Player Spotlight – Nick Perri
This week we make our way to Philadelphia. Home to many firsts in the USA, and iconically symbolic with many American Revolutionary sites – most notably the signing of the Declaration Of Independence ✍️ – it seems this state still has far more to offer.
So let’s stick with the subject of firsts: there’s only one way to introduce this weeks player. This could be the first time you’ve heard this… . Ladies and gentlemen may we introduce you to Mr Nick Perri:
Okay, so let’s just take a breather and really understand what just went down. There’s a riff you won’t forget in a long time! It feels like a rare find these days to encounter such a powerful, ‘in yer face’, catchy, funky, and melodic lead line driven by an unapologetic electric guitar soaked in Fuzz ⚡️ 🎸🤘
Our Player Spotlight this week truly is the guitar player’s guitar player.
‘Have Guitar, Will Travel’
Nick Perri is definitely a man born in the wrong decade. Everything about this epic individual screams late 60’s-70’s Peace & Love psychedelia ☮️.
Nick is another one of these players who wears his heart firmly on his sleeve and his influences on his strings. Observing the numerous interviews Nick has given he’s always said he was writing songs (or at least attempting to) as soon as he started playing guitar:
“It’s a really beautiful thing, and I’m grateful for it every day. It’s a gift. I feel like I’m able to tap into something that is perhaps beyond me, and that I’m able to bring something to life.” – Alice Gustafson – https://headlinermagazine.net/
Nick’s discovery of music came in the 90’s in the form of two cassettes handed down by a family member: Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ & AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’. These two quite innocent hand-me-downs made a significant impact on Nick and the obsession with music began with an intensity and passion that is yet to let up.
“I started playing guitar at age 12, and by age 15, I was gigging four or five nights a week, and by 16 I’m signing a multi-million dollar deal with Clive Davis – it happened really fast. And it is crazy. I call it joining the circus. I joined the circus at 16, and I’m still in the circus!” – Alice Gustafson – headlinermagazine.net
Swiftly established with a serious thirst to be on the road – in the literal sense – along with the road to discovery Nick’s first outing into the music industry came via the band Silvertide.
Living every guitar hero’s dream at just 20-years-old, Nick was out on the road and the band were picking up serious momentum landing support slots with Van Halen, Velvet Revolver, and Mötley Crüe.
In somewhat of a bizarre incident whilst on tour with Eddie Van Halen, Nick was approached by Eddie’s management and politely asked not to perform a key guitar solo and set defining moment any longer going forward into the tour. What a crazy thing to happen your guitar hero almost conveying you not to be a guitar hero or less of a guitar hero. 🤷♂️
“I think the first emotion I felt when I heard about it was that I was bummed out,” Perri says. “But then I realised something – that I didn’t have to say yes to this request. I mean, if Eddie Van Halen was that age and one of his heroes asked him not to solo, he probably would have said, ‘Fuck you.’ Now, I didn’t say it quite like that, but I did politely refuse to stop playing my solos – and I think Eddie respected that.”
Nick Perri – https://www.guitarworld.com/ Jeff Kitts
Silvertide had many great years and this really embedded Nick into a world he was born to roam in. Nick has also played guitar and written for superstar artists Perry Farrell, sister Christina Perri, Matt Sorum, Jimmy Gnecco, Dorothy, and many others…
In addition, Nick has placed music in movies, TV shows, and commercials; including ads for CBS, The WB Network, Theraflu, The NHL, Fox Sports, Squarespace, and he also appeared and performed in the M. Night Shyamalan film “Lady In The Water.”
Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves were recently named one of the “Top 20 great bands of 2020” by Classic Rock Magazine and Loundersound.com (UK).
Not really a player who is massively forthcoming in discussing his direct influences and direct guitar inspirations but more of a player that channels his inspirations via homage and natural expression. Nick definitely works from them on a spiritually inviting level with the outlook of “if it’s meant to be, it will be” and his journey as a guitar player reflects this.
He is known for being an intense and true gear nut, analysing every fine detail. Nick will account for everything within the equation of his set up down to the cables, the power used, including of course the strings. They have to be consistent in the first place, as this is the start of the chain and the first point of contact.
Gibson TV. On The ‘Tube 📺 And Beyond
Carrying the charisma in both guitar playing and personality, Nick was destined to be a face and a sound in the ever-evolving world of the social media guitar hero.
Having walked the path of many of the other players in our Player Spotlight series, Nick has found himself going through the school of Carter Vintage Guitars and of course appearances at Normans Rare Guitars along with all the classic places you would expect to see a player of his calibre nowadays.
He’s not only a charismatic guitar player but a naturally apt presenter and has gone beyond beautifully presented demos of vintage instruments.
Check out this clip below of Nick presenting for Gibson TV showcasing the latest Les Paul Anniversary models. The relaxed manner and effortlessly cool presentation that comes across here really shows the depths of Nick Perri not just as a player but as a personality.
Lights, Camera, Tone. 🎸
Creativity has no boundaries here as Nick is very much into the production level as well as the artistic level of his music. He will go into great detail and great lengths to achieve the tone in his head on an almost spiritual level of analytical precision.
To be honest, as we heard earlier on the single “Feeling Good” the tone achieved is quite phenomenal so this level of painstaking detail is fully justified.
“As obsessive as he is about his guitar playing, Perri has always been equally maniacal about his gear – or at least he was, up until recently. After spending 15 years or so learning how to tweak, customise, build and rebuild nearly every component on his guitars, Perri had something of a spiritual (musically speaking) awakening one day when listening to Eric Clapton’s solo on the 1966 Cream song Sleepy Time Time. Following the epiphany, he sold all his gear and bought a Les Paul and a Marshall, which is essentially what he started out playing as a teenager when Silvertide first signed a record deal in the early 2000s.”
Nick Perri – https://www.guitarworld.com/ Jeff Kitts
Another masterful presentation of Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves can be witnessed here:
The production on this recording is incredible, the visuals are stunning and let’s not forget why we’re all here… the guitar playing and the overall guitar tone is jaw-dropping.
Heavily leaning on influences, Nick and the band pay great homage to their icons in many ways and the well-trained ear will detect the elements of a certain Pink Floyd.
“I’m A Big GHS Guy” 🤘
A player that leans so much of his ethos on the players and iconic sounds that have come before him should hold no surprises in the department of string choice. This is an area of course that Nick is just as particular about as every other part of his rig and is a firm believer that the right strings are a key element to all aspects of his overall tone and feel.
This incredible socially distanced COVID-19 safe Rig Rundown really showcases everything you need to know about this guitar player, he talks about his string choice and how he’s not changed since his teenage years.
GHS Boomers are the staple for Nick and clearly serve him well as his naturally expressive and aggressive style requires a durable and reliable string choice. (We can only speculate that GHS were an influenced choice in the youthful days of Nick’s guitar journey by none other than Mr. David Gilmour 😎 )
“It depends on tuning. I’m a big GHS guy. I’ve been using GHS strings since I was a teenager. GHS Boomers are my jam. So anytime I’m in standard tuning, which is 99% of the time, I’m running 10-46 GHS Boomers. If I go down to E flat for “whatever reason, which is rare, or if I’m in D, I got one guitar that’s a whole step down, then I would jump up to 11-50, but still the same GHS Boomers.”
Nick Perri Rig Rundown, Chris Kies – www.premierguitar.com
Here’s what GHS have to say about their Boomer Sets;
“From 1964 to now, the GHS Boomers® series has been the flagship set of GHS Strings. Used by musicians in every genre, the Boomers® have shown to stand up to any playing style. Now known as “The Power String”, GHS Boomers® continue to make their mark on music across the world. The round wound guitar set is made with Nickel-Plated steel wrapped tightly around a round core wire. The combination provides the string with its bright characteristic and long-lasting tone.”
We at Strings Direct can definitely see why Nick is a devoted GHS Player, the Boomer series really compliments players with an organic, raw, and dynamically expressive approach. The reassurance that these strings are relied on by your guitar heroes definitely have the mystic and the magic in them.
Nick Perri is a man of nostalgia and a fan of everything that’s gone before him, he respectfully and tastefully complements his influences and extend the same courtesy through his string choice.