Contributor’s Note: Perennial is Chelsey Hahn (organ and vocals), Chad Jewett (guitar and vocals) and Wil Mulhern (drums). The band members all grew up in Western Massachusetts and now live in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Chelsey Hahn and the band are active in the Northeast scene, as they also book shows in order to build the Connecticut/Massachusetts market. Fans can find Perennial at the following locations:
Evan: Where did the name Perennial come from?
Chelsey: We really just liked it as a word – it doesn’t necessarily announce what kind of band we are, which is nice. We also use a lot of nature imagery in our lyrics, so a word like “Perennial” which is often associated with plants, trees, wildlife, fits that nicely.
Evan: Why do you only play non-bar, all-age shows? Where did that idea come from?
Chelsey: We believe that everyone should be able to experience music and that age restriction is a form of discrimination. Shows at bars are the alcohol industry using musicians to sell their product and it’s not about the music. Bars are also dangerous places and we don’t enjoy being in them. This is an idea we wanted to continue from great bands that came before us, and it’s an idea we strongly support.
Evan: You seem to approach music with the same passion and energy that Kathleen Hanna does, who are some of your biggest influences?
Chelsey: Thanks, we love what Kathleen Hanna did and continues to do for women in the scene and beyond (tees4togo). She is a person I greatly admire for truly being herself and putting her all into her art. When we started this band we were thinking about a lot of bands that inspire us: Refused, Black Eyes, Bratmobile, The Hives, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Make Up and The Sonics. But we were also thinking about artists like Smokey Robinson, Otis Redding, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy – stuff that was really exciting and adventurous and moving. For me, I don’t usually think of specific songs or bands while writing, I usually go on how a topic is making me feel and go from there.
Evan: Tell us little a bit about your relationship with Howling Frequency, how did you get hooked up with them?
Chelsey: Well, our friend Paul from Chained to The Bottom Of The Ocean wanted to start a label to release work by his friends and he asked us to help him start it. We helped with the logo design and name and I’d say the split is something like 10% us and 90% Paul. We were honored to be the first release by Howling Frequency and it’s been great to see it growing. I connected Paul with our friends in Mineva and I’m glad to have them be a part of it with us! I usually just try to make sure our social media presence is working hard to promote all the bands on the label. I hope we can do more showcase shows as the label keeps growing.
Evan: What’s your song writing process like?
Chelsey: We usually start with a riff or a beat and think of a theme or story we want to tell with the song and then brainstorm lyrics and maybe at that point we add weird found-sounds or layer other instruments on top. We are nearly finished with our second full-length album and a lot of the lyrics came from fast brainstorming where we were trying to match a theme and find a word that worked poetically. Sometimes Chad will be playing guitar, just riffing around, and I’m like “Wait, stop, do what you just did and add a lower note at the end” or something like that; then we build from there. It’s fun to get to write together because we have all been friends for a long time and also we have been in other bands together. Wil is a MASTER drummer and seems to write or learn his parts so effortlessly it really helps keep us all on track.
Evan: If you could open up for any act around right now, who would it be?
Chelsey: I would love to open for Gouge Away or Priests – they are both awesome bands that I really really admire.
And there you have it! Check out the music video for “Fauves” below!
Check out Perennial live if you’re in the Northeastern part of the United States:
Mon. 1/21- Wherehouse in Hartford, Connecticut (w/Standby, OroborO, and Early Lover Of Mankind)
Fri. 1/25- Bebbs in Ashford, Connecticut (w/Lil Sluggers and Ivy Station)
Sat. 1/26- Groundworks Collaborative Benefit Show in The Root Social Justice Center in Brattleboro, Vermont
Fri. 2/1- Sheer Queer Fest at Dunkin Donuts in Boston, Massachusetts (w/Baylies Band, Carrion Eater, The Binmen, and WIMP)
Sat. 2/2- Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, Massachusetts (w/Ultra Deluxe and Space Camp)
Sat. 2/16- WAMLEG in Wallingford, Connecticut
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.