They’re six friends from Murcia/Spain and they’re on a Mission: Shake their country’s underground with exciting Music beyond borders and expectations. Their Album „Ink“ is a 147 Minutes Monster of creativity, odd mixtures of Styles, Time Signatures and Instruments. If you’re into Progressive Rock Music, you have to check out these guys! The Band took the challenge to answer a few of my questions about their Music, their upbringing, their relationships and emotions on their Journey as a underground Band. Their answers were very insightful, profound and authentic. Have fun getting to know Dante, Alvaro, Aks, Alex and Carly. And check out their album and support them – you won’t regret it and will be kept busy for months diving into that Double-Album.
1. Ola Companeros, thanks for taking your time to answer some questions for the Readers of German alternative Music Magazine whiskey-soda.de. The most important thing for the start: Whiskey Soda or some Spanish Brandy?
(All) Hola! Gracias for having us here.
(Alvaro) Apart from Russian vodka and German beer (nationality is very important, you know) I’m not very into alcholic drinks but if you invite me for a whiskey soda I’ will appreciate it 😉 (I can’t stand anything related to wine)
(Carly) I prefer some classic beer, like heavy metal beer with harleys, girls and all that shit, haha just kidding. I have to try some whiskey soda though 😉 .
2. Why don’t we start giving you the opportunity to introduce yourself as a band? You’re quite new to the scene, especially outside of your homecountry Spain.
(Carly) I Think we are quite new here in Spain too, we have a long road to travel.
Well, we are a bunch of guys wanting to express ourselves through music, and we are giving to the music just our grain of sand. Through our life experiences and the wide range of music we listen, we are trying to translate that into notes from our point of view. We are all different personalities, and there lies the magic of it all.
3. Who are you guys, and can you tell us something about the meaning of your bands name? Is your keyboarder Ugo a constant band member? (Your bandcamp lists him, your facebook doesn’t). And if not – why is that? A prog metal band has to feature a keyboarder, right? 😉
(Dante) (laughs) The story of the band’s name… well, in the early stages of the band we were obsessed with the story of Perkin Warbeck, who proclaimed to be the true king of England, the lost son of Edward IV, and the rightful heir. He wasn’t, he was just a son of a seaman but a lot of people believed in him and he got pretty close to rule one of the most powerful empires of the world just by lying. Wonderful. For us this story meant a lot socially, and about the human race, and we used to call him Pervy Perkin so…hence the name.
Ugo is not a band member anymore! He was in the past, in the time we recorded „Ink“. But when the record was in its final stages he told us he wanted to do something else, so he left. In good terms of course, he was a great friend of ours before the band and still is. The bandcamp lists him becouse he was a member in the recording of „Ink“. Right now, the line-up of the band is formed by Alex Macho (lead singer), Alvaro Luis (Guitars), Aks (Bass), Carly Pajarón (Drums and singer) and me, Dante (Guitars and singer). And yes, we consider the keyboard really important in Pervy Perkin, and we are in the search of a new keyboard player!
4. Tell us something about your musical education, maybe you have an anecodte from your childhood days that has to do with it? Moms annoying you to get back to your piano rehearsals? 😉
(Dante) Each one? Hahah ok. Alvaro dale!
(Alvaro) Well, I’ve spent 6 years, since I was 12, in a music academy in Murcia learning classic guitar, music theory and 2 years of piano lessons but I left all of this because I moved to Madrid. I will never forget my first guitar exam because when my turn came I realized that I left my scores at home and I had to play (or at least try) everything by heart… It was so embarrassing… However the first piece came out well but the second one was a total disaster. Nowadays it is just a snug and funny memory and I smile everytime I remember that moment. I think I still have the videotape maybe in a couple of years it will see the light… God forbid hahaha.
(Dante) For me it has been all self-tought. I mean I had a couple of private lessons with some teachers at the begginning; the usual stuff: chords, picking…you know. But it didn’t last long. I don’t remember why actually, I suppose I felt comfortable learning on my own. And an anecdote…well I went into an oficial music school in Murcia when I was like 10 and I quitted after the admirable amount of two days. I wanted to learn guitar but only percussion was available. We had to buy this weird, muted snare that sounded like shit and was possibly the least funny intrument to play. Long story short, fuck this shit.
(Carly) I have quite a few haha. The most important ones: My parents tried to put me in the local academy of music, but I was so embarrassed because singing in front of 20 other children is not my cup of tea (I was 7 at that time) so, well, I’d rather stay at home. The second one is just that they bought me a left-handed guitar because I write with my left hand, not the case for musical instruments…I only lasted 1 month in the guitar academy. Anyways all that I have learned musically is the result of hours of hours in front of live videos, CD’s, mp3’s, and some theory from our band member Alvaro .This band has a lot of self-taught musicians haha.
(Alex) Well, when I was a child, we had those typical Hohner Flute classes at school, and that was pretty fun, because we messed around all the time making noise with our flutes and learning some folk rock songs by ourselves (not the songs our teacher wanted for the exam). Then I started listening to some power metal and I wanted to do all the Jens Johansson stuff with the keyboards, so I took piano classes for a little while with a Flamenco teacher (!) that taught me some basic things about playing piano. After that, I learned how to play keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums by myself. I also took some keyboard classes with a Prog Metalhead by the time I was getting into Dream Theater, so that motivated me a lot when I was like 16.
(Aks) My music education up until last summer consisted solely of listening to music. then with the help of the internet I taught myself how to play the bass.
5. What kind of music do you stand for and what do you think is your unique feature musically?
(Dante) What kind of music do we stand for… I’d say we stand for real music. Music that is original, moving. Not a fashion, not a copy of other groups or bands. I think we got something very little people dare to do these days. We make music. Not metal, not rock, not jazz, not blues. Just music. All of it. We listen to everything, we want to hear everything. If we want to do a salsa song, we do it, if we want to do funeral doom, we do it. There is someting special in each style, in each genre, and we won’t be limited by labels and all that stuff. Obviously everything is filtered through that undefined prisma that makes the sound of Pervy Perkin, which I think is just the combination of the members of the band as composers.
6. Your recently published your debut „Ink“ independently. I know, music stands for its own and can’t be described easily (especially when it’s an two hour monster!) but will you take the challenge to describe it? What do you consider important to know about it/is there something you are especially proud of?
(Carly) When I think about “INK“ I think about a massive journey, everything has a whole meaning together for me, but the songs individually have their own meaning.From the inside you know everything is over analyzed and all that stuff in terms of production, mixing, etc. But the soul of it all is very unique and pure. I’m very proud that we’ve made this debut album, the album of the one thousand and one technical struggles, and it is out there for everybody, for free, I’ll never forget this one for sure. From my basement to every wreckage in the world,that’s quite fucking awesome, haha.
(Álvaro) Maybe the colossal “ball“ that appears on the album cover and everything that surrounds it can be a precise description of what is waiting for you. You should know that despite being so long I think you will find a song that you will really enjoy. If a song doesn’t say too much to you just press the skip button, perhaps the most amazing song you will have ever listened to is about to play ;). Being able to record a double album with your friends, working together on it in order to reach the same goal and after all that listening to the result… it’s such an incredible emotion that I can’t describe with words.
7. „Ink“ is a two hour Monument! Other bands would have easily made three albums out of this! Why did you chose to make „only“ one album and how long did it take you from writing the first notes until holding the CD in your hands? Can you tell a funny or awkward story from that whole process?
(Dante) For us it was never a matter of doing one or more albums. It was a necessity, actually. The very essence of Pervy Perkin was too wide to present it in just one cd. If in the composition period one or two songs came more metal, or rock, or prog, everyone could think that that was Pervy Perkin. We are quite proud of this first record becouse it leaves a well founded base of diversity: in music, in styles, in complexity. Everything can come after it, and that’s perfect for us.
(Carly) How long? Since 1867 b.C to 3rd March 2014 haha. The first note sincerelly I don’t know, there are, some licks and melodies that were written 7-8 years ago, but the main composition period was in summer 2012.
(Álvaro) Well let’s just say that during the recording process we spent many nights in a rehearsing room (the place where vocals, bass and guitars were recorded) and one has to feed one’s mind with plentiful meals brimming with nutrients, right? Our savior, the vending machine… I’m not able to remember how many Kit Kats and Huesitos (Spanish chocolate bar) we consumed, a few hundred surely.
8. How does the writing of new songs look like in Pervy Perkin? Is there a main contributor? The lyrcis/ first and the music after or vice versa?
(Dante)In compositions we’re like a train without brakes. It’s a non-stopping machine. We have already the skeleton of the next album and we are pretty excited with it. Expect the unexpected! Also for this new album, we have Aks and Alex in the composition process, who are proving to be incredible composers.
The writing of the songs is a five-part collaboration. There’s always someone with more in this song or in the other, but we do everything together. Oh and music before lyrics most of the times, but not always.
9. You describe your style of music as „Progressive Metal“. What does the label ‚Progressive‘ mean to you i.e. do you like the label at all?
(Alex) I think labels are made for making people to have an idea about what kind of music they are going to listen to, although most of the times it can only be an approximation, because bands never sound exactly the same, and giving them a label would probably be unfair because of their own sound and details. So I don’t care much about the label “Prog”. I kinda like it because in the end it helps me to identify bands that probably will have creative ideas, odd time signatures, and so on, but it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. In fact, progressive music is so difersified nowadays that you have to explain what kind of prog a band does (Dream Theater prog, Porcupine tree prog, Symphony X prog, and even that leaves things unclear) so I think it’s better to let the music speak for itself. I prefer the label „Metal“, I think it’s somehow related to attitude and sonic power, and it’s less ambiguous.
10. What Band/Album would you choose to convince a newbie to progressive music about how exciting it can be to exceed the conventions and limitations of mainstream/popular music or genres in General ? As you are part of the underground yourself, you certainly know some yet undiscovered treasures when it comes to Metal Bands. Maybe you’ve got a insider tipp, a band not well known or known, but underrated, bands befriended?
(Alex) Wow, that’s a good question. I think it’s difficult, because you can’t surround all the prog elements in one album, but I think I’d say Dream Theater’s Images and Words, because it has many of those elements. Depending on the moment, it’s powerful, mellow, melodic, atmospheric or fucking heavy, and it’s very easy to listen to. It’s perfect. In fact, I’ve made people get into prog because of that album, but then the next album they listen to is Awake: they say it’s fucking horrible and they drop prog away.
About underground bands, yes! I know very good ones. From Spain we have Aiumeen Basoa. They don’t exactly make prog, but they do a very beautiful Pagan Black Metal, with a lot of amazing details. And there is, of course, Edge of Sanity, with Crimson and Crimson II, epic Prog/Death Metal masterpieces. In fact Dan Swanö is one of my main influences when it comes to music and composing in general.
(Dante) Mmm… I would recommend that amazing one man band which is The Algorithm (the music of mister Rémi Gallego will blow your mind) and the beautiful, heartbreaking last album of Alcest: „Shelter“. If you don’t cry listening to it, you have no soul! Hahaha.
About underground bands, I have to say we have an incredible prog scene here in Spain, with bands like Cheetos Magazine or Ipsilon, who have released their first album this year, like us, and have an amazing quality. You should definetively check them out!
(Carly) I think it depends on each person, music will always be music. I’m going to try to explain myself in my no-perfect English. Each person has to take his own path, and know if music is interesting for him or her and expand his/her own emotion, taste, or whatever you wanna call it. For example, my mom has never been interested in progressive music, but with “INK“ she has perceived some new and “more difficult“ beauty in it and she hadn’t perceived that before, and it is common in this kind of music. I think it is only music that fulfills a wider spectrum of emotions but you have to give it time for that to happen. Don’t misunderstand me, I love styles of music far from being progressive, but I think that the accessibility and mainstream and that stuff lies inside of each person. I’d recommend Devin Townsend, all the works he’s done surfs above every emotion, every texture, every mood, I’m listening to him almost every day, it is my Townsend era without any doubt. Here in Spain we have tons of good bands, a great awakening of the scene. Cheeto’s Magazine, Carving Colours, Obsidian Kingdom, Jardin de la Croix, Toundra, The Blinded (and some of them are quite known), that is good news for us all.
(Álvaro) Maybe classic prog rock is a good starting point, Foxtrot (Genesis), Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull) or even modern bands such as Transatlantic or Dream Theater (if she/he likes metal). In addition of the bands that my mates said I will say Dry River from Spain and Chaos Symmetry from Murcia the city where Pervy Perkin was born.
(Aks) If I wanted to ‚convert‘ someone to prog, depending on the person I would either tell them to listen to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd or I would introduce them to Tool.
11. At your facebook as one of your influences Opeth is listed. Did you have already have the opportunity to listen the new album, what do you like about or do you like it at all? What are your five cents about their development from a Death Metal Band to some sort of Emotional-Psychedelic Prog Rock Band? If there are opposite opinions on that topic, maybe TWO band members can comment?
(Dante) Sorry, no opposite opinions, we all LOVE IT! Alex, you get this one!
(Alex)I think it’s a masterpiece, a truly beautiful album with a wide range of musical details. It’s wonderful and definitely it deserves a 10/10. Opeth hadn’t done something so rich and preciosistic since Still Life.
I think every Opeth record is different from each other, but all of them are great, because the band have a way to compose that is more related to feelings rather than technique. And that aura, that way of making music, they haven’t lost it; they have developed it in many, many ways, and I would say with no doubt “they are still Opeth” and “they still sound like Opeth”. So yes, I like their evolution. I didn’t enjoy that much Heritage, I gotta admit, but this Pale Communion is just stunning. The other Pervy Perkin members love Opeth as well in all of its forms, although each one of us has its own favorite. Mine is Orchid! Not kidding.
12. Obviously you guys love making music and dedicated quite some time and sweat in your album. Besides being passionate, innovative musicians, do you guys have any other „Secret Talents“ ? What are you not talented in at all? 😉
(Álvaro) I became a poetry lover 4 years ago and got inspired to write some poems in Spanish since last year and… no doubt I’m a horrible drummer.
(Aks) I play basketball very well in my opinion. Something I’m terrible at: I can’t sing.
(Dante) Mmm good at science maybe? I don’t know haha. Oh I suck at basketball (which makes the games with Aks really uninteresting).
(Alex) I’ve done things that involve different arts, like directing short films, drawing comics, acting, even developing videogames. But I’m probably not that good at those things, it was just for fun. And with no doubt, I’m awful at playing Gran Turismo. God dammit, those cars are imposible to drive.
(Carly) Well I’m quite good at eating food, I love eating even if I’m not hungry, If I have to cook my dinner but there are some inlay inside the fridge and bread, the earlier the better. I can’t ride a bike, totally true.
13. There is a lot to be heard about big unemployment rates in Spain. I think it is hard as a musician to earn some bread and butter in any country, but with that special situation in your country, how do you manage making a livelihood and be a musician?
(Alex) It’s difficult. Of course at this time of our career, it’s imposible to earn enough money to live, you need an additional job. Combining the two things can be problematic, but the hardest thing is finding the job itself. So we keep moving as we can, investing the money we earn in the band. Travelling, buying equipment, renting venues to play… that’s not cheap, but fortunately we’re still able to do it.
(Dante) I’m a private teacher at the moment, but I’ve done several things. Spain is awful to make a living nowadays.
(Aks) I barely manage giving private english lessons weekly, though with my new university timetable I may not be able to continue doing so which means I am fucked.
14. Imagine you were given the opportunity to participate a musical project with Geddy Lee from Rush or John Myung from Dream Theater. Only problem: You would have to choose one of them! Who would you choose and why?
(Aks) I personally got into dream theater only a short while ago and I’ve loved Geddy a lot longer. Plus, I think we would ask him to contribute not only bass and keyboard but also vocals. I love his voice.
(Alex) Good one. Probably Geddy Lee, we surely would make some nice and melodic stuff. Also, I think he’s a very kind person, and his voice is just wow (dat 2112 beginning).
(Dante) Geddy Lee, love his voice.
(Álvaro) I think I’ll choose Geddy Lee I’m afraid that John Myung won’t say a word along all the music project and I have always wanted to visit Canada.
(Carly) I love Geddy but he is in his sixties and I don’t want him to suffer with this teenager. I think I’m going with mr Myung and do something interesting beyond Dream Theater.
15. Imagine sitting in your favourite bar in Murcia and Steven Wilson enters and sits down at the table next to you. What will you do, i.e. what would you like to do and what will you REALLY do? 😉
(Carly) If Steven Wilson arrives in Murcia, I prepare a party for him, honestly.
(All) Yes!! hahah
(Aks) I would love to go over and tell him how much I love him and his music and take a selfie with him and hug him and tell him not to be depressed anymore because aks is here now and everything will be alright hahaha. I would love to talk music with him and other stuff, a nice chat. but in reality I’m shy so I would probably just smile awkwardly from afar and ruin any chances of that happening.
16. We believe that most interviews lack educational values. So, what is the most important thing to know/ to say if you’re a lost stranger in Murcia? Go ahead! 🙂
(Alvaro) If you want to be liked by people from Murcia say „Acho“ before every sentence and they will respect you, they will even think you are native (winks)
(Dante) Ask the locals, they’re good fellas.
(Carly) It has a nice nightlife, you can go from bar to bar on foot, there are nice people, Murcia is a good non stressful town.
17. I believe composing music with an artistic ambition has to be some kind of fascinating, unpredictable voyage, just as life itself. Which moments on that voyage where the most meaningful to you guys?
(Dante) For me it’s composing. There’s something incredibly exciting and magic about coming up with new ideas and crafting them into final pieces of music. There is nothing in this world I can compare to that. Also I love playing live, it fills me up with energy and emotion.
(Alex) Each of the steps we’ve made has taught me something. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and how to deal with many situations. Some of the most special moments have been our gig at Sala Caracol (the first with me in the band), the release of our album, the first good reviews, the first photo sessions at gigs… all those things have made me very happy, and were like a dream come true. But in fact, not-so-good things like bad reviews, comments on how your music should sound, people you love who don’t approve what you do, anxiety and bad sleeping before a gig… those things are hard to deal with at the first time, so I could say those situations have been meaningful to me ‘cause they’ve made me stronger and they’ve improved me as a human being. But the real thing is that everything in Pervy Perkin but those ugly things is fantastic and full of joy, and each one of the concerts we play is like living a dream, I swear. We the bandmates love each other so much, and we love working together and being together doing silly things. We’re friends before bandmates, and if one of us is nervous or worried or has a bad day, we talk about it and dem hugs. So I feel very lucky with all the wonderful things this band gives to me every day, it truly gives my life a meaning.
(Carly) The most surprising of it all for me is that we met each other before being musicians, how the hell will I ever know that I was going to make music with my friend in elementary, or with the boyfriend of this friend of mine, this new guy in class, this friend of Dante that hasn’t got even an instrument? We have grown with a ball, a great ball of desire and need of making music, and we’ve walked that first steps together, that is awesome. Making our first album was a big point in my life, I don’t even know how is it gonna work with the second one? (just kidding, we’re on it but ssh)
(Alvaro) Writing music for this album with your friends has been one of the best experiences of my life, because before being musicians we were very good friends! I’m very lucky to have found these guys and share with them the passion of playing and writing music together. We know each other very well and I think that’s the key, the connection among the members, enjoying the music in a band with present and future.
18. Anything else you want to tell our readers at the end of the interview?
(Dante) It’s been a pleasure to be here, thanks and hope to see you soon in Germany! Expect the unexpected!
(Carly) Cheers! Listen to -Ink- if you haven’t already, it will surprise you. And, you know, hit the „like“ button on our facebook page and all that if you like our music.
(Aks) Peace and love spread the pervy word in germany cause we’re comin.