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Artist on Fire

AOF February 2018: Portugal. The Man

aof february 2018: portugal. the man

 

Portugal. The Man have been around for awhile. Officially forming in 2002, the band consists of John Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O'Quin, Jason Sechrist and Eric Howk. 

 

They're an American pop band originating from Wasilla, Alaska but currently residing in Portland, Oregon. They officially signed with Atlantic Records on 2 April 2010.

 

Portugal. The Man started working on their album 'Gloomin + Doomin' in 2014 with Mike D from The Beastie Boys. They created a large number of songs for that album, but felt that as a whole, the songs didn't really come together very well. They thought the songs sounded too perfect, and didn't reflect the moment. "I feel like things need to be a part of the world – that snapshot of what's happening," Gourley said when talking about what happened to 'Gloomin + Doomin'. "That's what I love about hip-hop. I couldn't be happy with something that felt so easy."

 

Then John Gourley, PTM’s lead singer, made a trip home to Wasilla, Alaska, and two things happened that completely changed the album’s trajectory. First, John got some parental tough love from his dad who said "What's taking so long? Just grab your instruments, go into a room, write some songs." This started John thinking about his band and album's trajectory, why it wasn't working and what he needed to do to get it going.

 

Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival. It seemed like a small thing, but talking to his dad about Woodstock ’69 made John realize that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about what was happening to the world around them.

 

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly outlandish decision: they took all of the three years worth of work they had done for 'Gloomin + Doomin' and threw it out. Then, with John Hill (In the Mountain in the Cloud), Danger Mouse (Evil Friends), Mike D (Everything Cool), and longtime collaborator Casey Bates (the one consistent producer since the first record), they headed back into the studio and 'Woodstock' rolled out naturally from there. 

 

Woodstock is an album that—with optimism and heart—acknowledges the societal and political unease that's going on in the world right now. Saying that we all owe it to ourselves to get out there and make these wrongs, right. 

 

 

Article via Wikipedia, Rolling Stone, and WRMF

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