Interview with Perry Serpa of The Sharp Things.

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!

James Bullard: Here and Now(Interview)

James Bullard

James Bullard

With his striking hazel eyes, dark brown mane and amiable personality, James Bullard is a fine example of a celebrity. But he took an alternative road which is music.

James Bullard starred in a controversial film called Ken Park. The film talks about the abusive/disturbing home lives of several teenagers,  in the city of Visalia in California. He plays the role of Shawn which is described as : The most stable of the four main characters, Shawn has an ongoing sexual relationship with his girlfriend’s mother Rhonda throughout the story. He casually socializes with their family, who (including his girlfriend) are completely unaware of the situation. The film was banned in other countries due to the graphic portrayal of sex and nudity.

One has an impression that James Bullard  has a kind of depth possessed by good actors. With more roles, he could have developed from that troubled teen image into complex characters on the big screen. But fame is fleeting. It is a very competitive world out there. But while other actors experience a sort of fame hangover, he found another way to express his artistry: Music.

From 2005 onwards he devoted his craft in honing his guitar and singing. He turned out to be good in what he does. In fact, his  recordings  through myspace attracted a lot of listeners and loyal fans. He has a terrific vocal range which makes him really good in covering a wide variety of styles. His guitar technique has developed that artful complexity as he dabbled with blues, funk and even jazz. But his main vehicle is rock and roll.

So what’s this artist who started along side James Ransone is really like? He gave Sphere Music the honor of having a one on one interview. He is actually down to earth and friendly. He proves to be a sport when it comes to answering any question.

I first saw you in Ken Park and what made you decide to stop making movies and concentrate more in music?

Music is what I’ve always known. Landing the role in Ken Park was just being in the right place at the right time. I never really pursued acting, but if given the chance to do more acting I’d take another stab at it.

You have a way with melodies. I heard your demos via myspace a couple of years ago and I am impressed with your style. How’s your career going so far?

It’s been kind of a roller coaster, but I think with this EP coming out, gigs will get better and so will my quality of life.

What’s your music forecast for 2013?

I’m really not the guy to ask, as I don’t really keep up with trends lately but, I think people are really starting to wake up and not be fooled by smoke and mirrors. I think people are really drawn towards artists that not only make good records but can actually deliver the goods live.

What’s the most memorable gig you’ve ever done?

Most memorable gig I’ve ever done…hmm…there’s been so many that have had their own special moments…really hard to choose and also remember. (laughs)

How do you describe your music?

I guess I would call it garage rock/singer-songwriter…I’m influenced by just about every genre…if it makes my ears perk up and it feels good, then I’m sold.

Top 5 musical influences?

Top 5, sheesh…that’s so hard to nail down but I guess right now I’ll go with…Beatles, Rolling Stones, Shuggie Otis, Jeff Buckley and Bonnie Raitt…remember that’s just off the top of my head!!!

What are you listening to right now.

Right now I’m listening to Bobby Mack’s, “The Bravest Man In The Universe”.


Eye color: Hazel

Hair: Brown

Favorite time of the day: Midnight

Favorite childhood memory: Building forts

Best lesson learned in life in your 20s? Moderation. Quality not quantity.

What are the qualities in a person that attract you the most and why? Takes care of themselves, listens to you when you’re talking and loves great food!!

the most expensive thing your purchased so far? Tweed 1×12, Fender Blues Deluxe.

Places you have been to and want to see again: New York City and London