The newly formed dream team combines to show listeners what’s possible through mastery of the drums and guitar.
Laying solidly within drum greatness, Carmine Appice has captivated true instrument fans with an unmistakable blend of power, precision, and imagination. Having contributed his significant abilities to iconic acts such as Vanilla Fudge, The Rod Stewart band, and King Kobra, Appice’s status as an elder statesman to the art is undeniable. Appice has repeatedly proven that they belong with the best of the best, having been recognized for his prowess on the instrument via enshrinement in the Classic Drummer and Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.
In the Ying to Appice’s Yang, in Fernando Perdomo, Appice was somehow able to find his perfect counterpart and equal. Fernando Perdomo can impressively match Appice’s drumming virtuosity with his impressive musical repertoire. As a multi-instrumentalist, Perdomo deftly navigates between Latin music, folk, and hard rock, showcasing unwavering confidence and a playful sensibility that permeates every chord he strikes. His distinctive musical style has left an indelible mark on recordings by acclaimed artists such as Rebecca Pidgeon, John Wetton, Todd Rundgren, and Jorge Moreno, further solidifying his status in the industry.
In their joint release, aptly coming under their joint “The Appice Perdomo Project,” both musicians employ the full extent of their significant capabilities to craft a sonic landscape that celebrates the power of percussion. Built upon a solid foundation of rhythmic mastery, The Appice Perdomo Project’s latest release is a dual release; “Drum City” and a cover of Kate Bush’s classic hit “Running Up That Hill.” In typical fashion, Appice and Perdomo show the wide breadth of their mastery by nailing both performances despite their vast differences.
For the first offering, “Drum City” definitely takes centerstage, and as Appice and Perdomo’s rhythmic command is palpable, they drive the instrumental track with unrelenting force while maintaining an infectious groove that keeps everyone and everything joyously in motion. Everything from the music video's bright, energetic swirling visuals to the triumphant guitar riffs embody everything you’d think “Drum City” to be, chaotic and free.
Although “Drum City” may have taken center stage, their cover of “Running Up That Hill” is also an excellent release in its own right, and Perdomo’s re-interpretation of the art-pop classic makes it feel like his guitar is speaking to your soul. Whereas “Drum City” was triumphant and ecstatic, “Running Up That Hill” feels more melancholy. However, there’s a definite beauty in how something so melancholic can still make you feel the groove.
In “The Appice Perdomo Project,” Appice and Perdomo have given all enjoyers of the drum and guitars a healthy dose of ear candy that’ll have you wanting more. Whenever you’re ready, tap in and check out the music videos for “Drum City” and “Running Up That Hill,” available on YouTube.
Welcome to Buzzmusic, Appice Perdomo Project! We loved “Drum City” and “Running Up That Hill,” but how did the two of you even meet before we get any further? How did the Appice Perdomo Project come to be?
Carmine Appice: I got a call from the great producer Tom Dowd and a call from his daughter, Dana; she told me that Fernando wanted me to play on a record of his. So, I talked to him, and considering I had a home studio and needed to learn how to work with it, I thought it would be fun to try it out...We did 12 tracks that we released in 2021 as our first album Energy Overload, which had two videos released by Cleopatra Records.
Fernando Perdomo: Legendary producer Tom Dowd was my mentor in high school. He would visit our music program and give us his amazing stories, including many involving Carmine. Tom passed away more than a decade ago, and I have continued to be friends with his daughter, Dana Dowd. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew Carmine (because I had written some music inspired by him); next thing you know, Dana texted me: "Expect a call from Carmine shortly," and that was that - Tom Dowd was our middle man!
What was your favorite part about bringing the vision for “Drum City” to life, both musically and visually?
CA: “Drum City” started with the drum track I gave Fernando to write music to. We have done this before on our first album. It was a high-energy track. It came together quickly; then, we needed a name for it. I thought “Drum City” fit the track, and the fact that I had the artwork I did with my buddy Ed Heck hanging in my studio was a cool name for it. When it came to doing the video, after talking to Fernando, we agreed that with a green screen, we could incorporate the artwork in the video to place us in Drum City. Then, my editor, Robert Neilson, suggested he animate the artwork, and I agreed. And bam, we had this cool concept for the video! The guy who shot the video footage of us at my studio, Zak Bordeaux, suggested we put green tape on my chest to put artwork on my chest while playing. I loved that. So, in the video, my chest becomes part of the artwork. The animation was awesome and combined to make Drum City come to life.
FP: We have three ways Carmine and I write together. I send him a demo, two is he sends me a demo, three is a drum track, and I write to it. "Drum City" was just a drum track and that cool loop. I also drum, so I can understand where Carmine is going with his drum parts and find the perfect licks and parts to compliment him! And that is what I did with "Drum City" - everything comes from the rhythms, is danceable, and GROOVES!
What advice would you give aspiring musicians who want to follow in your footsteps?
CA: I would say learn your instrument, play with other musicians, and try to play around anywhere to get experience. It’s a different world today. I don’t know how these bands or people become internet stars. But most that do play well. That’s the key: know your instrument before anything.
FP: Listen to as much music as you can from every era and every genre... become the most complete listener you can be, and your musicianship will follow.
What do you think the best part about being a musician is?
CA: Creating music that can move a person listening to it. Creating musical moods affect people and affects the musician doing it. People ask me, “Do you have a hobby?” and I answer, "I play and create music." That’s my hobby. And it’s been from the beginning.
FP: All the people you meet and all the fans you meet. Music AFFECTS YOU and shares happiness around the world. It’s like learning a new language that will expand your world 100X over.
What’s next for the two of you? Can we expect more music from Appice Perdomo Project, and is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
CA: I’d like to say thanks to everyone that is enjoying our music and to those following me for all these years. We would love to play these albums live and hope to do so. And being that we both have studios, it is easy for us to create music. Just sending tracks back and forth doesn't cost any money. We can take our time and do it right until we are both satisfied. It’s a great, fun setup. We can both pretty much play any style of music, which is great. I love Fernando’s playing; his bass is awesome, too; sometimes, he reminds me of a young Jeff Beck in approach and sounds. So, yes, we can expect more from us. We are a modern entity - our name initials are “app."
FP: Carmine and I have created more than two music albums now; we see each other making an album a year for now. Carmine maybe 24 years older than me, but I must keep up with him. The Man is always full of ideas and creating. That is so inspiring to me. Rock and Roll is a lifetime commitment, and the wicked have no rest. To the fans - thank you for believing in our music and understanding instrumental rock and roll that grooves. This style needs to come back. We are all still reeling from the death of Jeff Beck. In many ways, we are just trying to keep the style of music he helped create alive for future generations.