What links legendary 60s rock band The Doors with a set of teenagers from Ripon Grammar School? Well, the five young members of indie group Purple Mafia, who won Harrogate’s biggest battle of the bands earlier in the year, will be staying at the former home of the late Jim Morrison as part of their forthcoming recording duties in LA.
It’s courtesy of LA-based independent record label Unison who spotted the band online after a wave of publicity following their success in the AMP Awards final at the Royal Hall in February.
Made up of Dan Reynard, (vocals), Josh Stockdale, (lead guitar), Harry Yates, (rhythm guitar), Tom Stringer, (bass guitar) and Alex Boulton (drums), the group of 15 and 16-year-olds will be living in a white stuccoed house just off Sunset Strip, Morrison’s last known US residence before he left for Paris where is died in July 1971.
An excited Purple Mafia told me: “This trip just gets better and better. We are staying in a house that is part of rock history and playing at a club with such a heritage.
“We still keep pinching ourselves to make sure this is all happening. We have put so much hard work into our music over the last three years and we feel this is a real chance to take it to a different level. We are so excited.”
The youngsters’ stock has been rising higher with each passing week this year. Their single She Thinks It, recorded with engineer James Mottershead who hails from Harrogate, has just gone through the 10,000 hits mark on YouTube.
A recording of their latest single Sunburst Orange made at Harrogate’s On’t Sofa studios recently attracted almost 2,500 hits within days of going live.
Purple Mafia have been together since four of the boys met as pupils at Ripon Grammar School.
Despite confidence and talent beyond their years, little can have prepared these teenange sensations for the treats that lie in store when they set off for LA next week.
The LA label, partly the brainchild of actor Johnny Depp, has even booked the teenagers to play a live gig at the famous Whisky A Go Go club on Sunset Strip, Hollywood on the evening of Sunday, August 26.
A number of major British bands made their US debut at Whisky A Go Go, including The Who, The Kinks, Cream and more.
Unison is owned and operated by renowned producers Ryan Dorn and Bruce Witkin, the latter being a close friend of Depp since they were young teens, playing in their own band, The Kids.
Label manager at Unison Music, by Mitch Goodman said what impressed him particularly about Purple Mafia was that they were “not a boy-band but a young rock outfit with a great sense of melody and fun.”
Purple Mafia are scheduled to fly out to LA from Heathrow next Thursday for a fortnight’s hard work and this amazing young band has already started to gather a following in the US with a number of requests from fans about where they can see the band live.