The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: future/primitive
- by Alexis V.
We have to admit that a bunch of us at The Deli are former skate rats and huge fans of the Bones Brigade crew so there was definitely a group of us secretly rooting for punk outfit future/primitive
. In our recent Featured Artist(s) Poll interview with the band’s guitarist, Jaime Herrera, which you can read below, we really learned a lot about the passionate group, whose members span multiple decades and music scenes. They’ll be performing next in Philly on Friday, May 16 at one of our favorite local haunts The Boot & Saddle, and you can check out future/primitive’s debut self-titled 12” below.
The Deli: How did you start making music?
Jaime Herrera: Leora and Calum have both been playing in bands since the 90s (Thulsa Doom, Oi Polloi, Phobia etc... Calum perhaps longer than all of us). Our latest addition has been Erin on drums, who is an experienced musician across many genres and in addition to playing with future/primitive is also currently active in New Brunswick, NJ bands Soft Dov and 3Jane.
Some of our songs like “COLD SWEATS” have been brewing since I was just a kid, but most of our current set was written and arranged when we were an instrumental 2-piece with our first drummer Graham throughout 2012. After crafting the music for about a year in my living room, we strolled down to Sit and Spin Records, and asked Leora if she would be interested in joining us as our singer. We moved our rehearsal space down to Apex Rehearsals, and in a little over a month of relentless practices, we hit HF Records in Camden to record. Everything just “clicked.”
Calum joined us shortly after, and we enjoyed a warm welcome in Philadelphia during our first shows in the summer of 2013.
I think that for each of us as individuals, the band really fed into many burning ambitions that we were carrying separately for a long time. It’s a great feeling to be able to share a vision and build something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
TD: Why did you name the band future/primitive?
JH: We like the idea of polarity and extremes. The momentum, tension, or struggle between two opposing points is where the excitement is. We try to reach that kind of apex in all of our songs. Oh, and of course... the 80’s Powell Peralta skate video by the same name.
TD: What are your biggest musical influences?
JH: Collectively, we are all coming out of different niches of various underground scenes. I think what has bonded us together as a band is that we were all really enthusiastic (for lack of a better term) kids that loved our respective scenes. More importantly, we continued to extend our passionate attitude and be involved in underground punk into adulthood. Punk can be such a youth-oriented arena with so many faces coming in and out, so when you see someone you have not seen in 10 years... it’s kind of a moment. Our dedication throughout the years gives us a shared history despite our age differences. (There is nearly a 20-year difference between our oldest and youngest members.)
For example, when I was a kid just getting into punk in New Jersey around 2000, I would see Leora’s band Thulsa Doom play at the Cove in Roselle Park, NJ or at Tompkins Square Park in New York. All the while we were both huge fans of Oi Polloi, a band that Calum toured with for over 7 years in the 90s. While neither of the aforementioned bands has what I would define as a direct influence on our sound, it does speak volumes to our connection as musicians and the respect we have for one another.
To answer your question more directly, it’s the spirit and the idea of musical freedom that the rich history of punk can offer if you are able to look past the labels and divisions. Listing the cadre of seminal or obscure bands would be a real disservice to that idea!
Anything with a subtle melody that has an air of melancholy but retains a bite and anger is what personally gets me moving, and that kind of inertia is what fuels most of the song writing in future/primitive.
TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
JH: Some of the freshest stuff coming out of Philly has been supported by Philly’s own FDH label. We really love the melodic and danceable backbone of bands like the Bad Doctors and the effects heavy textural experimental sound of SGNLS. Across the River in West Philadelphia are our faster and more intense counterparts like Bad Side and Sickoids (though currently scattered across the US). We think our sound is a bridge across these various notions of punk.
TD: What’s the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
JH: Subhumans: The Day the Country Died gatefold LP - that cover art really got under my skin...
I can’t remember the first gig I went to, but after seeing a band called the KRAYS, that’s when the world revealed itself to me in terms of loving live music.
TD: What do you love about Philly?
JH: Going to plug some of my favorite haunts for this one!
I’ve spent most of my time in South Philly so I will concentrate on some gems in the area... Sit and Spin Records for everything vinyl of the punk, metal, and hardcore variety. Lucky 13 has a really great jukebox, and the owner Clark is about as rad as they come. +Govinda’s and Viet Tofu for your vegan needs.
TD: What do you hate about Philly?
TD: What are your plans for 2014?
JH: 2014 has been a very busy year for us. We just released a limited pressing of a S/T 12” on vinyl and cassette and hoping to entice some labels into doing a larger/distributed release of the vinyl. We are poised to record new 7-inch this summer that we hope to release in the fall if not sooner.
Right now, we are spread across Philadelphia, PA, Brooklyn NY, and New Brunswick, NJ. Despite that, we have been playing out regularly, and are looking to do several regional weekend tours as the weather warms up. A music video for “COLD SWEATS” is underway as well.
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
JH: Hands down a recent house show in Baltimore with Crimes, Big Mouth, and Wet Brain. I was bowled over by the wild crowd a couple times. The basement was packed, and every single person was thrashing around or dancing. It was our second show with a new drummer and our first time in Baltimore. Erin brings out a great presence in our live set, and it has really shown in terms of audience participation in all of our 2014 appearances. You can see some of the chaos in this video clip of some of the songs: http://youtu.be/_ADkngYOJrY.
SO MUCH FUN.
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
JH: I’m sure I will get in trouble for taking these guesses.
I will eat anything that is or tastes like Red Velvet... but cupcakes are my favorite. Erin is a bit of a coffee aficionado/drinker... so its always fun to see her disappointed at the local brew. :)
Leora usually packs her lunch, while Calum, being the road warrior that he is, will steer us clear of most delis and gas stations in pursuit of some quality vegan eats.
(Photo by Melanie Gardiner)