In the spotlight – The Perics

In the spotlight – The Perics

The Perics are a brit pop band from Liverpool (UK) founded in 2020 by Matt Warren, Gee Nelson (Giedeau Nelissen) and Gwen James (Gwen van Genderen). The band name is derived from the Dutch word ‘perieken’, a made up word for proles or the lower class. It was used in a dystopian book, written by Gee, where he invented a future language.

You live in two different countries, Matt lives in England and Gee lives in the Netherlands, can you tell us how you came to know each other?

Gee: “We met each other on Twitter. We both liked a post about Eels and we came in contact. When I listened to Matt’s music I thought it was amazing, so I asked him to do a collaboration with me and Gwen, and things went well. After that we decided to do a whole album as The Perics and from there things took off.”

“We talk to each other almost every single day on WhatsApp to discuss all the music projects, and of course we became friends. We’ve also met each other in real life as well a couple of times and visited each other’s respective countries.”

You started the project as a three-piece together with Gwen. When and why did you part ways?

Gee: “Gwen plays in musicals and that’s what she wants to do. In times of Covid this was a nice project for her when all the musicals were cancelled. She really liked to make music with us, but she couldn’t find the time to be as active as we want to be as the Perics. I even played in one of her musicals. It was a great experience, but it’s not something I’d prefer over making music.”

Tell me a little bit about your background. Where did your interest in music come from? Was it something that you always knew you wanted to pursue?

Gee: “I fell in love with music after hearing Nirvana and Green Day in the 90s. That’s when I wanted to play guitar and be in a band. I learned guitar, drums, piano and vocals. After experimenting with theatre performances and writing novels I wanted to make music again. It really became big when I met Matt. Now we’re doing a lot of great projects with international indie artists. I see myself more as a producer now, although we still write all the songs together.”

Matt: “Yes, I’ve always been really interested in music. From an early age I listened religiously to new bands and studied their lyrics and album covers. I probably remember most of those lyrics even now! As soon as I got the chance to study music I did, but to be honest, it was still the creativity of writing songs that I really wanted to do, rather than learn about music history etc. I’ve been in plenty of bands over the years doing both original material and cover songs. But, I really enjoy The Perics as both have a very similar mindset and throw egos out of the window to just try and make the songs as good as they can be.”

What and who would you say are your main musical influences? 

Gee: “Nirvana, Green Day, Eels, Offspring and Blink 182 are my main influences, but now I try to experiment with a lot of different genres. Everything can be an influence now. Even pop music or rap.”

Matt: “I’ve always loved 80s music – from Adam and the Ants to Bon Jovi. I veer mainly towards rock but do love singer songwriters like Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith. One of my favourite all time bands though is Fountains of Wayne. Their visual story telling in songs and lyrics is something that blows me away every time I hear them.”

For anyone reading this who does not know the Perics, why should they check you out?

Gee: “We try to focus on great melodies and we don’t care that much in which genre we make music. It varies from rock to power pop to pop rock to singer songwriter to grunge to synth punk pop. If you like 90s and 00s rock, you definitely should check us out to hear what we did with those influences.”

How is your process of co-creating music across different countries? Who writes the lyrics and who decides on how the music is going to be or is that sort of thing a joint effort depending on the song?

Gee: “One of us has an idea, records a quick demo and uploads it to the cloud. Then the other one listens and starts adding stuff. Matt has the final say about the lyrics, because English is his mother tongue. I do the mixing and mastering, but Matt has an equal say in how it’s going to sound. We’ve never disagreed or had an argument about anything. We really work well together, because we’re not precious of our ideas. We listen to each other’s feedback. It depends on the song who does the vocals or solos. And from time to time we have a meeting on zoom to discuss the planning of the projects and albums. We always plan a year ahead.”

How is your recording process to put the songs together?

Gee: “We both have a studio to record guitars, bass, drums, piano and vocals. It’s really easy nowadays to record music together, because you don’t have to be in the same room.”

Is there anything you would like us to know about your single ‘Time’?

“Time was written about on the theme that everything is temporary and no matter how you feel you should try as best you can to make the most out of life. Obviously, this is easier said than done as we call get caught up in the minutiae moments of day to day life, but, sometimes maybe try and step back and look at the bigger picture. The song came together really quickly and was good fun to record.”

You’re working on a new album. What can fans expect the overall vibe and sound to be like? Did you try anything new?

“Our second album has a power pop theme. We felt that the first album was a bit of a mix, so we wanted to do more of a concept album. It’s heavier than the songs we released until now. We also tried to mix synthesizers with punk pop in one of our songs and I think that’s something to we want to do again I the future.”

“After demoing about 30 songs we narrowed it down to the final cut and really wanted to make sure that even though some of the style was varied there was still cohesion to the album. We’re excited to see what people think.”

You are both involved in different projects, Matt solo and Gee with Animal Revolt. How do you cope with being kept busy with the various projects, does it cause conflict in the other projects or make you feel overworked?

Gee: “No, not at all. We plan everything. We release our solo stuff when we’re not releasing any Perics albums or songs. We ask each other for feedback as well. We’re certainly busy guys, but we never feel pressure or feel overworked. It’s all about having a good schedule.”

Matt: “Gee is great to work with because he’s a great organizer and also very relaxed. He keeps lots of really useful schedules so I always know where I’m up to and what needs doing next. As we say, we plan ahead. So, there’s never really any pressure and we can always enjoy where we’re up to at each stage. Also, we’re both very respectful of each other’s projects as well and look forward to hearing what the other has done and how it can potentially creatively help move The Perics forward as well.”

You have collaborated with several other artists such as Reckless Velvet, Time To Act, Brent Newbold and Chenél No.1. What musicians would you love to work with in the future?

“We still have a lot of other artists on our schedule, for example Dizzy Panda from the Netherlands and Benedetto Pennato an Italian artist and we’re planning to make more music with Brent and Chenel. It doesn’t matter who it is to be honest, if someone has a great idea, we’re up for it.”

What is the most rewarding part of making music?

“Everything! There’s no downside as far as we can see. It’s the creative process / outlet, the camaraderie between ourselves, other bands / artists and listeners and also the ability to have your music heard anywhere in the world.”

Where do you see the band being in a couple of years’ time?

“It’s hard to say, as long as we’re still making music, happy doing so and healthy then it’s all good. Although, headlining a stage at Glastonbury would be very nice.”

What are your plans for the year ahead? 

Gee: “We’re releasing our second album in October followed by an EP with Brent in November. In 2024 we want to do another unplugged EP and a third album with the Perics. Matt is also recording two solo albums at the moment and I am doing also another album with Animal Revolt. In between we do projects like radio jingles and collaborations.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

Gee: “I like the Postindustrial Poets, ‘Living in Space’ is a great song, because it reminds me of 80s music. It’s not typical mainstream music and I like how they experiment with different styles. In ‘Living in Space’ I like the bass the most. A lot of people ignore bass lines, but as a producer it’s something I focus on. With the drums it’s the engine of a song.”

Matt: “Yeah, I agree with Gee. Living in Space is a great song and the 80s vibes definitely work for me.”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

Gee: “I would like to pick Scoopski with ‘I agree, Marie’. Scoopski has great happy melodies in their songs. It just makes you feel good. And I pick ‘I agree, Marie’, because it’s one of their new songs from 2023.”

Matt: “I’m a big fan of Leigh Thomas and would pick ‘Higher Low’. Great writer, great singer, great production. Highly recommend.”

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

“We have actually written a rock opera that is waiting in the wings to be completed one day.”


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