“The World Cafe features interviews and music from all around the country and the world — but on Wed., Dec. 11, it’ll be all about Pittsburgh.
The syndicated music-and-talk show, which airs at 6 p.m. weekdays on WYEP locally, will feature a pre-recorded live set and interview with local faves Donora, a trip to Jerry’s Records, some history talk with local soul legend Billy Price and a segment with WYEP Morning Mix host Cindy Howes.”
This program will be broadcasted nationwide! Make sure you tune in to hear Donora’s set and interview. Click here to find your local station.
We’re getting really excited about the new music that’s happening in the studio! Can’t wait to share it with you guys
Donora is playing at the H’Art & Soul of Haiti Gala in Pittsburgh on Sept 21. It’s going to be a great night!
“This year we are thrilled to welcome local indie darling, Donora!
Come join the Friends of Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti for the thirteenth annual H’Art & Soul of Haiti Gala! It will be an exceptional evening filled with live music, an inspiring menu from big Burrito and stunning visual displays. Vibrant Haitian artwork will be for purchase and beautiful photographs taken in Haiti will be projected throughout WQED Studios. Exciting auction items will be up for bid! ”
Find more information here.
Getting pumped for our short (but jam-packed) trip to LA! Hopefully we’ll have time to enjoy the city a bit! Any suggestions of what we should check out while we’re there?
Donora is playing at The Hotel Cafe on July 25 in LA!
So, what’s Donora up to?
We released an EP a few months ago. We wrapped up doing the tour and press for that, and we’re back in the studio for the next album. I guess [our recent success] has been fast, but we’ve been a band for five or six years now; it’s been a long time coming for us. We’ve been constantly working and trying to get better, and we’ve felt so lucky to have the support of our hometown. We haven’t ever gone out to the West Coast, so we’re trying to plan a trip [there this] summer. We’re excited to play some new markets. KROQ in L.A. has actually played some of our songs during its independent hour.
Your lyrics often have a cryptic quality. How do you write your songs?
I don’t have a formulaic process at all. Sometimes it works out that I have a lyric idea in mind; sometimes I have to match up a lyric idea with the mood of a track we’re working on. For the most recent EP, my brother and Jake worked together, and made up a bunch of tracks. I came in after the fact with some lyric ideas on top of that. It was more fun to do it that way.
How did you decide to make Donora so upbeat?
It wasn’t a conscious decision. Before we started out, I was doing singer-songwriter solo stuff. Then my dad [country musician Dave Hanner] suggested that [my brother and I] start playing together. We would go to brillobox and play for our friends, and that was the kind of music they wanted to hear. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun to make that kind of music. But it can be a challenge. As a songwriter, you’re not always in the mood to write a happy, fun song. [We] have to edit more whenever we’re writing for Donora. That’s the whole vibe of our band — being happy and having fun, and not being ashamed of being a pop band.
What’s it like being part of the Pittsburgh music scene?
For the most part, I think it’s been really positive. When we started out, there was a whole group of bands — such as Lohio and Meeting of Important People — and it was a really great environment to grow up [in]. We were all figuring out our sound, sharing ideas. It was a really supportive community of people. I think there are definitely people who don’t like pop music, and there has been some criticism. But for the most part, it has been pretty great.
According to lore, you chose the band’s name because you liked the sound of it, not because you are actually from Donora, Pa. What’s your relationship with the town?
People who are from Donora get really excited. Sometimes you feel like a poser or something — “We just saw the name, and we liked it.” We were actually there for a bridge dedication. And we [were going] to play on the bridge. We were like, “We can’t turn this down.” But there was a blizzard, so we ended up playing [in the Webster firehouse across the Monongahela River]. So we still haven’t actually played in Donora.
How is it to be on the road with people who are so close to you?
[Laughs] It’s definitely a challenge sometimes. You don’t want to spend 24 hours a day with [anybody] for days straight. Not everybody’s going to be in a great mood the whole time. But there are a ton of great memories we have from the road. We were couch-surfing [using couchsurfing.com] one time. We were in a city where we didn’t have anyone to stay with, so we stayed with this girl, and she told us [about] “first-degree fun” and “second-degree fun.” First-degree fun is [when] it’s fun while you’re doing it. Second-degree fun is not fun while you’re doing it, but it’s fun when you think about it later.
Some nice blog love from The Burning Ear!
“This Smile I can’t help it. It’s summer time and I’m not really sure I knew what that meant an hour ago, before I heard about Donora. 3 songs later and I feel much more educated. Open the doors, fire up the grill, crank the tunes, and play nice! This Pittsburgh crew definitely knows how to have a blast and make a great video at the same time. Here are two jams that I’ll have on repeat all day and each comes with an equally awesome video. Plus they include a dance party and a BBQ respectively.”
Check out the feature here.