Portugal. The Man is an American rock band from Wasilla, Alaska, currently based in Portland, Oregon. The group consists of John Baldwin Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O'Quin, Jason Sechrist, Eric Howk and Zoe Manville. Gourley and Carothers met and began playing music together in 2001 at Wasilla High School.
The group's first two albums, from 2006 and 2007, were released on Fearless Records; they moved to Atlantic Records in 2010. On January 28, 2018, the band won "Best Pop Duo/Group Performance" for their biggest hit song "Feel It Still" at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
Around August 2002, the band Anatomy of a Ghost was formed by John Gourley, Joe Simon, Dewey, Nick Simon, and Zach Carothers. Gourley fronted the band having had no previous singing experience. Anatomy of A Ghost quickly gained popularity, but before long, the group broke up. Portugal. The Man was originally started as John Gourley's side project, with Carothers playing bass. Before they had a drummer, they used drum machines and synth-loops as the backing beat. Gourley and Carothers teamed up with Wesley Hubbard, Nick Klein (former guitar tech for Anatomy of a Ghost) and Harvey Tumbleson, and formed Portugal. The Man. The band left Alaska and went to Portland with the intent of recording and touring. The band recorded demos in the summer of 2004, followed by a U.S. tour that fall. In spring 2005, Klein and Tumbleson left and soon after Jason Sechrist joined the band. Portugal. The Man's debut record Waiter: "You Vultures!" was released by Fearless Records on January 24, 2006. The album was produced by Casey Bates.
The band's name is based on the idea of David Bowie's "bigger than life" fame. They wanted the band to have a bigger-than-life feel but did not want to name it after one of their members. "A country is a group of people," guitar player and vocalist John Gourley explains. "With Portugal, it just ended up being the first country that came to mind. The band's name is 'Portugal'. The period is stating that, and 'The Man' states that it's just one person" (any one of the band members). The name has a more personal meaning as well: Portugal. The Man was going to be the name of a book that Gourley had planned to write about his father and his many adventures.