University of Chichester graduate Joe Perkins tries to capture a little bit of chaotic Quo in his new album.
Joe, who studied commercial music graduating in 2012, has long been a huge Status Quo fan: he first saw them, aged ten, in Bristol 16 years ago.
“And I have seen them with the modern line-up loads of times, always the perfect Quo. But then they played with their original line-up, and they were just all over the place in terms of the timing and the notes, but in terms of the musicality, they were just so exciting.
“They had the danger back, and it was just so much better for not being perfect, and I think that is one of the lessons I have learnt.
“You record a song and then you can edit it and edit it until it is perfect, but that’s not necessarily the best way to do it.
“You want the edge, which is what Quo had. They looked terrified! But that nervous energy made it the best Quo show I’d ever seen. It was so much more exciting for being edgy and dangerous. It was four humans all playing together with the whole thing likely to implode at any point. It was pure rock & roll!
“We are human beings. We are not perfect. We all make mistakes. With technology, you can make it perfect, but you lose the fact that we are all musicians playing together. It’s about the spontaneous things that can happen, and that’s what I have wanted to capture.
“There are little mistakes, but the album is what I sound like when I play the guitar. And it is the first album I haven’t done in a recording studio. I did it in the dining room at home. It was about giving free rein to the music.”
It was while he was at Chichester that Joe did his first album: “It was a very good course, but for me the most important thing was the studio facilities that we could book out. The course was very wide-ranging, but in your spare time you could get into the studio and having the studio was great. You got taught all the basics of making a record, but then you could develop it all further.
“I did my first album then which I released free online. So many people had got involved and given their time for free that it wouldn’t have been right to try to sell it.
“It was call Host of Other Artists. It was all songs I had written and played pretty much every instrument, but it was other people doing the lead vocals. I did some backing vocals, but I am not strong enough a singer to do the lead vocals.”
Now comes the new album, purely instrumental. Double Denim is released on Friday, September 2, as a vinyl + CD bundle (limited to 300 copies) and as a download – both available from joeperkins.co.uk. Both are priced at £7.99.
“Releasing the album on vinyl isn’t purely nostalgic,” Joe says. “Sure, I personally prefer buying music as a physical entity and enjoying it as a piece of art, and I think vinyl is the best for that.
“But the audio is actually much higher definition than the CD and has a more dynamic master. You’ll have to turn it up a bit, but it sounds more natural. Nowadays we all need to own our music digitally too, so with the enclosed CD you get that as well.
“So that’s Double Denim. There’s rock; bluegrass; ballads; a snare drum with far too much reverb on it; potentially the world’s loudest cajón; an army of pots and pans; an outrageous amount of guitars; a sense of humour; and real human musicians playing their instruments.
“And who else gives you all that on an outdated format from the 1930s?”