Sunday, July 29, 2012

Primitive Weapons debuts their dark, charismatic sounds at Cherry Street

This New York City-based loud rock band plays fast and loose with the rules of hardcore, incorporating elements of metal, doom, noise and post-punk into their dense and dark musical emanations. A few years back, they released an awesome 7" called "Cosmic Horror" on the Shinebox label and this year saw the release of their full length debut, "The Shadow Gallery" on Prosthetic. So with the band finally set to make its Connecticut debut this Thursday along with another band we just wrote about, and Rhode Island doomsters Pilgrim, we sent lead singer David Castillo some questions pertaining to the title of their new record, the band's growth, and their influences, among other things. Here are his answers. Once again, do not miss this show. The info is on the bottom.

How do you think the band has grown, musically and otherwise, between the release of the "Cosmic Horror" 7" a few years back and the new record "The Shadow Gallery"?

I think the major difference between the 7 inch and The Shadow Gallery, is that we have developed more of our own sound on The Shadow Gallery. The 7 inch was really our first few songs and it was good to capture that moment in time but we were still finding our way around our sound. As we kept jamming we started to communicate better musically and pull different aspects out of each others playing that made "The Shadow Gallery" take it's own shape.

The band has a very dense and dark sound, was this on purpose or is it just a result of the members bringing different influences into the band? Or is it the product of your environment? Both? Neither?

I am not really sure why that happens to be honest. I think as a band we gravitate to those kinds of melodies and ideas but its not very calculated. It's definitely an amalgamation of all of collective tastes and it just works.

Do you consider yourself a hardcore band at heart? Why or why not?

I consider us influenced by a hardcore lineage of bands that dates back to the 90's. I think there were a lot of bands at the time and beyond trying to stretch the genre by weaving in metal, post hardcore, prog, noise rock, etc. influences into their respective sounds. I think that was definitely our jumping off point and then we kind ran with it from there. I grew up listening and still do listen to a bunch of hardcore, so personally it is still very much an influence on me.

I heard that the title of the new album is a reference to the Alan Moore comic, "V For Vendetta". What is the significance of the title? Why use that?

You heard right. I like graphic novels a lot and The Shadow Gallery stuck out to me as a cool name for something. The Shadow Gallery is V's collection of forbidden goods was a reminder of the world before the fascist regime he was living under took over. All of these songs were very much written on their own without the other in mind from a lyrical perspective, it felt more like a disjointed collection than anything thematic. And when I thought about it, they were really just a vehicle for helping me talk about and remember certain moments. So when the record was done, The Shadow Gallery just seemed to fit the tone and vibe of the whole thing.

What is the meaning behind the band's name?

I saw an exhibition of Primitive Weapons and I thought it would be a cool band name. It was also partly influenced by Ian Svenonius' Psychic Soviet and his thoughts about rock music being a primitive art form. I read that a bit after and it reaffirmed to me that it would be a good name. Thanks Ian.

What were you trying to achieve musically on the new album? Do you think you've achieved it?

I just wanted to make something I would enjoy and I am proud of. In my mind we did both. I also think we have a lot more in us from what we got out of this record and I am excited on making more.

What is the subject matter to your lyrics based on?

I like to keep the specifics open for the listener. In a broad sense I would say it's about struggles of life and the world we live in. Whether it be Quitters Anthem which to me is a very personal song or Or Do Ideas Have You? which has much more social commentary to it, it all works in that vein.

How are the songs written? Is it a collaborative effort? Does everyone contribute

It's a collaborative effort and everyone writes their own parts. Arty is really the catalyst, he brings most of the riffs that the band then works on. Then we just build from there by jamming.

How do you think the band fits into the NYC loud rock scene? Why?

We are definitely a part of a creative and growing scene of heavy music out of Brooklyn. Justin and Arty own the Bar/Venue Saint Vitus and I manage it so we are constantly seeing good bands. I don't think we are concerned so much with "fitting" but just playing with other bands we really like.

What are the plans for the band after this tour?

So far we are working on writing a bunch of new stuff. Besides that we are playing The Music Hall of Williamsburg with Vision of Disorder on November 24th.

Manic Productions Presents:

Pilgrim Mares Of Thrace
Primitive Weapons
Womb Of The Desert Sun

Thursday, August 2
Cherry Street Station
491 North Cherry Street Extension
Wallingford, CT

7pm - 21+ - $10

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