Primordial have reached a milestone in 2017 that most bands don’t. They’re celebrating their thirtieth year of creating music, but what’s even more impressive is that Primordial’s line up has remained almost unchanged over that thirty year period!
Ciáran MacUiliam (guitar), Pól MacAmhlaigh (bass) and Derek MacAmhlaigh (drums) started playing as a trio all the way back in 1987, performing under the name “Forsaken” for a period of time. They played a rough hybrid mix of early death metal/thrash, covering bands like Death and Sepultura.
They were joined by vocalist Alan Averill “Nemtheanga” in 1991 after coming across an advertisement at “The Sound Cellar”, which is a specialist metal store in Dublin, Ireland. According to Primordial lore, that advertisement was up for less than two hours!
After releasing their “Dark Romanticism” demo in the early summer of 1993, Primordial came to the attention of Cacophonous Records after they received a live soundboard recording from Dublin in 1994. Primordial had initially came to the attention of Lee Barrett and Candlelight Records (UK), but nothing was to eventuate any further. Cacophonous Records went on to release Primordial’s debut album “Imrama” in 1995. Along this portion of their journey, Primordial were also joined by Feargal Flannery (guitar) in 1993.
Before releasing their second album, “A Journey’s End” in 1998 with Misanthropy Records, Primordial unfortunately went on to lose not one, but two members of the band as both Flannery and Derek MacAmhlaigh decided to leave the band in 1997. Whilst Primordial managed to find Simon O’Laoghaire to fill the void behind the drums that same year, they decided to go back to their original solo guitar sound.
Primordial then created a relationship with “Hammerheart”, releasing their third, fourth and fifth albums: “The Burning Season” (1999), “Spirit the Earth Aflame” (2000) and “Storm Before Calm” (2002), respectively. It was during this time at Hammerfall that Primordial welcomed Micheál O’Floinn and his guitar into the band, as he first recorded with the band on “Storm Before Calm”.
Primordial changed record labels after “Storm Before Calm”, deciding to release their music through Metal Blade Records, a partnership that is still active to this day! Metal Blade and Primordial fans are to thank for providing with their sixth, seventh, eigth and ninth studio albums: “The Gathering Wilderness” (2005), “To the Nameless Dead” (2007), “Redemption at the Puritan’s Hands” (2011) and “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” (2014).
Unfortunately for Australian fans, these nine great albums that have been released over the last twenty five years have NEVER been supported by a tour, which means that Primordial have never set foot onto Australian shores…
That is all going to change this July as Primordial are FINALLY making the long flight from Ireland to Australia and playing a single headline show in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Overdrive had the chance to ask Nemtheanga a few questions about the upcoming exclusive Australian performances, as well as what lays ahead for the band.
Nemtheanga explained how that the unfortunate wait for a visit to Australia was due to “geography and economics” before further ebalorating how that “if someone had tried to bring us in 2000 and it was financially viable, it might have happened. It’s not a case of only us wanting to play but someone wanting to bring us. It’s a long way, and expensive to get there. Unfortunately, those geography and economics factors do come into play.”
Primordial are being supported by Vomitor and Nocturnal Graves, as well as showcasing off some local support bands. Nemtheanga explained how the idea came about to have those two amazing Australian bands supporting them, instead of showcasing off more Irish talent to Australian fans:
“Not only does Rob from Vomitor live in Dublin, but he is also a good mate. That’s how that idea was hatched of getting them to support us. Not to mention that I know Ian and Jarro from Nocturnal Graves from years ago.” He then further elaborated, “At almost 1000 Euro per flight, it is quite expensive to bring over talented bands from Ireland. Now there’s an expanded line up with more bands!”
Long time fans of Primordial are going to be wondering what sort of classics and long-lost gems they will be getting to hear. Nemtheanga informed Overdrive that: “I doubt there will be anything from the first album, but maybe one or two from the second album. We are hoping to get a balanced setlist of songs that represent all the different periods that the band has gone through.”
Nemtheanga was quick to play down the fact that Primordial can be classed as a leading light within black metal, responding with a very simple, “are we?”, before further stating how, “I mean, we are part of that second wave from the late ’80s to early ’90s. There were bands back then incorporating pagan or cultural ideals and aesthetics into the music, bands like Enslaved, for example, who were our peers. I guess, inevitably, you begin to wield a little influence over newer bands. If we have, that’s great.”
After all these years of not having set foot onto Australian shores, you would think that Primordial would take some time after performing these three shows to enjoy the sights that Australia has to offer. When asked what sights Primordial planned to take in whilst here, Nemtheanga joking responded with, “I don’t think anyone’s interested in our tourist plans. If they are, it’s really not anyone’s business, right?” before explaining that, “It may surprise people, but Primordial is not a professional band. We have ‘x’ amount of time for work, so ‘x’ amount of days spent in Australia on ‘holiday’ means ‘x’ less days we can play in other countries . It’s pretty complicated and boring, unfortunately.”
Now that Primordial will finally cross Australia off the list, where else is left for Primordial to travel to? Nemtheanga was quick to mention that there are: “many, many places. South America and Mexico are in my sites for next year,” before following up with, “I’d love to finally play somewhere in the Middle East, North Africa or Asia. Who knows!” before leaving Overdrive with this: “Before we clock out, I’d like to add a few more countries to the list.”
Presented by Black Conjuration Fest, PRIMORDIAL will be performing on:
Friday, July 7: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Tickets via maxwattstickets.oztix.com.au/Default.aspx?Event=70094
Official Event Link: www.facebook.com/events/238405096606664
Tickets on sale now!