Portugal. The Man and The People Who Changed Their Lives
In the summer of 2023, WUTC covered Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. Although the festival was in its 19th year, this was WUTC’s first time attending. Finally on the farm, we were excited to wander the large festival grounds, battle the scorching Tennessee summer heat, and speak with a few artists from Bonnaroo’s incredible lineup. One of the best conversations we got to have that summer was with Portugal. The Man, an alt-rock band founded in 2004 by Alaskan-natives John Gourley and Zach Carothers. Alongside Gourley and Carothers, the band now consists of Zoe Manville, Kyle O’Quin, and Eric Howk. On the first full day of the festival, we had a chance to speak with John and Zoe shortly before they took to Bonnaroo’s main stage (known as the “What Stage”). At this stage, the sky feels big. It's the perfect stage for a sunset timeslot and on Friday, June 16th of 2023, Portugal. The Man had just that. The crowd bounced with excitement as the heat of summer’s day sank low around them, their voices ringing together as they belted out lyric after lyric. Finally, everything became bathed in a warm golden light, as Portugal. The Man played out the last few minutes of sunlight on the Bonnaroo farm. The band was just ahead of a major album release, a project called “Chris Black Changed My Life,” that was due to come out just one week after their Bonnaroo performance. In our interview, John and Zoe talked a little about this project, the meaning behind the title, and the movement they’ve started because of it. They also shared about their daughter, Frances, a wonderfully quirky and fearless child who has recently been diagnosed with an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no cure and no treatment.
To learn more about their daughter Frances and to support the journey their family is on to research and develop treatment for her disease, visit franceschangedmylife.com
To watch John and Zoe’s interview with Hoda Kotb of the TODAY Show visit https://www.today.com/video/portugal-the-man-couple-talk-about-their-daughter-s-health-journey-200629829537