Thursday, December 25, 2008

10 Questions

Hail Voyagers! A very Psychedelic Christmas to all & sundry! Since my celebrations were mainly held last Sunday and have continued throughout the week I thought it apropos that I not only post the "10 Questions" survey today, but have the most fitting guests for said post. Very fitting!

'Tis the season for giving, is it not? And the season for letting those you appreciate know it with your full force, as best as you can. (If you're reading this be assured: I appreciate you.)

Our guests today, yes-we have a tandem again, live this spirit of giving throughout the year. In fact they've done so for several years. They don't sell their music. They give it away. Free. Gratis Gratia... And they deserve our praise and applause for doing so. I hope, after reading this, you do indeed let them know how much you appreciate this gesture and their spirit of not only keeping some great music alive but their keeping what to us is the right music.

It's Stu Rutherford and Mike Sinocchi of The Royal Purple!

They've been putting out CDs since 2004, beginning with 2004's Spearmint Experiment, and have just released their fifth this past October, The Time Element.

Here's the always-trustworthy Goran Obradovic with his review of their first three releases:

" Getting under the shade of The Royal Purple Umbrella almost three years late myself, I’m happy to suggest that this might be your own shelter from the moderndaze as well. What started out as an unpretentious appreciation of obscure sixties records (sometimes so rare that it in order to make them available for a wider audience it was easier to re-record them than just simply recommend them).

The side project of one Creature of the Golden Dawn (Stu Rutherford) and an Insomniac (Mike Sinocchi), has become an ongoing annual affair, that might as well become a perfect moderndaze “pebble” or “rubble” or whatever, with The Royal Purple adding their own red flashes to a bunch of trans-global selection of forgotten nuggets, ranging from almost classics such as The Music Machine’s Worry, Dana Gillespie’s Donovan-written You Just Gotta Know My Mind, The Count Five’s Declaration Of Independence, The Wailers’ I Don’t Want To Follow You, The Iveys’ And Her Daddy’s A Millionaire or The Flies’ Turning Back The Page.

Through some pure garage-(freak)beat-psych exotica like The Sceptics’ Turn It On, The Chylds’ I Want More, The Silver Apples’ Oscillations and even the Czechoslovakian Blue Effect’s Sun Is So Bright, to a couple of those that might’ve been considered for an extremely cool mainstream, as The Faces’ Glad And Sorry, Dillard & Clark’s Lyin’ Down The Middle, Pink Floyd’s Cymbaline and even The Beatles’ The Inner Light.

Just for the good measure of it, both of the long-playing albums also include a pair of originals each, showing how good a pupils Stu and Mike are, including a pair of mid’60s garage punkers, Take A Look At Her and Sound On Sound, with the latter also adding some chewy bubblegum flavour to it, as well as Stereo Phonograph, which is a power-popin’ piece of a jangler, while Roger Keith’s Birthday is such an indicative title (in case you don’t realise it, I suppose you wouldn’t even be reading this), and with the descending Lucifer-like riff, no further explanation is needed really.

Another couple of details, in perfect accordance with the above rubble/pebble reference, are the groovy, slightlydelic artworks, all on CD-sized slip-cases, reminding of tiny little vinyl record covers, and yet another thing, contributing to an almost missionary dimension of the matter, is the fact that these CDs (NOT CD-Rs !!!) are being given away for FREE! ... Let yourself be treated with the Transcendental Medication coming in the shape of The Royal Purple pill.
(from the Popism site.)

Of their Psychoacoustics release from 2007, Leslie at peacedogman said:

" There is a superb concept taking place here as THE ROYAL PURPLE once again take a number of obscure tracks from artists both well known or otherwise, add in the odd original composition, and produce an album of time defying sixties pop. The project features the constants of STU RUTHERFORD and MIKE SINOCCHI supported by a whole host of guest artists and between them have produced once more a thoroughly enjoyable disc of retro pop that underscores the fact that musical gems remain to be discovered from many eras and also proves that so many of the high profile cover albums released by 'name' bands clearly lack imagination and are, as often suspected, merely barrel scraping cash-ins.

Amongst the thought provoking inclusions is a version of BEE GEES' "I'll Know What I Do" where although the original is unknown to me it challenges the notion that ignoring the band due to their 1970's disco related crimes and "Massa-bloody-chussets" is maybe overlooking material actually worth hearing elsewhere in their long history. An unexpected cover of BLACK SABBATH's "A Hard Road" from the much maligned 1979 album "Never Say Die" is also a welcome surprise and here it gets the full 60's flavour workover that you feel perhaps the original players wanted to go for but were reluctant to do due to image. That the inventors of heavy metal could be responsible for the superb psychedelic tinted pop song as performed here is an intriguing notion. Interestingly the opening song "Come On Home" from Rutherford's own pen ranks amongst the best of what's on offer with it's distinctly MONKEES style setting the tone for the rest of the album.

As with the previous ROYAL PURPLE releases it seems this disc is available gratis from their website and with that sort of generosity it's almost rude not to go and check it out.

Let's see what drives these two to create more psychedelia:

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."

Stu - Music which evokes the feeling of being on drugs.

Mike – The sound of the five senses heightening, altering, and ?!?!

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

Stu - I think what makes an instrument psychedelic has a lot more to do with what effects (tape echo, wah-wah, flanging etc.) are added to it or how the instrument is played than the instrument itself. For example, almost any instrument played backwards sounds psychedelic to me. If I had to choose one instrument though, I'd go with the Mellotron since it allows you to take the sound of a "normal" instrument and do something unnatural with it (pitch-bending flutes, for example).

Mike: The EMI REDD .51 mixing console.

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

Stu - Pink Floyd: "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"

Mike: The Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn

4. What legendary lost recording or unfindable bootleg would you most like to have?

Stu - Since you didn't specify psyche, I'd love to hear a recording of one of the shows from the Beatles December '65 British tour. Narrowing it down to Psyche, I'd go with a good (and by good, I mean really good as opposed to what a bootlegger would grade as G!) quality live recording of Pink Floyd with Syd when they were at the height of their powers.

Mike: The entire tracking and overdub sessions for Tintern Abbey's one and only Decca single "Bee Side" c/w "Vacuum Cleaner"

5. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?

Stu - When I first heard the Ventures version of "Green Onions" a quarter century or so ago, I thought it sounded "psychedelic". Currently, I'll choose "Aunt Matilda's Double Yummy Blow Your Mind Out Brownies" by the Two Dollar Question (actually Ron Dante & studio cats) This bubblegum tune was rewritten for the first Cuff Links album as "Sally Ann (You're Such a Pretty Baby)" but it started out as an ode to laced brownies with Alice in Wonderland references. Mmm-Mmm good!

Mike: The Dovers – "The Third Eye"

6. Is there an advantage in being the pioneers (60s psychedelic bands), or being the continuing explorers armed with the knowledge of those pioneers work (the modern psychedelic bands)? Why?

Stu - The advantage of being a continuing explorer is that with the current digital equipment and unlimited number of tracks etc. makes recording psychedelic effects easier. Plus, being two or three when psyche began leaves me with (hopefully) a few more years left at this point that those who pioneered it.
The advantage of doing psychedelic music "back in the day" would be the higher chance of making any money (or getting laid!) as a result.

Mike: I'm a fan first, a musician second, so to me, NOTHING will ever compare to the avatars who pioneered and created this genre. I'm just a mimic trying to co-opt someone else's vision – I'm too overwhelmed by these artists in the '60s to ever get past merely being a shameless inferior copyist.

7. In your mind, if forced to pin down the first track signaling the beginning of the psychedelic music era, what would that track be?

Stu - The Beatles: "Tomorrow Never Knows"

Mike: "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles – a quantum leap upon its release in August 1966. Honorable mention: "Eight Miles High" by the Byrds

8. Is the psychedelic genre still viable today to artists working in it?

Stu - Viable in terms creating great music? Of course. Viable in terms of making a living off of it? Uh, not so much.

Mike: Because "psychedelic music" is such a nebulous term, there will always be artists to define it and expand it differently.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

Stu - O.K., If I take this question too seriously, It'll be a week before I narrow things down to the ten best, so I'm just gonna scroll through my ipod and come up with 10 that I dig. I tend to go for more pop/psyche or garage/psyche than long winded hippie jams. Anyhoo, here goes (in no particular order).

1) The Beatles: Tomorrow Never Knows
2) The Blues Magoos: Rush Hour
3) The Mirage: The Wedding of Ramona Blair
4) The Pink Floyd: Lucifer Sam
5) The Status Quo: Black Veils of Melancholy
6) The Rolling Stones: 2,000 Light Years from Home
7) The End: Shades of Orange
8) The Pretty Things: Walking Through My Dreams
9) The Thirteenth Floor Elevators: She Lives In a Time of Her Own
10) The Raik's Progress: Sewer Rat Love Chant


The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
The Pretty Things – Defecting Grey
Tintern Abbey – Vacuum Cleaner
Tintern Abbey – Bee Side
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
Gandalf – Hang Onto a Dream
Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man
Dantalion's Chariot – Madman Running Through the Fields
The Accent – Red Sky at Night
Caleb – Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.

Stu - Which Royal Purple track do you think is the most psychedelic and why?

-valis: Of all the tracks The Royal Purple have done I'd have to say "Who's Wrong" from Instant Analysis. As for why, it would have to be the guitar efx. It's a pure headphone wonder and sends me into aural bliss/nirvana every time I hear it, no matter how many times I hear it. (And I've heard it a lot!)

Mike: Does this dress make me look fat?

-valis: Not from where I'm sitting.

THANK YOU STU & MIKE! For all you do I salute....

(Pssst.., wanna' get some of their releases? Send 'em an e-message: 'em "-valis sent me!")

Happy happy psychedelic Christmas everyone!


mike-floyd said...

Merry Xmas to you!

The new Homemade-Lofi-Psych sampler is ready and can be downloaded for free here:



sr-71 said...

glad to see i'm not the only fan of sewer rat love chant and baby your phrasing is bad!

Cliff. said...

Once again I'm indebted to you Valis, I've never even heard of The Royal Purple (shame on me it would seem)

Mike and Stu seem like great guys and I'll certainly avail myself of their generosity just as soon as I finish typing.

Loved their top 10's though I'll have to investigate Dantalion's Chariot and The Accent. This site is such an education.

Beatles Fan said...

glad to see i'm not the only fan of sewer rat love chant and baby your phrasing is bad!

Anonymous said...

Hi Valis,
Longtime no chat...
I've just e-mailed these fellows in hopes of scoring some of their generosity (fingers crossed). All the Best to you for this New Year Of Uncertainty, and keep up the good work my friend.