By Adam Deane
VANCOUVER – You know that feeling when you’re with your band at your wits-end penning your eighth studio album, listening to a Motown station in your Portland garage, reminiscing of simpler times gone-by and a bit of whimsical inspiration strikes? Run with me. The sound of The Marvelettes’ 1961 hit “Please Mr. Postman” floats through the summer air and into your psyche at the perfect volume for you to reimagine entirely. Boom. Less than 45 minutes later you have the track that’ll carry your band on to win a Grammy, an iHeartRadio award, strike number one in 18 countries and go on to earn your rightful place in North America’s collective ear drum for the next year. We’ve all been there, right? Or am I coming out of left-field?
Portugal. The Man is by no means new to this whole music game and they know exactly what that feeling feels like. One might say they “Feel It Still?” No? Too soon? In truth, Alaskans, John Gourley (lead vocals) and Zach Carouthers (bass guitar) have been at it since 2001. So, why did it take this long for a band to gain the recognition they certainly deserve as real musicians playing real music? One can only assume it’s got to be a right place, right time scenario. We caught up with band member Jason Wade Sechrist fresh off a five-week stint touring in Europe. He’s the man responsible for all of the kickass percussion you hear on hits like “Feel it still,” “Modern Jesus,” “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” or their newest “Live In The Moment.” We wondered what life was like having released a new album, Woodstock, become a new father, and sweeping Drake for a Grammy — doing nearly all of this from the road for the past year and a half?
“We released Feel It Still in March of 2017 and have been touring aggressively ever since. We’ve had pockets of days off in between. I try to take in as much as I can. Some people like shopping, I like to find the water. I’ve also got an 8-month-old baby boy. Being a musician itself lends to being a very self-centered lifestyle — once you have a kid, it’s like, hey man now you can’t get all screwed up and die on accident — you have to stay alive and help out with this guy.” he laughed.
“Being a father is just a different being of light in this giant Universe. It’s forever.”
When asked if he’s gained any shareable wisdom over his 12-year career for the budding Grammy-winners of the future, he broke it down quite openly. “Cut down on all of your costs. Get rid of everything. Break it down to having a cell phone and a wallet. You have to be willing to quit a job. Be able to afford your toys. Go out to the club, hang out and be around other groups. It’s really hard for artists, so you have to make sure you’re willing to work for it.”
Portugal. The Man perform at Deer Lake Park (Burnaby) on September 1.Deer Lake Park, Portugal. The Man