Speaking to Lee Heir (Lead Singer)
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Prime also consist of : Kieran Hill, Daniel Ison, Zero, Alex Hudson
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Prime? How long has the band been around?
Lee: Daniel (Ison, Bass/ Vocals), has guested in various bands around Nottingham including his own solo material, which I always enjoyed watching... There's usually someone weird or out of time guesting behind him on drums. I played in a band called Future as a young lad, and had an acoustic act called The Steady Sound with the original Prime bassist Chris Munton. Kieran (Hill, Lead Guitar/ Vocals) has jammed with numerous local bands in Derbyshire, Alex (Hudson, Rhythm Guitar) has joined us but writes his own material on guitar and keyboard, and Zero (Drums) is the veteran of the group, he has played in lots of good punk bands over the years and is off on a German tour with post-punk band BFG this month, who supported New Order and The Smiths back in the day... two bands that we're all influenced by in some way. Prime has been round a couple of years now but this is the first, settled long-term line-up, and we've been playing since October of last year.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Lee: The origin of the name was taken from the Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman film, 'Prime Cut'... think I was probably looking through a film book or TV Guide. I'm influenced by those grizzled 1970's films... 'Get Carter' is another one with Michael Caine, and that's often our theme walking onto the stage.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Lee: I think with the new new tracks I'm referencing soul and electronic music a little bit more... maybe trying to fit the methods of those genres and make them work within a guitar band... But, saying that, when we get to the studio we're making some rowdy rock music too. A friend loved a new song, 'Walking' which we're hoping to get out at the end of year and said "This is brilliant, it's pure prog!" At the moment on my playlist is stuff like Brian Eno, Chic, The Velvet Underground, Bowie's Berlin period. Dan Ison is trying to bring more quiet-loud vibes into it, so I'm sure that will come into play in the future.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Lee: I'm sure it was the mythology of Jim Morrison and The Doors that got me into wanting to do it. I recall that I hated the idea of local bands and the cliques at school, I was always pretty individual, I'd talk to all sorts of people. But I bet the germ of the idea came from cranking out 'The Soft Parade' album every day. Then I was signing on and got the idea of forming a band with a guy called Keith Deviant... I think he changed his name because I got him heavily into The Who's music. He still owes me for that, the bastard.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Lee: Ahaha, Zero does exercises before he plays 'cos he's got bad knees from years of being a pro wrestler and touring with different bands and lugging kit around! I try and warm up my throat before longer sets, definitely. But otherwise, anything else is pretty ridiculous, you may's well be a dancer or something... and I hate choreographed shit like that.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Lee: The highlight for us has just been getting out there and playing to appreciative audiences at places like o2 Academy and good venues like The Wardrobe in Leeds and Spankys in Nottingham or other shows and festivals. You can't beat the feeling of performing well and the crowd gets what you are doing and tells you after.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Lee: I bet Talking Heads would have been fun in their 'Stop Making Sense' peak. I was watching that film the other day, and I love how they get all the funk musicians involved. But I suppose touring with The Beatles, The Stones, The Bay City Rollers or Michael Jackson would have been fun just to see how mad it was with the fans.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Lee: Don't eat yellow snow. And check out the Prime 'Bye Bye' video of course!