Watch Portugal. The Man + ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s New ‘Who’s Gonna Stop Me’ Video for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

On Monday, Portugal. the Man shared a new song, “Who’s Gonna Stop Me.” The GRAMMY-winning indie/rock/pop band, which for years maintained a dedicated audience and critical acclaim before scoring a massive international hit with 2017’s “Feel It Still,” teamed up with none other than “Weird” Al Yankovic for this new song, a collaboration and music video dedicated to — and premiered on — Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The collaboration marks the first time Yankovic is credited as a featured artist on a track, and “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” also serves as his very first non-comedic release.

The song’s video treatment from Aaron Brown and Josué Rivas stars indigenous artists and leaders from around the country including world champion jingle dancer, Acosia Red Elk, of the Umatilla people of Oregon, while the song was produced by Jeff Bhasker and co-written by the band and Paul Williams, a well-respected songwriter known for previous works with David Bowie, Helen Reddy, the Muppets, and more.

Per a news release, the song had been in various stages of conception over the years, with John Gourley of Portugal. the Man completing its lyrics during COVID-19 quarantine these past few months.

Said Yankovic of working with PTM on the song:

“I’ve jammed with them at Bonnaroo, I’ve produced remixes for two of their songs, and now I’m doing vocals on “Who’s Gonna Stop Me.” Portugal The Man are not only my friends, but they’re one of my favorite bands in the world, and I’m thrilled to be featured on their new single.”

Said Portugal. the Man in a lengthy statement that refers to the group’s recently launched PTM Foundation:

“They say barbwire was the death knell of the cowboy. It was the end of the open range and the end of open pastures. Before the cowboys, for time immemorial, the indigenous peoples of the Americas looked to the earth as their spiritual authority. They did not parcel the earth any more than Christians, Muslims, or the Jewish faith would parcel out God. That would be sacrilege. But along came the colonists and they did just that. After the genocide of the indigenous peoples, once our white picket fences and barbwire and border walls were erected, the ancestors of the colonists made a lot of technological progress. We invented cars, skyscrapers, cheeseburgers, and smartphones! And yet now, at the dawn of the 21st century, mother earth is reacting to the past few hundred years of neglect. The earth is sending out pandemics, fires, hurricanes, and so on. The indigenous say that it’s the earth’s immune system calibrating itself. The indigenous people of the Americas, and the rest of the world, have stewarded their sacred planet for tens of thousands of years of recorded history–likely more. The PTM Foundation turns a conscious heart to the ancestral youth of the indigenous elders to shepherd our sacred planet and peoples through this time of difficulty.

“The PTM Foundation is a platform for artistic collaboration between materialist culture, the arts, and indigenous paradigms. For the video for “Who’s Gonna Stop Me” we created a collaboration between indigenous artists, friends, artistic collaborators, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, and Indigenous organizations to explore the possibilities of collaboration in this new time. To us ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has always been a figure of playful boundary-breaking. His work makes us take less seriously, the things that we take so seriously, like what’s cool, or what’s trendy. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has been an inspiration for Portugal The Man since their inception until now. In the tradition of the indigenous cultures of the western North American territories, the Coyote represents the trickster and the maker of new worlds. The trickster is an archetype that can be found in nearly all indigenous and ancient cultures; the trickster not only is playful and a comedian but through their playfulness, they connect people. PTM Foundation sees music and art as a similar tool to make new connections and we consider this video to be the beginning of a campaign of many collaborations to come. PTM Foundation strives to forge bridges between the materialist contemporary culture in which we are immersed and the indigenous stewards to whom we strive to give a larger voice.”

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