Beaumont, east Texas is an oil town. The black gold was first struck in 1901 and the population tripled within a year. It sits over near the Louisiana state line, a half hour inland from the Gulf Coast with its vast stretches of golden sands. Notable Beaumont alumni include plenty of modern day JR Ewing's, plus slap-bass originator Larry Graham, bluesman Blind Willie Johnson, ill-fated 50s singer The Big Bopper - and now party rockers Purple.
Don't be put off by that tag: this is a party you want to be at, Purple the three sardonic outsider school kids who grew up to become the coolest gang in a town that drains cultural ambitions like it sucks up the Texas tea. Half their friends ended up in their refineries. Some couldn't take it; some ended their lives. Were our young charges going to let their lives follow the same path? Hell no. Because Purple chose something else. Purple chose to party.
"Beaumont's small," says drummer / singer Hanna Brewer, who cites Mitch Mitchell and Dave Grohl as initial influences. "It's a bible town with a church on every corner. There's a lot of really mean Christians and cows and the only rock 'n roll music that people seem to like is Stevie Ray Vaughan. It's very Southern, man. The only people I really had to jam with was this family of Mormons and we read sheet music. They never judged me though. I grew up in nearby Vidor, Texas and everyone's really prejudiced there. Racism is big. Even in school amongst the teachers the attitude was: 'if it ain't white, it ain't right'. Seriously. It's messed up! And when I challenged them they would just say 'Shut up you little hippy'. So I was the kid who everyone's parents told them to avoid. I smoked weed but it might as well have been crack the way I was treated..."