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Interview with Perry Serpa of The Sharp Things.

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Hear  hear hear!  The album Green is Good by  New York City-based orchestral pop and rock collective The Sharp Things is out in the market and we have lead vocalist Perry Serpa as our featured artist. Perry joined me to answer questions that fans of their music would possibly want to know. You might not know this but he is involved not just on the creative aspect of music making. He is also active in promoting and producing other acts. Time and dedication has sculpted the fine sound of The Sharp Things. He also shares his views about the American music scene not just in the indie aspect but the bigger picture. He also talks about the creative experiences with the rest of The Sharp Things which would be of great benefit for you if you happen to start a band of your own. So read along and enjoy!
1. Can you give us a background as to your musical journey into The Sharp Things?

Whoa! well, it’s been a while… Over 15 years! So, it could make for a pretty long-winded answer. Haha. I will say that all of those years ago- in the nineties, I had an indie rock band. It was a collaborative thing with regards to the songwriting, so it was short-lived because at that very point in my creative path, I started writing a lot of material on my own that would have been inappropriate for the band thing since we were developing an annoyingly limiting sense of self-awareness (which is the artist’s enemy). I would come home from tense rehearsals and just sit at the piano and write things for the sake of it- I wasn’t sure any of it would see the light of day- I didn’t know whether I’d ever play it to anybody, but when that thing imploded, I started playing the material out, adding musicians- at first (around 1995) it was Steve Gonzalez (TST drummer) and I, then our friend Jim Santo saw us at the sidewalk cafe. He loved the songs but we were terrible. i was a piano player who decided that he could play enough guitar to get him by, but I couldn’t tune the fucking thing, so i just didn’t bother. he walked over and I immediately said, “hey! do you wanna be in our band!” the rest was a decade plus of adding musician after musician, 15 different instruments, all sorts personalities and agendas. it’s been an amazing ride.

2. How do you describe the change in the American indie music scene for the past 10 years?

In a word, safe.

3.Now that Green is Good is finally out, what’s your expectations about how the album will be handled by fans and new listeners?

Gently, I hope. But if not, I’d like to learn something useful from the experience. If there was any sort of agenda for this record, or series of albums, it’s been to get through that there are a plethora of musical ideas coming out of this group of people. Yeah, there’s the big, symphonic pieces, but there are rock songs, plaintive folk melodies, totally off-the-wall experimental ideas, horn-infused retro pop songs, etc… we felt like doing everything, so we did.

4. If music is food, how do you describe The Sharp Things?

An entire Trader Joe’s.

5. Can you tell us about the memorable things that took place while recording Green is Good?

There were tons of great “moments,” but I can’t really remember any one thing standing out from the other. We really bonded with our producer/engineer Billy Polo, though. He’s really a Dub/Reggae artist, but he’s incredibly well-rounded and listens to everything, so he completely understands what we’re doing and knows how to get the right things out of it. We also jibe in the sense of humor department, to account for a lot of those moments.

6. Why the title Green is Good?

I was trying to think of an album title that would have a bit of a double meaning, or a loose connection to the concept of “greed,” and one night, Jim just came out with “GREEN IS GOOD!” I suppose it’s kind of a bite off of Gordon Gecko’s “Greed Is Good.” A lot of the songs on the album, in one way or another, deal with money or our relationship, as people, to the idea of currency. The color green is also something we wanted in there, but we’ll let that one unfold over time.

7. The Piper is my favorite track due its amazing melody and arrangement. Can you give us a little history how this song came to be?

Thanks for that. I’m really happy with The Piper. It is a song written for a friend who lost a child to cancer. It compares the disease to the Pied Piper Of Hamlin leading the children into the river to die. It all came out of me, lyrics and melody, in one moment. It was kind of magical.

8.Now it’s my turn to ask: What’s your favorite track in Green is Good and why?

I like The Piper, too. But in terms of songs I don’t mind going back to and putting on, I would have to say that “Goodbye To Golders Green” does it for me. I know it’s mine, and this could potentially sound a bit arrogant, but I never grow tired of that one.

Check out the links to the pages of The Sharp Things in this article. Say hi or add them. And yes please support indie music. It’s beautiful and it keeps our musical culture alive!

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