The Beatles and Wu-Tang Clan are surprisingly John Gourley’s biggest musical influences. As the lead guitarist and singer for the Portland-based quartet, Portugal. The Man, Gourley’s wide range of styles clearly stems from being well-versed in all types of music. Born and raised in the vast nothingness of Alaska, he had plenty of time to imagine and create. “I had so much space to get away from everything,” Gourley says. “On those long, long drives, I’d have lots of time to let my mind wander.” And it shows. From 2008’s Censored Colors to the recent In The Mountain In The Cloud, Portugal. The Man’s catalog plays with blues, soul, funk and indie-rock making it an interesting conglomeration, to say the least. Bringing it to the stage is an entirely different experience from recording in the studio. “Live, we strip everything away and do a lot of jamming,” Gourley says. “We let it go where it needs to go rather than where its supposed to go.” (Kyle Eustice)
Portugal.The Man with Alberta Cross, October 12, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. Visit www.onepercentproductions.com for more information.