Perennial Quest – Timeless Warriors Part IThursday, 18th January 2018
Injecting the power/progressive metal community with fiery harmonies and explosive melodies, Perennial Quest are another welcome newcomer band to not only a thriving New England scene, but also necessary for global audiences to feast upon. Their debut demo Warriors Through Endless Time contains a triple guitar plus keyboard attack to ramp up all shredding/syncopation possibilities – but wouldn’t mean anything if the band couldn’t also captivate through strong vocal elements and hooks, which they deliver in spades through songs like “Lone Lost Sparrow” and “Cast into Shadow”. They take the skills of Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian, add in the over the top explosive dimensions of Gloryhammer and Dragonforce – and assimilate into their power/progressive/neoclassical-oriented niche.
Firing off these questions to learn more about the band, their lineup shuffles, views on songwriting, and future plans – we are fortunate to get answers from all the current members of the band: vocalist Tony Dibiase, guitarists Andrew Matarazzo, Sam Jewell, and Davy Allen, bassist Ben Sharon, and drummer Kevin Ordway.
Dead Rhetoric: Perennial Quest started in 2015 after the disbanding of NightSlasher. What circumstances took place to cause the demise of one band and the beginning of another – especially considering the differences in style between the two acts? And did you take the name in homage to the Death song off the Symbolic album?
Andrew: NightSlasher was a lot of fun but towards the end it felt like not only were most of us bored of playing thrash we just felt like the band had gone nowhere after five years of playing and the last demo we made with that band turned out pretty bad – I thought at least, so I felt I needed a fresh start and to play the style I’ve been wanting to play for a long time. And yes, since I was too lazy to come up with a creative original band name I took Perennial Quest from the Death song (laughs).
Davy: Well, I wasn’t there when the band broke up, but I was there when I got fired! I also personally think the Timebomb era was the best because I was in it and it was straight FIRE. (Please like NightSlasher on Facebook.)
Andrew: Yeah one time a million years ago I fired Davy from NightSlasher (laughs). We were all in middle school though so its water under the bridge these days. I actually didn’t know how to tell him, so I just lied and said the band broke up (laughs).
Tony: The band was already partially formed, and named by the time I found out about the project. I have a friend in the local metal scene who knew a former member, (Alex) and he told me of a power metal band looking for a singer. I’ve always been into power metal, and was incredibly intrigued to be involved in that sort of project.
Kevin: NightSlasher died somewhat of a slow death. Not all the members were fully committed to the project. We were not writing any new songs, it just seemed that we were trying to play the same song only as fast as possible. We were talking about moving away from the thrash sound and even adding keys to the band if we could find someone. When I found out NightSlasher was breaking up I had been working for a week straight on a music video for “Fight for Survival”. The whole band was supposed to come over to film, but only Andrew and Crash showed and told me that the band was breaking up. They then immediately invited me to join their new band that was gonna take all the functional bits of NightSlasher and let them loose.
As for the name, we tried for so long to come up with an original name. It got so bad after practice we would make word banks that read off like the glossary of a Dungeon Master’s handbook. We’d try every possible combination of words, but it was all absolute garbage. I think it was Andrew who suggested using Perennial Quest. We were all huge fans of Death, and the meaning of it is something I can get behind. Whether it’s an endless journey, the search for knowledge, or the duty of a musician to always push yourself.
Sam: Most of the band including me simply wasn’t able to put our hearts into the music anymore. At the end of the day, we weren’t really accomplishing as much as we should have because of the general disinterest. I came from a more proggy background, Andrew was more of a neoclassical/power metal dude. Kevin was looking for a jazz band back when we saw his ad on craigslist when we were searching for a drummer for Nightslasher. We all kind of wanted something different, and at the end of the day, the three of us just came together and said fuck it, let’s make a power prog band. But yeah, we did get the name from the Death song, we thought the name fit the imagery of the sound we were going for pretty well.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve recently released your debut six-song demo Warriors Through Endless Time. Tell us how the recording and songwriting sessions went at Sonic Titan Studios, and were there any specific surprises, challenges, twists, or turns that came up during the process?
Andrew: Recording at Sonic Titan was so much fun, it was a pretty chill environment, and the engineer there Anthony Medaglia has tons and tons of patience and is pretty cool to work with, but for me it was pretty smooth sailing for the most part. We’ve been playing these songs for years so I knew most parts like the back of my hand. Certain things I struggled with, like the acoustic section in “Beast of the Prophecy”, I’m terrible at acoustic playing so that took quite a few takes and “Lone Lost Sparrow” I was having trouble coming up with a good solo beforehand so the one that’s on the demo is mostly improv, which normally I never do, but I think it turned out pretty good! Best part of being at Sonic Titan though was eating at KFC everyday and watching the local crackheads cause trouble there…every. single. time.
Ben: Recording an album is a lot different from just playing the songs together. But it was really fun.
Tony: I wasn’t sure what to expect, and knew the least about Sonic Titan Studios, but was incredibly impressed at the quality, and care that Anthony (the sound engineer) put into the songs. I loved how he didn’t impose his own ideas or concepts on us during the recording process. He was very receptive to our original ideas, and I think he did great job interpreting our concepts and embellishing our strengths in the finished product.
Sam: Definitely challenging to say the least, I was the keyboardist at the time, I actually unofficially quit the band a few weeks before recording but said I was down to finish the album. I had a bunch of life stuff sucking the life out of me all at once, and it definitely took a toll on me. In turn, I didn’t get a lot of time to practice, so recording was definitely a process for me to say the least. Sonic Titan was easily the best studio I’ve ever recorded at though, Anthony was an awesome dude to work with and definitely made it a lot easier on me and everyone else.
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