Seven Purple Tigers are Freiburg Germany’s indie rock act for the ages. Formed in 2015 by American frontman Austin Horn and German lead guitarist Philip Dyszy in Krakow, Poland, the quartet is launching into the scene with their own brand of high-energy, pop-infused indie rock music. Combining a unique sound with an exciting stage show, Seven Purple Tigers bring their A-game to both the stage and the studio.
Horn and Dyszy met through a student cover band while both studying on Erasmus in Krakow. While Horn had landed himself in the band through chance acquaintances, Dyszy had been scheming since long before his arrival in Krakow to find musicians with whom to create the next big rock act. Their studies soon gave way to long hours of writing music when after the first practice, Phil suggested the two work together outside of the cover band to form their own project. By December, 2015, a band called The P.A. System had been formed. While still gracing the stage with the ESN Band, the pair began writing original songs at an alarming rate in Phil’s riverside apartment in the shadow of the Wawel Castle.
Fast friends from the start, the duo began to craft a unique musical style combining their diverse set of influences, some shared and others novel. By the end of July, 2016, The P.A. System had written over 30 songs, and Horn and Dyszy, now bonded as brothers, had long since decided that the band ought to continue past the end of their year abroad. The only obstacle standing in their way was an inevitable year apart.
After Krakow ended, Phil returned to Germany and Austin to the states to finish out the last year of his university studies. Albeit with difficulty, the two continued writing songs together, exchanging ideas and keeping the band alive despite being an ocean apart. Throughout this time, both honed their musical skills so as to be better once reunited.
In August, 2017, Austin made his return to Europe, landing in Freiburg on the 17th. The pair immediately picked up right where they left off, playing open mics and beginning their search for bandmates to complete their original vision of a four-piece rock outfit. By November, they’d found Felix Schwer, former drummer of Raumlos, and Sebastian Heieck, a highly trained bassist from the hKDM and a member of numerous musical projects around Freiburg. The combination of Horn’s massive vocal range, Dyszy’s high-flying, unconventional guitar playing, Schwer’s thunderous drumming and Heieck’s melodic basslines was exactly the concoction the boys had been dreaming of for two years. They began rehearsing as a four-piece, packing out their long-awaited first concert at the now-defunct Freigeist Bierbar in April of 2018.
The band continued performing throughout the summer as The P.A. System, landing gigs at the Come Together Festival and at Zelt Musik Festival in Freiburg. In August, the band came to a jarring discovery: someone had already released music under the name “The P.A. System.” Rather than fighting this, Horn and Dyszy decided it was a golden opportunity to change their name before heading into the studio in November.
After months of work and careful planning, Seven Purple Tigers was born. After playing their first concert under the new moniker in October, the Tigers geared up to record their debut album at Sport Studio in Freiburg. In November of 2018, Seven Purple Tigers recorded their 11 song album in just ten days, under the careful guidance of engineer Robert Pachaly. The album was released to the internet on July 7th, 2019 and is available for download and streaming on all major platforms.
2019 was a massive year for the Tigers. After a trip back to Krakow in January to reconnect with the band’s roots, the Tigers filled a great many live commitments around southern Germany. Spring saw things really taking off, with the band landing numerous gigs and festival slots for the coming summer. The summer season began with the preliminary round of the Fürstenberg Derby. Selected from hundreds of applicants, Seven Purple Tigers played their hearts out and won, earning them a slot at the finals held at the Zelt Musik Festival.
Out of doors, Seven Purple Tigers played the Freiburg Stimmt Ein festival in June. In July became once again time for the Zelt Musik Festival. The band were first given the privilege of playing a full set at the opening night of the festival. After that it was on to the big event, the Fürstenberg Derby Finals.
Taking place in the Fürstenberg Tent at the festival, the Tigers took on a huge concert. Seven Purple Tigers gave their all to a crowd of over 1,500 people, opening with a brand new song and getting them all singing along to “Bright White Light.” In a very close decision, the Tigers earned second place over all despite being newcomers, earning them a massive step forward in recognition.
Autumn saw the band soldiering onward with gigs in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. By the end of the year, Seven Purple Tigers found themselves a Neil Armstrong-sized leap further in their career.
While vacationing in January of 2020 in Alicante, Spain, Horn and Dyszy decided to add a new element to live shows: saxophone by way of talented Freiburg sax man, Malte Breuhaus. Breuhaus first joined the Tigers for their show in the ArTik that month, delivering a searing solo to the first live rendition of “Down the Hole” that the Tigers had played in nearly a year. The Tigers were joined that night by Monique Hillebrecht, who took the stage to sing the backing vocals after only being asked shortly before the show, and who would go on to accompany the band lending her vocals and playing trumpet later in the year.
On the momentum of that show, the Tigers headed into the performance that would cement their place in the Freiburg scene, the “Rampe” competition in the city’s most hallowed venue, Jazzhaus. The band came to win and delivered a top-notch performance in the company of four of Freiburg’s best young outfits, including one of Seb’s own other projects, Ape Academy. At the end of an amazing concert series, Seven Purple Tigers were crowned the winner, again proving themselves to be one of the region’s best talents, a slot earned in record time.
Riding on the wave of this success, Horn, Dyszy and company seemed poised to take the summer by storm. This all came to a screeching halt, of course, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For Seven Purple Tigers, the world slowing its pace proved to be a blessing in disguise. Free from the pressures of constantly rehearsing and performing their old set, Horn and Dyszy finally had time to tie up loose songwriting ends, lock themselves in the Hotel Drei Linden, and set about writing and demoing new music. Along the way, the two began amassing more studio gear and truly turning the practice room in the hotel into a viable recording space.
With time losing all meaning and the sunlight never reaching through the sound-proofed walls of the studio, the boys descended into total vampirism, working late into the night and beginning each day in the late afternoon. As the sessions progressed, a creative wind took hold and led to the creation of a swath of new music, informed by well over a year of studying various modern influences and production techniques. By year’s end, the Tigers would be armed with some 18 new tracks, soon to be unleashed on the world.
The summer of 2020, though not full of the gigs the band had hoped for, saw Seven Purple Tigers join in on the new wave of streaming concerts. The Tigers took part in United We Stream, ZMF, and Emmendingen’s Come Together festival via live streaming. At the ZMF, the Tigers were accompanied yet again by Malte Breuhaus, as well as the Eloweenas, a trio of singers from Finland who lent their incredible vocal harmonies to a number of songs in the set. Breuhaus and Monique Hillebrecht would join for the Come Together stream, along with Melanie Graule.
The streaming gigs proved a valuable opportunity to spread the Tiger’s live show well beyond Germany, giving fans in the US, Poland, Spain and beyond to experience all that SPT has to offer. Later in September, the band played their only in-person gig since the pandemic, atop the Schlossberg for another appearance at Freiburg Stimmt Ein.
2021 remains an uncertain year as for whether Seven Purple Tigers might again take to the stage, however, plenty of time has been left to turn 2020’s writing into 2021’s releases. The boys have been hard at work in the bowels of Hotel Drei Linden, recording what will be a string of releases for the year to put Seven Purple Tigers back on the map with a vengeance.
Seven Purple Tigers seek to reinvigorate the indie rock world with driving force, powerful melodies, and a high-octane stage performance. The band is influenced by music of all varieties, and lists The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, The Smiths, Tame Impala and The Rolling Stones as some of their primary influences, along with such artists as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Devendra Banhart, Jeff Buckley, and softer acts like Kings of Convenience provide well-rounded inspiration. The result is a diverse catalogue of original music that keeps audiences on their toes throughout the night.
With such a wide range of influences and with their dedication to leaving it all on the stage, Seven Purple Tigers guarantee an exciting rock concert experience that has something for everyone to remember.
- Seven Purple Tigers 2021