Non-Blonde goes it alone

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 August, 1996, 12:00am

Linda Perry could be intimidating. She is direct, uninhibited - even in front of strangers - and she knows what she wants.

The former vocalist with 4 Non Blondes hit town for the first time to promote her debut solo album, In Flight, and stage an acoustic gig.

It's her first venture since bidding farewell to the now-defunct San Francisco rock group whose hit What's Going On topped radio station play-lists worldwide.

'I left the group in the middle of the second album. They wanted to do the same thing as with What's Going On and be safe. But I wanted to move on and do something different.

'I did not break up the band, I just left,' Perry said.

She said she would be a much happier person if she could completely detach herself from the 4 Non Blondes tag and to do that she has dragged herself away from the sad-parting blues.

'I could have made an album with hits in it but I didn't. I wanted to make one with substance,' Perry said. 'In the '90s, a lot of albums have 10 filler songs and two hits. But In Flight is an album and the songs fit each other.' Gone are the screeching vocals and distorted guitar of the 4 Non Blondes. There is a strong voice and simple arrangement.

'This album is a very spacious one. The record company asked me how they could describe the music in it, so I told them to put 'MAR' - Moody Adult Rock.' It also features a very un-classical violinist, Lisa Germano, who Perry described as 'demented and twisted'.

'I wanted a violinist with no classical training and Bill Bottrell [the producer] handed me one of Lisa's albums. She was perfect for it.' The message Perry wanted to get across with this album is that people should let go of their inhibitions and dare to express themselves.

'A lot of people tug their feelings inside, but they would be happier if they expressed their feelings and were more passionate,' she said.

The daughter of a Brazilian model and a Portuguese engineer, she started songwriting a decade ago, playing both guitar and piano.

She wrote all the music and lyrics for her new album.

Perry dragged herself away from her home town, San Francisco, and has spent six months on tour, promoting her work in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. After Hong Kong, she is going to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

The outspoken singer played an acoustic session at the Fringe Club in Icehouse Street while she was in the territory.

At the end of her visit to Taiwan, she had to fly out of Taipei in the middle of Typhoon Herb. 'I thought it was going to be like the Wizard of Oz and the plane would fly up the middle of the wind.'