Wednesday 24 September 2014

Purple Heart Parade - Interview

Purple Heart Parade have been generating a buzz in Manchester for the past year or so.  Now they're about to unleash not one, but two singles on us.  We spoke to front man Peter Cowap and bass player Ste Woods about how that came about and their plans for the future.

First of all, for the uninitiated, tell us who's in Purple Heart Parade.

Ste: We’re made up of Peter Cowap on vocals, Nolan Watkinson on guitars and synths, Ste Woods on bass and Keith Pleasant on drums.

And how would you describe the sound that you make?

Peter: A roller coaster ride through the heavens, soul scraping bone shaking spiritual bliss 

It's quite a striking name, where did it come from?

Peter: We had loads of ideas, but couldn't decide? I think Ste came up with Purple Heart? which I liked, as I had fond memories of them in my late teens also a band already existed. I'd been listening to The Doors Soft Parade LP at the time so that played a part in the name also.

You're releasing a cassette for International Cassette Store Day - can you tell us what's on it and how that came about?

Ste:  An independent label called Blak Hand Records in Liverpool got wind of us following the announcement of our slot at Liverpool Psych fest and basically said they wanted to release a couple of tracks on a cassette for Cassette Store Day, and we thought a) how cool's that – a tape cassette and b) we were chuffed they were digging us.

We have sent them Drifter, which is the first song PHP wrote, it just felt right for that sort of release really, and a live version of a tune called Spirit World taken from when we supported Telescopes in Preston.

And finally you're releasing the vinyl for Painting Pictures - what took you so long for that to come out.

Ste: Hahaha, the company we placed our order with originally went tits up and we lost a load of cash. When bands say they fund themselves they often all have £30k a year jobs underpinning it, well none of us have that so we had to save up again.

We've pretty much done the lot though – from designing the cover to mixing our own tracks – and with some help from some good people like Luca, who did the mastering.

What have been the highlights of Purple Heart Parade to date?

Peter: To be honest, there's been quite a few in our short existence so far, it's been mind blowing! Our debut London show at The Old Blue Last in which they had to stop people coming in, that was unreal! Getting on at Liverpool Psych Fest (my dream gig). Having Painting Pictures and Drifter released too will be emotional, a feature in the NME, Sean Lennon stood on stage whilst we played screaming "Great Song!"

To me personally though its the messages we've received from members of Verve, Ride and Primal Scream digging our music. That to me makes it all worthwhile as they are massive influences on me.

You've built up a strong catalogue of songs so far, so much that you can leave Painting Pictures out of the set.  How do you go about writing?

Peter: I'm really glad you think s. So thank you. Painting Pictures will resurface for sure, it was the second track we wrote I think? And probably our most commercial sounding track? Our sound has evolved since those early sessions and we feel we are writing stronger material.

I don't think we write like conventional bands. We pretty much get into a groove and jam out recording it on someone's phone then listen back to it. We take the best bits, chop it up and so on then craft it into a working class hymn.

And what are your plans for future releases and touring?

Peter: Hopefully record our debut LP within the next 12 months, we've had interest from the US to release it for us which is ace. Release an EP, a tour of Southern Europe looks likely next year as there seems to be a demand for us. We would love to get over to the US and South America one day as we seem really popular over there.

And get one of our videos on The Chart Show's Indie Chart!!!

Drifter is released on cassette via Blak Hand Records and can be ordered here.

Purple Heart Parade's website can be found here.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

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