Purple, the refreshingly honest 3 piece from Texas, are happy to be back on tour and working on their new album due to come out next year. With lots of changes in both their music and scenery, they manage to grow as artists while keeping their trademark punk attitude.
Gabriella: Can you tell me a little bit about how your band got started?
Hannah: Well I saw Taylor’s reggae band play when I was in high school, and I never really listened to reggae before and I thought he had a really cool voice. So I asked him if he wanted to jam, and at first he didn’t seem like he wanted to hang out with me, because I was like a little kid, but then we did and we just started jamming as a two piece, and we got a metal drummer. I was playing bass, and then we got another bassist, and then Joe was our bassist and he just jumped in there and it worked out.
G: How did growing up in Texas influence each of you individually, and as a band?
H: I think that just all the really conservative Republican stuff kinda made us, I don’t know it was always in your face, so for me it just made me really pissed off. I was a little kid and it seemed like there was a lot of hatred, but they were always preaching love and that made me really mad. That’s why we started playing punk rock.
Taylor: I don’t know, being in Texas, it’s a small town, and there’s really nothing else to do but write music and jam around with people. And I kinda grew up in the street punk scene in high school, and they just basically taught me to not give a shit about anything and do what you want. I guess also living close to the beach got me into reggae.
Joe: I grew up in California until I was about 12, and I played music growing up and I really liked it. I always had an ear for it, but I didn’t start really playing till I moved to Texas when I was 13. It was kinda the same thing for me out of boredom. I think one of my sisters friends in California brought her guitar, and I picked it up and geared a few songs out of it so I ended up buying one. I was home schooled growing up and I kinda lived out in the city near Fort Worth, Texas so I had a lot of time on my hands. I would sit in my room for 8 or 9 hours and just play.
G: How does it feel to be back on the road?
H: Pretty fricking good.
J: The road is like our home really. I feel more comfortable on the road than in our home town. I think the thing about it is we’ve all been going on the road for like such a long time that it’s more familiar and it feels like there s a sense of purpose. Everyday you wake up and you know what you have to get done and when you have to be at certain places, so it provides a sense of structure.
G: What was your favorite music video to make?
J: That’s a really good question actually.
T: My favorite one was our first one we ever did, which was Wallflower.
H: Yeah I was gonna say that too.
T: It was just a big party at our house, and we got really drunk. We were trying to coordinate everybody but it was really hard.
H: Everyone was just like wasted and by the end of the night there were people walking in and out of the house that we didn’t even know.
T: It was fun though.
G: Hannah, you’re a feminist, and on stage you’ve been known to wear a bra and shorts. Have you ever been harassed because of it, and if so how did you deal with the harassment?
H: Well this is kind of a controversial thing. Where were we at?
H: We were in Austria, and I was in my bra jamming, and in between every song some dude was like “Show us your tits!” and I just kept ignoring him and then I cursed him out pretty bad over the microphone. I mean c’mon man, how else are you gonna get to them? “Please don’t do that sir” usually doesn’t work.
G: Hannah, how do you balance your own freedom of expression, and the possible misinterpretation others might have?
H: Well what do you mean?
G: Well like as a feminist artist, kinda like how Kathleen Hanna would go up on stage and do this kind of performance art, how do you balance “This is my right to do what I want” but then getting all of these people criticizing you for it? How do you manage that?
H: I mean I’m not gonna lie it hurts my feelings when people talk shit.
G: Yeah of course.
H: I just try to ignore it. And you’re not doing something right if you don’t have haters. And it’s kind of funny, like I've had like people in the audience when I scream in our songs say, “She must be on her period!” Or girls calling me a hoe because I take off my shirt. But whatever, screw them.
G: So you have to just ignore it and grow a thick skin, and keep doing what you’re doing right?
H: Yeah definitely.
G: You have a new album coming out next year, what has been the experience making it?
J: I would say the overall experience actually recording the record was really awesome. We got to work with Rick Parker, this producer out of LA, on the actual tracking album. And we got to work with a couple of producers over seas out of London and Germany, and it was a pretty crazy experience. We wrote about 8 of the songs over seas basically while we were on tour, and I've never had that experience before. As far as the tracking out the album it went really really smooth, and the studio we were staying at for 3 weeks near El Paso was nice.
H: It sounded great!
J: It was a really awesome experience to just wake up everyday and just get straight to work, and not have to leave for any reason.
G: How is the new album different from your first one, 409?
T: A lot different. We did a lot of different things. There’s some reggae on this album, some hip hop, a lot more funky stuff. Theres still some punk elements and rock elements, they’re all intertwined in there, but we didn’t want to have any set themes for the album. So it’s all over the place really.
J: I’ve never written music with them, the first album was done by my predecessor, so obviously they had all the songs for the first album written for several years before they went to track them. And these songs were written while we were on tour the whole time.
H: Being in Europe definitely influenced our song writing. We wrote the first album in a small town not knowing anything about anything. After all the traveling I think thats why it’s so crazy. We adventured so much and were around a lot of different people.
J: Yeah there’s been a lot of growth.
G: What advice would you give an artist who is struggling?
H: Just like when things get really tough, and like it seems like nobody gives a shit, you have to give a shit. You know what I mean?
J: Yeah, like when you’re playing and you show up to a bar and wait all night and there’s only four people in the room, and you feel like you’re wasting your time.
H: Look at it as a practice.
J: That and for me it’s even more important when you’re playing to almost nobody to always put your best foot forward, because that’s how you start to build a draw in any place. If you impress those four people and the bartenders then they’re gonna talk about it, and they’re gonna be more invested in you as people and as a band I feel like.
T: Don’t just take any offer that you get from record labels, even if you seem desperate. Really look into it and figure out what you’re getting yourself into, even though it seems like a great offer and you haven’t gotten any offers before. Really think about what you’re doing because it will affect your future.