Jack River and Portugal The Man’s John Gourley in Conversation

If you don’t already know Aussie musician Jack River from her headline tours or as the brains behind music festival Grow Your Own, then it’s time to change that with her new podcast series, To Rebel In The Times.

A forced break from touring due to COVID-19 meant Jack River (real name Holly Rankin) had all the time in the world to bring her podcast concept to life, and she quickly got to work on contacting important voices within the music industry whose viewpoints she wanted to dive a little deeper on in the show.

After months of planning, Zoom calls and editing came the podcast’s first series, ‘Sounds Of Change’. To Rebel In The Times will present a new episode each week for six weeks, discussing the issues nearest and dearest to six artists from around the world.

‘We are living in such a huge time, undergoing intense culture shifts, wrangling the upheaval of old ideas and (hopefully) replacing them with something better,’ Rankin said. ‘With To Rebel In The Times, I wanted to know where artists’ minds are at, especially the artists who have made it their life and art’s work to create change, and why it is so important to them that they use their voice, that they stand up and not only say something, but do something.’

There’s a great run of episodes about to hit the airwaves, but our pick of the bunch would have to be Jack River in conversation with Portugal. The Man frontman, John Gourley. If you’re not too familiar with what Gourley and the band get up to when they’re not performing and recording, we’ll have you know it’s far from sitting around playing video games and shooting the shit. The entire band is passionate about Black and Indigenous rights, environmental issues, mental health awareness, and more, and at the start of this year, they launched the PTM Foundation, a non-profit charitable organisation that primarily focuses on funding causes related to Indigenous communities.

Rankin and Gourley’s chat is a fascinating look at what makes the Alaskan band tick, covering topics such as beluga whales in the backyard, growing up on Rage Against The Machine, Indigenous land rights, and the band’s (brilliant) decision to pull out from appearing from mainstream Australian morning show Sunrise, after one of the show’s all-White guest panelists more or less called for a second Stolen Generation. (For those who may be tuning in from overseas, the Stolen Generation was one of the most abhorrent government policies ever seen in Australia’s history, involving the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families for over six decades, causing widespread generational trauma, grief, and displacement from family and land.)

‘I remember having the discussions with the host and producers and them trying to convince us to do the show regardless, and just saying, “Oh no, it wasn’t us that’s sitting with this panel member, it was a guest,”‘ says Gourley in the interview. ‘And my position on that is just I hate that people feel like it’s all right to bring on controversial figures because it gets clicks. Quit giving them a platform, it’s not real, they have no idea what they’re talking about and they shouldn’t be talking for entire people.’

You can have a listen to the entire interview below, and make sure you stay tuned here for more of Jack Rivers’ chats with Cub Sport’s Tim Nelson, Kita Alexander, Briggs, Ziggy Alberts and Alex The Astronaut.

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