The Primitives are back! Paul Court, Tig Williams and Tracy Tracy’s band continue to prove that they are in their second youth. After that exceptional album of covers called Echoes And Rhymes and their fantastic last album Spin-O-Rama, Elefant Records is releasing a magnificent 10″ vinyl maxi-single with four new, original songs by the band that can keep up by any of their greatest hits. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles had the unbelievable opportunity to do a quick Q&A with Paul Court from the band.
For a lot of fans, the news of a new EP is fantastic. Did you ever think it would ever happen?
We didn’t think we’d do anymore recording after the album Spin-O- Rama, but we had a handful of songs that sounded good, so it seemed a shame not to record them, and Elefant records were more than happy to put out the EP.
If the planets aligned was there always the intention of making new music or even start touring again?
It’s hard to say, because we got back in touch with each other after hearing the awful news of the death of our original bass player Steve Dullaghan in early 2009. I hadn’t spoken to Tracy for about seven years be- fore that – she’d been living in Spain and Argentina. The only time any kind of reunion had occurred to me was the previous year, with it being the 20th anniversary of our first album, but finding out that Tracy was thousands of miles away put paid to that idea. I kind of think that if Steve hadn’t died we’d have linked up again somehow by now, but it took that happening to get us talking to each other again, which eventually lead to the band reforming.
Have you been surprised by the reaction by fans to the new songs off New Thrills?
All seems positive at the moment – not a single thumbs down for the video on YouTube, though now that I’ve pointed that out I’m sure a few will appear.
Did you ever worry about being forgotten?
We thought we had been forgotten. We tried to forget ourselves to be honest. I was a bit taken aback when positive references to the band began to appear. I thought it might be a piss-take at first. We were either ignored or hated by the early 90s in the UK.
Has the writing continued possibly for another EP or an album?
Not sure if we’ll record again. There are always ideas knocking about, but it comes down to time and effort versus how much the world needs another Primitives album.
Do you think the band’s sound has changed? In what way?
It’s been pretty much the same from the off as far as I’m concerned. It may have got a bit more polished at times, but the general essence of what we do has been constant throughout.
Did you feel the pressure with these songs to get on the radio or chart or was it about having fun and enjoying being back in the band?
No, there hasn’t been any pressure in that regard. We’re happy to be part of that grand tradition of creating great pop music that doesn’t get played on the radio.
Were there any doubts or concerns about releasing new material?
We knew once we were back together that there was enough interest to put out a small run of something, and there were a few new songs and some covers ideas, so at that time I don’t think we had any doubts about putting something new out.
With all the changes in the music business what do you find the hardest to get your head around?
I guess the fact that people can listen to music without paying for it or putting any effort into getting hold of it. I was just listening to the writer Jon Savage on the radio talking about his compilation album 1967 – The Year Pop Divided, and he was going on about how, because every- thing was so restricted at that time, you’d have to listen to a load of awful records on some radio show, to hear that one song you liked, and because of this the song’s power was heightened and it went in deeper – it’s harder to feel that with things these days.
Any plans to tour Australia?
No plans, though it’s been hinted at over the past few years – could happen.
Interview by Rob Lyon
The Primitives new release New Thrills is out now on Elefant Records