Talented guitarist and composer Taka Perry has agreed to an exclusive interview at undergroundguitarist.com. He has been nice enough to tell us about some of his projects including the ambient guitar based track “Downfall”
Check out his video for his original guitar track “Downfall”
Mac @ UndergroundGuitarist Webzine: Really like your tracks, especially Downfall. It has such a dramatic feel.
What is the story behind that track?
Taka Perry: Thank you very much. I think the beauty of instrumental music is that the story will be different to each individual that listens to it. I find that some songs I write actually have an emotion attached to them rather than a story.
TP: When I write songs, I generally don’t decide what kind of feelings I want to attach to it. I let my creative side write the song, and then when I listen to the final product I can see for myself how it feels. It is only then that I name my songs.
To me, Downfall always had a sense of finality, or that something is coming to an end. I don’t really want to go into details of the particular story it has for me, but the feeling is climatic and almost apocalyptic in its own way.
UGW: You are really good with ambient guitar type sounds. How do you go about getting such a great sound?
TP: I think the most important element of getting a great sound is to play the guitar like you mean it. It sounds corny, but your emotion will travel through your lead through your pedals and into your amplifier. If you don’t feel any emotion when you play, how can you expect your listeners to?
I played around with a lot of software and hardware until I found what I liked. For ambient sounds, I find that using actual guitar pedals produces a nicer sound, as opposed to using software plugins. From a technical standpoint, I generally run a compressed guitar signal into analog delay and then into a high mix reverb. Each delay has its own nuances, and an analog delay has a warm, lo-fi feeling that really helps mush up the signal.
Guitar is undoubtedly the most prominent instrument in my music, but my music wouldn’t sound as it does with the use synthesizers and drum sampling. A modern day computer is very capable of doing many things, and I think utilising everything you have is the best way to widen your sonic scope. I use many commercial software, such as Native Instruments Reaktor and IK Multimedia Sampletank, but I’m also a big fan of free plugins like Synth1 and MauSynth. My DAW of choice is PreSonus Studio One.
UGW: Who are your biggest influences when it comes to your composing and music?
TP: If I list them all here, you’d probably be here all day, so I’ll mention just a few that influence me the most. First and foremost, I’m a big fan of post-rock groups like Mogwai and God is an Astronaut. It was around late 2012 that I started getting into this genre of post-rock. I loved the emotion and the dynamics that these bands expressed without words. However, it wasn’t until I bought Mogwai’s album, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ that I fully got into post-rock. I love that album dearly. I owe a great deal to it.
I’m influenced by electronic and IDM groups like The Flashbulb and Boards of Canada, for the amount of experimentation they have in their music. If you want to sound ‘unique’ (which I image all musicians do), it’s important that you try composing in different styles, even if you do it tentatively. You never know what you’ll find out. I’ve discovered a lot of genres, especially glitch, through this fashion.
I love many guitarists, but if I had to mention one, it would be Andy Othling. His music is great, but what really drew me to him was his attitude towards musicianship. He runs a music blog about approaches to being a musician and also songwriting. He has definitely helped me grow as a musician, in terms of my songs, and also the way I see myself as a musician.
UGW: What kind of projects or performances are you working on for your followers?
TP: A few days ago I put out a free 7-track EP of ‘sketches’, which is my experimental side, where I play with different sounds. It is in a way my side project, and I can release sketches alongside my regular music. I’m planning to release as many volumes of Sketches as I want, whenever I want. They will all be free, no matter what. I’ve really enjoyed composing different genres, and the fact that I can take what I’ve learnt and incorporate it into my regular music is just great. I hope that you will find something you like in there.
Through 2013, I’ve written quite a few songs, and developed my identity as a musician. I think 2014 is going to be a pretty massive year! I’m hoping to do quite a few live performances, write more music and meet more people. I’m not sure how long away my next album is, but if I don’t release one during 2014, there will definitely be one by the end of 2015.
Finally, I have been planning to do an EP with a friend of mine who is a keyboardist. The collaboration is still in early developmental stages, but it’s coming along nicely and hopefully we will be able to put out some stuff during 2014. Free, of course.
UGW: Where all can you be found music-wise on the web.
TP: My website (http://takaperry.com) is the first place everyone should go. It’s got all the relevant info, links, and music that you need.
Alternatively, every song I’ve ever made is also available on SoundCloud. (https://soundcloud.com/taka-perry).
I have a Facebook page that you can find me on too. (https://www.facebook.com/TakaPerryMusic)
UGW: Thanks so much for the interview.
Don’t be shy,
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