-A Pork Torta press release

"Spawned from the ritualistic consumption of its namesake sandwich, a sandwich purportedly hallucinogenic when taken in extreme desert temperatures along with a considerable amount of a certain dry draft ice lite beer, The Pork Torta first grouped together to hide from the others. As the days passed, an eggy mixture began to form among them, its scent crept out under the door. Soon, it became necessary to let it out. From that moment on the music and fashion industries have never been the same. For one band, the Pork Torta, has left the screen door of their collective minds wide open."

What else can be said about Pork Torta, one of Tucson's most creative and enigmatic bands?

Over the past few months, the secret has begun to creep out among Tucson's hip, and Pork Torta has become increasingly popular. Their music unspools in long cable-like chunks of tape samples, Bob Bert-like drumming and the strange non-sequitur ravings of the band's three members. Drummer Exberto Chef is a member of the Napkins/Mondo Guano/Doo Rag contingent that mysteriously dropped into Tucson a few years ago, bringing with them an explosion of warped musical sensibilities, and guitarist Ian Spaceshuttle and bassist Leland do nothing to reign Exberto's wild antics.

Aside from their Pussy Galore-fights-Funkadelic musical vision, a Pork Torta show also includes manic disguises and a wide array ─from iron-ons to fruit pies ─of Pork Torta licensed merchandise.

The Wildcat talked to Leland briefly this week.

Wildcat: How long have you guys been playing together?

Leland: I don't know, two or three years. Maybe four years. At least three years.

WC: How did you come together?

Leland: Oh, just a random series of events.

WC: Why did the magical Napkins/Mondo Guano/Doo Rag contingent come to Tucson?

Leland: I'm not sure, other than for seeking employment and like-minded situations.

WC: Cheesy question, but what are Pork Torta's influences?

Leland: Just all kinds of records.

WC: That's it?

Leland: And 8-tracks.

WC: When I first saw you guys, about a year, year-and-a-half ago, you had more samples and tape loops. It was a bigger part of your show than it is now. Has there been a conscientious attempt on the band's part to get away from that?

Leland: No, it's just been technical difficulties that have slowed them down. And then the songs, they're kind of different. Some of the songs that had tapes don't get played anymore.

WC: Like Doo Rag, you guys seem to have a different approach to merchandising than most bands ...

Leland: We just have lots and lots of stuff available. That's the plan.

WC: Where do you want to take the band ... goal wise?

Leland: Take it to more cities ... more different cities.

WC: Any plans for further recording or touring?

Leland: We're going to tour this summer, and we're recording all the time. Hopefully another record this summer and maybe another tape, who knows. There's supposed to be another Peyote Stomp single from Toxic if they ever do that again.

{WC}: Over the past couple months, peaking, I think, with your first show at Congress, you guys have become very popular. Are you aware of the sudden interest in the band, even if it's still only at the "scene" level, or is that something you just don't care about?

Leland: It doesn't seem like it. I do know we sold out of our tape faster this time than the first time. It seems like the same people show up at the shows. There's more dancers. But we have more dance songs now. It's true.

WC: Your sound has so many raw elements to it that it doesn't seem like you would rehearse that much. But at the same time it's so chunky and groovy and tight that you obviously practice a lot. How do the songs come about?

Leland: Sometimes we pick up an old druid manuscript, other times we just

improvise. But its definitely rehearsed. Frequently rehearsed.

WC: Where do you see the band fitting in on a local level?

Leland: Um ... well we have a couple venues we can play at, and we'll continue to play at them. If more people had parties we could play at, we'd play at them more often than any place else.

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