The power trio: the essence of garage rock, a simple band lineup usually including drums, bass, and guitar with one or more members also performing vocals. While there are many famous four-plus-member bands, the trio is not an unfamiliar arrangement. From Green Day to Blink 182 to Muse, the three-person lineup is a tried and true formula in the rock genre. Often successful acts will include more auxiliary musicians on stage for live performances, but what is it like for bands just starting out and going 100% DIY? We caught up with one such group to find out.
Persoma is a rock outfit hailing from Leicester, England. The band formed originally as a duo between guitarist Joe Crofts and Richard Rogers, later rounding out the lineup with bassist/vocalist Jakob Painter. Joe, the primary songwriter, discovered a love of hard rock at an early age. Richard began playing drums via the Rock Band videogame before teaching himself to play behind a real kit and Jakob picked up the bass several years ago after a stint on the six string guitar. The band recently released their debut self-produced and self-titled album, promoting the lyrical theme of questioning ideas with emotionally-charged songs. “Jakob and I were taking a music technology course at the time and had access to a small studio within the college,” recalls Joe. “I produced the record and it was a massive learning experience. Working in the studio gives you this amazing ability to try all sorts out and immediately hear changes back in context.”
Relatively new on the scene, Persoma has not widely toured but has performed locally and regionally. “I love the energy of performing on stage. Jakob is really good at conveying emotion through his singing and can also pull off the melodic material,” Joe explains. With some bigger acts coming out of Leicester, the group feels they have a lot to live up to. “Bands such as Kasabian, Blitzkrieg, and Crazyhead all come from our hometown,” says Joe. “The UK in general has an incredibly long list of rock bands to take inspiration from.”
Though experiencing positive feedback thus far, the trio has also faced some challenges. “Only having three members can be challenging as there’s a greater burden placed on each member to fill as much aural space as possible,” Joe explains. “That being said, it’s easier to learn songs and organize practices with a smaller group and I enjoy the challenge brought by the limitations.” The band is going fully DIY which allows them to have freedom over their material and schedule, but also presents the classic indie-band challenge of publicity and limited resources.
Despite the challenges, the band remains upbeat about their future and their craft. “Music is a universal language, it’s elegant and complex but everyone can communicate through it even if they aren’t able to play an instrument,” muses Richard. Jakob adds, “Music brings people together in a way that nothing else can: the feeling of being in a crowd of people all feeling the same emotions.” All three musicians suggest perseverance, practice, and networking as a means to success in the music scene. “Things don’t just take off with zero effort,” says Jakob.
Persoma plans an eventual follow-up to their first album and hopes to spread their art. “If people listen to our music and enjoy it, then I’m over the moon. We didn’t start this band with lofty commercial expectations, we do it for the love of the music,” explains Joe. We at Squatchful can think of no better reason to be an active musician and can’t wait to see what the future brings to these young musicians. To find more about the band and their music, find them on Facebook or Bandcamp.
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