Established in Eugene, Oregon, and dating back to 1988, The Cherry Poppin” Daddies are an untraditional band that records music in various genres. The group is set to perform at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and the band”s lead singer, Steve Perry, shared his experiences with The Argonaut.
Argonaut: How did your band first meet? What was the push behind its formation?
Perry: “We started in 1988. Our first show was in November 1988. It was an idea that I had for trying to combine the punk music that I was interested in with swing music that I had discovered that I was drawn to for some reason. So it was kind of a science experiment to see what it would sound like.”
Argonaut: Is there a story behind your bands name?
Perry: “Before our second show we had decided that we needed a new name and the poster was about to be printed. We lived in a band house and were listening to a lot of Viper Jive records at that point and one of the lyrics that came through the record player was “I”ll be your Cherry Poppin” Daddy” or something like that. One guy said, “You should call yourself the Cherry Poppin” Daddies!” Everybody laughed and we said, “OK, fine, that”s the name.””
Argonaut: What gave you the idea to bounce around from different genres?
Perry: “It depends on what the song is about. If I feel like a certain genre makes what I am writing about more interesting or impactful I will write in that style. For instance, I wrote “Drunk Daddy,” a song about a child being beaten by his father, in a swing style because it was unexpected and when you finally realize what is happening it makes the reality of the abuse more shocking.”
Argonaut: What are you most excited for at the Jazz Festival?
Perry: “I want to show people that it is possible both to play good “jazz” music as well as rocking out. It”s fun to see a band be able to play both ferociously and with a brain.”
Argonaut: What is your favorite part about being in a band and performing?
Perry: “It”s my art so I like trying to express what”s going on inside myself through writing a bunch of songs and putting them in a collection that hopefully goes together and takes the listener on a thoughtful, emotional trip somewhere.”
Argonaut: What is your craziest performance moment?
Perry: “Once we were on a bill with Dana Carvey and Secretary of State Colin Powell in a blimp hanger and performed for all the Titans of Silicon Valley.”
Argonaut: What else should Jazz Fest attendees know?
Perry: “We have a new recording out called “The Boop-A-Doo” it”s a collection of our versions of “20s and “30s hot jazz. We have it and all our other records available at daddies.com. If you order a record on our website, you get personal service direct from the band. I literally put the CD in the envelope myself. We encourage anyone interested in supporting our music to check us out there.”
The Cherry Poppin” Daddies will perform at 10 p.m., Saturday in the Kibbie Dome.
Emily Sandoval can be reached at email@example.com