Hi Fernando, where are you at the moment?
At Home in Winnetka with my film editor GF and her 1 cat… scratch that… 2 cats… adopted another one today!
How does the Corona crisis affect you?
I was booked to perform on two back to back cruises that are both postponed and in limbo…the Cruise To The Edge Progressive Rock Cruise and On The Blue Cruise Moody Blues Cruise. In fact my new album “Yacht” was made to debut on the On The Blue Cruise where I was asked to put together a Yacht rock group by Larry Morand who runs the cruises. Also lots of gigs cancelled including my second gig with the reformed NAZZ. I’m not as affected as some of my peers because I do a lot of remote work out of my Reseda Ranch Studios. I miss having clients over face to face but the music is flowing and soothing my soul.
How do you estimate the effects of the corona epidemic on the music industry?
Catastrophic to the touring industry and a blessing to the record making industry. “Corona Albums” are gonna be a thing…
What do you do with the time you involuntarily gained?
I’ve written almost a dozen songs and I’ve been going through old hard drives looking for unfinished songs. I have also been putting finishing touches on some records.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m finishing a record by the New Empire which is a continuation of Peter Banks’ post Yes band Empire… I’ve started writing with Judie Tzuke and I cannot wait to see what comes of that. I’m producing a record for Ken Sharp, that is his best by far, and finishing a record by Life on Mars.
What does music mean to you in times of crisis?
EVERYTHING! It’s keeping me sane…
Which music, which albums are you currently listening to and can you recommend?
I’ve been obsessed with the debut album by Air (the original Air) from 1971 featuring Googie Copolla and John Siegler (pre Utopia). I’ve been listening to lots of 70s fusion… Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Beck, and Stomu Yamashta and my favorite record right now is the debut album from Automatic Man featuring Bayete, Michael Shrieve, Pat Thrall and Doni Harvey. Pure BLISS!
Are you currently planning special online offers for your fans, e.g. online shows?
I’ve been doing twice a week FB Live shows and I even did a songwriter in the round online with Walter Egan and Sisters Mann. It was an honor and totally unique.
How do you think it will go on for you?
It’s gonna be a while before things go back to normal. I’m working hard to stay busy and inspired…
Do you have a message for your fans?
I love you all! Stay healthy my friends.
Fernando, I have also a few questions about your musical roots. What is your earliest musical memory?
My mother played the piano beautifully and she was always playing great music in the car… Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour, Pavarotti… My brother is 16 years older than me and he loved Alan Parsons Project and the Sergeant Pepper Movie Soundtrack… huge influences on me.
Which artists and bands have influenced you?
The Beatles and Todd Rundgren tied at number 1, followed by Blood, Sweat and Tears, Curved Air, The Cardigans and Hall and Oates.
What was your first instrument?
The Piano… I hated it and switched to guitar. Now I play drums, bass, guitar, keys, sing and play various bizarre things like Gizmotron, Theremin, and Bell Tree.
When did you decide to become a professional musician?
Right after high school I started doing sessions at the Bee Gee’s Middle Ear Studios and Gloria Estefan’s Crescent Moon Studios in Miami. I played on a number 1 hit album for Cristian Castro at 21 and so the rocket took off and I’m still in orbit…
What did your parents say when you told them that you wanted to become a musician?
I quit college and my job when my dad died, I was 21 years old. I told my mom I wanted to prove to her I could make a living doing music and I never went back.
Which profession would you have chosen if you hadn’t become a musician?
Journalism like my mother who founded the El Nuevo Herald (Spanish Miami Herald).
Do you remember your first gig? Where was it and how did you feel?
I was playing “gigs” in high school with The Miami Beach High School Rock Ensemble. The feeling was electric! By the time I was out of high school I had already been through the ropes…
What was it like when you first held an album of yours in your hands?
Opening the box of ads was exhilarating… I still love that day I get new ads, crack one open and put it in the car. I love it!
Thank you very much for the interview, Fernando! We wish you and your family all the best for the future and especially health.
About Fernando Perdomo’s new album “Yacht”
In times when we are unfortunately restricted worldwide in our freedom of movement, the new album “Yacht” by American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer Fernando Perdomo comes just in time to at least mentally carry us away to the palm-lined sunny beaches of California. Perdomo has been a powerhouse of the LA music scene for many years. The LA Weekly dubbed him “The millennial answer to Todd Rundgren”. He has made a name for himself as an in-demand producer, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Perdomo has released numerous studio albums ranging from 60s inspired singer-songwriter pop to the great instrumental prog rock albums of the “Out To Sea” series. “Yacht” is his first foray into the world of 70s inspired West Coast music. The songs were originally created because the avowed Beatles fan and his The Out to Sea Band should play at “YACHT ROCK On The Blue Cruise 2020”: “So I wrote some originals to keep us from being just a cover band”, Perdomo explains. At last he wrote a collection of songs, which combines all qualities of the soft sound from California – or as Perdomo says: “The listener expects 10 songs that are smoother than the wood on a 60s yacht.”
Photo: Fernando Perdomo
This interview was first published on April 16, 2020