Hailed by members of The Verve, Ride, Primal Scream and Sean Lennon, rising Manchester shoegazers Purple Heart Parade return with their new release, the ‘Lonestar EP’. Described by the boys themselves as “a rollercoaster ride through the heavens, absolute ethereal bliss,” the five tracks take in the full emotional spectrum of love,celebration, loss and pain, which is something that’s been at the forefront of their minds since losing a friend in last year’s Manchester terror attacks. That friend is honoured in the sky-reaching single ‘Mission Hills’, while the record is an exorcism of their experiences. Check out the EP along with our interview with the band below.
How representative would you say that ‘Mission Hills’ is of the rest of the EP?
“We think it slots in perfectly with the rest of the EP. It shows how much thought and emotion goes into our music.
We are just a bunch of misfits making beautiful heartfelt songs.”
At what point were you inspired to write a song about the friend you lost in the Manchester attack?
“‘Mission Hills’ just happened on the spot. The mood in our rehearsal room was pretty sombre at the time. My girlfriend had just gone home to California, I was gutted about that and the attack had recently happened. It affected one member pretty badly.”
How would you describe the spirit of the Manchester music scene since the attacks?
“More than the music scene, it is the whole city that was put on stand-by and stood together while people were trying to understand what, why and how the attack happened as well as overcoming the shock of something that terrible happening so close to home.
“It was a sad time for the city, but it felt like everyone came together: friends, families, band members – it felt like everyone needed to spend more time with their loved ones. As far as the music scene goes, it must have consciously or unconsciously influenced bands’ writings, with the overall mood at the time really being dark.
“For us it was special as one of our past members was personally involved. It is something we have had to directly deal with as a band. Since then, it does feel like the independent music scene is blooming in Manchester, there are hundreds of independent bands out there – whether it was a result of the attack or not, it’s difficult to say.”
Beyond ‘Mission Hills’, what other themes and subjects would you say that the EP is dealing with?
“It’s everything. From past relationships, love, happiness, loss, it’s all in there – but it’s all real. It’s all very personal too. It might sound morose I suppose, but the fact we’re here putting it out there is very positive as it means we’re still here – dealing with it.”
How does it feel to expose and explore such feelings in such depth through song?
“Our songs just flow through us. We’ve been some through absolute shit and heartbreak, all of us individually over the years. Some of us have been scarred more deeply than others, but we find our music is a great medium to exorcise some of those ghosts/demons/black dogs.”
How’s progress going on your debut album?
“We’ve got our next EP already written and waiting to be recorded, which is exciting as the songs really are sky scraper big.”
We understand that you’ve received praise from the likes of Sean Lennon and The Verve’s Nick McCabe. What form has that taken? What does praise like that mean to you?
“To be even heard of by these people is unreal! Nobody knows us in our home town, yet these guys do!
“Sean saw a video of ours and invited us to play with him on his Manchester date. Was really bizarre as his father knew and gigged with my late Uncle Peter . To see him on the side of our stage screaming great tune as we played blew my mind.
“As for Nick, he’d heard of us and we were introduced to each other at his gig with Black Submarine. It means the world to us if people who inspired us to make music dig what we do. It seems so surreal at times but cool as fuck , proper people with proper musical pedigree digging our vibe. I’d rather have that than a load of pissed up morons throwing piss around chanting our tunes.”
Purple Heart Parade perform at The Victoria in London at the first of the relaunch of Club AC30 live events tonight.