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Perry A: Just Two Guys Making Music

Keeley Brooks & Nicole Brice

Dec 6, 2023

Indie-rock duo Perry A releases two singles from upcoming EP “OK Wait” boasting a dark sound and heavy political inspiration.

Gen Xers (like me and Nicole) love to hear modern music reminiscent of one of the best decades for music: the 90s. It was a turning point in music history, seeing the emergence of new genres like industrial, grunge, emo, and alternative rock that were eventually overshadowed by technology. Enter Perry A, a southern-based, two-man band working to combine the best of the best of the 90s in their upcoming EP “OK Wait”.


Perry A is an indie-rock duo out of New Orleans, Louisiana, who brings to mind bands like Cracker and The Screaming Trees, except their music is of a darker sound and is heavily politically inspired. Perry A is comprised of “two neighbors in a home studio" making music, and they are C.G. Smith (acoustic guitar, drum programming, bass, synth, and vocals) and J. Pitre (lead guitar, harmonica, and creepy vocals).


It’s been a busy year writing, recording, and releasing for Perry A, who have been working on their forthcoming EP “OK Wait”. May 2023 saw the release of their first single, “Opinion”, and the guys recently released their second single, "Fiction".


“Opinion” is a mellow alt-rock tune with explosive choruses and just the right amount of fuzz, also featuring a lot of political opinion. “Fiction” is darker in tone and stands out due to its bad-ass harmonica playing paired with Pitre’s creepy vocals. Their third single, “Sorrowful Days”, releases at the end of this year.


Mixed Alternative had a chance to rap with Perry A about their inception, what influences their sound, and what kind of mirages appear on their horizon. Check out our conversation below--these guys are super fun!



MaM: Guys, thanks for talking with us today; it’s nice to have you. Would you tell us a little about the inspiration behind Perry A and how the name developed.


CGS: Well, when my wife and I moved back Uptown from the Irish Channel in February 2022, we moved to a place on Perrier St. Shortly after moving in and getting my humble Hearwaxx Studio set up there, I met my neighbor, JP, and we hit it off over both being songwriters.


JP & CG (credit: Chad Besse)

The name is part genius and part lazy. I’d heard people pronounce the street we live on like ‘carrier’ (and also like the sparkling water), so I said we should call our little project Perry A. (laughter) We’ve also kicked around the idea of a mysterious figure who seems to be involved in the inner workings of politics being called Perry A, but right now it’s just a play on the street we live on.


There’s actually a song with the title ‘Perry A’ that is going to be amazing when we get it done, but that will probably be on the second release. I originally envisioned [it] as something like the ‘Dessert Sessions’ albums, where Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme had a rotating cast of musicians and friends come make music, but baby steps! 


JP: [Our band name] is simple, not profound as far as I know. Band names are fun though. There are bands like Oasis and Hootie and the Blowfish. Where did those names come from? Who is Hootie? If you know, please tell me!


MaM: Perry A just saw its second release with “Fiction" from your forthcoming EP “OK Wait”. Give us some insight on both.


CGS: The first [release] from ‘OK Wait’ was a song called ‘Opinion’ that we released back in May of 2023. [It] was music that JP wrote, and I put lyrics and vocals to. [It holds a lot of our political opinion].


‘Fiction’ is a song I had been working on for a while and it finally culminated once Perry A was born. It has lyrical themes of the separation of Americans since MAGA, as well as the use of religion to drive wedges instead of bringing people together. JP’s solos are madness and I love it.  He also did the harmonica and most of the creepy voices in the track.

‘OK Wait’ was originally an inside joke. JP says it all the time when we are working on playing/arranging a new song, but it also seems like a fitting phrase for political change in this country to me. There will be a track on the album with that title as well.


MaM: When do you plan to release “OK Wait”?


CGS: Good question. … It’s really tough to get much done with the limited time we both have, but I’m learning more and more about being a producer. I record, mix, and master everything myself and it can be slow-going, [but] we HOPE to have the Perry A ‘OK Wait’ EP out in early 2024.


MaM: Talk a little about doing everything yourself. How has having your own studio to do all this in changed your process as a recording musician?

CGS: Well, it’s nice to have everything in my house, but again, JP and I both have a 9-to-5 and family, so just because the studio is right there doesn’t mean we are working on music 24/7. … I honestly had given up making music for a long time—well over a decade—but during the [lockdown] in the height of the pandemic in 2020, I dusted off my acoustic and wrote songs. Then I decided to record an album.


credit: Chad Besse

I ended up getting some affordable mics, a budget interface, and software and watched a lot of YouTube videos to teach myself how to produce. I’m still learning every time I sit down at my workstation. I’m sure there are glaring errors that pros can pick apart in my productions still, but I’m getting better! Overall, it is nice to have the space set up in my home, and JP right next door, but there is never enough time in a day, or week, or year when you have other responsibilities.




MaM: What are y’all’s instruments, and what are your favorites to play?


CGS: I play guitar, sing, and dabble in keyboards and synths. I’m learning bass, and I am getting better at programming drums since we don’t have a real drummer. Oh, I also have an old, used Boomba (look it up) that was my wife’s grandmother’s. … That was fun to play around with. My favorite will probably always be acoustic guitar just because that’s what I’ve known for so long.


JP: I play mostly guitar and bass. I do keys and vocals. I like to do falsetto and baritone on recordings. I like to add layers of vocals and guitar parts and keys and make harmonies and blend everything together to create a soundscape. I would say I don’t have a favorite instrument. My favorite thing is to create and just keep creating. It’s all about patterns and unpredictable ideas. I don’t always adhere to the typical song structure you hear in most music.

credit: Chad Besse

MaM: What inspires you guys musically?


CGS: (in a Jack Black voice) The search for inspirado!




I’m inspired by many things. Life is full of inspiration if you just take the time to see it. I’d say for Perry A, the inspiration has definitely come from watching the GOP and MAGA traitors attempting to destroy the progress America has made over the years. My wife, my friends, and my family all inspire me to be a better person every day.


JP: What inspires me musically? Well, usually it’s the pain of life. Some of the songs I’ve written come from tragic experiences. Music is something I don’t always care about, to be honest. I sometimes feel like my motive is to use music to heal pain. Being human isn’t easy for anyone. I don’t care who you are or what your social media looks like, we all wear masks, and everyone is a little crazy. Some people are just not interested in exploring the darker aspects of human nature. I think it’s important to make art and be authentic.


MaM: Any live performances on the horizon?

CGS: Ha! JP keeps saying we need to do more practicing and get an acoustic three-song set so we can go do open mics, but I’ve always been much more comfortable in a studio setting than live on a stage. … Right now, it is just a home-studio-production type of outlet for us.

JP: We may never play live and that’s ok. I think we are like those old guys who are trapped in a different era. I love the 90s. Music today is all the same to me. Lady Gaga, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Billy eyelids. If we play live, I pray we don’t f*ck up. I know CG will be mortified, and I will be mortified about him feeling those powerful emotions. 


I don’t really know how much people care about music these days. It’s 2023. What do people want? They wanna stare at the phone and watch YouTube or porn. Why would they care about Perry A? I wouldn’t mind playing live, but I enjoy just the process of creating music. Music is the way we decorate time. See, that’s deep. But how could anyone ever appreciate the music if they’re too busy watching Nikki Minaj twerk and say stuff about her WAP? 

credit: Chad Besse

MaM: Last question: What are you guys watching at the moment?


CGS: I’m currently obsessed with Kane Pixels’ Backrooms. They are a collection of fictional YouTube short videos that delve into anomalies brought on by a corporation’s scientific experiment gone wrong. This kid was 16 when he wrote and produced these amazing videos, and he is now making a movie with A24 based on them.


Besides that, my wife and I are currently enjoying watching new seasons of Apple TV’s The Morning Show, Netflix’s Sex Education, and our guilty pleasure CBS’ (formerly MTV’s) The Challenge, although more and more of our long-time favorite competitors are retiring and these new challengers just aren’t the same.



JP: I like Black Mirror. I’ve watched a lot of episodes. I really enjoy the tension and nightmare scenarios the characters wind up in. Have you ever gone to Canal Place? You know that parking garage? It has an exit that winds over and over like you’re going in circles. I imagine that happening forever and that’s what hell is probably like. Or maybe hearing Tiny Tim sing the same song over and over forever. Black Mirror is sort of like that kind terror—the terror you can’t escape from. I also like that show 90-Day Fiancé. That is disturbing and suspenseful as well.



And there you have it, folks. Just two guys in a home studio making music, doing the best they can with “limited knowledge of production techniques,” hoping “people like the songs, even with their technical shortcomings.”


Check out Perry A’s singles, “Opinion” and “Fiction”, at any of their links below, and be sure to catch their newest single, “Sorrowful Days”, when it drops at the end of the month!


For all things Perry A: 

Perry A Online

Perry A | Instagram

Perry A | Bandcamp

Perry A | Spotify

Perry A | Apple Music

Perry A | Soundcloud


 *cover photo credit: Chad Besse

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