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Protugal The Man Comment on Album Leak

Portugal The Man have commented on the recent internet leak of their new album, 'The Satanic Satanist'

The Satanic Satanist album leak

I am not going to start into this with my (now yearly) standard of proclaiming my support for downloading. I have done it too many times and it has typically become simply the preface to the message. The message that seems to get lost by the point the reader reaches the end of the sentence “We fully support downloading…”. There is more. If you are interested in the point of this piece then please read on. I know it is scary to read through something that will begin with “This is in no way an attack on you, the downloader” but, that is just how it starts…

Remember When?

This is in no way an attack on you, the downloader, but it is a note that I have taken and I wish to share. I realized something in the past few weeks. It took the festivals Bonnaroo and Hurricane and Southside to come to the point of this writing that begins at the point. I realized something about myself and my friends in this band as we looked through the lists of bands playing these festivals. I know relatively all the names of all the artists on the bill. I literally have or have had ALL of them on my ipod. Every “buzz” or “hype” band and most of them I don’t even remember how I got them but, somehow, I have them. One thing I can’t tell you about them is what album “that one song is on” or even for that matter the title of “that one song”. Honestly I can’t tell you if they even play “that one song”. Well, there were a handful of these artists that I do know, which I will list here: The Beastie Boys, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, The Pixies, and Faith No More… I will also include in here Moby for simple fact that I walked past his stage multiple times and each time I thought to myself “Oh hey, I know this!” I mention these bands (and will mention a few more current) because they are bands whose albums I owned, albums I waited for and albums I WORE OUT. Really, played them to extinction. They are groups that I was a part of. Do you remember the anticipation building as release date neared? Do you remember tearing open the package and putting that album on? Do you remember the fact that that album did not leave the stereo, the car, the walkman, the discman etc… until you had listened through from start to finish (often multiple times). Do you remember showing up at your record store late for the initial rush and finding that your album was sold out!? (maybe only in Alaska) Do you also remember checking in daily on the hope that a truck had been delayed in the days before and somehow your record would arrive randomly throughout the following days, completely bypassing the system of release and shipments? I do. I remember these bands. I remember being a part of something bigger. I remember how these things felt. I did it for bands I didn’t know, bands who I had not heard before but only read an advance review of. And sometimes, sometimes it was completely random, just for the sake of getting new music. As I watched Jason run out into the dark, the cold and the pouring rain towards the Faith No More set happening two stages away I thought about this. What is drawing him out into this mess? The only answer I could find was “The Album”. It was the memories that came along with the album. It was the endless plays it got throughout his high school years. It was the work that went into the purchase of this album. He was a part of this and despite all of us wanting to get out of the rain and start our 4 hour drive we could not deny him this. We all knew how he felt and we all knew that there was no stopping it. Where else would he get a chance to see this with our tour schedule and lack of stability that a home and a job holds. We would not stop him and we would deal with the end of festival traffic and the cold and wet would eventually dry away. There is a reason bands like Blur and Faith No More and Moby are playing to the massive audiences they are and the bands of now are playing to half interested crowds of people who know they are supposed to be here but aren’t quite sure why they are here and they kinda know some of the words to some of the songs and who shortly need to move on to the next show that they hear they are supposed to be into. I watched this and felt a teensy bit sad inside.


I hope this is not a tough read and I apologize if it is but there is a message to all of it… My favorite bands today are album bands. Bands whose records, had I downloaded prior or not, I purchased. The albums that became a part of me through my becoming a part of the album. Bands like Grizzly Bear, Santi(o)gold, Lykke Li, The Knife, Fever Ray, Menomena, The Builders and the Butchers and so on and so on (sorry if I forgot some good ones but I am in the middle of finishing a thought that even this little side note is interrupting these are great bands though. Please buy these albums!)… Here is something to think about. Grizzly Bear just put out a new record with the backing of A Radiohead tour a Feist Tour, a TV On The Radio tour, all the buzz and hype you could throw at one group without it’s implosion resulting, and more TV performances than I have ever seen one band take on (and own! Good work guys!). Number 8 on the charts and 33k sold. Imagine what that could have been had we all lived up to the release date and the saving? If we had all been a part of it. It should have been number 1, or at least top 5. You would have Grizzly Bear, a band who we played with at the birth of our band, a band that has been working towards this goal and taking all the right steps, at the top of every radio playlist. You would be opening up the door to relevant new music. You would be pumping new life into something you believe in. Music. In doing this we would all be a part of it. We would be a part of a movement. The times of the “evil” music Industry are over and the people behind it are all hiding out, losing their hold. You are no longer keeping money from their hands but of the artists behind your favorite songs and albums. The Labels no longer have the power of weighted deals, they bend in our favor now, or better yet (in our place) completely fair. Less people buying records equals less money behind promotion, equals less money behind its release, equals less money behind the tour, equals less opportunities to see your favorite bands. This is coming as a music fan mind you. I am not begging not pleading, simply stating the facts. It is hard for bands like us to do this without help. That is why it is so important to buy music. It doesn’t matter how you get it, from the label, from us on tour, from Amazon, or Itunes. We have put a lot of work into this and want to share it with you. Lets be a part of something again. Example: Our manager just went to the Wilco show last night on a free ticket handed to him by a friend. He and his wife bought seventy dollars in merchandise from their favorite… favorite? God I am so jealous right now…. band. It all comes around. I always need to be fair as I find the end of these points and state this: I download music early. It is a great advance to the purchase. It is an early taste. It is an amazing treat for the fan. BUT. If you like these albums and these bands please buy the record. It means so much more…. AND if we or any other band makes the mistake of making a record that you absolutely hate. Well, don’t buy it. Don’t waste your money…. ANNNNNNNNNND that being said. My favorite albums have been growers. Just have a bit of patience with all of us artists. Its not always the easy listen right away.

The Band.

This is not meant to be depressing (wow, another killer way to start a paragraph) but there are some things you need to know about this band. This I am sure is not only relatable to ours but to other over your favorite bands as well. This is relevant to anyone who does what they love. This is for your understanding in what that local corner store, local shops, local construction builders… Here is a quick nod from my childhood. We built hotels throughout Alaska for a major tourism company. When we would go into small towns they would try to push young foreign and out of state labor into the building to save money and my dad fought every bit of it to spend local and hire local while he was working. He understood what he went through in starting his business and he understood what community is about. This is a community as is the tupperware group your mom goes to. As is the sandwich shop that we eat at between work. I am only writing this so you can understand the amount of work that goes into living for your love. Those of you with parents who run their own business and those of you who have their own will understand that I speak for you as well. It is something that gets lost and I feel it is time that you know these things. It is not about money but about what we do for what we love. If we all just worked together and pitched in a little bit then we could do something bigger than all this.

I sleep on a hard wood floor in the house of people I did not know before Ryan’s joining of this band. I sleep on this floor with Ryan and Ian, our tour manager. Our tour manager sleeps on this floor with us because he will not let us pay him when we cannot pay ourselves. Jason sleeps in the basement of The Builders and The Butchers for random rent payments while he is home and Zach stays in the guest room at his ex-girlfriends and her new boyfriends place for 75 dollars a month. Our manager has worked endless hours for the past four years with little to no payment. Really, we call him on weekends. He is working right now and was working until late last night, I know… I talked to him. Austin Sellers is in my opinion one of the best artists in Portland and has done posters from Berbatis to The Doug Fir to Holocene and AMAZING ones at that. He and I have spent countless hours together and apart on this album artwork present and past for little to no pay. Ryan Rothermal and Mike Ragen and Robbie Johnston worked for two days straight on our music video not to mention days of post work and editing and went out of their own pocket to make a music video that we could all be happy with as artists… OK, this is getting overly “artsy” but it is the only word I gots without sounding like a douche. Nothing worse than a douchey artist.. We play music because we love it and nothing will change that ever. We tour because we love it and not because of money. If I wanted money I would have stayed in Alaska and worked construction rather than starve for this. Rather than fight through three dollar meals and countless nights sleeping in the van. The point we are at now is so far from where we have come and yet still so far from a standard of living. Remember that “homeless” story from “Waiter: You Vultures”. An odd choice of talking points. All of us do it. All of us who believe in it. All of us are still living it.

The Leak.

I had mixed feelings when I hear the album had leaked. On one hand it was exciting to think that people were actually searching so hard in advance (We have never had an album leak more than two weeks in advance of release date). On the other hand I was somewhat frustrated, not in an angry way. Just looking back at our history of touring and shows gradually getting bigger and bigger but still watching sales drop from our low thousands to the lower thousands. It was more frustrating to hear how it leaked seeing as how all the links we had sent out were private and coded. There is a certain level of professionalism that has been lost along with the idea that is the album. To hear about these things happening from the people that should understand music as much as any musician is just heartbreaking. I am happy vinyl is coming back, it needs to. We need to have albums and music. I need to.

We love being a part of this. We need to believe in something again. Thank you for everything


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Bonnaroo and More…

I don’t think I can fully express the excitement we feel post-Bonnaroo sets. Bonnaroo is and always will be our first major festival and we couldn’t have had a better time… well, I could have done without the birthday shower, but I’ll get to that later… Thank you everyone who watched our sets, those who knew us and those who did not. We are very happy to have shared this experience with all of you. We are very lucky to have been there this year in such great company (Grizzly Bear, Santigold, Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors, Dirty Sweet, and the headliners that go without saying… WE LOVE YOUR MUSIC!) We have toured for three and a half years straight and have played well over one thousand shows as a band and finally feel ready for events like this. Practice makes…. Well, leads to more practice with sugary sprinkles of fun…

Wednesday/Thursday June 10th/11th:

We played a very fun show at a very fine club in St. Louis called Blueberry Hill on Wednesday before beginning our trek. From the look of the piles of memorabilia they absolutely LOVE Chuck Berry, who was also playing said club later in the month. This is only relevant to the story due to the fact that it was a really great show in a place we don’t often play and it was only an extension to the excitement we had felt for the coming Bonnaroo. At around 1 am we began our overnight drive towards Tennessee, arriving somewhere between 8 and 9am a good hour before band, actually VIP check in (sorry, we don’t get to use that all too often.). Finding that we had prepared for east coast time I should probably take a step backwards here and let you know that the time is actually between 7 and 8am and we are now officially the nerds that showed up too early for the party… Not a very rock and roll start.

Seeing as how we now have just been handed down an extra hour through the miracles of time travels we figured the best way to advantage this bending of space was to spend it at a local eatery. “Hello Waffle House, and how are you?”. Having now eaten away our miracle hour (and to be fair, destroying multiple golden years through the sweet buttered grease film that coats all that is “waffle house”) we were now ready for band check in… Sorry, VIP check in… Being the VIPs that we surely are, tour manager Ian Shaw and I walk ourselves over to the pool of the drug thirsty and party hungry that was making up the swaying mass, an assumed attempt of a line. A line that only journalists and musicians can form, a line free of system and direction, no beginning and no end. Being confused by this quite justified pile up of superior importance Ian and I hung back, waiting to see what might happen once the doors opened. We would not be given witness of the event. These people are at work right?

Enter storm number one.

While we waited in line the first downpour came, prompting Ian and I to casually back away from the line, outwardly cool and collected inwardly cold and wet and ready for the shelter of our van. [Sidenote* I feel like we completely missed protocol. Ours was the only van I saw or at least one of the small few. Are all these bands really able to travel by bus? Highly suspicious.] Halfway back to the van and halfway through the shower that was quite honestly needed I decided that we were far enough out of view of the other bands and the writers and radio people that we could finally make our break. The race was on. In fact, there was no way to be it of sight and also not the last time I would be running through the rain during this years Bonnaroo. We waited out the rain and line in the van and eventually we got our passes and headed over to the festival to check out the setup and to grab lunch. As we pull in to park @SPINearth gives us friendly wave and we return the gesture of kindness. Are you appreciating the tweet speak? As we sit down to our lunch the woman taking our ticket relays the fact that “the early bird gets the worm” while simultaneously and unintentionally pointing out that we are the first people in and that yet again it is freshman year of highschool and I walked into the first day with the same haircut I wore all through middle school. Not wanting to look overly eager we head back to the hotel to wait for our 3 o’clock check in and our additional 4 hours of sitting ahead of us. As we loiter around the entrance to the Country Inn we watch a minute and a half rough edit of our music video for “Do You” sent over by Ryan Rothermal and , which, btw, is looking pretty insane. An hour into the wait we run into Mike Noyce from Bon Iver who Zoe is friends with and he invites us onto their bus for the remainder of the wait and where we would meet the rest of their group. I will use this space to mention the fact that they were all very kind and inviting. Really great people from crew to band. Also one of the bands very deserving of the bus that carries them.

Around 3 o’clock we meet up with our manager Rich Holtzman and meet our booking agent Matt Hickey for the first time. Both are ecstatic to see us and us them. I wish I could use ditto here but I’m not exacty sure if it is possible. We’ll just deal with that portion as-is and move into the night seeing as we were fairly busy between hotel and show time and didn’t get to see any bands this day despite wanting to see passion pit and delta spirit (who was supposed to be on directly before us).

We find out on arrival to That Tent that… That delta spirit has missed their flight and we will be getting an hour long sound check because of this unfortunate turn of events which in turn was a fortunate event for us seeing as how we are now being given and additional hour of sound check to our prior zero.

[Sidenote number two* From what I understand Delta Spirit was given a later set time due to their situation. Blessing in disguise for both of us]

It was fairly obvious that all this sound checking and light flickering confused the crowd somewhat who cheered at every break between songs presumably for the tardy Delta Spirit who would have been playing, though looking back on the event it is safe to say they would have cheered for anything and anyone. Bonnaroo is the festival for the true music fan and it was apparent from the moment we walked out to the moment we left. 8:30 PM rolls around and we ready ourselves for the show. As nervous as we all were ( and still are today as I am writing this blog from my phone on the way to hurricane/southside festival in Germany.) we were very lucky to be walking into the event with the excitement and experience that one thousand prior shows gives a band. A band that has played one thousand shows and is only more excited about the thousand to come. Now since I am writing this blog not as a singular Portugal. The Man but as a member of the family that is I will point out how important it is to a band to have the level of commitment and dedication that the other members of this band/tour manager/manager/agent have. I love you guys.

Alter The Press!