Modern Jesus

Album: Evil Friends (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • Religion is a topic Portugal. The Man have covered on several of their songs, including an early one called "The Devil." In "Modern Jesus," they sing:

    We don't need no modern Jesus to roll with us...
    The only faith we have is faith in us


    In a Songfacts interview with lead singer John Gourley, he explained: "'Modern Jesus' is pretty on the nose for the way I feel about everything. It was growing up with religion around us. I grew up with friends whose parents would read the Book of Revelation before bed, and it really terrified me – this idea that there's this weird set of rules that apply to people, whether they know it or not."

    "It's about that belief in each other," he added. "It's in all of us: Everything that is going to happen is going to come from you. And we can talk about faith, destiny, and all these things – they're different than the cult of personality type thing. You run into it outside of religion, as well."
  • John Gourley wrote this song with Danger Mouse, who produced the Evil Friends album. By this time, Portugal. The Man had been at it for nine years, branching out from their native Alaska to gradually build a fan base. It was slow going, but they had a huge breakthrough in 2017 when "Feel It Still," from their next album, Woodstock, became a huge hit.
  • The video was directed by AG Rojas, whose credits include "Naeem" for Bon Iver and "Say Peace" for Common. Shot in several locations, it covers a wide cross-section of humanity, with farming, twerking, backyard wrestling, and, of course, churchgoing all represented.

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