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SXSW 2014

Portugal. The Man Detail Journey From Alaska to the Festival Circuit

"The reason we got into music is because we realized we could do it without making money," says singer John Gourley

In addition to revealing to Fuse they'll be playing Lollapalooza 2014, Portugal. The Man also gave us an in-depth recollection of their history, from snowy native Alaska to playing summer's biggest music festivals.

The psych-rock outfit says a move to Oregon was instrumental in making them festival staples. "When we moved out to Portland, that's when we found there's this whole underground music scene and that people were playing small shows in their van," bassist Zachary Carothers explains backstage at SXSW 2014. "We had no idea people could even tour like that. So it inspired us when we were out watching shows every night."

Singer John Gourley adds, "Basically, the reason this band started is because we went to Portland and we got to see shows for three or five dollars. You'd see people play for 20 kids and it'd be bands we listened to. I had no idea music happened at that level because it doesn't happen like that back home [in Alaska]. The reason we got into music is because we realized you could do it without making money."

While the band is pumped about playing Lollapalooza this summer, they say their first appearance in 2009 was their "we made it" moment. "We bought a minivan that barely fit our gear, we bought a five-pound bag of rice, a rice cooker—and that's all we ate," explains Gourley. "We just kind of left [home]. We didn't stop until we were playing Lollapalooza. That's probably the first real break we had."

Watch the full interview above for more on their backstory, why they're dying to back a hip hop act and more. Don't miss all of Fuse's SXSW coverage from Austin right here

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