Purple Mountains Majesties
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Purple Mountains Majesties

Westminster, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Westminster, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Pop Indie




"Classic Rock Takes The Twilight Concerts Stage With Jefferson Airplane, Purple Mountains Majesties & denmantau"

Next up was Purple Mountains Majesties. I never could figure out if they were a heartfelt tribute to the 60s or a sort of ironic hipster retro group. It happened that I was between their moms and girlfriends, who danced enthusiastically with a hippies-at-Woodstock abandon, so I was guessing it was not a parody. They’d clearly sent out a very confused costuming memo to their members – it looked like every late-60s musical trope was on stage. Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles fashion was interspersed with the Partridge Family style, and the lead singer looked like he’d lifted his outfit from the costume closet at the local production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and was planning to start a commune. He was unshaven and looked like he’d come off a bender, but it may have been nerves. This was apparently their biggest show to date, and it was hard not to find them sweet. One member kept inexplicably stashing his tambourine on his head like a musical hat, which was both odd and endearing.

Later, they brought out a horn section that seemed like a completely different band had been tacked on – it consisted of members so much older than the main group that I wondered if it was their dads. At the end, they announced that they’d be working at the merch booth selling vinyl after the show. More than anything, seeing them reminded me of going on odd musical adventures in Japan, where indie groups set up fan events ranging from bowling to scavenger hunts. It was a huge, goofy band. Though their music wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, they certainly had great spirit and were fun to watch. - Blurred Culture

"Purple Mountains Majesties have a July residency at The Wayfarer"

Purple Mountains Majesties have a July residency at The Wayfarer
HB Jake
Southern California is a melting pot not only of cultures, but also of musical styles. You can find everything from jazz to metal to bands that defy easy classification. Purple Mountains Majesties is one of the bands that falls into the latter category. Here's an assignment for you: Listen to a couple songs by this band and see if you can come up with some classification for it. It's not easy at all - partially because the sound changes pretty significantly from one song to the next.

This six-piece band has the usual guitar, bass, and drums. It also has keyboards, and some other instruments depending on the song. So while the lineup is similar to bands you've seen previously, the sound is really hard to explain. If you're put on the spot and someone asks for a comparison for this band, The Band would probably be a good one. Think about that for just a moment. How many bands do you know of that merit comparison in any way to The Band? That list is pretty short if it exists at all. Still, it's a pretty solid comparison for this band. After all, this is a band that uses unusual song structures but still manages to create a really good groove. Those songs might fall under the broad umbrella of rock and roll, but they also have jazz and roots components. Another thing Purple Mountains Majesties has in common withe The Band is that in each group, the musicians are comfortable and skilled enough to jam at times.

No matter how you classify this band (how's that assignment coming along?), one thing is clear: this is a talented group of guys that knows how to craft a good song. These guys also know how to tell a good story in their songs. Other people are taking notice of this band's talent too. Namely The Wayfarer where Purple Mountains Majesties will have a residency for the remainder of the Mondays in July.

On the 14th, you can see this band with Gardeners Logic and Red River. On the 21st, the band is joined by The Bluffs and Coleidoscope. On the final Monday of the month, the other bands on the bill are Creatures Choir and Nimbus Earth. All of these shows are free and 21+. The Wayfarer is located at 843 W 19th Street in Costa Mesa. - AXS

"The Best Concerts in OC This Week"

Purple Mountains Majesties
The Wayfarer
Honored with the very first Monday night residency at the Wayfarer, Detroit Bar's new incarnation after a pretty substantial facelift, is OC-native band Purple Mountains Majesties. A six-piece group, they favor folk in its primary form--sing-a-longs and story-telling make up much of their live performances. And they embrace their recycle-generation's burden by primarily focusing on a message of environmental alarm. It's a jangly, jumping mix of guitars, flutes, tambourines, keyboards, and many more instruments (with band members bouncing from one to the next mid-song) to create a sound of folk electrified. Catch them for a free show tonight with support from the Red River and Gardener's Logic. (Erin DeWitt) - OC Weekly

"Purple Mountains Majesties broaden local frontiers"

The moniker popped up not while hearing “America the Beautiful” but during a trip home from seeing Ethiopian funk band Sun Hop Fat in Oakland.
“They just brought the house down … we were amazed,” Ryan Wagner recalls. “Me and Dave (Muller) decided we were going to make a band. On the drive home, I was looking out the window and saw the purple mountains on the Grapevine, and somehow I was singing that song and made the connection.”
The name, Purple Mountains Majesties, stuck for the folk-rooted group. The Westminster-based sextet, anchored by drummer Jared Bryan and bassist Nathan Kloss, also includes Keith Manda and Alan Porter, who like Wagner (above, far right) and Muller (far left) chime in on vocals as well as all manner of gear: guitar, keys, percussion, melodica, recorder, flute, glockenspiel.
“We kind of do what the song needs, and sometimes we play multiple instruments per song,” Wagner explais. “We switch around during songs sometimes. Sometimes it’s up to three or four times.”
Though raised in O.C. suburbia, these nature lovers decry modern consumption and the smothering of the environment’s beauty with concrete sidewalks and skyscrapers. Among their tales is one about Josey the Whale, a character poisoned from eating too much trash.
“Freedom of speech is a huge thing,” Kloss says, nodding to the band’s patriotic name. “We get to say whatever we want in our song. Sometimes it has to do with controversial things, but any time we get to say that, it makes us patriotic in a sense. We are Americans, and we won’t forget the fact that we are able to say these things in these songs.”
They also foster a feeling of community during performances, staying true to folk traditions. Audience members become involved, sing-alongs start up, stories are shared.
Last year, the group was the first signing to Invisible Arts, a new label owned by former Oingo Boingo keyboardist and film compsoer Richard Gibbs. That connection was made through Richard’s daughter, Katelin, after the band performed for her birthday at Au Lac in Fountain Valley, where Purple Mountains Majesties hosts an open-mic night the first Wednesday of every month.
“It (was) his business dream to one day start his own label,” Porter says of Gibbs. “He had been waiting a whole long time until he found the right band. There (are) bands in the past that he didn’t like.”
Since signing PMM in August, Gibbs has collaborated with the group at Woodshed Recording in Malibu, striving for a seamless studio sound. Layers of instruments have been blended with melodic vocals for something reminiscent of the psychedelic Beatles with hints of modern folk as heard from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
“For the most part, when we are recording, Richard leaves all the ideas up to us 100 percent,” Wagner insists, “and then he comes in and gives us opinions. They’ve been really cool so far and enhanced what we are doing.”
Yet, because Woodshed often gets booked by other projects, the band can only work sporadically. They started with trial sessions a year ago and now have two songs mastered and two others awaiting mixing.
“We haven’t released anything yet, but the plan is to release singles and compile them into a record,” Wagner reports. - OC Register


Limited 'Purple Mountains Majesties' EP- VINYL



Purple Mountains Majesties is comprised of a bassist, a drummer, and four front men who switch off on every instrument they can afford to buy - all types of guitar, ukulele, keys, glockenspiel, flute, trumpet, melodica, recorder, and assorted percussion. Their heavenly three and four part harmonies and melodies bring to mind the sound of early Beach Boys and Beatles, but their inventive instrumentation and arrangements put them firmly at the forefront of the modern alternative scene populated by bands like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Hailing from the depths of Orange County, they were performing in a local raw food restaurant run by the renowned silent chef Ito (yes you read that right) where they were 'discovered' by former Oingo Boingo keyboardist, film composer, and record producer Richard Gibbs. Gibbs immediately brought them on board and began producing their debut album for his new recording venture, Invisible Arts.

Band Members