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Why Purson are bringing back psychedelia

She’s obsessed with psychedelia, worships the 60s and has even tried to cook her own drugs. Put short: Purson’s Rosalie Cunningham is not your average 21st century rock star...

"Doing DMT for the first time was kind of a big eye-opener. I’ve done it several times now and had some absolutely mental experiences. I’ve always been a chaser of that gateway, ever since I first tried acid, and DMT is just indescribably more. It was very humbling, really. It made me see the infinite and my place in the world, more quickly than any other drug I’ve taken. It was humbling but also exciting.”

The world might not know it yet, but Rosalie Cunningham is a rock star. For a start, she exudes an effortless charisma and quiet confidence that belies her relative youth at 25 years old. She looks every bit as enchantingly otherworldly and elegant in real life as she does in her band Purson’s videos and promotional snaps. She’s also quite happy to regale us with tales of lysergic derring-do and an enthusiasm for the kind of psychedelic experiences that inspired some of the greatest records of all time, 40 years ago. This, it hardly needs emphasising, is proper rock star behaviour. Most of all, though, Rosalie Cunningham is top-notch rock star material because the music she makes is meticulously but lovingly designed to blow minds. One listen to the joyously eccentric and mischievous psychedelic rock tour-de-force that is Desire’s Magic Theatre (the title’s initials are deliberate, of course) and it will become immediately apparent that life is a lot more fun on the other side of the cracked mirror.

I tried making DMT in my kitchen

“You can’t treat DMT like a drug,” she continues. “You need to treat it like an experiment. I even tried making it, but ended up with my kitchen smelling of petrol, ha ha! You can’t really reflect on it while you’re in it, like you can on mushrooms or acid. It’s a barrage of information, and only afterwards can you piece together some of the things that happened so it actually makes sense. In fact, I don’t think the brain is at all involved. It’s a direct line out of the top of your head – a direct line to God or the cosmos or whatever. You can’t think when you’re in it. You’re just a vessel for the experience. You’re not paranoid. You’re just watching this thing pan out in front of you. But it’s not like anything else.”


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