"All I'm saying is that to me, it feels like rock'n'roll is leaving the world," says Bobby Gillespie...
Primal Scream‘s new album will be called ‘Exterminator’ and it will be in the shops in the first quarter of the new year, though the release date hasn’t yet been finalised.
The tracklisting on the promo versions currently circulating is
‘Kill All Hippies’ ‘Accelerator’ ‘Exterminator’ ‘Swastika Eyes’ ‘Insect Royalty’ ‘Arkestra’ ‘I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time’ ‘Keep Your Dreams’ ‘Swastika Eyes’ ‘Shoot Speed Kill Light’
It’s an incredible progression from the dense mesh of dub sound that characterized ‘Vanishing Point’ (writes James Oldham).
Featuring “contributions” from Brendan Lynch, David Holmes, The Automator and – once again – Kevin Shields, it stretches from the rattling discordant instrumental ‘Blood Money’ to the juddering almost industrial electro ‘Exterminator’ – with its caustic references to “concentration camps” and “prostitutes” and furious high frequency noise bursts.
The two best tracks are simply breathtaking. ‘Accelerator’ (which features Kevin Shields on guitar) is four minutes of breaking glass guitars and wall of feedback production, which comes on like a gonzo ’60s garage record. The sheer depth of its innovation is matched only by ‘Pills’, a clinical, whirring hip hop track with faded in speech and the lyrics – “You ain’t nothing/You’ve got nothing to say/Shine a light on you/You fade away” – looped up and feverish throughout.
Like we say, it’s a great record. Just not one you’re going to be humming on the way to the shops. And it’s hard to equate that with Gillespie‘s continued desire for stardom. He, though, doesn’t see it like that.
“What I mean,” Gillespie told NME recently, “about bands like PIL and Joy Division is that they wrote about the time they lived in. They feel like and define that time – ’79 to ’80. That’s all I meant. We wanted to make a record that reflects what it’s like to live in Britain at this point, both sound wise and lyrically.
It’s well documented that you think “rock is dead.” Can you explain what you mean by that, and where exactly that leaves Primal Scream?
“All I’m saying is that to me, it feels like rock’n’roll is leaving the world. It’s like free jazz and people like Coltrane and Sun Ra, they’ve gone and when they left the world that music left the world. We’ve got it recorded, but no one can or will play music like that anymore. That’s just the way things go. It’s the same in rock’n’roll. I don’t hear anyone playing it apart from Royal Trux.”
“We’re a rock’n’roll group. We’ve got the soul, the feeling, the attitude, the electricity. We’re fucking with styles, we’re merging them, we’re taking them somewhere new and different. Not for the sake of it, but because we’ve got the feeling inside us. It’s a path you’ve got to follow. You’ve got to get out there. You can’t stay in a darkened room…you’ve just got to get out there. We are doing something different, that must be obvious.”
Is that Primal Scream‘s current mission statement?
“Yeah, we stand for sex, drugs and rock’n’roll,” he smiles, before adding,”but seriously we’re a great fucking rock’n’roll band. And I think we make great fucking music. And that’s it. Alright?”