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John Gourley was living in Wasilla, Alaska, when his family suddenly moved.
“My dad just decided that he wanted to race sled dogs and when he did that, he took us out of Wasilla and we never really went back,” Gourley told Here & Now.
Gourley and his family ended up living all around the state, but he and Zach Carothers — a friend from Wasilla — ended up forming what became the band Portugal. The Man.
You get a call that Danger Mouse wants to check it out, you have to do it.
“We were in El Paso, Texas, we’re going to make the record ourselves, we’re going to self produce,” Gourley said. “But you get a call that Danger Mouse wants to check it out, you have to do it. He’s one of those kind of iconic producers of today.”
Gourley compares Danger Mouse to Tony Visconti, who did arrangements for David Bowie and The Beatles.
“Visconte would get up and he’d play the bass with Bowie. That’s really important in a producer — a producer that can step up and play a keyboard, play a bass, play a guitar and help you with things, instead of just saying ‘I think this could be better.'”
Danger Mouse helped in similar ways.
“Take ‘Modern Jesus‘ for example,” Gourley said, referring to a song on the new album. “He just stood up at one point and said ‘Man, I think I got something,’ and he played the keyboard hook in that song.”
The band is touring Europe and the U.S. this fall.