Wednesday, 13 January 2010

French eight-finger guru Daniel Peroine

First off, tell us a little about yourself and your music...

I'm 43 years old, I'm living in Nancy (France) and I’ve been teaching guitar for twenty years now.

I'm a graduate of CMCN (musical school in France) and of Los Angeles GIT.

I played in many rock, heavy or top 40 bands in the east of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Deutschland and Switzerland.

In February 2007, I created my own band which is instrumental progressive rock.

Actually, it's a solo project. I recorded in May 2009 at 'Mon Studio' with Yann Klimezick as sound engineer, Olivier Baldissera on drums and Philippe Chevallot on bass guitar.

It's an instrumental album with nine original songs.

Who were your earliest musical influences?

When I was a teenager my first influence was the heavy metal bands of the 80s. When I started to take some guitar lessons, I began to be interested in the fusion guitar players like Allan Holdsworth or Scott Henderson. The Allan Holdsworth sound was like a revelation to me, especially with the Metal Fatigue album, and I was very interested in the legato technique too.

At what point were you introduced to the eight-finger tapping style?

One day I found the tapping book of Jennifer Batten. I listened to it and I thought it sounded like Allan Holdsworth. But when I was looking at the exercises, I couldn’t understand how to manage with all the fingers on the neck. Finally, I’ve practiced a lot and my sound began to be legato which was very motivating.

How long did it take for you to develop the technique to the point where you felt comfortable with it?

After two years (practicing with two hands tapping), I met T.J Helmerich at the M.I. of Los Angeles. He corrected all my bad habits. For example, I used to play with my right hand all the "pull-off" downs. He recommended me to play "pull-off" inside the hand. It's easier and the sound is definitely better.

He helped me a lot and after six months, I could improvise with major scales.

How do you approach visualizing the fretboard when employing the eight-finger style?

Actually I visualize the right hand. The left one is well trained enough, and I’m practicing with the right hand only which is a good exercise.

Do you tend to compose or improvise your solos?

Fifty-fifty. I like following a melody way and then improvising the end, for example. But before recording a solo, I prefer improvising on rehearsal or on a gig, to find some new ideas on the same solo.

Do you have to modify your guitar setup to accommodate the technique (with super-low action and/or light strings for instance)?

I use low action; I feel comfortable with the right hand.

Six months ago, I used to play with light strings 008-038. Now, I play with 009-042 strings; it's better for the rhythm part. In the future, I would like to play with 010-046 strings, to get a brighter sound.

What initially attracted you to Steinberger guitars?

Because Allan Holdsworth and T.J Helmerich are playing with it and I like their sound.

And a great thing with Steinberger Guitars is that the graphite neck doesn't move. That's why I can play with low action.

What other guitars and gear are you currently using?

I use Steinberger guitars only. I have a MESA/Boogie amp, the Mark IV. I use a Roland VG 88 in effect loop for the reverb, delay and chorus. I have a little box called the Axess, which drives the channel switch of the Mesa with the VG 88.

What musical projects are you currently involved in?

Actually, I do the promotion of my album and I try to find gigs or clinics. I begin to think of the second album too.

How do you feel about the current state of progressive music? Are there any new bands or artists you feel have promise?

I am listening to famous bands like Planet X, Dream Theater, Opeth or early Genesis, and a lot of instrumental guitar players too...and I'm always happy to hear a new band. The last musician I've heard who was exceptional was Alex Machacek. He's just amazing; I saw some videos when he plays with Planet X, and his sound is like Allan Holdsworth’s.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Another album, an instructional DVD...

Daniel, thank you for your time!

Thank you Tom for this interview.