Can you tell us about the origin of the band name?
Being a solo hard rock artist out of New Orleans, I knew I didn’t want a traditional band name because I didn’t want to portray myself as a collective when I’m really all by myself. At the same time, using my real name seemed bland. I’m half Persian and half white, and Kevin the White seemed a bit Lord of the Rings, so I went with Kevin the Persian.
Who are your favourite bands and how have they influenced your own sound?
Even though I’m not nearly as heavy, I think that thrash metal influences how I write songs in that I tend to focus on somewhat intricate rhythm guitar riffs with overlaid melodies. And much like thrash, vocals tend to play second fiddle to the instrumentation. Even the ballads on my album I would say draw inspiration from the way thrash bands approach their slower songs…classic examples being Fade to Black by Metallica or The Legacy by Testament. While my roots are in thrash, these days my favorite bands are Type O Negative and Killing Joke, whose influence can be heard in the amount of reverb and layering on Southern Dissonance.
Did you always have the ambition to be a musician and in a band or did you originally have other plans?
Since I started playing guitar at 13, I knew that I wanted music to be a part of my life. But unfortunately that dream was temporarily derailed by a life of being a lawyer and business owner, for which I did hard time for about 15 years. My mother’s passing in 2019 got me feeling like my days are numbered, however, and I got myself straight again. I haven’t yet completely weened myself off being a lawyer, but I’m happy to say that I spend more of my hours doing music than law these days.
What songs or albums are on your current playlist?
I just finished reading Tony McCarroll’s book about his stint as the founding drummer in Oasis, which has put me on a British rock kick lately. I don’t do playlists and only listen to full albums. At this moment in time I am jamming to Liam Gallagher’s new album C’Mon You Know, Oasis’ classic Definitely Maybe, and Stone Roses’ Second Coming, but that will surely change in a week or two.
Do you sing in the shower?
Sure, but more of a hum…the shower is a good place to experiment with vocal melodies and lyrics.
Do you have any plans for the band for this year and into next year?
Right now I’m working on expanding and improving my solo acoustic live set. Eventually that’ll morph into a full band set, but right now I’d like to keep it low key. I’m also working on a few new songs, and once a song starts coming together, it’s a train that’s hard for me to stop, so I hope to get some new material recorded in the next several months.
Do you currently have any new songs/albums ready to be released?
My debut album Southern Dissonance was released earlier this year and as I mentioned I’ve got a few songs in the oven.
If you could play at any venue in the world where would you choose?
The Cotton Bowl in Dallas because I saw U2 there in 1997 and it was one of the best spectacles I’ve ever been to. I’m also generally into older, beat-up venues with a past and don’t like the new fancy ones as much…you can always tell the difference when you see the bathroom.
Do you have a favourite album? If so, what is it?
All time favorite is Master of Puppets. Close second is Nocturnus’ The Key.
Do you have any guilty pleasure songs/albums?
The closest I’ve come to liking anything on the top 10 recently would be Blinding Lights by The Weeknd…great song with a melody similar to Aha’s Take On Me, but his songwriters did a good job of adapting it to make it their own. Other than that, I have no shame about listening to sappy pop songs if they suit my fancy in the moment, especially stuff from the 80’s like the Thompson Twins or Tears for Fears.
If you were putting together the greatest show on earth, who would be playing?
I’d have Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke on vocals, Peter Steele from Type O Negative on bass, Mike Browning from Nocturnus on drums, and probably Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick from Testament doing rhythm and lead guitar. If there was enough room on stage for a keyboard, I’d go with Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream.
Can you remember the first album you bought with your own money? What was it and do you still have it?
In junior high, I wanted the Metallica Black album, but Metallica was considered an evil band back then and my parents didn’t approve, so I got Nirvana Nevermind instead. Even though I love Nevermind now, at the time I remember being so underwhelmed by it that I returned it and got Metallica Black against my parents’ wishes. That began a musical journey into thrash metal with all the usual suspects like Megadeth, Slayer, and Testament. I got rid of all my CD’s including the Black Album around 2010 and now listen mainly to vinyl.
Finally, let us know all your social media sites so your fans, old and new, can find and follow/like you!
You can find all my socials and streaming links at kevinthepersian.com.
We, at The Metal Asylum, would like to thank you for your time. Is there is anything further that you would like to add?
Thank YOU for supporting rock!
This interview is purely the property of The Metal Asylum