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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Q&A: Puro Instinct: A mix of Stevie Nicks and East Hollywood minor-key flavor

    Q&A: Puro Instinct: A mix of Stevie Nicks and East Hollywood minor-key flavor

    As of late, Los Angeles’ East Hollywood scene is looking young and inventive, with tinges of an ‘80s haze surrounding it. At the front of that foray stands Puro Instinct.

    Formerly known as Pearl Harbor, Puro Instinct’s minor-key and reverb layered collection holds the key to success at the moment by melding timeless musicality with a fresh perspective on pop. Led by the sister act of Piper and Skylar Kaplan, Puro’s lush sound never comes off as too dense, as Piper’s vocals act as a foil to Skylar’s clean and stinging guitar lines. Last year’s release of their debut, Headbangers in Ecstasy, was the gorgeous result of Puro working with Ariel Pink of seminal Los Angeles act Haunted Graffiti. With a backer of Pink’s caliber, it’s obvious that the Kaplan sisters and their band are destined to leave an indelible mark.

    Daily Wildcat: There’s been a lot of Stevie Nicks references in regards to you, and it’s no secret that you’re a big Fleetwood Mac fan. Were they as seminal in your musical upbringing as they’re portrayed in your media image?

    Piper Kaplan: Yeah, there was plenty of Flee-Mac to go around when I was growing up. “Your media image” just gave me a case of the forevers.

    Puro/Pearl Harbor has cut its teeth in the Echo Park scene, as you guys seem pretty revered when playing there. How did those venues (the Echo, Echoplex, Club Spaceland) help define the band at a young age?

    I don’t remember our first show at the Echo, but the first Explex show we ever played was the first show of our first U.S. tour with Haunted Graffiti, so that place will always be special to me for that reason if nothing else. The one time we played at Spaceland, Pearl E. Gates aka the other other Pearl Harbor showed up and threatened to sue us. Me and Nite Jewel had a funny yelling match with her in the lobby until she realized that we too were feeling crazy and relentless that night, so it would be better to catch me off guard with a “cease and desist” letter at our next show, which she did (hence the band’s renaming).

    How did working with Ariel Pink on “Stilyagi” come about? I’ve heard you two DJing together and there’s a definite rapport there that a lot of the East Hollywood scene would kill for.

    He loves weed and Russians as much as I do, so it didn’t take as much convincing to get him involved as you would think.

    Briefly describe the sister camaraderie between you and Skylar — seven years seems like a big age gap but you guys have toured the country and written two albums together.

    What can I say? She’s brilliant, and it’s a pleasure doing business with her.

    Thank god we’re seeing this ‘80s-esque revival. What else from that era do you want to see come back?

    Disgusting amounts of money being spent on the realization of (our) half-baked creative projects.

    Are you guys working on any follow-up material for Headbangers? If so, what can we expect from it?

    For sure! We’re recording a new EP right now, along with some singles, and have some exciting collabs with a few different dudes to be released in the coming months. Also, I’m curating a compilation featuring some of my favorite artists from L.A. (SFV Acid, Holy Shit, and Geneva Jacuzzi, to name a few) that will be out on (music label) Record Makers in the spring. Pretty stoked!

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