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Where Old Meets The New, In Conversation With Krishna Peri, An Instrumental Guitarist

Vishakhapatnam born Krishna Peri’s musical influences can be traced back to his childhood attraction towards Carnatic music which creates the foundation of his arrangements and compositions which is then layered with a bevy of themes and genres paying homage to some of his idols such as Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman, John Petrucci and a few others. Peri’s track releases bear testament to his mastery over the instrument and the art of writing and composing music. Unlike most artists, he actively refrains from being bound to a particular style or genre of music, thereby spreading his wings and showcasing his penchant for interweaving different genres of music. In his upcoming album titled “Across the Horizon”, Peri revamps his musical pathway by incorporating different themes for each track and sprinkling a mixture of modern prog, black metal and Viking metal into his composition along with complex arrangements, beautiful ambient portions and operatic vocal sections to give it a mammothian feel. “Cyclotron” was his first mini concept album where he attempted to narrate a science fiction story with different themes and setups. He masterfully upheld the modern backdrop of the story while inculcating a classic rock undertone to his music. We got in touch with Krishna to know more about his musical journey. Read the entire interview to find out more.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how did your journey in music start? 

I’m from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Currently living in Texas. In 2011 or so, the obsession with guitar began after discovering a video of Joe Satriani playing live. I had begun taking lessons and started finding other musicians to play with..slowly started getting into classic rock, blues, hard rock etc. But the gears shifted when one of my older friends recommended some heavier and more complex music. 

2.  What role did your parents play in this journey?

They were very much supportive of me heading down this path. Of course, like any other parent, at first they were concerned if music was just another phase in my life. But we had good discussions and now they’re a massive source of support and positive reinforcement for me in my musical journey. 

3.  Which artists/bands have been your biggest influence? Any particular Indian Metal bands that inspired you?

Joe Satriani would be my main influence, especially since all of my solo work is instrumental. Seeing him made me realize how it is definitely possible to make a career out of playing just the guitar or how you can express a lot with just a simple solo. Apart from him, I’m a huge fan of Dimebag Darrell, Marty Friedman, Guthrie Govan, Nick Johnston and Plini. As for Indian bands, the guys in Against Evil are really good friends of mine and they have been very supportive. I also like Gutlist, Godless and The Down Troddence.

4. What is your music making and recording process like?

I try to be receptive of any kind of inspiration I might get. Whenever I do, I try to instantly make a demo out of it using some drum programming. I go back and revise the songs over the course of time; decide sections, come up with riffs etc. Once everything feels good, I send it over to my drummer and bassist who would listen to this demo and give their feedback. The final step would be where the drummer lays down his parts, and I begin tracking my sections over it. I do the guitars at my home studio which is a simple DIY setup. I track DIs and then they are re-amped. I have been trying to go for a much more fluid way of writing in, trying to improvise a bit more and let it come out as organic as possible, even though there might be some mistakes such as pick scrapes, wrong notes etc. Because I had begun to like the sound of that “messy” style of guitar kind of gives that human element instead of going with this cookie-cutter approach.

5. Tell us a bit about your latest single “King’s March”. What is the significance of the title? 

The album is based on this idea that a wanderer gets enlisted into an army and travels to a distant land to fight in a war. King’s March is about the battle sequence of this story. I was always a fan of Viking/Celtic metal and I wanted to create something similar with my own music. My good friend Carrek Coleman has done this epic voice-over for this song where he narrates this war-cry kind of a thing and I feel like it elevated the entire song.


6. How do you interweave Carnatic music influences with heavy metal music?

There are certain elements that I grew up with, such as odd-time signatures, slurring of notes, open-string chord voicings etc. and these things somehow seeped into my actual method of songwriting. Most of Indian/Carnatic music also plays around with certain drone sounds and dissonant elements. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in this genre but when these little nuances are translated into western/heavy music, we get a much wider palette of sounds. These influences can be heard in some of the new songs like the title track, Across the Horizon and Stained Glass Memory.

7. Looking back at your older works, your debut record was a concept EP. Can we expect something similar with “Across The Horizon”? If yes what are the themes that you have explored?

I kind of always want some sort of a screenplay to run in the back of my head so that I can find an inspiration to compose and arrange. It’s pretty much the same with the new album as well. I wanted to make this one a bit special and try to have each song in a different genre such as modern metal, ambient, death metal, indie rock etc. My first album Cyclotron was just a maiden attempt of mine where I was testing if I could really put some content out there. It was just a straightforward album and more reminiscent of classic instrumentals. But after that, I gained quite a bit of confidence and with Across the Horizon, I wanted to push myself and play something that I haven’t yet..such as soloing in odd meters, heavier rhythms and dissonant licks. 

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