Canadian Musician - May / June 2018 - Page 52

JESSE PERIARD Jesse Périard is one third of Juno-nominated acoustic outfit Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. The PEI-based trio expands on the Scottish and Acadian roots of the island’s traditional music scene with fresh ideas and a keen artistic curiosity, resulting in an innovative and engaging sonic blend sure to get your boots stomping. CM: Give us a breakdown of your go-to live rig these days. JP: I switch between a Guild D-55 and a custom OM I had built for me in PEI by Adam Marsh Johnston [of AMJ Guitars]. Both gui- tars are fantastic. The custom is interesting because it has ebony back and sides, so it’s a nice and warm tone but also gives me a great percussive snap. Both guitars have a second pickup in- stalled specifically to pick up the signals from only the low E and A strings. I send this sec- ond channel through an Electro Harmonix Mi- cro POG, which allows me to drop the notes a whole octave down, run that through some compression and EQ, and you got yourself a big fat bass! Adding this along with the dry guitar makes for a very big sound. I learned this technique from two fantastic guitar play- ers, Colin Savoie-Levac of Les Poules à Colin and Jake Charron from The East Pointers. I also run the guitar signal through a TC Elec- tronic Bodyrez pedal, which was recommend- ed to me by a great island player named Zakk Cormier. This is a pedal I recommend to every player who wants their guitar to actually sound like a guitar when it’s plugged in. It rounds out the sound perfectly and 52 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N gives it the nice, rich tone you expect out of an acoustic instrument. I also use a Strymon blueSky reverb, and a TC Electronic Flashback delay, just for fun.   CM: Tell us a bit about your role in the group, and how the guitar has to inter- play with the fiddle and bodhran to de- liver the full and energetic sound you’ve established. JP: What I love about my job as an accom- panist is I get the perfect balance of musical cooperation with my two bandmates. I get to create harmony surrounding whatever melody Rowen [Gallant, fiddle,] is playing, and at the same time, work with Caleb [Gallant on bodhran] to keep the groove down and make something interesting with whatever rhythm we’re playing.   CM: How do you strike a balance per- forming a traditional style of music but injecting it with some fresh components and ideas? JP: I hadn’t actually been introduced to tra- ditional music until I was 13, and only really started to delve deep in the trad world when I was 19, so for the longest time I didn’t know how that kind of music worked as a guitarist, and I’m still learning so much right now. In a way I’m pretty lucky because I’ve been able to approach this kind of music with zero background, and have my own kind of per- spective on it. This can be super great for me sometimes, because maybe I can hear a tune differently than another player and have my own unique way of accompanying it, but it can also really suck because at the same time I can just totally botch the tune due to my lack of knowledge for correct playing. The way I see it, traditional accompanists are “mood setters.” We’re the ones who create the setting for whatever story the band is trying to tell. What I absolutely love about harmony is how you can make it work either with the melody, or totally against it. Finding the right chords to a tune can be great and very satisfying, but for me – and I’m sure there’s a lot of purists who disagree – finding the chords that don’t necessarily belong here and there, the ones that will add tension, dissonance, that feeling of trying to get back to the home key but not quite getting there yet, that’s what I love. It’s all about tension and release, giving some emotion, making a mood, and creating a story.