A huge thank you to The Primitives Paul Court, plus HHBTM and Mike (for again, allowing us this amazing exclusive), and CJ DelMar at Girlsville for helping out with an inspiring walk through The Primitives past and present discography! This year also marks the 35th Anniversary of the The Primitive's brilliant album, "Lovely." CJ at Girlsville is such a huge fan of The Primitives so I had to ask for their perspective on a few favorite tracks throughout the years (thank you again, CJ)!
Listen to GIRLSVILLE CJ's invaluable walk-through on a few of their favorite The Primitives tracks from their lengthy discography, via Spotify (below) and be sure to check their releases out on Bandcamp as well:
Listen to the new The Primitives EP "Don't Know Where To Start" with a playlist that includes covers, originals, and more, via Bndcmpr:
One last note: Mike and our friends at HHBTM really outdid themselves with this pressing on pink and black vinyl of The Primitives brand new EP, "Don't Know Where To Start." You can purchase a digital copy via the Bndcmpr playlist (which will lead back to Bandcamp - Happy Bandcamp Friday!), or the vinyl exclusive version, here, as well!
Without further ado, here is our interview with Paul Court of The Primitives!
Carly: 2023 is looking like it's coming up "Lovely" in every way for The 'Prims! Congrats on your forthcoming release of the brand new EP, "Don't Know Where To Start," the forthcoming exhibit at the Coventry Music Museum, and the upcoming tour in May 2023!
Let's begin at the top! You have been working with HHBTM and Rough Trade for the pressing and release of the brand-new EP--how did these new tracks come about for the release of "Don't Know Where To Start," and how long was the new EP in the planning stages for?
The Primitives' Paul Court: I wrote the songs end of 2021. Most of the ideas I have, I don’t do anything with, but if it sounds like it could be one of those top-notch Primitives’ songs then I feel obliged to knuckle down and bring it to fruition. "Don’t Know Where To Start," felt like it was going to be one of those songs. Our intention was to put out a seven inch ourselves and just sell it via our online merch store. We only did 300, but they sold out in a day. HHBTM got a hint that we were doing something new earlier on and asked about releasing it in the US, so we agreed to do the twelve inch. It takes a long time these days to get vinyl records made. We couldn’t get Tracy recorded till April last year when she was over for a hometown show in Coventry--she lives in Spain. So from start of recording to getting the actual records it took about eleven months.
You have announced a forthcoming exhibit at the Coventry Music Museum--how wonderful is that! This will be 35 years since "Lovely" was released, which we're coming up on, in 2023. The album still sounds as fresh as ever and I'm sure is influencing a whole new generation of current and future fans. What can you share with us about the "Crash" exhibition? The photo 'teaser' that you posted at the gallery in the 2-Tone exhibition car, the 1961 Vauxhall Cresta (what an amazing vehicle), and was that the actual car from The Specials, "Ghost Town," video? If so: wild(!)--how fun was that sitting in that legendary car?
Paul: We donated a few things to the exhibition, mostly photos and press stuff, and we filmed some interviews. The artist who painted a massive stage backdrop of cars crashing into each other that we had when we toured the UK in 88 got in touch. We don’t know what happened to the backdrop but he has his original A3 artwork, which hopefully is getting blown up as a backdrop for the exhibition. It opens end of February.
The museum has documents proving that it is the actual car from the Specials’ video. Anyone can go along and get their photo taken in it.
Follow @theprimitives on Instagram - photo credit The Primitives: "At Coventry Music Museum today to help sort stuff for the Prims’ Crash exhibition, which starts in Feb" - The Ghost Town car(!)
When you were planning for your May dates in 2023--are there specific venues on the list that you had to play or were hoping to (favorites on the list)? Along with tracks from the new EP, will you be revisiting songs from "Lovely" and other releases as well--or be doing certain album features on different nights of your May tour?
We have only played two of the eight venues before and we’re going to a few towns we’ve never even played in before. Because it’s the "Lovely" anniversary thing we’re going to play a bunch of songs acoustically off the album within the regular set--give people’s ears a rest. Our live set is a big old cherry pick of favourites from ‘86 onwards.
The Primitives album, "Lovely" (above).
What was the mood in the studio for the new tracks being recorded: what are some of the new memories that you will take with you from the session(s) while collaborating and recording the songs from "Don't Know Where To Start”?
We were only in for an afternoon to do the vocals. I recorded the guitars at home. Tig recorded some drum ideas in Wales. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked out.
A day in the life of The Primitives: take us record shopping and to a favorite cafe or watering hole followed by a concert with your favorite new band--what would you be on the search for (record wants) and which shops would be on your list of destinations--what bands would play your gig?
I don’t go out much these days, but I was planning on going to see Panda Bear and Sonic Boom at an art gallery in town, but tickets sold out straight away this very morning. I keep meaning to get hold of Broadcast’s Maida Vale Sessions. I’m also on the lookout for a copy of "Albatross Baby" by Chunky--a rare glam rock single from 1973.
Do you have a favorite track from the new EP--or a favorite lyric or musical transition or part from a newly recorded song? What does it mean to the band to have this new EP released in 2023?
I like the ‘dun-ga dun-ga dun-ga dun’ of the rhythm guitar on “Don’t Know Where To Start.” I ripped it off from something really obvious, but I can’t think what it is–Everly Brothers, or a girl group thing.
We are happy just trickling the odd thing out here and there. There’s not a lot of interest in what we do, but it amuses us to add stuff to the Prims’ repertoire that is as good as, if not better, than the best things we did first time round. Feels like it’s kind of a secret music strictly for the pleasure of the dedicated few.
What is the one thing that you wish the band would be asked about that seems to get missed over time?
What advice we would give ourselves if we could go back.
Mine would be:
Spend more than £2.50 on a haircut. Don’t bother giving away free bubble bath with the single “Way Behind Me.” The penalty imposed on us by the chart compilers cost us what would have likely been our second top ten hit.
Lastly: what are the band doing to have fun together and bond? Do you think the band will be able to take the tour further than the UK in the new year?
Don’t know if we’ll take it further than a few more UK dates later in the year. It’s difficult for a band of our limited means to get abroad and it’s got a lot harder since Brexit. As for having fun together - dunno, maybe we’ll bring back the ‘Seven Famous Erics’ game for the May dates. You choose a name that is neither too common or too unusual and try to think of seven famous people with that name. It’s a group effort. There are possibly as many as fifteen famous Erics.
FURTHER LISTENING from THE PRIMITIVES X GIRLSVILLE
Enjoy the following video playlist, also compiled by Girlsville's CJ:
The Primitives “Really Stupid” (1986)
Alvvays cover “Crash” a The Primitives Cover (2018)
The Primitives “Don’t Know Where To Start” (2022)
The Primitives “Don’t Know Where To Start” Lyric Video (2022)
The Primitives “Till I’m Alive” (2023)
The Primitives “Crash” (1986)