Portugal, the Man’s ‘Evil Friends’ Song Used for Taco Bell Commercial

If you watch any kind of TV shows, chances are you have heard a piece of the slightly mesmerizing song playing in between the many commercials that come during a break in programming. You hear the song during the Taco Bell commercial that shows a boyfriend fleeing from his girlfriend’s house after her father comes home unexpectedly, all while holding a “nacho taco” in his hand.  Upon further exploration of the title of the song and the band behind the music, a few interesting curiosities arise.

The Group Behind the Jingle…

Supplying a jingle for a Taco Bell commercial that gets plenty of airtime has increased awareness for Portugal, the Man, which may seem like a new group at first to those unfamiliar with their tunes, but has actually been producing music since 2004-2005. Since the group formed, the band has released eight studio albums and three EPs. Over the years, the group has been classified by the following genres: rock, psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, progressive rock, and indie rock.

Title Significance of the Song

When first introduced to the “Taco Bell” jingle, you probably would have never guessed that the title of it is ‘Evil Friends.’ Upon listening to the full song, you will find that the slow, mesmerizing tune is quickly replaced by a racier, more aggressive tone – all of which is not present in the commercial. Another thing that does not appear in the commercial is lyrics that actually make mention of the Devil and sinning. Also, if you take a look at the music video that Portugal, the Man put out to accompany the song – it has a rather disturbing feel and imagery throughout.

Lyrics in ‘Evil Friends’ that raise red flags include:

“You know it’s not because the light here gets brighter
And it’s not that I’m evil, I got a friend in the devil,”

“I can get so wound up but I feel alright
And if I get some rest yeah that’d be nice
When I shouldn’t do it I still do it
What’s you think’s got nothing to do with it
Before you were born I was already sinning”

Cover art for ‘Evil Friends’ also has a Satanic feel to it (shown above) – notice the horns, forked tongue, single eye symbolism displayed in a Cyclops manner, and tears that spell ‘evil’ flowing from the rather dark character that dominates the cover art’s overall theme.

‘Evil Friends’ is not only the title of a song, but is also the title of their album which marks the first release since their last album from 2011.

This isn’t the first time that the group has made references to the Devil, Satanism, evil, and religious concepts. It’s been an ongoing theme strung throughout many of their songs and albums over the course of the group’s career, and is illustrated below in the song and album titles that the band has chosen over the years.

Examples include:

•    ‘Church Mouth’ – album title
•    ‘Oh Lord’ – song
•    ‘The Satanic Satanist’ – album title
•    Devil Say I, Say AIR – EP
•    ‘The Devil’ – song
•    ‘It’s Complicated Being a Wizard’ – mini album (with a host of songs that all reference magic by color, such as ‘Emerald Magic,’ ‘Ruby Magic,’ and ‘Black Magic.’
•    ‘Modern Jesus’ – song
•    ‘Holy Roller (Hallelujah) – song