In our brand new Reverbnation band spotlight, we talk to Brett Carruthers, vocalist for Toronto, Ontario post-grunge standouts A Primitive Evolution.
S] What, or who are your greatest inspirations?
B] “I think we all have similar musical inspirations. Growing up we all were heavily influenced by the great classic rock bands, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Police, Guns ‘N’ Roses. Then the 90s happened and bands like Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and Jane’s Addiction really got our young brains wanting to make music. Of course none of us knew each other back then, but the sparks were firing in our brains that we all knew we wanted to start bands and start creating music. It’s hard to really pinpoint what it is exactly, but for some reason none of us can picture ourselves doing anything else with our time. There is a need inside us to create music all the time. As soon as we complete one thing I have a burning inside for the next thing we can tackle.”
S] What about personally, what kinds of themes and ideas can inspire your songs?
B] “When I was 14 my father was killed by a drunk driver. At that time I was a pretty angry person and music became my outlet for these feelings. I think that a lot of the lessons I learned from that experience are still weaved into all the music I write. The importance of love and death in your life. The choices we make, free will, battles of spirituality. Sometimes your mind can rip you apart with negativity, but at the same time the world around us is so full of beauty and all these amazing things. I like to think of my musical career as a journey and when we started this band the concept of Evolution perfectly matched the way we approach our writing.”
S] What song that you are working on right now best defines your sound, and why?
B]“We are actually working on a new EP right now to follow up our album ‘The Prize’. Our first album ‘A.P.E’. was a heavier rock album and then with ‘The Prize’, we intended to make an acoustic album. Of course, while we were in the studio with our producer John Wozniak from Marcy Playground everything changed. We started producing this very epic record, still mostly acoustic, but we were adding in string arrangements and crazy percussion. Experimenting with guitar tones, auto harps and mandolins. It was a really great experience for us. For this new EP we want to meld the two sounds together into a organic heavy rock sound that has a lot of groove and soul.”
S] Do you have a message for any UK fans?
B] “Yes! Please spread the word for us across the pond! We would love to come over there someday soon! It is our dream to tour the UK and the rest of Europe!”
S] What can people expect from your live show?
B] “Our live show is constantly changing. We are always looking at ways to make it better. Recently we started playing as a three-piece to really tighten up the sound. We like to put on a show that gets people dancing and having a good time out front of the stage. By the end of our set it should feel like a house party in our own basement. For the New Year we are working on some new stage props to add to the stage as well. New backdrops and some cool stuff to enhance the visual elements of our show. From time to time depending on where we are playing we’ll add some extra members. Stephany plays Cello so we will often bring in a bass player to fill in while she plays a couple tracks on that. Other times we’ll add an extra guitar player for fun as well, to fill in the sound and play some of our more complicated songs.”
S] What are some of your biggest challenges right now?
B] “We are at a very hard part of our career right now. We have started our own record label, Playdead Cult Records, and are pouring everything we got into our next move. There is a lot of financial pressure for sure, but we are lucky enough to have a really talented group of people and have been able to be self-sufficient in terms of production, branding and all the business stuff. This is a challenge because sometimes it can get in the way of our creative process, it becomes very frustrating when I have to focus on money, band management and producing music videos rather than focusing on working on our new songs and completing the next album.”
S] What’re your plans as we move into 2013?
B] “The new EP is our main focus creatively. We also have just finished a new video for the first track from ‘The Prize’ called ‘Lord of Reason’. I think it’s one of the strongest songs we’ve ever written and has the perfect blend of that heavy rock meats acoustic organic sound we were talking about earlier. We’re doing a Canadian Radio campaign and an international publicity run for the video in hopes we reach as many viewers as possible! From all of this we hope to create some demand for live shows out of the Toronto, Ontario areas and venture out into the rest of the world.”