'A' frontman Jason Perry chats about their upcoming headline show at The Waterfront in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 15:58 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 15 November 2018
We caught up with Jason Perry, the frontman from A, who is headlining The Waterfront on November 19 with support from Wheatus and InMe.
Suffolk band ‘A’ will play The Waterfront on the November 19. Lead Vocalist Jason Perry tells us why he is looking forward to returning to the Norwich venue.
“The last time we played at the Waterfront was in the 90s, on our third or fourth tour, with a band called ‘Dog eat Dog’. I don’t think there were many people there – maybe about 50,” reminisced Perry,
“Since then we’ve just played at the UEA, which I really love. We’ve had some great nights at the UEA”.
The UK tour, starting in Brighton on November 12, will feature the band playing their arguably most popular album ‘Hi-Fi Serious’ in its entirety.
Originally released in 2002 and featuring hit single ‘Nothing’, the album saw the band being awarded rock magazine Kerrang!’s ‘Best British Band’ in the same year.
“It was our third album,” says Jason, “It’s also our best received album commercially. It was kind of our peak really, so that’s the album that we’re best known for.
There are some songs on there that we’ve never performed live before, so we better start practicing.” He laughed.
The tour coincides with a special release of the album. “We’re releasing it on vinyl for the first time – which is exciting. The album was released in the CD years, but now it’s become more popular again. It’ll be available to buy on tour, but we’ll be putting it online too.”
Having played together for over 20 years, Jason recognises both the challenges and rewards of working with people – some of which are his brothers - for such a long time.
“It’s constant bickering,” he laughs. “Me and Adam (Jason’s twin and drummer for the band) work together on a daily basis anyway so we’re used to that relationship. But my brother Giles we don’t get to see him that often, so it’s just a chance to get together. We’re all really close.”
“Then we’ve got Dougie the bass player I’ve known him for 15 years now and Mark the guitarist we’ve known for 25 years – we’re all best mates. That’s the only reason why we’re doing it. It’s like our version of a boys Ibiza weekend!”
Famous for his role in successful pop rock band Mcfly, Dougie Poynter has been touring with the band for a couple of years, filling in for original bassist Daniel P Carter.
“It’s funny how it came about,” says Jason, “I hadn’t seen Dougie for ages. We were out in LA and I walked into a toilet and there he was coming out! He jumped on me and we had this big hug, and when we were hugging I was like ‘you’ve got to be in our band! We’re going on tour and we need a bass player!’ and he was like ‘that would be amazing!’ and that was it.”
“I called him a few weeks later and said ‘remember when you said that would be amazing… were you serious?’ and he said ‘yeah man’ and so he did! And he’s still doing it.”
Along with his work with the band, Perry has had a hugely successful career as a Grammy award-winning record producer and songwriter. The singer has worked with artists such as Don Broco, Futures and of course Mcfly.
“There’s a certain freedom in writing for other bands,” he says, “It’s almost easier because you just say your opinion, it doesn’t mean that you’re right, but it’s not your band. You kind of ask the questions and look to them to answer it. So I really enjoy writing and producing for other people - it’s fun.
Perry confesses that despite this freedom that comes with writing and producing, the challenges of the creative industry are inescapable.
“You could write a great song and it never gets released. I’ve written songs for people that I think are amazing, but it’s not up to you whether it comes out or not. Someone could end up in rehab, or they could split up or lose their record deal, or it doesn’t come out in America, or another song gets released as a single… it can be frustrating.”
“The best thing about writing songs is when it’s good it’s really easy, I sometimes can’t believe this is a job, but that doesn’t happen very often. It tends to be the days where you haven’t thought about it, and you come up with a little gem.”
“It’s different to writing for yourself, you’re braver when it’s for other people, because you haven’t got all the baggage of your own band and your own personal things that you want to get from it. When you’re in a band you’re constantly reacting to the album before, our last album was like this so we need to be more like this.”
Nevertheless, the band has something bubbling in the pipeline.
“We have started working on a couple of new songs,” says Perry. “Nothing has been recorded yet but we’ve finished writing it. It’s hard finding time to get in the studio when everyone is free, because we’re all so busy. As soon as we can we should be recording it, it should be quite easy to record. It sounds like Weezer meets the Beach Boys… two very modern bands,” he joked.
“I’ve always been influenced by Weezer,” continued Perry. “I recently went to see them and ended up writing one of our new songs the next day… I didn’t rip them off though!”
Jason’s passion for music is apparent and his extensive knowledge (especially late 90s rock bands) is impressive. The nostalgic vibe of the upcoming tour is reflected in the chosen support acts, with performances from InMe and Wheatus (who isn’t excited to see their iconic single ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ performed live!)
The Waterfront performance is sure to be a great one, not only is Hi-Fi Serious a fantastic album, but the band are really looking forward to touring with it.
“We’re really excited about it.” Says Jason, “It’ll be great to see everyone there and singing along. I can’t wait really… just need to start rehearsing!”
• Tickets for the Norwich show on November 16 at The Waterfront are available for £21 advance from the UEA Box Office website.