INTERVIEW: Ten Strings and a Goat Skin

“A seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative and wildly entertaining traditional music powerhouse” (The Guardian)  

Called ”infectious" and "the best of contemporary Celtic music,” Ten Strings And A Goat Skin are a bilingual fusion trio playing traditional Irish, Acadian, and French tunes mixed with modern, world rhythms. Their fiery, contagious and unique sound both respects and redefines the roots of traditional music. In advance of their show at The Cedar on Wednesday, September 27th with Srazhalys, we spoke with guitarist Jesse Periard about the band's influences, inspirations, and bilingual appeal. Check out the interview below, and get tickets to the show here.


Q: Your musical style samples mainly from traditional Irish, Acadian, and French music, with your own original creations and dynamic percussion mixed in. How did you first get into this type of traditional music? A: Rowen and Caleb were raised with folk music from a very young age. They were shown traditional Irish music and fell in love, that's mainly the music we started playing with. Nothing modern, just straight Irish traditional music. We then started discovering other types of traditional music, some that were associated with our roots, like Quebecois, Scottish, and Acadian, and some that weren't, like Scandinavian, and Americana. But we realized we loved all the different types of traditional music we were hearing and it influenced our playing tremendously.  

Q: You’re a Canadian group, hailing from Prince Edward Island and Quebec. How would you describe the traditional music scene in Prince Edward Island and Canada at large? A: The Canadian traditional music scene is booming!! There are so many amazing trad bands coming out of our country these days and it's just so inspiring. A lot of groups are really embracing the mix of elements from modern and traditional music. I think this is a genre of music that's making its way to younger generations again and is considered "cool" music in some respects. And Prince Edward Island is helping to bring this music forward in big ways, with incredible bands like Vishtèn, and The East Pointers, I think it's safe to say traditional music is in good hands.  

Q: What does it mean to you to be a bilingual band? A: Being a bilingual group has opened a lot of doors for us throughout the years. Having the opportunity to present our shows in both French and English means we can perform in many parts of Canada, as well as countries in Europe. Over the last couple of years now, we've been able to tour 2 to 3 times a year in France, Switzerland, and Belgium. We're very grateful for having learned two different languages growing up, especially now that it plays a huge role in our careers.  

Q: You have been described in the past as being “rhythmically innovative.” What do you think Ten Strings and a Goat Skin does differently? A: Honestly, we don't know. We just play what we like and what we create, and a lot of people seem to like it. And we're happy with that.  

Q: What’s inspiring you lately?

A: This has been an amazing year for us so far, we've met so many fantastic people, listened to some great music, and seen some pretty amazing sites, and we've been able to take inspiration from all these things and much more. We don't allow ourselves to limit our creativity just to keep things "traditional", we try to embrace everything that comes our way and see what we can make out of it.