We are now at the midway point of 2013 and with little hesitation, I can say that Portugal. The Man’s latest slab of psychedelic-pop, Evil Friends, is one of the year’s best.
Before setting off to enjoy a day of fishing in Oklahoma earlier this week, Portugal. The Man founding member Zach Carothers spoke with Here Magazine about the experience of working with Danger Mouse and how the band has always aspired to succeed with music:
In the time since your 2006 debut effort, Portugal. The Man has essentially released a record a year. Evil Friends comes two years after In The Mountain In The Clouds however. Why the delay?
We were planning on having a record completed much faster and were actually about nine songs into a new record when we had the chance to work with Danger Mouse. We couldn’t turn down an opportunity like that.
How was the band’s experience working with Danger Mouse?
At the outset, I think we were a little intimidated to be working with him but as soon as we met him and started working, he was very cool and down to earth. We learned a lot about our songs, our career and our ears thanks to him. He is an amazing producer with unbelievable talent.
I’ve read some reviews that have said that Evil Friends is your most commercial work to date. Do you agree?
I do think it is more accessible that our other records have been. Since the beginning of the band though, we have been trying to make successful music while keeping our intent intact. We just got it together a little more with this record. Some of the beats and tempos are a little easier to move to. Lyrically though, it is a very dark record; John [Gourley] got far more personal with his lyrics than he ever had before. I think that we had a lot to get off our chests. We came through a couple of dark years.
How were the past couple of years tough on the band?
The last record almost killed us. We lost a couple of band members but on top of that, John and I have been doing this so long that it can get to be an unhealthy relationship at times. We’re best friends though; we do everything together. We are in a much better place now.
Article published in the June 27, 2013 edition of Here Magazine