“Air disasters – a strange fascination that actually makes me feel better to do as much flying as I do”: A snapshot of producer and multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo

Fernando Perdomo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where’s home?
Los Angeles, but I spend a lot of time in my home town of Miami Beach, Florida.

What’s your earliest prog memory?
Me, one-and-a-half years old, singing and dancing along to Heat Of The Moment by Asia. It was caught on video by my brother and mother!

What’s the first prog album you bought?
The Yes Album at the Flagler Dog Track Flea Market in Miami. I was nine, my mind was blown wide open and I fell in love with Yes.

And the last?
Yes’ Mirror To The Sky and Bill Bruford’s box set Making A Song And Dance.

Your first prog gig?
Styx on the Return To Paradise tour with Kansas opening [1996]. I was completely mesmerised by Steve Walsh, who was doing handstands on his keyboards.

And the latest?
Dawes in the Ace Hotel, LA. Their latest album Misadventures Of Doomscroller is prog whether they know it or not – Americana that goes where no Americana’s gone before.

What’s the best prog gig you ever saw in your life?
King Crimson in Sunrise, Florida, in 1995, during the Thrak double trio tour. I was 14 and was as thrilled as I was terrified.

And your latest prog discovery?
Blank Manuskript from Austria. I met them at the ArtRock Festival in Reichenbach, Germany, they’re so cool and unique... and young!

Guilty musical pleasure?
The Cardigans and Lisa Loeb – two of my absolute favourites who are also huge influences.

What’s your Mastermind specialist subject?
Disasters, especially air disasters. It’s a strange fascination that actually makes me feel better to do as much flying as I do. Water Landing from Out To Sea 4 album was directly influenced by this.

Your favourite prog venue?
The Boerderij in Zoetermeer, which inspired my song De Boerderij on Out To Sea 1! Seeing Focus there and then playing with Dave Kerzner later was absolute heaven. Great sound, amazing people.

Your prog hero?
Todd Rundgren. He can weave in and out of prog and other genres so well. He is my career and life template.

Outside of music, what are you into?
Driving, eating out, going to thrift and charity shops and flea markets.

Ever had a prog-related date?
I’ve experienced love on Cruise To The Edge, and it’s truly romantic to be ‘out to sea’ with such amazing music and a beautiful woman.

What’s the most important piece of prog music?
The Ikon by Utopia. No side-long epic covers as much ground as this masterpiece. It’s equal parts Mahavishnu, Beach Boys, Miles Davis, Aaron Copeland, and 100 per cent thrilling.

Recommend us a good read?
On And Off by Stephen Bishop and Last Chance Texaco by Rickie Lee Jones. I’m a sucker for a musician’s biography.

Which prog musician would you most like to work with?
Judie Tzuke, Curved Air, Todd Rundgren, Caravan.

Which proggy album gets you in a good mood?
Ambition by Aviary is so overwhelming, it just makes me smile all the way through.

Your favourite prog album cover?
Never Forever by Kate Bush. All those things coming out of her skirt – it perfectly matches the album’s magical music.

What are you up to at the moment?
I’ve just released my second album with Carmine Appice, Running Up That Hill, and Shadows In A Jar by Life On Mars, featuring Billy Sherwood. I produced a cover of GenesisYour Own Special Way with a 20-year-old John Wetton vocal and violin by David Cross, and I’m planning a deluxe box set celebrating my four Out To Sea albums.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.