Portugal. The Man’s John Gourley and Zach Carothers originally began playing music together while attending Wasillia High School in Alaska in 2001. Realizing how tough it would be to make it in the industry while living in Alaska, they moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004 and began recording demos as Portugal. The Man. Their debut album was released on Fearless Records in 2006 and for the next decade, the band worked tirelessly, releasing six more albums. 2013’s Evil Friends included the single “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” along with a partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to protect the endangered Sumatran Tiger. Portugal. The Man were working on their eighth album, roughly titled Gloomin + Doomin, but the vibe just didn’t feel right and they ended up scrapping the project and turning towards 2017’s Woodstock. Gourley says that the album was intended “to comment on societal and political unease… we worked with so many rad people on this album, but ended up with just the four of us in a basement at 4 a.m. trying to say something that mattered. Trying to write music that would help people feel they’re not alone, even if they’re angry or feeling lost.”

A few of the guys from Portugal. The Man recently caught up with B-Sides to talk Woodstock, the process and decision-making during recording and more: