For their new album, Evil Friends, Portugal. The Man recorded with Danger Mouse, and his signature big hits mix well with their signature slinky rock. In this acid-trippy video for new single “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” featuring Este and Danielle Haim on vocals, they attempt to represent all of the feelings you get from taking pills of those colors. Or maybe they’re just describing the video’s standout blanket. PTM’s John Gourley answered a few questions about the clip and their new record:
Can you explain what is happening in this crazy video? I think the treatment read “A Day In The Life.”
How did you get two of the sisters in Haim to sing on your track? We played a show together last year and became friends. There are very few people in rock and roll who have what they have. And they live it. They are great singers, and that’s what we needed.
You’ve said collaboration was a key theme for this album, did you start with that in mind or arrive there after work started? Playing in a band is always about collaboration. We definitely set out to make the best songs that we could together. Of course it is about expression, and I’ve never been one to shoot down an idea just because I didn’t come up with it. Whoever has the best part should play it if you want to make the best music you can.
How did Danger Mouse shape things in a way you didn’t ever imagine Portugal. The Man going? With Brian [Burton, bka Danger Mouse], there is no go-to plug-in or rack or instruments that he uses. There’s no “sound”; he is in it for the song. At the end of the day, we have worked really hard to keep ourselves free from any of the genre trappings. No one needs that. I can’t think of a better producer for our band. When he says no to an idea it’s because he knows you can write something better. It’s good to be able to feel comfortable stepping into the studio with a pile of instruments and know that we are going to make the record we want to make, not worrying about being rock and roll or punk. Honestly, as a born and raised Alaskan, I’d have to say that I never expected any of this and I couldn’t be happier with Evil Friends.