|Years active 1983–present|
Name Steve Perry
|Role Oregon musician|
|Also known as MC Large Drink
Born October 8, 1963 (age 52) Syracuse, New York (1963-10-08)
Genres Rock, ska, swing, ska punk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, biologist
Instruments Vocals, rhythm guitar, theremin
Labels Space Age Bachelor Pad Records
Education University of Oregon, Vestal High School
Music groups Cherry Poppin' Daddies, White Hot Odyssey
Albums Zoot Suit Riot, Skaboy JFK, White Teeth - Black Tho, Ferociously Stoned, Please Return the Evening
Steve perry musician
Stephen Henry Perry (born October 8, 1963) is an American musician, best known as lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the Oregon ska-swing band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
- Steve perry musician
- Early life
- Cherry Poppin Daddies
- Later life
- Songwriting and influences
Perry was born in Syracuse, New York to a physicist and a social worker, and raised in Apalachin, outside the industrial city of Binghamton. He described Binghamton as being "a poor, run down, loner class town", which would later serve as a significant influence on his songwriting.
After graduating from Vestal High School in 1981, Perry moved to Eugene, Oregon to pursue track and field and chemistry in the Honors College at the University of Oregon, where he befriended fellow student Dan Schmid. After being exposed to the Northwest punk and hardcore scene, Perry became inspired to follow a path as a musician, teaching himself guitar at age 20. Finding himself more interested in "drinking beer and going to punk rock shows" than attending college, Perry dropped out in his junior year in 1983 and formed the punk trio The Jazz Greats with Schmid and drummer Tim Arnold. Perry was also briefly involved with Snakepit alongside Billy Karren, Joe Preston, Laura Mcdougall and Al Larsen before performing with the Paisley Underground-styled band Saint Huck with Schmid and Arnold from 1984 to 1987, after which the trio formed what would become the Cherry Poppin' Daddies in late 1988.
Cherry Poppin' Daddies
After emerging as a successful regional band and eventually becoming a consistent staple of the West Coast third wave ska touring circuit, the Daddies broke into the musical mainstream with their 1997 album Zoot Suit Riot, a compilation of swing songs culled from the band's first three albums. The album sold over two million copies in the United States and helped launch the short-lived swing revival of the late 1990s, and brought the Daddies into the limelight. Nevertheless, Perry has often expressed contempt for the band's period of temporary fame, citing frustration over what he claimed was persistent and lingering media typecasting of the Daddies as a generic "retro swing band" at the expense of their dominant ska punk influences. Additionally, Perry has also talked about the socially alienating effects fame had on his personal life, claiming it to have negatively changed relationships with friends and even subjected him to occasional heckling from strangers who recognized him in public. In recent years, however, Perry has retrospectively called the success of Zoot Suit Riot "a blessing" for giving the band and himself the financial stability to continue; as he put it, "no more blocks of government cheese".
Following the critical and commercial disappointment of 2000's Soul Caddy, the Daddies went on hiatus as Perry temporarily relocated to Manhattan for the better part of two years to be closer to his family and "chill anonymously". Upon moving back to Eugene, Perry re-enrolled at the University of Oregon, pursuing an undergraduate degree in molecular biology, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science. During this time, he was also active singing in the hard rock/glam rock band White Hot Odyssey, a side project he started with Daddies guitarist Jason Moss in 2002. The band released a self-titled album Jive Records in 2004 before going on hiatus in 2005.
Perry lives in Eugene with his wife and daughter, where he currently works in a biology laboratory.
Songwriting and influencesSee: Cherry Poppin' Daddies#Musical style and lyricism
Since forming the band, Perry has served as the sole lyricist, primary composer and producer of the Daddies' music. According to Jason Moss in regard to the band's songwriting process, Perry writes nearly every aspect of the Daddies' music, first composing the basic chords of each song on his guitar and then working with each member of the band to build upon his ideas for drum beats, horn lines, bass lines, and lead guitar riffs.
In concert, Perry primarily played a Gibson Les Paul, but since the early 2000s has alternated with a Flying V, while in recent videos he can also be seen playing a Fender Jazzmaster. In late 2009, in promotion of the Rock Ridge Music releases of Susquehanna and Skaboy JFK, Perry teamed up with Gibson to promote the company's limited edition SG Zoot Suit guitar, appearing in several picture advertisements.
Perry lists a diverse field of influences. Having started out in punk rock, he has expressed admiration for bands including the Meat Puppets, Bad Brains, The Stooges, Suicidal Tendencies and in particular the Portland-based Wipers; in a 1997 interview, Perry listed the Wipers' 1983 album Over the Edge as his all-time favorite record. He has also listed Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Fishbone, Captain Beefheart and Little Richard among his inspirations, the latter of whom Perry has described as his "first real idol". Perry cites his love of swing and jazz having started with being given a copy of The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz as a gift, and has repeatedly listed Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford and Fletcher Henderson as his biggest jazz influences. In a series of Twitter posts, Perry further listed his main artistic influences as Cindy Sherman, Bertolt Brecht, Luis Buñuel and Babs Gonzales.
See: Cherry Poppin' Daddies discography for complete listing