As the singer and guitarist of Kali Masi, Sam Porter has performed all around the United States, toured Europe, played Riot Fest and other festivals of note, shared the stage with the likes of The Lawrence Arms and Titus Andronicus, and released one doozy of a debut album (2017’s Wind Instrument). Years before he was fronting the accomplished Chicago punk quartet, Porter was a kid in McHenry, Illinois who was honing his musical taste by listening to records he got from the library, oft-misidentified songs he pirated from LimeWire, and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack.

Back in January, Porter spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about Kali Masi’s excellent forthcoming album—[laughs]out March 26 via Take This To Heart Records—and the thorough recording process with engineer Jay Maas (no relation!) that helped bring the record into being. Following the now-requisite discussion about the pandemic and plans for the future when the world safely opens up again, Porter talked about making up a fake band in middle school called Last In Line, joining the real band known as The Blue Waves in high school, and winning a contest to record at Gravity Studios in Chicago. Over the course of the hour-plus conversation, he also mentioned taking the train a total of seven hours every Sunday in order to practice with the Blue Waves after he moved to a new city, eventually starting a band called The Howl, and the process of The Howl turning into Kali Masi.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Kali Masi (“Guilt Like A Gun”).