Frustrated by the current state of music, James Perryman and Soroush Shakeri of West London formed THE BURNING FEATHERS to fill a void. Birthed during the pandemic, they wanted to do something different – to stand up, stand out and most importantly, make some noise. With old friends Rob Pennel and Alvin Ho forming the rhythm section, they took a no-frills approach, swiftly creating an album’s worth of music that brings together the alt-rock sounds of their youth with banging sing-along choruses. We spoke to the band about the tracks that shaped their sound, check it out:
Nirvana - Serve the Servants
For our singer, James, Nirvana is the band that first gave him a passion for music as a kid. He got into playing guitar, drums, singing and writing songs because of them. Their songs are so well crafted and catchy, and yet are so raw. James said when he first heard In Utero it blew his mind. Nothing in the mainstream sounded like that at the time - it still doesn't.
The Beatles - Day in the life
I know it's probably a bit cliche to pick the Beatles and then this song, as it's so well known, but to us it's perfect. It's simple and has a beautiful melody, but it's also super dark and moody. Also you get the best of John & Paul's different songwriting personalities across the different sections of the song. That was important to us in the songs we've written. We have such different musical backgrounds and we wanted all of that to make its way into our songs. Some people may want something a bit more one-dimensional, but that's just boring and predictable to us. The Beatles just have so many amazing songs that are so darn catchy. Even though we like to make a lot of noise, it's really important to us that all the songs are memorable and get stuck in your head.
Queens of the Stone Age - Smooth Sailing
This is a great song. It's groovy and rocking and nasty. Our singer, James saw QOTSA at their first UK show at The Garage in London, and also at the LA2/Mean Fiddler with Dave Grohl on drums back in the day (that was special). They're just so unique and they keep evolving from one album to the next. We've only just released our debut single, but there's a lot of variety across the songs we've written and recorded so far. We want to keep it fresh for us and whoever is listening.
Tool - Ænema
Both our guitarist, Soroush and our drummer, Rob are huge fans of Tool. Three of us went to see them live last year and they certainly know how to put on a show. They don’t conform to norms and they create great space and texture in their music. None of us are fans of heavy music that's just one-dimensional and heavy for the sake of it. Tool use anger with purpose, at the right place and time, and with great unique melodies - all of that combined with some of the most powerful and original grooves in the rhythm section. It’s really important to us to be varied and not one dimensional. You can certainly hear Tool influences in the middle of our debut single, Start of an end.
John Frusciante - A Doubt
This may seem like a bit of a curveball, but John Frusciante is a huge influence on our guitarist Soroush and the reason he first fell in love with guitar. Frusciante has a simplicity and effectiveness to his sound. There's a sense of honesty and authenticity about his music - he isn't just trying to impress people with fancy guitar work. He’s also not afraid to break normal traditions, whether that's in his song arrangements or mixing styles - he just goes with what feels right to him. He’s very varied and dynamic too (sometimes going full-Hendrix) and isn't scared to get gnarly either. In The Burning Feathers we really try to balance the beauty and the dirt in our songs, to create that tension.