“It’s hard to book other bands to play with us,” said Michael Prince, drummer of gutter-glam band Purple Church. “All we have around here is thrash metal or punk bands. What we’re trying to do is what they are doing in Sweden — Swedish sleaze metal. We’re trying to have fun. We want to bring Mötley Crüe back.”
Although they were all born after I saw Mötley Crüe play at the San Diego Sports Arena in 1985, the four men in Purple Church are soaking in the decadent Sunset Strip–born glam rock of Wasp and L.A. Guns.
“We want to drink and have fun,” says bassist Rattle Jake. “We want to get chicks. I want people to look at us and know this is how we lead our lives. We are party metal. We want to party harder than the people who come to our shows.”
“Purple Church” is what locals call the Main Attraction, their hometown’s only strip bar. “We wanted to name ourselves after the sleaziest place in Oceanside,” says Prince.
The problem for Purple Church isn’t getting people to come to their shows, it’s finding bands to play with. “There are no bands around here who are doing what we’re doing,” said Prince. “There’s nothing like us even in L.A.”
They don’t connect with local slam-dancing punkers or macho metal heads.
“When I go to a show I’m trying to listen to music and scam on chicks and not get hit in the nose,” said Prince.
And the local metal scene isn’t their deal either.
“I went to a Nihilist show once,” says Rattle. “There are dudes there that start decking people. I got pepper-sprayed once at a Nihilist show. There are a lot of emo bands... I hate emo. They’re pussies. I don’t want to see a show and slit my wrists because I hate myself.”
Like their glam-rock predecessors, Purple Church appreciate leather, studs, and hairspray. “I went to a Slayer show at the Sports Arena and they made me take off all my flair,” says Prince. “They took belts, bracelets, and necklaces. They made me take everything off and put it in the trashcan.”
Self-described as “Mötley on meth,” there are also elements of Judas Priest and Motörhead in their mostly originals show.
“We are just a few mediocre musicians who are fueled by tits and beer,” says guitarist Jeremy Anthony. “We’re not trying to impress anyone with our skills. Everyone else is trying to be the best guitar player on earth. I don’t give a fuck.”
Prince acknowledges the clock is ticking. “If we don’t do it now, it ain’t happening. If it takes off, it takes off. But I don’t ever want to lose the attitude. We are doing it just to have fun. If it’s not fun I don’t want to do it anymore.... We’re not trying to take over the world. We’re just trying to take your girl.”
Purple Church opens for Faster Pussycat July 10 at Brick by Brick.