Steve Perrett talks to Canadian rocker and Billboard award winner Sal Lima.
Q. How long have you been playing/writing music?
I began composing music before I started high school. A friend on my street impressed me with his amplified acoustic lead solos. I begged my parents to buy me a cheap snare drum and it was not long before we formed a duo. We would spend hours recording originals on a cassette recorder.
Q. What is your primary instrument?
My primary instrument has always been the drums.
Q. Do you record in a studio? Or do you use a home-based setup?
I recorded my latest CD, “North of Superior” at Studio 92 in Toronto. Studio 92 is situated in a building that was once a landmark Toronto movie theatre called “The Donlands”.
Q. Tell us about you the songwriter…do you write alone, with others, etc.
My most recent songwriting collaborations have been with Dr. Dave DiCecco. Dave would give me a tape with chords that were sometimes overdubbed with bass guitar. He always related these chords to a theme. I would elaborate on these ideas by putting down the lyrics, melody, and beat. This is how we composed the song “North of Superior”. Lately, my writing has been a solo effort. I first create a melody and lyrics and the chord progressions are finalized during pre-production.
Q. Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration to write songs has come from anything from pictures in a book, nature itself, or personal experience, to a tragic event like 9/11.
Q. Do you start with a finished product in mind or just let it morph as you go?
My musical ideas for a song are always work in progress. Some songs stand the test of time and others are dropped.
Q. Do you play live? or do you prefer recording?
I prefer recording in the studio to playing live. The studio experience is a way to be in tune with oneself.
Q. How do you set about a recording session?
My recordings are always laid down in tracks. In recording my new CD, I extended the interval of time in between sessions. This spacing would help me to better understand my new songs and improve the chemistry of interacting with the studio musicians. In the placid environment of Studio 92, all this became very rudimentary. ‘Sil Simones’ guitar playing brings out the best in my songs. Richard Uglow of Studio 92 not only played bass and keyboards but also provided guidance throughout the entire recording process.
Q. How do you feel about the Canadian music scene generally?
If you want to keep up on what is new in the Canadian music scene then “Canadian Musician” is a good publication to read. To me, as long as bands like Rush and the Guess Who hang around, then the scene is quite strong.
Q. Is your new CD available online?
My latest release, “North of Superior” can now be sampled or purchased online at OverHear.com
Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Within the next five years, I will probably have completed some new originals. Recording them will be inevitable.
Q. What is your ultimate goal with your music?
My only goal in music is to continue to write songs that are true to my heart.
Q. What gear do you use? / What is your favourite piece of gear?
My drum set is a vintage Rogers with a memory lock. I like to use some of Sabian’s new products such as the 18″ 0-zone cymbal and a 10-inch hand-hammered Kang. I have a large collection of percussion instruments, which I found to be invaluable in the studio.
Q. What’s the music scene like where you are?
I do not pay much attention to the local music scene anymore, but I admire bands that pursue this avenue. If I do come across a local band that I like, I always purchase their CD.
Q. Is there anything else you want to share with Songstuff visitors?
Recently, a Canada-wide song contest called “Communities of Note” placed my song “This Is My Country” as a top ten finalist. I think that aspiring songwriters need to receive positive reinforcement from outside sources. I have been fortunate to have been charted on an exceptional campus station called CFBX in Kamloops, B.C. The Billboard World Song Contest has honoured me with two songwriting awards. Overheard.com has promoted me and made my CD available for sampling and purchasing. When opportunities such as this interview on Songstuff come my way, I am more than grateful that some music contacts actually recognize music that should be heard and not left to slip through the cracks.
I would like to thank Steve for this challenging online interview and the Songstuff visitors who take the time to read it.
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