Imagine a psychedelic mix of Marc Bolan, Mercury REV, Spititualized and 10cc playing together at a party to celebrate Keith Richards release from prison on drug offences.
Portland based, Alaskan born Portugal, The Man’s new album In The Mountain, In The Cloud, hits all the nails on the head and could possibly be THE record of the summer.
Five records in and operating from somewhere left of reality, this time the band have set sail for the Major League. With a new deal with Atlantic Records things are looking good and they can now trash a much better class of (m/h)otel.
It’s quite possible they could become your next favourite band. They are mine. We spoke to drummer Jason Sechrist about Life, Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance.
Where does Portugal, The Man come from?
The name of the band came from the idea of wanting to create a character to lead the band that was not one of our own, such as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, or Sgt. Peppers with the Beatles era.
Are you enjoying being on tour?
We are all fans of touring. It makes for great times to find amazing food, culture, and I love the fact that I really get to enjoy all forms of the seasons simply by cruising N,S,E,W! All within one tour! You can enjoy San Diego weather one day, and be eating hot wings in the upper East coast within days of doing what we do. Where I live ( Portland, Oregon ), it’s a beautiful place, but it has so much of a rain season. It’s great to be able to just leave for 3 or 4 weeks and capture different weather for the goodness of your soul.
What made you sign to Atlantic Records?
We were looking for a nice partnership company to share our future with. We talked with Atlantic for a good year working out a nice system were we could share a nice risk/reward benefit of the current music industry. It’s nice because this new partnership allows us to work with some of the best producers and music fans in the past and present, people such as Andy Wallace who worked on recordings we all grew up listening to. Some of those records are the reasons we play music today, it’s crazy.
Did you feel any pressure recording for a major label?
There was not too much pressure in the change from being in the indie scene. The only form of obvious pressure would be that fact of looking up some of their past bands over the years at Atlantic! Everyone at Atlantic is a big fan of music and has great and very sharp ears and is excited to be working in music. I would say that’s it. Some very sharp ears in the majors.
What can we expect from the new record?
This time around we had the chance to work in very nice places with very good people — Andy Wallace ( mixing ) and John Hill (producer). We worked together on capturing some really nice tones on every instrument — some far out, some pure room and of the moment. It seems to have teasers of all the past recordings while bringing it all to new songs.
Where was it recorded?
We recorded the majority of the record in El Paso. In between some US and European tours we worked on the recordings in San Diego, Los Angeles, N.Y. and finished it off in Seattle with our old friend Casey Bates.
What is the best song you have written so far?
I can tell you my favorite song we have, it’s called “All Your Light.” That’s going to be a fun live song!
Who did the artwork on the new record?
This has always been a team effort between John Gourley and Austin Sellers. They always brainstorm the best ideas until it comes to the real thing in your hands. It’s a cool process.
What is your fav guitar Foot pedal?
MOOG Taurus pedals.
I noticed the Gretsch guitar, have you spent all your advance from Atlantic yet?
That’s a gift from John’s father. We are slowly collecting some nice equipment.
Who is on your stereo at the moment?
Honestly, I am sitting in a hotel lobby and they are generous enough to be playing The Shins’ “New Slang”.
Are you looking forward to playing Lollapalooza?
Yes! We love that festival, it makes me feel like such a teenager to think about it. Very alternative and cool! It makes me feel crazy to be a part of that festival roster! This year’s festival is going to be off the hook! It’s the 20th anniversary!
When are you coming to the UK?
Sometime in the Fall. You just missed us, we were a few weeks ago.
What is the meaning of life?
Your going to have to wait til July until you can hear the whole of the new record. So you’ll just have to take our word for it on how good it is.
In the meantime visit www.portugaltheman.com for videos and sneak peeks.
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