Bobby Gillespie on ‘Screamadelica’: ‘Ecstasy was a religious conversion!’

Primal Scream man describes drug's influence

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has chatted about how ecstasy was instrumental in the making of the band’s seminal 1991 album ‘Screamadelica’.

Gillespie is on the cover of the new issue of NME, on UK newsstands or available digitally today (February 2), in celebration of the 20th anniversary of ‘Screamadelica’ being released.

In the issue Gillespie spoke about how, with the help of ecstasy and the burgeoning acid house scene, Primal Scream went from being underdogs who “weren’t selling any records” to making one of the most celebrated albums of the 1990s.


“Nobody ever thought we were gonna make it,” he explained, before explaining how Creation Records boss Alan McGee first introduced him to acid house in 1988.

He explained: “[McGee] just went fucking crazy – one minute he was listening to Gram Parsons and the Stones and the Modern Lovers, and the next minute he was like this mad acid house guy. It was like seeing him have a religious conversion. All of a sudden he was begging you and going, ‘Please, please listen to this music! Please, please take this new drug!'”

He credited ecstasy as the drug that “opened everybody’s minds” during sessions for ‘Screamadelica’, and described the first time he took the drug.

“You were like, ‘Alright, I’ll take one,’ and [McGee]’s like, ‘Here, take another one, do you like it? Take another one… and another half.’ That was my introduction to E. And then all of a sudden I’m listening to this record, turning the bass up, going, ‘Oh! Ooh!'”

Pick up the new issue of NME for the full interview with Gillespie, as well as interviews from ‘Screamadelica’ producer Andrew Weatherall and insight from the rest of Primal Scream.

‘Screamadelica’: an oral history


Andrew Weatherall on ‘Screamadelica’