Nick Perri Talks Perri Ink. Custom Guitars
Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:49:14
Having played with everyone from Perry Farrell and Matt Sorum to Shinedown and Satellite Party, Nick Perri has blazed up a few fret boards on stages and studios everywhere.
He’s honed a playing style all his own that can shift from hard rock to psychedelic to punk, even within the space of the same song. Given the diversity of his own six-string acrobatics, Perri needed a guitar that could service any sound, so he built his own. He recently launched Perri Ink. custom guitars his very own brand. Perri’s goal was to build a durable and playable guitar with top-notch materials and features, and he accomplished it. His handmade axes—the Protostar and Solostar—are everything that a guitarist could want. You can check them out here!
Nick Perri sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for this exclusive interview about Perri Ink. custom guitars and so much more…
What separates Perri Ink. custom guitars from other brands?
At this point in the game most major brands are unfortunately looking for profit—only. So even if decent neck and body woods are used, all of the other components—from the tuners and bridge, to the electronics and pickups—are very low quality. Even if those parts are decent, they are still stock, and they’re most certainly not upgraded. At Perri Ink. custom guitars we actually start with the upgraded parts. It’s all top shelf and all 100% USA made. Every single component down to the electrical wiring is the best of the best available on the market today. Add all of those things together and you get a BEAST of a guitar. The tone is unbelievable.
When did you get the initial idea for the custom guitars?
From the very first week I started playing, about 15 or 16 years ago, I started modifying and tricking out my guitars. About a year later, I built my first, and it's never stopped! The only difference is I have the mindset and the business skills to make it into a viable brand. I'm still "building guitars in my room," except now the room is larger and I have been doing it long enough to know what not to do.
What was your very first guitar?
It was a nylon-stringed acoustic, and it was rented [Laughs]. My parents wanted to make sure I was going to stick with it. About six months later, I bought a Tele® knockoff and in was on! Things got a lot louder in our household after that.
Has playing your own custom-made guitars inspired any new music for you?
It's incredibly inspiring! I sit down to write or record, or get to perform using the exact instruments that have been in my brain for years. Guitars become extensions of ourselves. So when I sit and play, I'm not even thinking about playing guitar, only what I'm playing. That’s the point, and the music flows freely and honestly, which is the way it should be.
The stars on the fret board are a nice touch, when did you decide to add those?
Thank you. I knew I wanted to add a nice touch on the fingerboard, and add a little flash to the guitar, but not in an 'over the top' way. I think it's perfect. When I came up with the names Protostar® and Solostar® it hit me—stars!
You’ve played with so many incredible musicians, how does playing with different artists help you evolve?
Every experience that we put ourselves in forces us to grow. I love being taken out of my comfort zone. Sure it's scary at first, but in the end we as people grow 10x faster than having played it safe. The guys I've had the honor of sharing a stage with all pushed me to grow as a performer and artist. It keeps you reaching for what's next. Evolution happens no matter what. You just have to make sure your own personal evolution is moving forward, not backward.
Which players still inspire you?
There are so many—David Gilmour, Tom Morello, Jimmy Page, Johnny Winter, Matt Bellamy, Dave Grohl, and plenty more. It’s all about the emotion that they put forth, period.
Lots! My new original band SINAI which debuted only 6 months ago is just getting started. We are writing and will be recording an EP and hitting the road soon worldwide. Of course, I’m building guitars and growing Perri Ink.. There are so many more things I want to do with the brand. Guitars are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm working on amplifiers, pickups, straps, and non-musical stuff too: clothing, jewelry, and more. Life is a playground, man, let's play.
What’s your favorite guitar?