Peru the band is like the country in South America. Hot, steamy and rich with lilting syncopated rhythm that will make you swelter. The group’s inhabitants are similar to the rainforest like those of the band’s namesake. They’ve been slithering around the Island for more than four years; cutting their teeth touring with denizens of the local music landscape that includes Bayside, Taking Back Sunday and Saves The Day. The band of young entrepreneurial Long Islanders bow down to platinum pop predecessors like Paul Simon and Elvis Costello.
In 2011, performing under a different moniker, Gabriel The Marine, they landed a deal and signed with Warner Music subsidiary Sun Pedal Recordings. By late 2014, they decided to strike out on their own. Lead singer/ guitarist Michael Desmond, drummer Jay Scalchunes and bassist Tom Costa formed Peru after writing a handful of songs.
Costa felt the group had something special.
“I took notice of everyone’s ambitions including myself; we were looking to push the envelope. We all come from slightly different areas of music, which made for some diversity. Peru, the country itself, is extremely bio-diverse; teeming with an immense variety of life forms. The name is short, sweet and bold. It just worked.”
Costa added, “Peru blossomed and started as a place to write freely. It was an atmosphere that was different than what we were used to. We didn’t want to be another band that fit into a template. We quickly recorded a handful of demos with Long Island native Jay Scalchunes and it all came together. Jay not only took the role as drummer but he acted as engineer also.”
Peru’s debut video “I Need You” is available now on iTunes. The debut single was written out of desperation while the band was on tour.
“The single evolved into a celebration of the diversity of life that embodies a simple concept—to need someone,” Desmond explained.
He wrote the track while touring as Gabriel The Marine opening for a national act.
The song is a throwback to simpler times and extends a positive twist on a simplistic subject. The video was shot in Huntington Station at the band’s rehearsal studio. The trio recruited the help of friends and family placing them in front of the camera interacting with everyday props. They added quirky dance scenes intertwined with creative sequencing generating an element of fluidity. The video succeeds in combining an airy feeling of togetherness through eye-catching visuals.
“We wanted to get people of all ages involved…we included everyone from 6-month-old infants to 80-year-old women,” Scalchunes recalled.
Their next video, “My Lady” will be released independently via their own imprint.
“The song is a personification of the USA as if she was a woman and what her life would be like in the past, present and future. As children, we felt protected by a powerful figure, whether that was a mother, a father, or even a security blanket. As we grew older, we learn about situations that transpire across the globe, we wanted to work together to try to understand potential solutions to make the world a better place. We’ve displayed the world flag for our most recent release as our appreciation for all cultures,” Desmond said.
The second single, “My Lady,” can be found on the recently released six-song EP that features original artwork from Jeff Ramirez, owner of Hicksville’s The Up Studio.
The group is set to play a string of live shows throughout the tristate area through the fall. Peru hosted their debut CD release show on Sept. 4 at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville.