Portugal. The Man have managed to stay busy and successful these past 10 years with seven studio albums and five EPs. The four-piece band has played sets at big-name festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, and will continue their performance streak with a multi-city tour through the US with Grouplove.
On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Portugal. The Man returned to San Francisco for the first stop of their tour: a special benefit show for StubHub’s Next Stage Concert Series. All ticket sales for the show will go to three Oakland schools through The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which helps fund music programs in underserved schools.
After their soundcheck, Portugal. The Man held a meet and greet with the opening act, a band from one of the Oakland schools. When the high schoolers left to play a soundcheck of their own, bassist Zach Carothers and keyboardist Kyle O’Quin talked to us about working with Danger Mouse, their Sumatran Tiger project, and Taco Bell.
TMN: Tell us about Alaska.
Zach: That’s where I’m from and where John and I met, and it was a huge inspiration to be up there. Obviously the natural beauty and isolation is really attractive, but the thing it lacks is direct influence. There’s not a huge art scene up there, not a huge music scene. So when we moved down to Portland, where we lived now, we got flooded with all this amazing underground media. We were going to shows every night for $3, seeing these little bands. It really inspired us to get out there and go for it. We decided to go on tour and we haven’t really stopped.
TMN: Nice, do you go back often and play a show there?
Zach: Yeah, at least once a year. At least. We try to go back twice, but it all kind of depends what the schedule is like. We always go back up for Christmas, so we play a show around then.