Picture this. It's 1888 and in between pressing the shuffle button on your ipod you are dodging the dastardly deeds of Jack the Ripper. I have just described the sound of The Peryls (or have come up with a great idea for a screenplay).
Made up of four talented individuals, The Peryls tell tales of madness and sadness and other words that end in 'ness'. So take off your top hat, loosen your cravat and join me as The Peryls explain why they wish they had been responsible for the haunting Lloyds TSB ad song and how they like to 'section' each other from time to time.
SoundsXP: Is your name a play on the word 'Peril'? Why are you called what you are called?
The Peryls: Yes, it is, and we chose it because it sounds like a pompous Victorian gentleman advising against opium, adultery and alcohol. Charles Pooter in “Diary of a Nobody” would very definitely advise against the peryls of all sorts of things. Admittedly the Y makes it sound more 18th century than 19th; this is because we like the idea of a confused and muddled history.
SoundsXP: Pretend that we are at a speed-dating event. You have a few minutes to introduce yourselves and tell me something that will make me remember you. Go!
The Peryls: You may think that this is a just a top hat, but underneath is a generator designed to leak doom and despair into the world. Wait, don’t go, we know over 20 ways to tie a cravat!
SoundsXP: I have reviewed some of your music in the past and I find it intriguing and dark. It's like something that Edgar Allen Poe would tap his toes to while working on his latest masterpiece. What/who influences your sound?
The Peryls: Lots of things, and very often it’s not music. We’re as influenced by films like The Elephant Man, and dark explorations of the Victorian underworld like “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. As for bands and musicians though, Beatles, Bowie, Tom Waits.
SoundsXP: You say that you are from the United Kingdom but where exactly? Do not give exact locations in case stalkers are reading. Do you like where you live? Where would you live if you had a choice and money was not an option.
The Peryls: John and Liam are from Sandbach (it isn’t famous for anything), Mat is from Southampton, and Louise is a genuine Londoner who eats jellied eels and knows exactly why Mother Brown is putting her knees up.
SoundsXP: Your lyrics are wonderful. Is it hard to weave them or do they come quite easily?
The Peryls: We do various things, bible dipping, summoning the Devil, recording our dreams in a diary and then recounting them into a microphone and playing the recording backwards to see what comes out. None of these have anything to do with writing lyrics but they are all great distractions from the pain of sitting in a room chewing a pencil, thinking of a rhyme for “She died of tuberculosis”.
SoundsXP: Do you like Spring, if so, why and if not, why?
The Peryls: Spring is good. Autumn is better.
SoundsXP: Did any of you used to work/do work in hospital conditions? There are a lot of references to doctors and ailments. Are you hypochondriacs?
The Peryls: No, though all of us have been sectioned at one time or another, by each other. You only need two signatures and it’s great fun watching your bandmates getting carted off.
We love the dark Victorian vibe, mad doctors, horrible experiments attempting to cross a horse with a steam engine that sort of thing. Imagine the 19th century as viewed by a five-year-old who wasn’t paying attention in class and suffers from nightmares.
SoundsXP: I love the illustrations that accompany your work. Is Anne-Christin Plate responsible for most of it.
The Peryls: Yes, Anne is an artist and animator based in Berlin. She drew the artwork for the second EP and has done the same for the new EP due in early summer. She studied in Russia and is into surreal animation, which connects with another part of our vibe… we like bleak things.
SoundsXP: Do you work well together or is there underlying conflict at times?
The Peryls: We work surprisingly well, we’ve all been in bands before, and we all know how bad it can turn out. However, we’re all grown ups now and we know that there’s no room for showboating in MY band…. Our band, our band.
SoundsXP: In one paragraph explain why people should come and see you live. Feel free to plug any gigs at this stage :-)
The Peryls: Come and see us because we have a wonderful cellist, we dress smartly, we are very polite, and we know what a zither is. We’ll be playing at The Red Room, Piccadilly, on Friday 20th March, and at the Troubadour on Thursday June 11th. If you want to know about other dates as they come up, have a look at www.myspace.com/theperyls or www.theperyls.com where you can sign up to our mailing list.
SoundsXP: What is your favourite song to date that you have created and why? Mine is 'The Experiment' as it taps into the philosophical side of my nature.
The Peryls: The Experiment seems to have struck a chord with a few people, and it still sounds good to us. It’s lots of fun to play live too and the subject matter is probably the most concise look at what we’re all about.
SoundsXP: Is there an album on the way? I do hope so.
The Peryls: At the moment we’re continuing down the road of EPs, as they seem to suit us quite well. It means we can concentrate on our 4-5 best tunes at a time, and it’s fairly quick to put out each new release, which means we get to take more photos, buy more hats, and get Anne to draw more horrible pictures for us. We do have a big fat secret album that we’ve planned for years, all written and locked away in a drawer… but it’s a secret.
SoundsXP: If you could be responsible for one song since the dawn of time what would it be and why?
The Peryls: The Lloyds/TSB tune, because it can lead to hyperventilation if properly sung.
SoundsXP: If you could live in one decade what would it be and why?
The Peryls: The 80s. The 1880s. Because everyone would dress like us, and not beat us up on the train.
SoundsXP: What is next for The Peryls?
The Peryls: The new EP “I Have Not Slept One Wink” will be out in the next couple of months and we’ll be gigging around London to promote it. The Troubadour, The Luminaire, and some more to be arranged. We’re also producing an album for a very good friend of ours Robin Parmiter AKA “Arthur’s Tea Party” and then we’ll be back in the studio again for the next batch of recordings. We’re most at home messing about with ridiculous instruments in small spaces at night.
SoundsXP: Do you believe in fate?
The Peryls: Only in retrospect and only if it went well. For the things that turn out badly, we believe in “bastards”.
Go see them at The Red Room or The Troubadour or ignore them at your peryl. Did you see what I did there?...