Friday, December 02, 2005

portugal. the man, the interview.

Not too many bands easily appeal to me nowadays. I think it's the fact that there are one too many bands that have been there, done that, not only in music, but in image. It's hard to find unique personas and individuals making creative and distinct music.

Portugal. The Man was the such find that intrigued me. I was fortunate to interview John Baldwin Gourley, the lead vocalist of the band. (Read interview here..)

TLD: When did your band, Portugal. The Man form, and how did that go about?

John Baldwin Gourley: Really, this band started to form right before I left Alaska to join Anatomy Of A Ghost. It has been around since then on the side but only full time since around January 2004.

TLD: You guys are based in Alaska. This, to me, is pretty crazy. How would you describe life there, and how much effect/impact it has made on the band.

John Baldwin Gourley: Lately the band has been very, very Portland based. It's really difficult to keep a constant movement out of home. Too far off you know?

Alaska has had a huge impact on my writing personally. I mean, If I wasn't in this band I would still be there right now. That place has birthed some of best and worst from what I c
an gather. There is a lot that goes down there that seems very uncommon out here.

So I hear you guys have decided to release your debut record on Fearless Records. How did that conclusion come about? Was it only logical since Anatomy Of A Ghost was previously on that label, or..

John Baldwin Gourley:
The history was a big part of it. In all honesty there were other labels we were looking into but at this point I feel our decision was the best we could have made. They have been very supportive. I mean, its an odd record for them and they have been adapting to that like crazy. only good words from us. It's A lot easier to be with a label where you already know you have friends. Anxious to see how it goes. Plus, it's a lot.

TLD: Tell me about the debut album, "Waiter: You Vultures!". What's the meaning behind the album title, and what can we expect musically from it?

John Baldwin Gourley: Among other things, the title is a sort of "in memory of" for Hunter S. Thompson. I don't like to get into meanings too much at this point. But yeah, thats
a simple one.

TLD: I see that you guys are playing a few shows here and there. How is the turn out and response? Do you guys intend to do a tour soon? Do you guys have any supporting acts in mind?

John Baldwin Gourley: We have a lot of fun, I guess. Seems to be that way for us. As for tours, we are heading out this January with an all west coast thing then full US afterwards. Supporting acts? we'll see where things go. We'll just be happy to be traveling once again. We didn't leave Alaska to sit on our asses all day.

TLD: What are some things that personally influence you? I know you are huge on illustration and many forms of art. Any favorite modern artist that you're fond of?

John Baldwin Gourley: I wish I could name some. I am not an art kid by any means. None of us are. We like to do it a lot but as far as other artists go, we are out of the loop. We have friends over at,, Austin Sellers... These people are very good.

We find it very fun to do. A lot of my stuff looks disgusting to me but whatever. Painting is much much fun for my hands. Need things to occupy them hands anyway. We're not good at walking through galleries and picking out flaws and deciding what is the best.

TLD: Lastly, are there any bands out there that we should keep an eye out for?

John Baldwin Gourley: Turbo Perfecto and The Burning Room. Alaskan friends, past bands and shit, good guys.

Be sure to pick up Waiter: You Vultures! in stores January 24, 2006. It is being released by Fearless Records, and is a highly anticipated release for me. You can preview some of the tracks on the album through their myspace.


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