Matt Perriment originally established himself in the South England festival scene with his folk-influenced song-writing and emotive lyrics. With rising choruses that nod to acts like Bears Den and Ben Howard, Perriment captures the best of the current indie folk climate without ever sacrificing individuality. After successful debut EP ‘Everlast’, two sold-out headline shows in London and 4 international headline and support tours, Matt Perriment has returned with stunning new ‘Memos’ EP.
Welcome Matt, thanks for taking the time to talk with GIGsoup. So, 5 questions, 5 mins – here goes…
Tell us about your new EP ‘Memos’, how is it important to you as a body of work?
Memos EP is really important to me. For years, I’ve dealt with the high and lows of life by writing music and writing lyrics that encapsulated a feeling, it was a way of managing those feelings. I started recording little snippets of tracks using iPhone voice memos, and after 6 years I realised I had over 800 voice memos on my phone, which were a map of my life. Memos EP is paying homage to that, every track means so much to me, and is a memo of how I am or was feeling, my way of dealing with it.
Memos EP is an incredibly honest and open snapshot of the key moments of my life for the last two years, a collection of unique memos that helped me through the tribulations of love, loss, mental health and wanting to escape from London for a while.
We love the new single ‘Distance’, what’s the story behind the track?
Thanks! Distance is about the way we look at our first love, and how we idealise them in our minds. Seeing them again so many years later, you realise that they are no longer the person you once knew, it’s not necessarily negative but they’ve changed, they sound different, but yet you hang onto this image of who they once were, despite it all being fiction in your head.
Tell us how you came together with your live band? And how did the ‘Matt Perriment’ project start out?
8 years ago, someone asked me to play at a charity gig to 20 people at a local library as they’d heard singing in some practice rooms at school. Since then I haven’t really stopped, and i’m currently half way through my 4th headline/support tour, this time around Europe to over 14,000 people. I’ve always felt that this project has been really for myself, as I never have and never will stop writing music, I’m just fortunate that I now get to perform it in some incredible countries around the world. The ‘Matt Perriment’ project was never planned, it just happened through a love of writing, performing and working hard to play gigs around the world.
I’m incredibly lucky to play with a collection of amazing musicians and artists in their own right. For me, it has built really naturally but gradually, as I wanted to focus on getting each part right before we grew further. I met all of the guys either at gigs, the studio or music events where we shared the same passion for a love of real and organic live music; it’s that chemistry and sheer love of playing that I believe keeps us together as a tight unit. Whilst they play for me, It’s so important and I ensure they all have creative expression in the tracks, as their talent and creativity only develops my tracks further.
Big love to Matt Ingram (cello), Jamie Philokyprou (violin), Edward Bell (piano & backing vocals) & Katie Earl (percussion).
What’s your writing process like?
In my set right now, there’s 7 different guitar tunings, and no sane person should ever do this. This is because for me, writing always starts with the guitar / piano sound, riff, or picking pattern. I use the guitar as a tool really to find beautiful and unique sounds, and then couple that with a concept / issue that I’m dealing with at that moment. After i’ve worked out a vocal melody to fit the instrumental, I add the majority of lyrics right at the end. That’s not because the lyrics aren’t incredibly important to me, it’s because I find writing an instrumental to set lyrics massively restricts the soundscape or rhythm you can write.
I can never plan to sit down and write a track, all of my songs come from a sudden urge to write, and I think this is why I get so absorbed in them whilst playing live.
Do you have any advice to anyone else starting out in music or preparing to release their debut?
Some people get very caught up in the end career goal, or what someone else considers to be success; wanting to bypass the musical journey of small gigs, grass roots tours and makeshift recording which are so important, they inspire you and develop you as an artist. Enjoy the journey of releasing and playing more than focussing on where you could be in the future.
Do music for your love of music and nothing else, work hard on tours for your love of playing, and eventually a passionate team will form around you to build you for the artist you are and want to be, not one controlled by an industry agenda. This comes down to patience, integrity in your music and a willingness to work really hard, its not glamorous but it’s a privilege and the highs are worth the lows when you achieve this balance.
Lastly, never give up creative control, in any record deal or producer agreement, when you lose that you become a commodity.