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Portugal. The Man On New Fans And The Writing Process

It’s been a few years since Portugal. The Man has toured Australia and, luckily for us, they’re back to play at Groovin The Moo as well as headline shows along Australia’s East Coast.

Music Insight caught up with keys player Kyle O’Quin to talk about the band’s recent Grammy Award and the fun that comes with such a diverse group of fans.

While PTM are in the early stages of a hectic world tour, O’Quin said he’s not sure if they’ll have a chance to take time out to see much of the country this time around.

“We have a lot of friends here in Sydney and Melbourne, and we’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of Australia during our last few visits here. I haven’t had a look at the schedule, but it’s great to be back!”

When asked about the appeal of touring with a festival, as opposed to independently, O’Quin said it was both easier and harder, and that there are positives in both. He mentioned that independent shows at a club give you a better opportunity to really get into your catalogue, since there’s more time to perform. Playing time at a festival is limited, however there is a huge diversity of bands that play, drawing crowds you wouldn’t normally perform to.

O’Quin also spoke of getting amongst the punters at festivals. Ultimately it depends on the festival and the line-up, but Portugal. The Man are human and they get excited about artists.

“We’re fans too! We love it!”

O’Quin recalls playing a set at Coachella, where Eminem played a set after them, and said it was an amazing experience. PTM love to see their friends perform too. Drummer, Jason Sechrist, has been known to hotfoot it around festivals to see his artists of choice.

Having a hit song is, in itself, not an easy feat, and winning a Grammy for ‘Feel It Still’ was something PTM certainly didn’t expect.

“We didn’t even expect to be nominated! The Grammy’s were held In New York for the first time in 15 years. Our friends and family were there so we really enjoyed it.”

When asked about the success of ‘Feel It Still’, O’Quin said he loves that the song has brought in a lot of new, younger fans. The boys are even starting to see kids attending PTM shows with their parents.

“We haven’t had a lot of that in the past so we’re really enjoying it.”

They love to throw a cover of something the parents will know, like Metallica, “to get that connection with the older crowd. The younger crowd may not have heard it before, but will still love the song. We get a kick out of that.”

PTM’s latest album was over three years in the making, and word is that the band discarded a lot of tracks during that period.

“A lot of people write their music and get it online pretty much straight away – we’re not able to do that. There’s a process, and there can be a lot of time between writing the song and putting it on vinyl.”

O’Quin said that PTM have never really changed their process for songwriting, and they don’t use every song they make. Throughout their time creating new music, they are always letting songs go that may not be so relevant or good enough.

“You can’t write a song lyrically and expect it to have the same impact in three years’ time.”

PORTUGAL. THE MAN TOUR DATES

Tuesday 8 May – Powerstation, Auckland (18+)
Thursday 10 May – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+)

ALSO APPEARING AT GROOVIN’ THE MOO

Sunday 6 May – Murray Sports Complex, Townsville Cricket Grounds
Saturday 12 May – Hay Park, Bunbury




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