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The Future Primitives: As long as it’s natural

March 15, 2013
by Warren Glam.

Garage rock band, The Future Primitives, are old souls when it comes to making music. They talk to us about their love of analogue recording, as well as their second album.


It’s a hot day in Cape Town when I meet up with The Future Primitives. We’re sitting on wooden stumps outside of a restaurant called Clarke’s, and the sun’s glare is making me squint into see their faces.

Drummer, Warren Fischer, has the right idea wearing his shades, whereas vocalist, Johnny Tex, is squinting back at me. The three of us talk a little shop while we wait for the bass player to arrive.

“I’m Heino. Howzit, man,” says the soft-spoken musician when he joins us, the bandmates exchange high fives before he fetches a chair from the restaurant.

So how did you guys meet?

“We’d already been playing together,” answers Johnny while looking at Heino. “We had a band called, The Revelators.”

That was a three piece punk rock project that Johnny started in 2010, one that was an underground success in Cape Town, and lasted until their drummer at the time moved to England.

“We met Warren through mutual friends,” continues Heino, the three of them started The FPs in 2011.

And how hard was it for you guys to bring your sound to life?

Johnny reflects for a second before declaring, “It wasn’t that hard.”

Heino: “We knew what we wanted to sound like. We have solid influences that have always been there so…”

“Well,” muses Johnny, “we do have a sound about us, but we’re not really trying to make one sound in particular. Our sound is kind of loose and can range from garage, to surf, a bit of rockabilly. It’s not something that has to be a certain way.”

However, he admits that while they like to add new elements to their material, they are heavily influenced by ‘60s stuff. “We don’t want to hide from that.”

You guys seem like old souls when it comes to your taste in music. What do you think more recent genres lack?

Warren and Johnny answer almost simultaneously: “Feeling.”

“A bit of soul,” continues Johnny. “Even if you take pop songs from the ‘60s, you have people screaming. Now it’s…”

“Auto-tune,” says Warren.

Johnny: “People use metronomes and it steals that natural rhythm; the way you would jam together. That all gets lost with a perfect timing that isn’t really perfect.”

Johnny goes on to talk about the band’s recording methods.

“Warren and I studied sound, we read a lot about it, and we’re really interested in analogue recording,” reveals Johnny. “We record to reel to reel tape machine and try to…”

“…use as few mics as possible,” states Warren.

Johnny: “Yeah, we try to keep it really simple, and get a live feel. It’s about capturing the feeling and not just recording something and making it perfect. Often the little mistakes make (the music) better. It’s about that take being ‘like that’. And we have to make sacrifices. Say one of us made a mistake – you’re bummed about your part, but the whole song sounds good. If you do two takes, maybe my guitar’s perfect on the second, but that take doesn’t feel as good.”

And how will your second album (hopefully out in April 2013) differ from your first, This Here’s The Future Primitives?

“It’s more melodic, and it’ll appeal to more people,” begins Johnny.

Heino: “It’s got a pop sensibility, but it’s not pop.”

Johnny agrees about it not being 100% pop: “It’s definitely still raw. Some parts are crazy, but it’s a good blend of stuff that’s catchy and raw.”

Monica Davies

Monica Davies

Four years ago, Monica needed a new hobby, so she started this blog. Right now, she can't believe people are still reading it. If you are, she loves you for it.

She believes John Lennon's Imagine is a blueprint for a perfect world and that a house should never not have wine in it. She is currently failing at going vegan.

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