“I Want You” is Nick Perri’s favorite song that he’s ever written.
Videos by American Songwriter
Just one of the tracks off Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves debut album, Sun Via in 2020, the acoustic-driven track integrates electric guitar and keyboards and was co-written with bandmates Michael Montesano and Anthony Montesano.
“It was one of those that just came to me in a very organic and natural way… and from the moment it was complete it’s just always given me a certain warm feeling,” shares Perri. “To me, that’s what all my favorite music does, it encapsulates us with feelings and memories and hopefully, joy.”
Accompanying the release of the video for “I Want You,” Perri has partnered with Gibson and Sweetwater Sound to give away 100,000 free digital copies of the band’s debut album Sun Via.
“My first nice guitar was a Gibson SG, just like my first guitar hero Angus Young,” says Perri. “From then on, Gibson has been my brand. After all these years, to be working so closely with the company and have them behind my artistic endeavors, is just so wonderful and I am extremely grateful.”
Filmed on the grounds of the Philadelphia Art Museum—made famous for the iconic scene in Rocky—and co-directed with Ari Halbkram and Derek Brad, Perri filmed the video for “I Want You” in one continuous take, like his previous video “Feeling Good,” and pays homage to the band’s hometown.
“I’ve always been a fan of that style of filming,” says Perri. “I dig the foresight and preparation it takes, and it makes the shoot a performance in its own right,” he says. “Everything has to hit on cue. It’s challenging sure, but super fun. And…way less work in post.”
Living in Los Angeles for a number of years now, Perri admits that it felt good to be back home. “I grew up here so it’s hard to imagine life without the influence of the city,” he says. “Philadelphia is a beautiful, and tough, city. It’s rich in history, but people keep it real. It’s a place that keeps you humble, and honest… and then there are the cheesesteaks.”
This June, Perri and his band will co-headline a tour with Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, who Perri calls a “songwriting and guitar playing genius.”
“He is a true living legend who continues to inspire, and it’s going to be tremendous fun to link up with him this summer,” says Perri. “I regularly spin ‘Heaven Tonight,’ ‘Dream Police,’ and ‘Live At Budokan’ on vinyl. The songwriting and attitude are just next level—pure American rock and roll.”
Following their tour with Nielsen, Perri and the band will continue on through more dates with Blackberry Smoke and a July residency at The Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia, a welcome return since their last Philly show was in 2019 with The Struts.
“I think what we all miss most is that shared experience, a communion,” says Perri of getting back out on the road. “It’s how we connect as people to each other. That’s the biggest missing piece since Covid has come around. Needless to say, we’re ready to break down that wall and revel in live music, big time. “
Already writing a number of songs for another album, Perri says there’s no next destination. He’s still basking in Sun Via.
“I have a feeling deep down that my next LP will be very special, but I hesitate to put a time stamp on it,” says Perri. “I still want more time to explore the sounds and songs floating in the nearby ether.”