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Portugal. The Man

Sixty seconds with John Baldwin Gourley



Indy: I've read that, for each of the four Portugal. The Man CDs, you've gone into the studio with only a couple of songs or so ready to record. Why do you start albums with so much left to do?

JBG: We've always just said, "Here's our studio time and here we come. Let's just go in and do it and let's see what comes out." With this group, we've never really planned too far in advance ... Sitting down and writing a song a night [for the new CD, Censored Colors] wasn't a heavy thing to take on. It was just what we were doing.

Indy: You've toured before with quite a few guests. But I hear you're currently touring with just the four core band members. What do you like about that format?

JBG: It was so nice to see how tight everybody got together, and just backing away from the jamming a little bit has helped the band grow so much. It seems like the touring [as a four-piece] is going really, really well and working out for the best.

Indy: You've said that before recording Censored Colors, you studied a Beatles songbook. You were used to writing riff-based songs, but became intrigued by the way the Beatles' songs were structured. How did that influence the CD?

JBG: It was just really amazing, seeing just how they would put songs together ... I just thought, "Why don't I try to do this, like write with chords and go for songs?" We were pop kids from the beginning. We always wanted to write songs, and [I wanted] to try out what they do. That was the major change.

Alan Sculley

At Denver's Marquis Theater, Nov. 14.

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