Food Metal

Music Interview: James Perry of Food Metal

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Hey James, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

My pleasure, man! I’m honored.

 It was Food Metal that has brought us here, so let’s start with, why Food Metal? I’m not complaining, just wondering, why food?

Silly music is nothing new to me! I’ve been writing silly songs for as long as I’ve been a musician. So about 12 years ago I was feeling sort of down. My girlfriend at the time and I had broken up (we got back together and broke up many more times and I wrote my “Now You’re Gone” album about her but that’s another story!), my old industrial band Control Theory had split up and I didn’t know what I wanted to do next… so I set a challenge to myself, to write and record a heavy metal about food in one month’s time! I got a bunch of friends involved too and it was great fun, and we cranked out some great tunes. But at the same time, it really showed that I did the whole thing in a month’s time as it was pretty raw and a lot of the recording was kind of half-assed. So a few years back I decided to rework Food Metal. I kicked out the songs that I didn’t like as much, substantially re-recorded the songs that were left, and wrote and recorded two brand new tracks. Or as I like to say, the new Food Metal album has eight reheated leftovers and two brand new recipes!

Also, I feel like there’s a market for silly metal. Look at everything that’s come out since I first started Food Metal: Metalocalypse, Steel Panther, Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omniscient project, Mac Sabbath… All great music, but very silly and funny, which is what I’m trying to do too.

How does Food Metal compare to your other projects in terms of the writing process? Was it easier? Did you have to eat matzah ball soup before/during/after recording Matzah Ball Soup to get you there?

Hahaha, well, it turns out I’ve actually never had matzah ball soup! Eric Gottesman (of Everything Goes Cold, Psyclon Nine, and every industrial band ever) wrote the lyrics and sang lead vocals on that one. But as far as the main question, silly songs have always been much easier and faster for me to write than serious songs. Food Metal was also easy to write because I had such a specific style in mind which helps me focus. I can get lost as a writer if I don’t have a set of constraints to work within.

Do you think that there will ever be a live Food Metal performance (if there hasn’t been one already)?

I’ve played “Pass The Beets” and “O Banana” a handful of times at my solo acoustic gigs. Beyond that, I don’t know if I ever will perform this stuff live, but it would be a lot of fun!

What was the last thing you ate and what was the most metal thing about it?

I ate a handful of almonds. It turns out that wild almonds contain the glycoside amygdalin, which becomes hydrogen cyanide when they’re eaten, which is quite poisonous!

Not a question, but a request; If there ever is another Food Metal release, please consider a black metal-ish song about heartburn.

Hahaha, great suggestion! I love it!  I do have ideas for another Food Metal project down the line. I was thinking that I’d include some songs about ethnic cuisine (you know, like Indian, Mexican, or Japanese food), and the music would reflect the same culture the food came from. I actually half-wrote a song called “La Taqueria” about Mexican food along those lines that I never finished because it was too hard for me to play at the time I wrote it and it’s got a very Mexican sound. Although with the current political climate in this country, maybe I should rewrite it to be about taco trucks!

Now, how about some of your other projects? What have you got going on with Dream In Red? I saw that you guys were playing your asses off for a while, there.

Unfortunately Dream In Red is on hiatus for the time being as our drummer moved away and had to leave the band. That being said, we released an EP called Our Violent Temporary Times awhile back and it’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and so forth, and our first full length album will be released soon. I’ve been playing acoustic and semi-acoustic solo shows in the Sacramento and San Jose areas lately. I’m mostly playing songs from my 2009 solo album Now You’re Gone along with some newer stuff and a few covers. I’ve got quite a few songs I never properly released that I’d like to record and release as an EP or album at some point, and with all the madness happening in America these days, I think I just might have to write some pissed off political songs too. Oh, and I just finished a music video for one of my solo songs, “Slipping Away Again”!

Do you have any interesting hobbies or projects outside of music or food?

You mean there’s life outside of music and food? Well, I got engaged earlier this year! My fiancee is in New Zealand and we’re both working hard to save money so she can move here. Getting a fiancee visa and arranging a move across the Pacific Ocean is no joke and not cheap! Buy my music and you can help make our dream of being together come true!

Do you ever intend to grow your hair out, again? That mane was sweeeeeet!  😉

Dude, I wish! I cut off my long hair back in 2001 because it was getting too thin, I wasn’t too keen on the “aging Night Ranger fan” look, you know? I would look so much older if I grew out my hair again. But I tell you, to this day I still frequently have dreams that I grew my hair back!

Is there anything that you would like to add for the Crown of Viserys/From Etna Unleashed audiences?

Thanks for reading and thanks for being awesome and supporting heavy music!

Music Review: Food Metal – Food Metal

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Genre: Food Metal
Label: Independent 

Alum, sodium, zinc, etc… I get plenty of metal in my food. Now if I can just manage to get some food in my metal… wait, what? Native Californian and sometimes New Zealander James Perry?! Why are you putting your guitar in the oven? Ohhhhhhh…

Food Metal apparently started off as an exercise in song writing and snowballed into a legitimate project (think Tim Lambesis’s Austrian Death Machine only with no celebrity impersonations and less attempted uxoricide). This self-titled offering is a savory selection of songs that blend hard rock, metal, gastronomy and humor together to make an album that’s not heavy on calories, but heavy where it counts.

Mr. Perry borrows from a multitude of subgenres before butchering them, marinating them in his own distinct style, broiling them and finally serving them up on Food Metal‘s sonic smorgasbord. “Fries” takes bit of a slower paced thrash approach (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”), while “Pass The Beets” finds James in more familiar territory (for me at least) with a slower, more melodic (almost poppy) tune. But, in terms of balls out headbanging, the cake surely goes to “Where the Hell is My Food”. James’s vocals, dirty rollin’ riffs and lines about being pissed off about shitty customer service fit perfectly together here.

My only complaint here is that I felt a bit like Oliver Twist towards the end. “Please Sir, may I have some more?” (Ok, not an apt comparison since James would gladly give an orphan all the metal he/she could handle and I’m a fully grown ragamuffin.) I guess I should ask him if he plans on serving seconds in our forthcoming interview?

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