Joe Perkins is the great new talent on the block. A superb rock guitarist and music producer, he writes alone but records with his friends in that new chic venue…the dining room. He describes himself as a 70s throw-back , others have called him an enigmatic genius. A year ago Joe had a near death experience but he fought back from the brink with his joyful and energetic instrumental album Double Denim.
Hot off the press Joe’s Christmas track is an instrumental and in this brief interview he tells us a little about it.
Joe you recently released an instrumental Christmas single, can you tell me more?
It’s called Santa’s Coming! The funny thing with that song was that it all came together quite quickly and it went from a rough sketch to being recorded, mixed & mastered in just a couple of weeks. The only problem was that I didn’t have a title! I just couldn’t think of anything that was Christmas related and slightly funny, but also clean enough to be read out on the radio! So in the end Santa’s Coming was about as good as I could manage. It says it all.
Did you record all the instruments yourself and produce the recording on your own, or were other people involved?
I tend to record as many of the instruments as I can myself, but I always like to have a live drummer on my music. I worked with an awesome drummer on the Christmas song called Emily Dolan Davies. She’s played with some top people over the years, most notably The Darkness. I figured that as they’re a big influence on me and my Christmas song was likely going to sound similar to theirs, the most logical thing for me to do was hire their drummer!
I can muddle my way through playing bass, but I’m certainly no bassist and so I tend to rope my old buddy Josh Clark into coming to Bristol and laying down some thunder on my recordings. We went to university together so we know each other very well. It’s always huge fun recording with him because we have such similar tastes in music. Plus, he’s easily the most talented bassist I’ve ever come across. You could stick him in any studio with any band and he’d run rings around them.
Aside from drums and bass though, I pretty much play everything myself. I do all my own engineering, producing & mixing too. I get guest musicians in occasionally but aside from that I don’t generally let anybody near!
I heard a rumour that you record in your dining room, really?!!!!
That’s true! It’s dead easy in 2016 to record like that, but I always do my best not to rely on technology too much. Everything I do is recorded ‘properly’. The electric guitars are run through tube guitar amps at high volume and recorded with microphones; all of the effects are analogue pedals. I think my neighbours hate me. But it’s far more satisfying making a recording sound good with that old-school approach rather than plugging your guitar directly into a computer, hitting one button and having it sound like it was recorded with £100k of gear at Abbey Road. There’s not much fun in doing that even though it’s entirely possible.
I also play guitar for my mate Hannah Griffiths, who is a singer. We’ve been a bit restricted with what we’ve been able to do this year for various reasons, but fingers crossed we’ll be writing, recording & gigging a lot more together in 2017.
You can download Santa’s Coming here: https://www.joeperkins.co.uk/product/santas-coming/
You can buy or download Joe’s album Double Denim here: http://www.joeperkins.co.uk/about-double-denim/
Words by Shirley Ann