Interview with Rosalie Cunningham of Purson

Purson 2016 Rosalie Cunningham 192You have a new album out next month, what can you tell us about it?

It’s called Desire’s Magic Theatre, it’s a little step away from the first one, in that I guess it’s a bit more pop, but also still quite prog and psychedelic, very psychedelic. Very much influenced by early concept albums, like The Small Faces Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper, things like that, a real psychedelic prog rock opera feel.

Has the bands recording process changed between the two albums?

Yeah, both of them were quite pieced together. This one was just a solo effort really, I did it all on my own, essentially. We went into the studio, laid down some rhythm tracks with Raph playing drums which i ended up taking home and finishing it.

How did the band get together?

Well, in various different formations. Purson was born I guess 5 years ago. Me and my ex boyfriend who used to play bass in the band, basically out of me wanting to form a band for a while. I wanted to form a band like Purson for a while but hadn’t really found the right people, and then when I found my ex that’s when it kinda clicked and I thought OK, let’s get this thing together. George was a school friend of mine, well not the same school, but me, Sam and George have been friends since we were teenagers. So I asked George to be in the band and he said yes, so that’s how that came together. Then Sam…Sam didn’t play an instrument but I said he had to learn one (laughs) so that’s how the four of us got together. We’ve been through a revolving door for a while of different musicians usually on bass and drums, then eventually got originally drummer back and now Justin on bass who’s been with us for a couple of years now, so now the line up’s solid.

Purson wasn’t the first choice for the band’s name. What were some of the names you looked at?

Zanthis (Laughs) it was a very very long winded reference to Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite by The Beatles, but no one would have really got it, so, Henry the horse dances the walls, Zanthis is a horse…I don’t really know what the link was but it was very tenuous.

How would you describe the band’s sound?

The big umbrella would be Psychedelic, but obviously there’s a lot of things that fit under that. It’s very very hard to pin down, because it’s a definite mixture of a lot of different things, aggressive, all very much from one sort of period though without it being too much of a throwback. This album bounces even more than the first one, same kind of elements, but a lot lighter this time, a lot more fun and a lot more psychedelic I think.

What was it like touring with Ghost?

That was really really important for us, very eye opening, very good experience for us to have. Our first American Tour, so 7 weeks on the road non stop which is something we were not used to and it really kinda shook us into manning up basically (laughs), it was good. They’re not what you’d expect in person, Ghost were excellent, really lovely people, we’re playing with them again in America next month.

How has the current tour been going?

We’ve sold out for the majority of dates, and the ones not sold out are almost there. I am very much looking forward to how it’s gonna be tonight actually, because every time we’ve played in Glasgow before it’s been a very poor turn out, so hopefully things have progressed since last time. Glasgow has so many venues and a really good music scene as well, but for some reason they’ve never really got Purson, but maybe that’s going to change tonight.

You’re signed to one of rock’s most recognisable record labels, Spinefarm. How important do you think a label is nowadays?

Very and I think they’re a fantastic label. Having the power of a major in Universal and letting the artists having creative freedom. For them, it’s a real leap of faith for them doing something like this, it’s very different from their artists, and very different from pretty much anything that’s around at the moment, so it is a leap of faith and they’ve treated us very well so far.

You’ve used the PledgeMusic format in the past to fund a tour – did you have a good experience with the service and would you use again if necessary?

No, we would not do it again. We promised far too much and then realised we couldn’t actually deliver it. The tour was a bit of a disaster too, but it was a learning curve and it was good to see how much support there was out there directly from fans, I think it’s not something we would do again.

In terms of lyrics, what inspires you when writing?

Lots of things. Sometimes it’s personal experience of relationships or things that are going on in my life. Quite a lot of the time it’s about psychedelic experiences or things that have sprouted from those experiences. Kind of just what’s going on in my head!

Are there any new bands coming up who have impressed you recently?

Yes, we played with a band the other night who were fantastic, and they’re very young, only been together for 6 months as well, called The Mothers Earth Experiment. Very very prog, intense prog, but absolutely brilliant!

A quick internet search will show you have your own entry on Wikipedia. Have you checked to see how accurate it is?

It’s not very accurate, and I can’t change it actually, I tried to change it and they won’t let me. Whoever’s making it can change it when they get their facts correct!

What are the band’s plans for the rest of the year?

We are going on tour in America again for the whole of May, and then a couple of festivals here and then I guess once the album is out, we’ll do another tour, UK and Europe probably for the album so another thing like this, but probably bigger next time because we’ve learnt we can actually sell out all the venues we’ve booked in to which is very very good to know, so next time a bit bigger.

Purson: officialfacebook | twitter | youtube

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments