One on One with PurpleCry

A breath of fresh air in the music industry comes in the form of two-piece, PurpleCry whose mix of alternative rock music speaks to the soul. Potchefstroom Herald recently caught up with this dual fronted band on their music, aspirations and album release plans.

  1. For the public who are not aware of who PurpleCry are, can you explain shortly how you started the band?

We started the band as a 5-piece when we were both studying music at a college in Cape Town. The band slowly grew apart, but the two of us (Marcel van der Westhuizen and Licia Du Plessis) felt like there was more there. And we have been making music together since.

  1. What would you say makes you stand out from the rest of the music industry? What do you bring to a live show when performing?

 We are a dual fronted band. We both do parts of the main vocal line and play around with harmonies a lot. We also bring a lot of energy to the live show. We love what we do and we want it to show. Licia is like a little energizer bunny on stage, can’t stand still to save her life.

  1. What are were your biggest musical influences in the early stages of the band and how has that changed over the years? I see you list Biffy Clyro, Paramore, and Jeff Buckley as some influences – quite a range of artists!

 Both of us have a very diverse, but at the same time very similar taste in music and it tends to come through in the way we write.  I’ve always wanted to make heavier music, but wanted to incorporate other genres into it. It started out with punk and pop music when I was younger, but in the last 3 years I’ve started realizing how other genres fit into the framework of the music that I want to make and to me music isn’t really about genres and boxes, but more about the feeling it creates and the message it conveys. (Licia)

  1. What are your goals as a band musically and lyrically?

 We have had this idea of what we want for the band and where we want the band to go but recently we have come to a very real realization. We want to make music, whatever that might mean. If we have to make ourselves fit into a certain genre it’s going to limit us. So now we want to make sure we explore all the music that we have in ourselves and see where that takes us. We have always wanted to be more than just a band, something that’s more of a movement and a feeling. Bringing people together to lift each other up, giving people hope of a brighter tomorrow.

  1. You really have a unique sound that mixes hard rock with a lot of acoustic and textural based sounds. Where does your sound come from? Is it a mix of different artists and bands?

If you forget about the music for a second, our sound is a reaction of putting two very different personalities together, which somehow when it comes together, creates a very special symmetry. I guess if we have to really think of it that way then yes, in a sense it is. But we never go into writing a song thinking of what we want it to sound like at the end. From a production stand point we do sometimes use influences for sounds, tones, mixing etc.

  1. The dual male and female vocals also work brilliantly together in my opinion. How does the writing process work for PurpleCry?

 Thank you! When we started writing together in 2011, Marcel didn’t really sing any main lines, it was mainly backing vocals and filling in the empty spaces. As we were fully thrown into being only 2 members of the band we started experimenting with two lead vocals and it took a long time for us to find our voice together. It was an instant match but as with any other instrument we worked at it for hours and hours and now it’s sometimes difficult to figure out when we sing unison lines who is who. It’s pretty cool for us to sound like one voice together.

  1. What themes do you look to bring forth in your lyrics?

 Lots of different things, but I think the main thing we write about is just life. Our lives and what we’ve been through. We are just trying to write honest lyrics that people can relate to and hopefully we can help some people to feel less alone. And hopefully brighten up their day. 

  1. When you started out as a band, was the idea to stay a two piece? Why make music as a two piece?

 No it was never the idea, but we have always looked for a family of people that have the same vision rather than just muso’s that can play the music. We love what we do and want the people we play with to love it just as much.

  1. When I first listened to PurpleCry with your single “Odyssey” it totally blew me away with the production quality and musicianship. I see you worked with Greg Carlin (Zebra & Giraffe) on the track. What did he bring to the table on this song?

 Greg is a really good listener. I think from the get go he had a good idea of where we wanted to take the song and he gave us great advice. I don’t think the song would’ve come out as it did without his input. He specifically had a big input into how the chorus came out and it gave it a more hard hitting approach, we are very thankful for the collaboration.

  1. Can you we expect more tracks like “Odyssey” with a mix between softer and harsher sounds?

 Yes. I think that’s something that you can bank on, but keep an open mind.

  1. Are there any plans to bring out an album or EP in the future?

Yes, we will definitely bring out an album somewhere in the future. Maybe not in the near future, but that is definitely something that lies very close to our heart. We’ve always loved listening to albums, and the flow and the journey it takes you on.

  1. Where can fans get a hold of your music and are there any big upcoming shows where fans can watch a live performance?

 You can find “Odyssey” on ITunes, all the links to the rest of our music, as well as live acoustic videos you can find on our website. We play acoustic shows as the two of us weekly, mostly in and around Cape Town. We post updates about that quite regularly on Facebook!

We are taking a little break with the full band. We are looking for people to complete the sound. We have been doing some live shows with tracks and a session drummer for the last year or so and we loved playing our music to people that way, but we feel like we have much more to give. So we are looking for a drummer, guitarist and a bassist to join the band.

 As well as looking for band members, we are experimenting with our sound and trying to let the music take us instead of forcing the music into a corner.

  1. Have you ever played a gig in Potchefstroom? The locals would be keen to hear your music!

 We have not, we have only gotten lost and ended up in Potch once, where it then took us on a very lengthy detour to get back home to Cape Town..haha! We would absolutely love to play a show in Potch (this time on purpose) and are in talks about including it on a tour soon…we have only heard good things…so keep your eyes open.

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