on your music?
Dana: I think everything comes from interpersonal relationships. Every experience, every relationship and every feeling I have is what makes a song and there’s specific things that always come back up or specific relationships that haven’t been great or have made me feel more strongly about specific things. Every event and every feeling influences everything but I think anyone’s attempt to try and pinpoint that is foolish.
Sam: We’ll go onto a much more light hearted question after that. So if you had to pick a band member to be replaced with a hologram in the event of their demise, who would you pick?
Dana: So does this mean everyone’s dead and I get to bring back one of them? Or one of them has to die and then can only be a hologram?
Sam: One of them has to die and then has to be a hologram. Sort of like the Tupac hologram.
Dana: Okay, see I was thinking more like a hologram from Red Dwarf, then it would be really funny to see Sam as he struggles through life because he’s already struggling all the time with everything that goes on. But then he wouldn’t be able to eat and he loves eating.
Would they be able to play their instrument? Would they play a hologram instrument? Because if so I’d maybe choose Josh then he’d be able to make and play any instrument he wants at any point because it’d be a hologram and he could just build it himself and he’d be quite happy with that. Though I’m not sure he’d want to be a hologram because he’s a postman so then would he be able to post letters? But then he wouldn’t have to work so he’d be quite happy with that.
Nick: He could be the guy that sends emails over the internet! He delivers emails that’s his new job!
Dana: An E-postman. Wicked, he’ll love that. Yeah, Josh.
Sam: What’s next for Porridge Radio in the pipeline? What are you planning to do at the moment?
Dana: We’re recording a few songs at the moment as a band, we’re going to release one of them with CHUD records in Leeds, another one will be for a compilation tape for No Dice Tapes with proceeds going to action for Transhealth. We’re also recording an album for Memorials of Distinction which was actually due in March but we’re going to scrap the whole thing I think… Maybe, we might not scrap it we might use everything we recorded. Hopefully its out before the summer, hopefully we can go on tour if anyone wants to hook us up with some shows around the country, get in touch!
You can see the full performance here.
If you want to know more about the Brighton indie scene or Porridge Radio themselves, make sure to check out the local label that they belong to, Memorials of Distinction and also take a look at Fat Dog Party, who put on regular free events, such as gigs at The Green Door Store and house shows, with whom Porridge Radio are closely involved.
Fat Dog Party – [Facebook]
No Dice Tapes – [Facebook]
Porridge Radio’s next show is 19th March with Cowtown and Crumbs at West Hill Hall.