YEAR FORMED: 2004
HOME TOWN: Ventura, CA
Aaron Johnson (vocals/guitar/keys)
Scott Okuma (bass/vocals)
Robin Ryder (drums)
The history of rock can be understood in terms of its converging styles that exist in the vacuum of their own relevance, safely tucked away in the underground until an artist comes along who brazenly forges relationships between genres and creates a sound completely original, while paying homage to the last 20 years of rock, yet sounding derivative of none of it. Weaving sounds made up of threads of old underground heroes invaded by an emerging pop rock aesthetic, manic emotions run rampant in the music from LE MEU LE PURR whose imagery conjures up an aging Generation "Why?," whose hopes and dreams have been squandered in the soulless years of the 90’s and whose last hope beyond the mounting depression and bar tab, is to be saved by music. With a sound that is both relevant and nostalgic, fierce and apathetic, loud and soothing, eclectic and familiar, LE MEU LE PURR is already making waves and garnering attention. Listening to the songs for the first time is a wholly visceral and participatory experience; the songs are moving, anthemic, and deeply personal. They transcend typical genres while remaining memorable and distinct. After ten years in the same band that was formed in junior high, collaborating with the same people, one would suppose there are a lot of ideas that get passed over because they just don't fit what the group is going for. Aaron Johnson, of the longstanding Ventura rock staple, Psycho Cafe, got the urge to retrieve some of those ideas waiting in the wings and with Psycho Cafe rhythm section Robin Ryder and new recruit Scott Okuma of the beloved pop machine Bad Judgment, set about to prove that all the great rock songs have not already been written. Rather than hit the clubs with a half-baked idea of sound and melody, the threesome took their ideas to upstart producer Armand Tambouris who helped them craft a complex sound and sonically dense full length debut album set to drop before the band embarks on their first tour. Cathartic anthems abounding in “The Sweet Smell of Asphalt” include “Pop Rocks And A Soda,” “Photograph,” and “Sharing Orchids” which silhouette the album’s honest soul touching offerings, “Seaward at Midnight” and the unforgettable “Swan.” And no rock album would be complete without shout matches like “Adhesive” and “Slow Dance Sunday.” One might assume that a sound this original and sophisticated couldn't be created by a new band right out of the box, but its no wonder that such a ensemble could be conceived by members of some of the most revered and well known bands in the So Cal rock scene. During his tenure as the front man for the melody-driven progressive metal band Psycho Cafe, Aaron Johnson has been wielding an axe in 8Stops7, the Warner/Reprise darlings who toured the nation several times over. Along with an equally long stint in Psycho Cafe, Robin Rider was laying down rhythms for the industrial cross-breeder Pong, troubadour Chad Rego and the mainstay of the local dance party, The Ska Daddyz. Bassist Scott Okuma, along with his participation in the sweet pop masterpiece Bad Judgment has also been collaborating with Derek Jennings of the Return on his jangley singer-songwriter side project, The Ashtray Life. Immediately after hearing songs from their upcoming album "The Sweet Smell of Asphalt" local music promotion juggernaut and fledgling record label Blackbird Music jumped at the chance to release the record and assist LE MEU LE PURR in getting their sound heard. They are currently booking like crazy and will be playing all over California and beyond this fall.