Fanzine Brasil

quarta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2020


 By: Juliana Vannucchi (support: Marinho)

This time our interviewee is Jamie Perrett, who since 2017 has established himself as the guitarist of the acclaimed musician Peter Perrett, his father, who is one of the greatest myths of British Punk Rock. Jamie already played in bands like Strangefruit, Babyshambles and Love Minus Zero and already played in some of the major stages of Europe. Jamie has built a continuous and commendable musical career, and is steadily establishing himself as a talented and promising musician.

1. Jamie, you told to me that you've been to Brazil some years ago. What were your impressions about the country? What did you like the most here? 

I went to Rio in November 2014.  It had always been a lifelong dream of mine. And it didn’t disappoint. It was something I will never forget. I was only sad that I didn’t get to stay longer and explore more parts of the country.

The beaches are particularly beautiful. And all the juice bars (with delicious exotic fruit) dotted around on every street corner. I particularly loved the vibrant and intoxicating Lapa – a sensory overload - with the sound of thunderous drums dancing through the night and juxtaposed in a stone’s throw away, by the tranquility and bohemia of hilltop Santa Teresa. With it’s pastel colours and hippy cafes. I travelled around by myself and was humbled by how friendly everyone I encountered was. The people, for me, are what usually make a place and I met some lovely and fun people there - People who had a thirst and hunger for life.

2. Unfortunately, now Brazil is going through a very difficult moment, but maybe someday you can play here... we hope that Bolsonaro doesn’t destroy the country until then...

I really hope so. I feel like I have more of a South American soul than an English one! I’ve heard the audiences over there are pretty amazing. Unfortunately it’s pretty expensive to get over to that part of the world though. And I’m guessing you would need visas too. Hopefully one day soon!

It’s very sad that tyrannical and maniacal despots, for profit and greed, run the majority of the world.  Capitalism (for me) doesn’t seem to be working very well.  Lol. It really does feel like society is on the tipping point. There’s so much more frustration and anger and the division between the left and the right is growing rapidly. The prevalence of social media and addiction to smart phones just helps create a world of angry, self important and entitled automatons. Screaming at each other.

"It’s been a strange and crazy time for everyone but the lack of live music has been really hard for lots of people".

3. Please tell us a little about your music career. Did you learn to play guitar with your father? Besides him, who are your favorite guitarists?

At the age of 11 my dad taught me a few chords, which was a great start. My dad is more of a rhythm player though and once I heard Hendrix I always wanted to play lead.  

I started a band with my older brother Peter J, called The Cu*ts (‘cos that’s what our dad used to call us) around the time when Brit Pop was still going strong. We were being offered record deals when we 12 years old but our parents advised us against signing anything as they were worried we’d be seen as a novelty act. Later on in 2004 we (Peter J and I) joined Peter Doherty’s band Babyshambles for a short stint. It became too difficult to hold one’s breath for 7-hour journeys continuously on the road so we soon departed.  

In 2005, I fronted my own band with my brother called Love Minus Zero. Which was hilariously fun. Although it was never going to last that long. As it was incredibly dysfunctional, incendiary and we hated each other! We released one E.P called ‘Psychobaby’ and dissipated soon afterwards.  In 2008 I formed a band with Jenny Maxwell, an incredible singer; who I heard singing at a house party - called Strangefruit. We released an E.P titled “Between The Earth And Sea” which garnered radio and press attention that resulted in us being offered a publishing deal with Rondor (a Universal Music Group).

From 2015 I started playing with my father, playing guitar on his 2 comeback albums “How The West Was Won” and “Humanworld” which were both released on Domino Records. The latter for which I earned a production credit.
As for guitarists, I don’t tend to listen to many guitarists to study them. I’m always more interested in songs, lyrics and melody. But I love guitarists who have an identity that you can just hear a few notes of their playing and know who it is.  My favourites would be: Jimi Hendrix for taking the art of guitar playing to a new level, Peter Green for his tone and emotion. Richard Thompson for his modal improvisations, Neil Young and John Fogerty for their lyricism and phrasing (you can really tell they’re singers)

4. How long have you been playing with Peter? Did you always wanted to be a musician?

I have always played with my father on and off for years, but only since 2015 have we been in a band together. When I first picked up a guitar there was both magic and fire in my hands. I didn’t know how to play but I felt like a young wizard holding his first wand, I was mesmerised and it felt very much like my destiny. I guess it was the most natural thing to me really.

Peter Perrett and Jamie Perrett

5. What was the most memorable gig you've ever done? 

For the wrong reasons: One of the 1st gigs I played was as one of the guitarists with Peter Doherty’s Babyshambles. It was up in Stoke On Trent. And within ten minutes of us playing, the gig ended up in a riot. People were going crazy, tearing up the venue, the audience came onstage and stole our equipment –“fans” were running down the streets with snare drums and guitar pedals in their hands. Like they were some sorts of trophies.

Members of the entourage thought it was “rock n roll” I just thought it was pretty sad we only played for 10 minutes. And got the majority of our gear stolen.

And for the right reasons: my recent solo show in Leon, Spain. It felt pretty emotional to be back on a stage and in this current climate. It was a socially distanced show, with only a small number of people. But I ended up playing for 1hr 45mins, destroying cover version after cover version. Haha.

6. Have you ever thought about producing a solo album? Do you write lyrics? 

Yeah. That’s what I enjoy most really- writing my own songs and singing and producing them. I’ve been recording some songs for an album but then in that time I’ve written another 10 songs, which I want to get down. Yeah I write lyrics. I’ve been interested in writing since I was at school. Sometimes with songs, you might think of a title or a couplet that will inspire the direction and lyrical content on the song or most often I tend to write melodies 1st and think of lyrics later.

7. Well, I’m sure some guitarists will read this interview, so I would like to know what model of guitar you currently use. And what are your favorite pedal models? You must have a great collection of guitars...

I finally managed to get hold of my dream guitar after years and years of saving, a 1962 pre CBS Fender Stratocaster, refinished in fiesta red. It is the 1st guitar I’ve bought. The other guitar I play is a 1970 Gibson 345 which was handed down to me from my father. Thanks dad! As for pedals, I like some Electro Harmonix pedals. The Memory Boy, Ravish Sitar and Mel 9 are all pretty fun. I also particularly like Roger Mayer’s (Jimi Hendrix’s guitar technician) Voodoo Vibe. For recording, I like to push the valves in my 90’s Fender Pro Junior and Vibro King amps for overdrive tones. I also use a 1960’s Germanium Arbiter Fuzz Face, an Ibanez Tubescreamer and rare 1970’s fuzz, which I won’t disclose. I also use various 1960’s and 1970’s tape echo machines. 

8. Can you give some advice to people who are starting to learn to play the guitar? People like me...

Just keep playing, try and play a little every day, and enjoy it. Don’t try and start with things that are too difficult. Put dedicated time aside without distractions.

9. You played Léon last month, right? How was the experience of playing in the “new normal” way? How did people react?

It was a truly heart warming show. It’s been a strange and crazy time for everyone but the lack of live music has been really hard for lots of people. I think the people who came were really happy to see live music again.

10. Do you feel satisfied playing this way? Do you think these new experiences will be as good as they were before the pandemic? Probably better to play like this way, than not to play... 

It’s very different, but I enjoyed playing in this way. In some ways the audience were more appreciative and receptive. Of course its great to play to packed out venues but for the venues particularly it is difficult to make sure shows happen in this new way. As they struggle to cover their costs. I think anything is better than nothing at this stage. It would be great if our governments supported the creative industries more considering how much money it brings in.

11.What is your opinion on the drive-in gigs? I think it will be excellent to the elite, that always gave advantage to enjoy the art and the culture - at least here in Brazil it will be like this. Who does not drive, who can not have a car and who is poor will not have access...

Interesting although the idea of watching a show whilst sat in a car doesn’t really appeal to me. Plus I don’t drive. So….

12. You recently posted on Facebook that you were mixing some tracks and working on a lot of new things. Can you tell us a little more about it? 

I’ve finally gotten around to recording some of my own tracks. And I’ve got 9 songs recorded and mixed. I’m hoping to get them released at some point at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately the music industry is in a strange place at the moment. And although it’s super easy to self-release online, the lack of a creative live outlet is something that is unsettling. 

Hopefully there will be some clarity and a renewed optimism that comes with the start of a new year and there be some light at the end of a bleak horizon. It’s been a humbling and surreal few months but we just need to keep on keeping on. It’s the only option, to keep moving. Otherwise your brain and body shut down. A lot of musicians and creatives may feel like their voices are muted and blunted but once we emerge from this, there will be a strong appetite for new music and art. Which is something that helps me stay optimistic.

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