Talk Thursday To Me – Heather Porcaro

Today we catch up with one of our favorite new discoveries in the last year, Heather Porcaro, for a conversation about influences, obsessions and her new album The Heartstring Symphony.

Heather Porcaro: HI!

Postcard Editor: Hello! Thanks for typing it out with me today.

HP: Of course! Thanks for having me. Hows it going?

PE: Good, finally some lovely weather here in the Midwest this week, it’s hopeful. How are things in LA?

HP: The same as they always are for the most part… nice.. haha. Weather wise that is.

PE: Well thanks for not completely rubbing it in, just a light rub.

HP: Where are you located in the Midwest?

PE: We’re based in Bloomington, IN – although some of the regular contributors are in Chicago and / or are transients that travel for a living. Have you ever been here?

HP: Chicago yes, but never to Indiana.

PE: Ah, we’re a college town with a notable music school, so thought perchance you may have visited while in high school. It’s interesting how many musicians we talk to who did that. Although I suppose growing up in a family of musicians was probably a music school unto itself. (Heather’s dad is renowned composer, session musician and founding member of Toto Steve Porcaro and her grandfather Joe Porcaro was a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew group of session musicians.)

HP: Nice! Im looking at photos now… it looks very cool

PE: Lol – yes, this interview is sponsored by our visitor’s bureau. Thanks for googling, book your trip today! Anyway, let’s talk about your new album!

HP: Ahhhh yeah!

PE: I think you first came onto our radar here at PE with the 2020 single “New Breakdown,” which made us instant fans. Not only a great song, but such a fun video too. Was it hard getting it down? It’s a lot of very long single camera shots.

HP: I am thrilled you like “New Breakdown.” We wanted to make sure we shot the video before the sun came up too much and traffic got heavier. We took a few small breaks at moments to cross the street or to go back and shoot in front of a building that was a bit more interesting. Each moment was one take if that makes sense.

PE: It’s such a perfect introduction to your music I thought. There’s a sense of humor and cheeky life to much of your work I feel, and that shows through whether it’s a more straight forward song like “New Breakdown” or something more stylistically specific like the breezy tropical sound of “All Hands On Deck.” Who are some of your influences as far as songwriting goes?

HP: Jonathan Richman, Harry Nilsson, Cat Stevens, Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bowie… the list goes on. Life is so strange and far out and hard at times it helps to take the edge off and get more in the present moment to include some humor I find. Gotta laugh!

PE: I can definitely see the Richman and Nilsson influence as far as that sort of smart funny approach. So after dropping a series of singles last year, we now have The Heartstring Symphony. What is it about these 7 songs that felt like a collection, as opposed to stand alone singles?

HP: I love that you can see those influences. I recorded The Heartstring Symphony awhile ago with my band I was playing with a lot. These songs were played together a lot live. With everything that has been going on in the world I kept thinking about that batch of songs and how much lyrically & energetically they related to how I have ben feeling and what we’ve been going through.

PE: Can you give am example or two of that lyrical relation to these weird times?

HP: Yes! “I Wanna Know” is about the pain and injustice in the world yet holding on to hope and finding your community that has your back to lift you up.

HP: I wrote Seasons after Hurricane Katrina hit. I will never get those images out of my mind of seeing people on their rooftops and the abandonment from the government. The pain and neglect and lack of basic human needs and care.  There is absolutely zero excuse for people to suffer like that any where in the world.  

PE: We’re definitely living in an age where mutual aid of all types is more important than ever. I know that one of your communities is the theater and film world where you’ve worked as a composer. Is that something you’re still involved in or are you leaving that behind now that you’re on your way to solo career pop dominance?

HP: I would never leave theatre and film behind! I hope to integrate them all even more.

PE: Sounds like you might be writing a musical?

HP: Sure am!

PE: Can you give us any details, or is it top secret?

HP: Haha its a bit of a secret as of now, but I can say there is a ghost involved.

PE: Fantastic! We’ll get our pottery wheel ready!

HP: Haha!

PE: What’s some of your favorite musicals?

HP: I love Sondheim & Gershwin. I also thought I was Annie when I was a child. I was obsessed with the movie. Never saw it live though.

PE: With Carol Burnett’s performance in the film, it’s easy to get obsessed.

HP: Hedwig was actually a turning point too for me.

PE: Hedwig is the GOAT in my book. The only musical to stay with me and part of my psyche.

PE: What are you currently obsessed with?

HP: Obsessed with as far as musicals or anything in life in general.

PE: As in anything – band, tv show, something else. Whatever is capturing your life right now (in a good way).

HP: I love Kate Berlant & Jacqueline Novak’s new podcast POOG, This show called ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU – a reality home improvement show about a family that is renovating a chateau, MARNI who is a character by Brian Jordan Alvarez with Insta vids…I could go on hahaha.

PE: I appreciate you taking the time to chat today, before I let you go, I want to ask what’s next for you outside of the musical you’re writing. I know you said this collection of songs were a little bit older and pre-pandemic when you were playing with your band. Are there some new songs in the vault that we’ll be hearing soon?

HP: Yes a bunch! I will be releasing some more singles and a couple eps in the coming months.

PE: Fantastic, we can’t wait!

HP: Thank you so much, take care!

Heather Porcaro is a fourth generation musician and artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her new album The Heartstring Symphony is currently available on all the usual streaming services. Find out more about Heather and her work at her website

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