Whether it’s solo or behind the scenes, you’ve almost definitely heard something made by Sandro Perri in the last decade. Though Perri has been producing in recent years, he’s produced his own material again this year for the stirring In Another Life. With experiments into what he call “infinite songwriting” and evolving takes on other songs, Perri is driving music in new and unprecedented directions. We caught up with Perri ahead of his latest Canadian tour dates to discuss his atypical writing methods and what’s brought him back to his own music again.
Northern Transmissions: It’s been seven years since your last record, so what have you been up to and what lead you back to your solo work?
Sandro Perri: I’ve been producing for other artists, working on collaborations (Off World) and developing the solo stuff. I’m always working but things don’t tend to come out according to a regular schedule.
NT: How do you feel like your work in your time away from solo records has influenced your new material?
SP: Everything feeds into everything else as far as creative work goes. I got back into making instrumental music and wanted to bring some of that into the songs.
NT: How did Dan Bejar and André Ethier get involved to sing on the record?
SP: I’m blessed to know them personally, it was just a matter of asking.
NT: On this note how did you want to see “Everybody’s Paris” through all three singers?
SP: I wanted them to bring whatever they wanted to bring. I didn’t give them anything other than a basic formal guide and the title. And the half-finished instrumentals to write to. Lyrically, it’s composed as a fill-in-the-blanks song. I had a feeling they would both be able to roll with it.
NT: You’ve called this record an “experiment in ‘infinite’ songwriting'” so what did this mean to you and what did you want to explore exactly?
SP: It just means there’s no way to know for sure what the result will be. The term ‘infinite’ songwriting suggests that some songs might be designed to hold the feeling of infinity and/or the concept of infinite possibility.
NT: What did you learn along the way in this experiment?
SP: I haven’t made any effort to take stock. I trust that if I did learn anything, it will carry me through in it’s own way. I’m resisting the temptation to name and count it.
NT: You’ve also described the track “In Another Life” as moving sideways, so how do you see that and what was your method on writing a track pushing over twenty minutes?
SP: I see ‘sideways’ as a form of play whereas ‘forward’ feels a little more like work. It’s a generalization, of course. I wanted to play inside this piece of music that seems to be sitting still and see what happens. I have a high tolerance for that kind of thing.
Sandro Perri Tour Dates:
Nov 3 Ottawa – St Albans
Nov 4 Toronto – Tranzac