Q&A with Frank Perna – Guitarist (ACOLYTE)
1: Describe yourselves in 5 words.
Cohesive, artistic, influenced, driven and friends.
2: How did you decide on Acolyte as your band name?
Acolyte is all Jason’s (bassist) doing. We all came up with a bunch of names, but Acolyte stuck out and we went with it. Personally, I think Acolyte suits us as we are like acolytes to music, we are disciples of the discipline, followers of music that inspires us with creation. No religious connotations here, it’s purely about the music.
3: How would you describe the sound of your music?
The million dollar question. We are a blend of several genres due to our various influences and musical backgrounds. We have theatre, progressive rock, jazz, hard rock, metal and folk all mixed in to create our ‘sound’. It’s hard to throw us into one genre as a lot of our material varies which we really like. No two songs are very alike so it’s pretty hard to pigeon hole us.
4: What are some of your musical aspirations collectively?
Collectively, I’d say we want our music out there, not necessarily to the masses, but out there enough for people to say, ‘yeah, Acolyte, I know them, they rock’. We enjoy playing our material, be it to a filled stadium, or to the dozen people in a bar, the more people who hear us and then come up to us after a gig and say ‘you guys are awesome’, the more humbled and gracious we feel about our material. Knowing that our music has that sort of effect on people is awe inspiring.
5: Who would you compare your band too musically?
Musically, there’d be a lot of bands to compare it to, but closest comparison would be Karnivool, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Opeth (without the growls) and Tool. Riff inspired melodies with melodic interludes of light and shade interwoven into every song.
6: How did the band meet one-another?
Jason and I know each other from the late 90’s when we were in another band together that lasted quite a few years. Jason met Morgan at a friend’s party and asked her (after learning about her theatrical background) ‘why don’t you sing in a band?’. After a few line-up changes, we now have Chris Cameron on skins permanently, who over the past few months has been filling in for us. So today, we have Morgan’s soaring vocals, Jason’s technical bass, Chris’ jazz influenced percussion and my folky, simple guitar work that makes us what we are today.
7: You recently released your single ‘The Message’ with a music video to match. Are you happy to finally reveal your work?
Are we Ever!! – It’s taken several months to conceive the idea and arrange logistics for the video shoot, not to mention the year it’s taken in the studio to finish recording our Album, of which ‘The Message’ is a part of. It took a lot of hard work, organisational skills, devotion, mental fortitude and money to get ‘The Message’ project and the album off the ground. We couldn’t have done it without our closest fans, family, friends and the production/video/photo crew, as they’ve been with us all the way from start, to finish.
8: Are you proud of the finished product? Is there anything you would have changed given another opportunity?
We are extremely proud of the finished product, both for the video and the song. The song was originally about an alien abduction and it would have been nice to have gone down that path, but with time and monetary constraints, Morgan worked tirelessly behind the scenes to come up with a creative brief for the video that’s out now. We are all immensely satisfied with the results.
9: Do you have any other content recorded or was ‘The Message’ specifically chosen for a reason?
We recently finished the recording of our debut album ‘Shades of Black’ which will be out in the first half of 2016. During the recording process, we already had ideas that after ‘Perceptions’ (our first official single), we would release ‘The Message’ as it’s vastly different to Perceptions and also shows the diversity in our music. Our mastering technician ‘Jack the Bear’ who mastered ‘Perceptions’ for the single release in March had to go back re-master the song to fit the mood and feel of the entire album. He was also pleased with his work and the nice change our album made to his ‘usual’ day at the studio.
11: You’ve announced a National tour in support of your new single, how long have you been waiting to tour as a band?
Touring has been a major inspiration for the success of this band. As I mentioned earlier, a big driver for us at a live show is to see the audience engaged with our music, to get a kick out of the theatrics and mood we create on stage. To receive the praise we do after each show from friends and strangers alike is a truly humbling experience and we like to use each live show as a launching platform to better ourselves and our music. Headlining tour is a real step in the right direction for us right now.
12: What city are you most excited to play in?
For the current tour, the city I’m most excited about is Bendigo. We’ve been to Bendigo before and the crowd reaction to our music was like no other I’ve seen to date. They really got into it and made the whole night a magnificent and truly awesome experience. There’ll always be a place in my heart for Bendigo.
13: Will we hear anything from you before the New Year? Any new singles or pre tour teasers?
No, not that I’m aware of but Morgan always has something else in the works. After the recent announcement of our East Coast tour, there won’t be any new singles but there maybe a pre-tour teaser. Of course we’ll keep all of our fans up to date via our facebook, twitter or website in regards to anything and everything Acolyte, so stay tuned!
14: Can we expect anything new from you once your tour has finished?
Ahah!! Hmm how can I put this .. Maybe? 😉 There’s a lot of things in the pipeline for Acolyte for 2016 and beyond with the pending release of our debut record, more single releases and video’s etc. Staying in contact with us via social media and the Web will certify that you’ll know what’s coming up.
15: If you hadn’t become musicians who would you have been?
Good question. I can’t speak for the rest of the band, but personally, if I wasn’t a musician, I’d probably be working in the IT sector as I’m a serious nerd (as are some other band members) and I have a passion for anything and everything technology.
16: Personal Q & A
1: Worst pick up line you’ve heard?
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I suck at poems, nice tits! (yes, I’ve actually heard that before)
2: Your perfect meal would consist of?
Vermicelli alla Panna (Pasta in a creamy, mushroom sauce) hmmm
3: If you had to be trapped in a TV series, what series would that be?
Tough one .. I love my tv series so much. Um… It would have to be Deadwood ☺ – It’s a western, you should check it out!!
4: What question do you hate answering in an interview?
This one .. exactly this question I’m answering right now. Kidding. The main question I hate answering is ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’. I can’t see that far ahead, I’m lucky to see next week most times.