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Non-Prog Interviews

Silver Dirt

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Steff Perrone and VG. Richardson of Silver Dirt from 2013
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Steff Perrone: It all started when i was a little kid, my mom was listening to Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones. I discovered Kiss when I was ninw years old. I was a big fan of the super hero comic books 'Strange' and they looked like super hero, so,  I was hooked to hard rock.  I started to sing at 15 (I wanted to be a drummer at first), and I haven't stopped since.

As far as Silver Dirt goes, I joined the original line up as they were a Led Zeppelin cover band looking for a singer, and I pushed them to write original songs as we had the same influences, and voilà!

VG. Richardson: I wasn't into music until 13 or 14 years old. First I used to do sport, particularly tennis. But my parents listened to a lot of music at home. My mom was listening to the Rolling Stones and all the British Rock from the sixties. My father was more into jazz (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington). He played bass in a jazz/eock band when he was younger. I started playinf drums around 14 years old when I discovered bands like KISS and AC/DC. The first song I used to play was "Eye of the Tiger " by Survivor!! Then I played with a lot of local bands until I met Steff in a Led Zeppelin cover band. Steff came with the idea to write originals songs and we created Silver Dirt in 2005 or 2006.

MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Steff Perrone: Probably a writer...I do write novels, unpublished yet, or in the movie industry. I’d like to have a go at acting. I'm actually co-writing a scenario for a short movie with my friend Maurizio Giuliani who directed our videos and live DVD. He's a documentary/ movie director and photographer.

VG. Richardson: A drawer or a graphic artist. I really like to draw. Especially when I want a new tattoo!

MSJ:

How did the name of the group originate?

Steff Perrone: I plead guilty.  I did like the opposition of the words Silver and Dirt. At the time we were more raw, but still melodic, so it made sense to put those two words together representing the two sides of the band.

VG. Richardson: That's right, Steff found the name of the band and I did the logo.

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?

Steff Perrone: Bruce Dickinson, Paul Stanley, Geoff Tate, John Corabi - otherwise as strange as it may sound  female singers like Floor Jansen and Anneke van Giersbergen. I add that I take vocal lessons, so it makes sense to me to try different approach of the vocal work.

VG. Richardson: Peter Criss John Bonham, Vinny Appice and Keith Moon are my biggest influences. As composers I really like Paul Stanley, Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?

Steff Perrone: Hopefully some artistic recognition. We haven't been lucky with our second album who ended up in the toilet courtesy of our s****y ex label, so the last few years have been nothing but frustration and fighting hard to keep this band going, and finding the inspiration to compose and record Payback Time whose lyrics are mostly inspired by this frustrating times. Knowing that it might be our last album, we did put everything we had while composing, and also financially, with some outside help from close people who believe strongly in us.  I must add, to be able to record with a world class producer like Beau Hill, who taught us a lot about songwriting, a fantastic experience.

I also add that our guitar player Chris Savourey and bass player Stefano Ongarello arrived in Silver Dirt in 2012, and the album was recorded in 2010 with our ex-guitar player who handed guitar and bass.

VG. Richardson: I just want to be on the road and play, play, play! All the time, everyday, everywhere! It makes me feel good. Recording  new albums and as a musician, always trying to be better.

MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?

Steff Perrone: To me I’d say that hard rock or melodic hard rock is an accurate label if you want to label us,  as we've been compared to early Bryan Adams, Kiss and early Aerosmith, even Rick Springfield, go figure!

VG. Richardson: For me we're "classic hard rock,” a mixture of all the great bands from the history of rock. - power, melodies, attitude.

MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?

Steff Perrone: Anybody from Kiss or Iron Maiden, a duet with Floor Jansen, I don't know, there are so many…Trent Reznor, John Corabi, too…a very talented and nice guy who never had the recognition he deserves.

VG. Richardson: It would be fantastic to play with Paul Stanley, Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi or Pete Townshend

MSJ:

Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?

Steff Perrone: Don't get me started on that, it's definitely an hindrance, especially for bands our level who rely on album and merchandising sales to fund studio time to record/manufacture albums. I say, it's a robbery. I have our new album removed from an illegal downloading website recently, metalschesh.com. So, bands, go and check this website, your album might be on it!

People should reflect on all the problems bands have because of this situation and not only think about their wallet. If you support music you should invest in bands you believe in, like I do. I never downloaded free music or movies, but hopefully in the hard rock/metal community, people are more passionate than in the pop and mainstream music.

VG. Richardson: I have nothing against legal downloading.. But when it's illegal I'm not okay. I never download stuff. 

MSJ:

In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

Steff Perrone: As long as it's trading and not making money with it, I dont mind, if it helps spreading the word about our band. You can't forbid people to use their smart phones in shows, recording and filming. You gotta adapt to technology.

VG. Richardson: Exactly, Steff is right!

MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?

Steff Perrone: The music industry people who are only in it for the money and have zero respect for the artists.

VG. Richardson: Some people in booking agencies that I know...

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

Steff Perrone: A difficult one..Eric Carr, John Corabi, Steve Harris, Ace Frehley, Adrian Smith.

VG. Richardson: A band with Robert Plant, Paul Stanley, Angus Young, Geezer Butler and Carmine Appice! Because they're  rock legends with a lot of charisma.

MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?

Steff Perrone: Must be a three days festival at least!  Kiss, Iron Maiden, Accept, Ratt,  After Forever, Marilyn Manson, N.I.N, Saxon, Paradise Lost, Helloweeen, Mötley Crüe with Corabi, Rammstein, The Hellacopters

VG. Richardson: Yeah, at least three days of music! A rock festival with The Who, Free, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, AC/DC, Judas Priest and..... Venom!

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

Steff Perrone: The last one was Xandria: Neverworlds End, and I'm mainly listening to the 'Lord of the Rings' movie scores, while I’m re reading the book for the fourth time, so it's a good background music to get in the mood.

VG. Richardson: I bought the Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance: Special 30th Anniversary Edition"with the live DVD from the U.S Festival in 1983. These days I'm listening to Dio and Rainbow.

MSJ:

Have you read any good books lately?

Steff Perrone: 'Gothic Short Stories,”mainly novels from the years 1800-1900. I love that stuff.

VG. Richardson: A book about Michael Jackson.. I don't remember the name.

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Steff Perrone: Gotthard in Lausanne/Switzerland

VG. Richardson : Rob Zombie / Marilyn Manson in Basel, Switzerland. I'm waiting for Kiss in June!

MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”

Steff Perrone: Film scores 

VG. Richardson: Drum shops and old Kiss vinyl bootlegs

MSJ:

What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Steff Perrone: While twisting my mike stand I found myself on the wrong end of the wireless mike while starting to sing.

VG. Richardson: Few years ago I was obsessed by Keith Moon. I wanted to be like him on stage and off! I destroyed everything on my drum kit...Stands, cymbals, snare, heads, toms.

One day we were playing live on a French radio. We had four songs to play. After the first one I broke the kick pedal. No time to change it. So I had to play my floor tom as a bass drum, with my right hand, it wasn't easy to play like that.

MSJ:

If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

Steff Perrone: Stephen King, Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner)  and Steve Harris

VG. Richardson: Rod Steward, Gene Simmons and Stanley Kubrick!

MSJ: What would be on the menu?

Steff Perrone: Italian food, Italian wine and Talisker (Scottish Whisky) to end it on a high note.

VG. Richardson: Chicken wings and Coca-Cola!

MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

 Steff Perrone: If you like our album, please spread the word. We really need your support. It's been eight years and three albums, and many battles to fight in between, so we need to feel your support to keep going, It's all about sharing the love of music and give people good time  and feed back from their energy.

Visit our website www.silverdirt.com, you can subscribe to our newsletter to if you feel like it.

I also want to thank Music Street Journal for this opportunity to talk about our band, ourselves, and our hopes.

I wish you all the best for 2013.

VG. Richardson: "If it's too loud you're too old!”

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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