Born in the East End of London, a late starter to the professional world of drumming. Self taught Perry worked on his craft spending time locked in his bedroom with the small kit his mother had brought him. He recalls every time he heard music he could pick out what the drums were doing an play along in his head.
Perry's touring break came when the Ska scene came back in the 1990s and Two Tone Band The SELECTER called on his services at the age of 20. 5 years of touring and recording with the band helped Perry develop his style and sound.
This led to a call from UK reggae stars ASWAD who just had 2 number 1 hits in Japan and was having great success in USA and Europe. Says Perry: “playing drums while Drummie Zeb took the lead singing roll was a dream, the first turning point, for me. Drummie was a big influence for me growing up and getting a chance to work with and learn first hand was invaluable. He was the first drummer I saw calling the shots as an MD behind a kit having a big input in vocal and musical arrangements… and that is how I wanted to be moving forward. Another great long-term gig that I still do when called."
Up next for Perry came a call from legendary producer Adrian Sherwood who is best known for his genius remixes On U Sound Label. “Adrian was having great success with AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE and wanted a rhythm section to work with the act. He wanted something different, something fresh so on recommendation he hired myself and bass partner Wayne Nunes. They had lots of touring dates coming up including Glastonbury and a TACK HEAD SUPPORT. Being a big fan it was a no brainer."
Another big turning point for Perry, the project was a great success and he got to work a lot with Bass player wizard Doug Wimbish who got him the gig with US rapper Mos Def. Perry was also able to watch Keith La Blanc (sugar hill / tack head) and Style Scott (Roots Radics / Dub Syndicate) who were also house drummers for On U Sound do their thing on the many Tours.
Perry recalls being in the studio with Adrian Sherwood: "When I get a call asking if I would come for an audition with TRICKY, I didn’t know who he was and Sherwood said I should go and I did, so glad I did as I got the gig. He and the rest is History“. Perry spent the next 10 years with the Trip Hop Genius touring extensively. “It was a brilliant band probably the best band I've been in, and it was all real full of energy, a drummer's dream gig. Most nights you would look in the audience and there would always be A-list artist in the audience, Madonna, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Courtney Love, Jane's Addiction, to name a few - it really was a crazy experience”.
Perry’s touring highlight was supporting TOOL with Tricky for 3 weeks. "If getting to watch UP CLOSE the master DANNY CAREY going through some of the most technical routines I've seen to date wasn’t a high, being invited on stage to play along to Tool's TRIAD most nights by Danny was one experience never to be forgotten".
This really was a big move in Perry’s career. Now he had toured arenas, recorded 5 albums with Tricky and produced 2 film soundtracks. He had done all the major USA TV shows and festivals, this really got him known in the music community. The work with Tricky led to 2 RHYTHM MAGAZINE features but more important, SONOR offered Perry a drum deal and that being the start of a long relationship that has lasted more than 20 years. And still going strong. He was given a kit to try out by Ian Croff (then SONOR artist relations manager) and has never turned back.
“SONOR really have helped me develop my sound just by having great consistent sounding drums. I am totally convinced I would not have achieved my goals without my SONOR drums making me sound how I need to sound in all the musical situations I find myself in. And with the support of the company it's been a win win situation”
The next two years sees Perry touring with British pop songstress Gabrielle. Playing arenas around the UK and enjoying playing some great songs, a gig that was so different from his last job but musically rewarding just the same. Perry's next drum seat was with Yusuf Islam (CAT STEVENS) live DVD "ANOTHER CUP". This was a recorded live gig in London that brought together some fine musicians. “Yet another highlight of my career working with this legend and playing his magical music, songs that I never ever thought I would be playing with the artist. Listening to the voice of Cat Stevens in my monitors was something I only had wishes about “
FAST FORWARD: Perry is now the musical director for Grammy award Winner BILLY OCEAN and has just finished recording drums for his new Album. He is due out on the ONE WORLD Tour in 2021.
Future plans are for Perry to tour his WARRIOR CHARGE project and do more theatre work, and to keep the SONOR flag flying.
Watch Perry with Billy Ocean performing Love Really Hurts Without You (BBC Radio 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FESovjsbIu0&feature=youtu.be
With Yusuf (Cat Stevens) performing Heaven, Where True Love Goes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpXAlZhCHCA&feature=youtu.be
With Tricky, live on the Jools Holland Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPdsfjDz3DU&feature=youtu.be