Indie rock group Portugal. The Man were the recent guests for an installment of the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY SoundChecks program. Held at The Recording Academy New York Chapter Office, the band discussed touring, their songwriting process, the influence of social media, advice for aspiring musicians, and the origin of their name. Following the discussion, the group performed a short set, including "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)," "People Say" and "The Sun."
"Being a rock band [is] all about expression," said frontman John Baldwin Gourley on touring. "It's all about getting up and creating more of an experience than anything. It's not just us getting up there and attempting to be entertainers. We try to keep the music moving."
Co-founded by Gourley (guitar/vocals) in Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man — also featuring Zachary Scott Carothers (bass), Ryan Neighbors (keyboards) and Jason Sechrist (drums) — created their name as an alter ego based on influences such as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Eventually relocating to Portland, Ore., the band released their debut album, Waiter: "You Vultures!" in 2006 on Fearless Records. Their sophomore effort, Church Mouth, was released in 2007 and the following year Portugal. The Man released Censored Colors, which peaked at No. 33 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart. Their most recent release, In The Mountain In The Cloud, was released on July 19 and has spawned the hit "People Say," which peaked at No. 31 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. Aside from playing music, Portugal. The Man is also involved in the creative process for their music videos and album and T-shirt artwork. The band is currently on tour throughout the United States with stops at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Aug. 7 and the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans on Oct. 30.
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