Cape Town-based PurpleCry Releases Odyssey
PurpleCry is a dual-fronted alternative rock band hailing from the always-buzzing and scenic grounds of Cape Town.
They recently released a brand new single, Odyssey. I caught up with Licia, who forms part of the duo with Marcel, to talk about the new single, their future plans and upcoming gigs:
Your biography says “PurpleCry is a dual-fronted alternative rock band hailing from the always-buzzing and scenic grounds of Cape Town.” But who are the people behind PurpleCry really? And when and how did you start the band?
PurpleCry is essentially a product of Marcel and I’s (Licia) love of music and creating. We both share a huge passion for people and making people smile. Our mission is for this to be a general feeling when you listen to our music. We met at music college 6 years ago, when Marcel started playing bass as a favor in my then solo project. As time progressed everything fell into place and we started to write together. From that first moment on it just made sense to have a 50/50 partnership moving forward as PurpleCry and we haven’t looked back since. We have been through many musicians, band members and musical styles and it feels like we have finally found our sound.
Awesome! So, before PurpleCry, did you guys play in any other bands or performed as solo artists?
Yes! Licia actually started out her musical journey as a drummer (although that was never her first love). She played drums for a few small bands from the age of 17. One of these bands named “Emmerskop Eskapade” took part in the 2009 MK “Rockspaaider” competition. In 2010 she formed part of the band called “All My Circus Friends” (as drummer and backup singer) during the same years that we met at college. We had a few great shows, but due to band politics that band eventually came to an end. Marcel also played in a few bands before and during PurpleCry. His first band called “The Revelry” never really got of the garage stage after about two years of just jamming we played one or two shows and all sort of just called it a day. We actually played a line together soon after we met when Licia was in “All My Circus Friends” and Marcel with “Montevideo”, which was his main project at that stage.
You mainly played as an acoustic act when you started PurpleCry, but how has your sound evolved and changed over the time you’ve been together?
Our musical influences range from Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Karnivool, Chevelle, Jeff Buckley to Paramore, John Mayer etc… The list really goes on and on. So we have delved into quite a few of our musical genre’s that we like listening to. Primarily we only played as an acoustic act because there was only two of us. We never really felt like we fit into the “folk rock” category that events usually classified us under. As we kept writing and evolving in our own style we tried to include more genre’s as to not get stuck in one specific genre. Even now we don’t know how to explain our sound. We have always written more heavy music and full band tracks but have not had the chance until 2016 to perform them live in their full glory. A simple to say it is that we went from fully acoustic rock to more progressive as the years went by…and now here we are, still changing, still experimenting but with a better understanding of what we want the music to feel like.
So, you released a single, Odyssey, earlier this year. What is it all about?
Odyssey is one of our favourite songs that we have ever written and it is extremely close to our core. It’s one of those songs you have to figure out for yourself and kind of make your own. It’s kind of about the two us and our journey the past 5/6 years. How we have grown and changed and absolutely adore what we do.
For the two of you, what is the process like to produce a new song – Who writes the lyrics, who works on the music, etc.?
It’s totally a 50/50 thing when it comes to the writing process. Although I have to be honest, when it comes to the producing side I (Licia) get a bit lazy and Marcel seems to take over for a bit…until I start chipping in and giving my all too loud opinion! Sometimes it’s a long and grinding process, but it’s so worth it and that’s the part that makes the song complete.
The single was produced by Greg Carlin from Zebra & Giraffe. How was it working with him? And who or what was the influence/s behind the song?
It was an absolute breeze working with Greg. We felt musically we had a great understanding of each other. The beginning process actually began and progressed over skype and files being sent via google drive. I think we sent him references of Chevelle and Karnivool as an idea of what we wanted the guitar tones to sound like. We tried to keep things as organic as possible so that we sound like ourselves and not like a copy of something that already exists. Greg gave really great input and we know the song would not have been the same without his input.
What is it like living in Cape Town as an artist? And how difficult is it to make a name for yourself in this city?
It has been increasingly difficult the last few years. The economic climate hasn’t been very forgiving and I thing people haven’t been going out as much as they used to so it hasn’t been easy to pull a crowd. But we love the City of Cape Town, we love the vibe. There are so many creatives living in one place, it’s very inspiring and we kind of keep each other’s passion alive.
Can we look forward to a full album soon?
We are working very very hard on acquiring the funds as well as the material for a full album. In all areas we are full on working towards this goal. So let’s hold thumbs!!!
…and what’s your plans for the rest of 2017?
Shows, shows and more shows (and hopefully some national tours)!! We just want to gig and get better at it. Meet new people and grow as musicians. On top of that we would love to find band members to fill up the PurpleCry family. We are currently looking for a bassist and a lead guitarist to help us bring to the live shows what we bring in the studio. Although it has been necessary for the two of us to figure out the branding and sound on our own, but we are now ready to open up the space to a bigger family.
Where can we catch you live in the next coming weeks/months?
30th of April – the Deckhouse (in Kloof Street)
7th of May – the Deckhouse (in Kloof street)
12th of May – Tapas, Hermanus
21st of May – Bay Harbour Market, Hout Bay.
28th of May – The Thirsty Oyster, Gordons Bay
Also, keep a look on our facebook page to see where you can find us (shows seem to pop us as the month happens).
Thanks for the chat! I’m looking forward to seeing you on stage soon.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us 🙂