Pianist. Guitarist. Bassist. Nerd!? This edition of Fistful of Questions goes to Illyrian’s bass man Jeff Perry.
What is your full name?
Jeff Perry (of Illyrian).
Do you have any aliases?
I get called Jerry a lot in emails… but beyond that, no.
If you had an alias what might it be?
If I were a DJ, I think I’d go by “Snackrifice.”
What bands are you actively involved with?
Illyrian is currently my only project.
What was the first instrument that you played?
I started on piano as a very young boy, and took up the guitar in middle school. I only started playing bass guitar when I joined Illyrian around 7ish years ago.
Tell me about one of your first musical memories?
My very first band consisted of myself, my brother, and my best friend. We performed Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” at our school’s talent show. I don’t think it was very good at all haha.
What was the name of the first band you were in?
I don’t think that band had a name! But the first one I started regularly performing with, and put out music under, was a band named Lucidium.
Tell me about the genesis of Illyrian.
We all met each other through our local scene, and for most of us this was our third or fourth band so we knew the drill and had done at least some of the grind. We formed with the mission statement of wanting to have very energetic and fun live shows, and not take ourselves too seriously (at least in the lyrical sense).
What inspired the name Illyrian?
It’s actually from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Or rather the spin-off show, Angel. There’s this character that shows up in the show named Illyria who is this bringer of the end-times, and we liked how the name sounded. It also was a nice reflection of our nerdy roots, and the kind of thing we like to write music about.
How long did it take you to write and record Aegis?
Aegis took us about 14 months start to finish, I’d say. We have no doubt it would have been a much quicker process without Covid in the picture, but we couldn’t see each other for a good 10 months and a lot of this EP was written in isolation from each other. It was a learning process, and it wasn’t our usual one at all!
If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?
Nekrogoblikon would probably be a blast to play in. Or be John Goblikon himself. What a job.
Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it? If so… What was the song and artist?
Could you imagine if you wrote “Happy Birthday?” You’d never have to work another day in your life, and live off that sweet, sweet cake money until you’re gone.
Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?
Many! But I think the most pertinent one to what I do at the moment would be Jesse F. Keeler of Death from Above 1979. Dude knows how to make that bass make some crazy noises, and I just really dig his riff writing.
What is a non-metal song that you'd like to do a cover of?
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead or Alive. Seriously, the windmill potential…
What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?
We’ve had the great opportunity to play with PowerGlove a few times, and holy shit is their laser game ever cool.
Do you have a favorite venue to play at?
I’ll always have a soft spot for our local haunt, Dickens, in our hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It’s home-ice for us.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
Throwing up haha. I’m fine once we start playing, but I always get pre-show nerves no matter what. I know better than to have a big dinner on show nights - that’s a post-show thing these days.
What is your favorite thing about touring?
Touring Canada, you spend a LOT of time on the road, and I always enjoy the road tripping aspect of it. You can chew through books or video games real easily, and it's such a beautiful country to see the sights in too.
What is your least favorite thing about touring?
The last week of it when you know you’re on homestretch, but still have to push through it. Usually by then you’ve gone through a lot and you’re tired and a little homesick, so those last few shows are always kinda bittersweet for me. Sharing a bathroom with 3-4 other people ain’t great either.
Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?
I love playing Vancouver, so many talented bands and musicians there!
What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?
We nearly ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere at the height of winter, and had to leave our trailer (and 2 of our members) so we could make it to the nearest gas station. While we were gone, police got called to where our trailer was, and it was all a bit of a situation… everyone came out in one piece though, and we made it to a gas station and back!
The year is 2006. Where are you at and what are you listening to?
Just entering high school with my leather jacket and giant afro, almost certainly blasting Blind Guardian on my iPod Shuffle.
What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business?
Stay for the other bands when you play a show! You can’t stop your friends from leaving, but it goes a long way supporting your local scene by sticking around. People remember that.
What is an absolute band killer?
What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?
This one came out of nowhere... I was once in the hospital for 4 days, so probably then?
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I am actually 4 racoons in a trenchcoat.
Is the Fistful of DOOM show in the top 10 of your favorite music podcasts?
It is now!
Do unicorns sleep standing up?
I hope you brought enough to share.
You’re driving cross-country and you can only listen to one album the whole time. What album will it be?
A mix-tape of Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat” 12 times in a row.
You are writing a book about your life thus far. What is the title of that book?
Jeff Happens: The Jeff Perry Story
What is your favorite song by deadmou5?
Hypnocurrency, which he recently put out with labelmate Rezz, is pretty solid. I love Rezz though, and have watched her ascend to super stardom, so I’m biased. Also it’s spelled deadmau5 :) (Damn it!!! How’d I get that wrong? Lol)
Death or Obituary (if you had to choose)?
Doobies or Boobies (if you had to pick one)?
Waffles or Pancakes (if you had to pick one)?
Star Wars or Star Trek (if you had to choose)?
Favorite band t-shirt you own?
Is cheesecake a meal
Hyperion by Dan Simmons.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Victory Songs by Ensiferum
Mucho thanks to Jerry...err.. umm.. I mean Jeff for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it. I also appreciate the iPod shuffle in high school reference. When I was just entering high school I had a Walkman cassette player. Be sure to check out Illyrians latest EP Aegis. That bad boy kicks much ass!!!!
Ps- My apologies to deadmau5 for misspelling his fucking name.
~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson host of the Fistful of DOOM show)