Portugal. The Man's seventh full-length album Evil Friends boasts collaborations with super-producer Danger Mouse (The Black Keys, Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley) and of-the-moment rock trio HAIM. The effort debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, snagging the Portland-based quintet their highest-charting LP yet. Backstage at Austin City Limits Music Festival, vocalist John Gourley and bassist Zach Carothers reveal the band wasn't actively seeking the superstar features.
"We had started our record in El Paso, we were going to self-produce and we got a call that Danger Mouse wanted to meet up" explains Gourley. "As much as we were making our own record at the time, that's an opportunity you have to take. I'm really, really glad we did it. Not only because the record's amazing, but because we got to see how he works. He's just a classic producer."
Evil Friends single "Purple, Yellow, Red & Blue" features soulful sister act HAIM—another unplanned collabo, according to Gourley.
"Honestly, we were just looking for some girls to come in and sing," the singer adds. "We played a show together right before we went into the studio. They're so rad. They're the type of people who walk into a studio and don't talk about anything. They'll just say, 'What's the lyric?,' go in, sing and it's in perfect harmony! They're good. Really amazing, amazing musicians."
Watch the full interview above for more on Evil Friends and its influences. And in case you couldn't see Portugal. The Man or HAIM at ACL Music Fest, check out killer live photos of their sets on Day 2 here. Plus, don't miss Day 1's rocking live shots here.