Shannon Pereira: ‘I Let My Guitar Do All the Talking’
The Mumbai guitarist will launch his debut single “I Miss You” with his band Shannon & The Silent Riot tonight
When you are a touring musician involved in multiple projects, taking time out to focus on your own original material can be a challenge. But that’s a hurdle Mumbai-based guitarist Shannon Pereira decided he must overcome. The 27-year-old musician has been performing in bands ever since he was in high school and of late, has been serving as the guitarist in live acts fronted by artists such as Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh and vocalist Manasi Scott.
Pereira formed the rock group Shannon & The Silent Riot in 2012 after the dissolution of his previous band The Works. And he couldn’t be happier to finally release his debut single, the mellifluous instrumental track “I Miss You,” along with the band at Mumbai venue The Stables on January 19th. “It is a very delicate song driven by emotions and filled with subtle nuances.” Although the guitarist penned the track in 2009, it was only until recently that he finalized the arrangement of the song. “I Miss You” was recorded at Pereira’s home studio and has been co-produced by him and Joel Crasto, who also plays keyboards with the band. “The song has been marinating with all the right ingredients and flavors and is now ready for the world to experience,” says Pereira.
Shannon & The Silent Riot also feature vocalist Prasad Salian, bassist Leon Quadros and drummer David D’souza. “There is a great chemistry and understanding in the band,” says Pereira, adding that at their Mumbai gig, the band will also perform more original material from their yet-to-be-titled debut album, due this April. “Now that we’ve set the ball rolling with original music, we plan to gig extensively at various venues, perform at music festivals and tour within the country and abroad,” says Pereira.
Between his sessions work and Shannon & The Silent Riot, Pereira keeps a tight touring calendar. Besides Singh and Scott, the guitarist has travelled with the likes of Mumbai-based jazz veteran Louiz Banks, playback singer Hema Sardesai, Pakistani singer-songwriter Ali Zafar and more. He says, “It gets hectic sometimes juggling between back-to-back shows, my guitar classes, personal practice, recordings, sessions etc. But I love it!”
One of Pereira’s career highlights was when he got the chance to jam on stage with the American guitar virtuoso Steve Vai at Hard Rock Café, Dubai in 2016. “I took my guitar along with the hope that Vai would autograph it for me,” explains Pereira. The musician recalls that when Vai called him up on stage, he was extremely nervous. “I had butterflies in my tummy. But when we began playing together, everything changed. He’s such a lovely human being,” says Pereira, who is also a Gibson guitar endorser. Apparently, he was only 18 when the American guitar manufacturers signed him as their youngest exclusive artist in India. “I have been hugely inspired by [guitar legends] Slash, Gary Moore and Jeff Beck and all of my guitar heroes played a Gibson at some point,” says Pereira. He adds, “I will complete 10 years with the brand in April. They’ve been extremely supportive and lovely to work with.”
It’s not surprising to know that Pereira comes from a family of musicians. His grandfather, Bernard Pereira, was a multi-instrumentalist and taught music at St. Michael’s High School in Mumbai. Pereira’s father, Schubert, is also a professional musician and performs with the veteran rock band Crimson Rage. “I was probably around six when I first watched my dad perform with his band. I still remember that day—how amazed and inspired I was by the way he played. And he continues to amaze and inspire me.”
Watch Pereira perform with Steve Vai below: