Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Steve Perry of Cherry Poppin Daddies
The Cherry Poppin' Daddies formed in Eugene, Oregon in the late '80s, where their lead singer Steve Perry was a chemistry major. A mashup of Punk Rock and Jazz with a subversive streak (see the explanation of their band name), they built up a local following and released 3 independent albums that completely ignored the Grunge movement in the Pacific Northwest. When the trend shifted to Swing, they were right in the sweet spot with "Zoot Suit Riot," which got them a record deal, and as Steve explains, got them off government cheese.

Never content to stick to one format, they returned in 2009 with with 2 new albums: a rocker called Susquehanna and the Ska-influenced Skaboy JFK.

Is there a deeper meaning to the song "Zoot Suit Riot"? I'm wondering if there's any connection to the Zoot Suit Riots during WWII.
 
Yes, I wrote it inspired by the Zoot Suit Riots. I guess it seemed like a Pachuco rallying cry that could double as a dance anthem for those of us interested in swing music and culture at a time when nobody else was. It was an expression of a proud marginalism. That’s not that deep, but there you go. 
 
How has your background in chemisty and molecular biology (Steve has a degree from the University of Oregon) effected your music and songwriting?
 
They exist in separate lobes of my brain that mostly do not intersect. 
  
How did you decide on the name for the group, and did anyone try to talk you out of it?
Cherry Poppin' Daddies 
We had to come up with a name for the poster for our first show and a friend of the band suggested it as a joke. We were into Viper Jive and Race music at the time pretty heavily so I had been listening to a lot of Depression era jazz that had sexual, racial and druggy overtones that were disguised in the lyrics. CPD fit that idea of what we were attempting. We also were members of the punk rock/alternative subculture that was very insular and had no connection to mainstream inputs; so we didn't name ourselves based on what anyone might think in the straight world. We were sort of poor Bohemian yucksters at the time with no interest in what the Bruce and Suzy Creamcheeses might think. There was no conception that we would be popular outside our little cultural bubble. After it pissed off a few normal people the impulse became to stand up for ourselves, but we found people willfully implacable in digging the spirit in which it was intended. Still do. :-) It gives outrage addicts another soapbox they can jump up on.  

What are your thoughts on the Swing music trend, and your part in it?

I wish that there had been more experimentation and "making it modern" as opposed to playing covers and scoobie dooing around like a freckle-faced Opie. It would have been cooler if it had retained some of the cartoonishness of, say, Psychobilly. Instead, I think for a lot of people, a faint whiff of conservatism emanates from it. It’s too bad, because I feel that swing music has a lot of the raw material for a future music that has the energy and sophistication of jazz, gender equality in the scene, the sex appeal of dance music, and an interest in the lost art of formal dress. I would hope that it would attract a type of people who reject the arrogance and the entitlement culture of today and who value humility, and toughness. I fantasize about folks working hard toward a new (less retarded) evolutionary line for pop music and youth culture. This will never happen, I'm afraid.

Was "Zoot Suit Riot" a blessing or a curse?
 
It was a blessing. I didn't have to go to get a box of food at the church poverty outreach anymore. No more blocks of government cheese. 

Please tell us about some of your songs that are very important to you, and why.
 
I am proud that we have attempted to make albums that come from an auteur-based perspective. We've attempted a détournement of utilizing various musical styles. We've questioned what a band’s mission actually ought to be, and what an album by a band is capable of artistically. We are interested in Godard, modernism, etc. “Susquehanna,” our last studio album, was an attempt to make an album that worked in the same way Pierrot le Fou does. Songs are a means to an end. Genres reflect off each other.
 
What would you like the world to know about The Cherry Poppin' Daddies?
 
That we have been gigantic failures, and that we will continue to fail until the mystery flows over the mountain and envelops the complacent.

Get your hot little hands on the new CPD stuff at daddies.com - you can hear all the clips there.

This interview took place October 8, 2009

Comments: 2

love CPD, been a big fan 4 years. Zoot Suit Riot definately my fave. love you steve perry, one of the sexiest people and sexiest voice ive heard.
-ezza from australia

I'll always like their tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.'s
Come Back to Me
-Anonymous

Name
Where are you from?
Your Comment
 security code

Randy NewmanRandy Newman
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.
Jon Anderson of YesJon Anderson of Yes
From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.
Chris TomlinChris Tomlin
The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.
Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootMichael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Search in Songwriter Interviews
search
Songwriter Interviews titles
Aaron Beam of Red Fang
Aaron Gillespie
Aaron Lewis
Adam Duritz of Counting Crows
Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne
Adam Young of Owl City
Al Anderson of NRBQ
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
Al Kooper
Alan Merrill of The Arrows
Alex Call (867-5309)
Allee Willis: Boogie Wonderland, Friends theme
Amanda Palmer
Amy Grant
Andy McClusky of OMD
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
Angelo Moore of Fishbone
Ann Hampton Callaway
Anna Canoni about Woody Guthrie
Annie Haslam of Renaissance
Antigone Rising
Art Alexakis of Everclear
Asher Roth
Badi Assad
Bart Millard of MercyMe
Becca Stevens
Benny Mardones
Bill Withers
Billy Gould of Faith No More
Billy Joe Shaver
Billy Montana ("More Than A Memory" - Garth Brooks)
Billy Steinberg
Bo Bice
Bobby Liebling of Pentagram
Bobby Whitlock
Boz Scaggs
Brad Arnold from 3 Doors Down
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
Brandi Carlile
Brandon Heath
Brenda Russell
Brian "Head" Welch of Korn, Love and Death
Bronze Radio Return
Bruce Robison
Bryan Adams
Butch Vig
Buzz Osborne of the Melvins
Carol Kaye
Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)
Chad Urmston of Dispatch
Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler
Charles Fox
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
Charlie Daniels
Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's
Chris August
Chris Fehn of Slipknot
Chris Isaak
Chris Knight
Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes
Chris Squire of Yes
Chris Tomlin
Chris Willis
Chris Wilson of The Flamin' Groovies
Christopher Cross
Chuck Billy of Testament
Cody Hanson of Hinder
Colbie Caillat
Corey Hart
Craig Goldy of Dio
Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets
Cy Curnin of The Fixx
Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay
Dan Reed
Daniel Moore ("Shambala," "My Maria")
Danko Jones
Danny Kortchmar
Dar Williams
Darren King of MUTEMATH
Darryl Worley
Dave Clark
Dave Innis of Restless Heart
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Dave Stewart of Eurythmics
Dave Wakeling of The English Beat
Dean Pitchford
Denny Randell
Desmond Child
Devin Townsend
Devo
Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)
Dez Fafara of DevilDriver and Coal Chamber
Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)
Dino Cazares of Fear Factory
Don Brewer of Grand Funk
Don Felder
Donald Fagen
Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)
Dr. John
Dropkick Murphys
dUg Pinnick of King's X
Duncan Phillips of Newsboys
Dwight Twilley
Eddie Carswell of NewSong
Eddie Reeves
Edwin McCain
El Sloan of Crossfade
Elvin Bishop
Emilio Castillo from Tower of Power
Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls
Eric Burdon
Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots
Francesca Battistelli
Francis Rossi of Status Quo
Gary Brooker of Procol Harum
Gary Lewis
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
Gary Numan
Gentle Giant
Georgia Middleman of Blue Sky Riders
Gilby Clarke
Glen Burtnik
Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket
Gordon Bahary
Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)
Graham Parker
Graham Russell of Air Supply
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Gretchen Peters (Independence Day)
Guy Clark
Gym Class Heroes
Hal Ketchum
Harold Brown of War
Harry Shearer
Hayes Carll
Henry McCullough
Henry Paul of The Outlaws, Blackhawk
Holly Knight
Holly Williams
Howard Bellamy
Howard Jones
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"
Ian Astbury of The Cult
Ian Thornley of Big Wreck
Ingrid Croce
J.D. Souther
Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees
Jake Owen
James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges
Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed
Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go`s
Janis Ian
Jann Klose
Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup
Jason Michael Carroll
Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)
Jason Reeves
Jason Roy of Building 429
Jay Graydon
Jeff Walker of Carcass
Jello Biafra
Jeph Howard of The Used
Jeremy DePoyster of The Devil Wears Prada
Jess Origliasso of The Veronicas
Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms
Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds
Jimbeau Hinson
Jimmy Jam
Jimmy Webb
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers
Jo Dee Messina
Joe Ely
Joe Grushecky
Joe Jackson
Joe King Carrasco
Joe Rickard of Red
Joel Crouse
Joey + Rory
Joey Burns of Calexico
John Doe of X
John Gallagher of Raven
John Lee Hooker
John Oates
John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls
John Waite
John Wheeler of Hayseed Dixie
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde
Jon Anderson of Yes
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot
Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Jon Tiven
Josh Kelley
Josh Shilling
Josh Thompson
Julian Lennon
Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues
Kasim Sulton (Utopia, Meat Loaf)
Keith Morris of Black Flag and OFF!
Keith Reid of Procul Harum
Kelvin Swaby of The Heavy
Ken Block of Sister Hazel
Kenny Vance
Kerry Livgren of Kansas
Kim Thayil of Soundgarden
Kirk Franklin
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristine W
Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
Larry Burnett of Firefall
Larry Wiegand of Crow
Laura Bell Bundy
Lecrae
Lee Ranaldo
Leslie West of Mountain
Lindi Ortega
Lisa Loeb
Lita Ford
Little Big Town
Lori McKenna
Louie Perez of Los Lobos
Lukas Nelson
Mac Powell of Third Day
Marc Roberge of O.A.R. (Of A Revolution)
Marcy Playground
Maria Muldaur
Maria Neckam
Mark Arm of Mudhoney
Marshall Crenshaw
Martin Page
Martin Smith of Delirous?
Martyn Ware of Heaven 17
Marvin Etzioni of Lone Justice
Mary Gauthier
Mat Kearney
Matisyahu
Matt Pike of High On Fire
Matt Pryor of Get Up Kids
Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon
Matt Sorum
Matt Thiessen of Relient K
Matthew West
Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)
Mia Doi Todd
Michael Bolton
Michael Gilbert of Flotsam and Jetsam
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael Schenker
Michael Sweet of Stryper
Mick Jones of Foreigner
Mike Campbell
Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North
Mike Love of The Beach Boys
Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies
Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater
Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid
Millie Jackson
Mitch Myers about Shel Silverstein
Mitts of Madball
Mountain Heart
Neil Fallon of Clutch
Neil Giraldo
Nick Van Eede from Cutting Crew
Nick Waterhouse
Nick Wheeler of The All-American Rejects
Nina Persson of The Cardigans
Nona Hendryx
Oliver Leiber
Our Lady Peace
Ozomatli
Pam Tillis
Pat Alger ("The Thunder Rolls", "Unanswered Prayers")
Paul Dean of Loverboy
Paul Evans
Paul Williams
Pegi Young
Penny Ford of Snap!
Pete Anderson
Peter Lord
Petula Clark
Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")
Philip Cody
Queensrÿche founder Geoff Tate
Radney Foster
Raghav
Ralph Casale - Session Pro
Randy Goodrum (Oh Sherrie)
Randy Houser
Randy Montana
Randy Newman
Randy Sharp (From Glen Campbell to Edgar Winter)
Randy Stonehill
Rebecca St. James
Reverend Horton Heat
Rhonda Vincent
Richard Hell
Richard Marx
Richard Patrick of Filter
Richie McDonald of Lonestar
Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)
Rick Finch
Rick Springfield
Rick Wartell of Trouble
Rik Emmett of Triumph
Robert Ellis
Roger Clyne
Rosanne Cash
Rupert Hine
Ryan Star
Sam Phillips
Sandy Chapin
Sarah Brightman
Scorpions Rudolf Schenker
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders
Scott Jason of Thriving Ivory
Scott Stapp
Scotty Emerick (Beer For My Horses)
Serena Ryder
Seth Swirsky
Shane Volk of One Bad Son
Shaun Morgan of Seether
Shawn Smith of Brad
Shelby Lynne
Skip Ewing ("Love, Me," "The Gospel According To Luke")
Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.
Speech of Arrested Development
Spooner Oldham
Squeeze: Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford
Stan Ridgway
Steel Magnolia
Stephen Christian of Anberlin
Steve Azar
Steve Hindalong of The Choir
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai
Sugarland
Sum 41
Sunny Sweeney
Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson
Tanita Tikaram
Taylor Dayne
Terry Cashman
Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")
Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos and Lost Dogs
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Dandy Warhols
The Fratellis
The Limousines
They Might Be Giants
Thomas Dolby
Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs
Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles
Tina Shafer
Tobin Esperance of Papa Roach
Toby Lightman
Todd Harrell of 3 Doors Down and 7dayBinge
Tom Gabel of Against Me!
Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers
Tom Keifer of Cinderella
Tommy James
Tommy Lee James ("She's My Kind Of Rain")
Toni Wine
Tonio K
Tony Hiller and Brotherhood of Man
Tony Joe White
Travis Stever of Coheed and Cambria
Trent Wagler of The Steel Wheels
Udo Dirkschneider (UDO, ex-Accept)
Van Dyke Parks
Vanessa Carlton
Ville Valo of HIM
Vince Clarke
Vinny May of Kodaline
Vonda Shepard
Wayne Hussey of The Mission
Wednesday 13
Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burns
Will Jennings
Yael Naim
Yoko Ono
Zac Hanson
Zakk Wylde
ARCHIVES (Show)
Other Songfacts Blogs
Songwriter Interviews
Song Writing
Music Quiz
Fact or Fiction
They're Playing My Song