Holden Caulfield once said: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” The same could be said for bands, and for those of you who are really knocked out by Portugal. The Man, Caulfied’s dream is now your reality.
Today, the band is holding one of its famous “Office Hours” sessions, a two-hour period during which fans can Skype in to chat with lead singer John Gourley and Co. for 15 minutes each. Today’s session kicks off at 3 p.m. EST.
The band certainly has a ton to talk about with curious fans: their newly dropped disc, In the Mountain in the Cloud, their upcoming tour, how all of their gear was recently stolen during Lollapalooza in Chicago. (Portugal. The Man famously took to Twitter and Facebook after their van and trailer — packed with guitars and whatnot — was spirited away in Chi-Town. Thanks to their fans and the Chicago Police Department they have recovered a good portion of the missing loot.) We also suggest asking the dudes how it feels to be MTV PUSH Artist of the Week.
“You can actually interact with someone and explain anything they want to know,” says lead singer John Gourley of the Office Hours experience, an exercise that the band has been doing for around two years. Often, he ends up talking to two types of people: 1). A shy girl with a lengthy list of questions, 2). Two dudes with beers who want to drink with him. The last Office Hours capped off with an hour-long hang session with a pair of the aforementioned dudes, during which they chatted about movies (Pro Tip: Don’t ask Gourley about the 300, its myriad historical inaccuracies irk him).
More and more, bands have the opportunity to interact with fans face-to-face (with a screen acting as a mediator, of course). Incubus recently hosted a massive, multimedia livestream — packed with fan interaction — to herald the release of If Not Now, When?, and tons of apps, like SoundCloud’s Takes Questions, are coming on the scene to facilitate conversation.
“It condenses everything down to this two-hour period where you can talk to fans,” Gourley says of Office Hours. “You meet eight people in two hours and really let them know that you do you care, that you’re not just partying and playing music.”
Also, heads-up, have some good sightseeing and restaurant suggestions on hand if you plan to participate — Gourley is likely to pick your brain as well.
Image courtesy of Flickr, musicisentropy