Grouplove and Portugal. The Man Share Their Lolla Letters

In partnership with Consequence of Sound, we’re bringing you three unique looks at some of the bands heading to this year’s festival. First up? We threw it back – pen-pal style – with Grouplove’s Christian Zucconi and Portugal. The Man’s Zachary Carothers. Check out the candid conversation below!

Exactly one week from now Lollapalooza will take over Chicago’s Grant Park for the 10th time in its long, storied history. In anticipation, Consequence of Sound tapped two of the bands on this year’s lineup to become online pen pals in what we’re calling Lolla Letters.

In this year’s installment, Grouplove vocalist & guitarist Christian Zucconi and Portugal. The Man bassist & backing vocalist Zachary Carothers discuss their favorite Hollywood blockbusters and even share a few dangerous summer adventures. Read ahead and maybe, just maybe, you’ll want to find your own online pen pal.

Michael Roffman

Lolla Letters


Topic: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit theaters recently to critical and commercial acclaim. Looking back, what are some of your favorite summer blockbusters and do they still hold up?

Christian Zucconi (CZ): The first Jurassic Park for sure, and yes, I still think that holds up. It’s always on TV whenever we’re touring. Goonies was the second movie I ever saw in the theater — a double feature with Flight of the Navigator. Definitely Back to the Future and Back to the Future, Part II. Those will always hold up for me. Don’t think Woody Allen films are considered blockbusters, but Midnight in Paris is one of my favorite films from the past few years.

Zachary Carothers (ZC): Totally agree with you. Same with Terminator 2. Those blew my fucking mind! Somehow, with all the technology we have today, we can’t make graphics that look as good as those. Crazy. How you guys been?

CZ: Haha. Yes, Terminator 2, of course! I loved playing the theme song on the piano as a kid. We’re good, excited this tour is about to kick off! And we’re going to Alaska tomorrow; never been so we’re all really excited.

ZC: I know! Wish I could go up there for that. Show you around the wilderness. Sending a bunch of friends to the show. You may have some whiskey shots sent your way.

Things are good here man. Been spending far too much time in the basement. We’re actually heading out to Cannon Beach this weekend, where they filmed the Goonies. We pretty much just yell ” hey you guuuuuys” before jumping in the water over and over. We’re stupid.

And when you refer to the theme song of T2, I’m just picturing you as a kid playing “You Could Be Mine” on a piano. Ha. So dope. Let’s cover it.

CZ: That would be a rad cover! We gotta put on our thinking caps for some cover collaborations.

ZC: Absolutely. We gotta get on that. I’ll send you a list of some spots to hit up in AK that are close to Anchorage.

CZ: Right on, we’re gonna be there for two days — and one of those days are off. It would be cool to get out of the city and see some crazy Alaskan nature sights…


Topic: What other activities did you do over the summer growing up? Family trips? Summer camps?

CZ: After about 14, my summer activities always revolved around working. I was a lousy busboy and pizza box folder for a few summers, but as a kid my dad, brother and I came out to LA and went to Disneyland. It was all about Space Mountain and going to the Hard Rock Cafe. Good times for sure.

ZC: Man, I’ll never forget my first trip to California. I was 12. Bought my first skateboard in Santa Cruz. Changed my life. First time really seeing what cool was. Before the internet, the general rule in Alaska, was if it was cool in California, 10 years later it made its way to Alaska. Ha.

Final Topic: Before you head off, what’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you during the summer?

ZC: Most scary thing about summer? Close bear encounters. Ha. We grew up doing a lot of fishing and camping. Had a few close calls. Luckily I ran into some easy going bears.

CZ: Scariest thing that ever happened during the summer was run ins with the cops for smoking weed by the Hudson River or in other conspicuous, silly places in town. Especially if you got arrested! Luckily I always managed to flee.


ZC: Haha. I remember those days. Anyways, I’ll send you dudes a list! Say hello to our home state from us while you’re up there. Send our love to everyone else. Can’t wait for tour bud.

CZ: Yes, can’t wait to unite with y’all Zach! Bring a guitar, a joint, and some sunscreen and see you at the spot.

ZC: Haha. I completely agree. Party time. Looking forward to this.

Don’t forget to catch Portugal. The Man perform live at Lollapalooza on Friday, August 1st at the Samsung Galaxy Stage at 4:30 p.m. and Grouplove on Saturday, August 2nd at the Bud Light Stage at 4:45 p.m.