Oliver Primus is the founder and editor of music and culture website The 405 and, aged 26, his dedication to keeping the site running over the past few years has been pretty darn impressive - especially coming from my personal perspective of that of a contributor to the website, ensuring The 405 is packed full of top critical reviews and ace features. More recently the radio series was a big success and, following a re-design, the site is looking really ace. Perhaps most incredibly is that that is indeed his real name.
The album that first got you into music:
I think the first record I really got into was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins. It's a great record because it manages to stay consistent over two discs, showcasing the most brutal aspects of the band, as well as the most beautiful. I used to listen to it daily, but after killing it for a few years I took a break from it. I remember hearing it again a few years later and thinking "fuck, Infinite Sadness really is awesome." When I was younger side Mellon Collie (the heavier side) was what I really connected with. Teen angst and all that I suppose.
Smashing Pumpkins - Muzzle
The band that dominated your teenage years:
Alongside Smashing Pumpkins, I listened to a lot of Fugazi, At The Drive-In, a lot of Silverchair (don't judge!) and probably a million other bands that I don't really listen to anymore.
At The Drive-In - One-Armed Scissor
Growing up in Norwich, my gig choices were pretty limited, but there was a period when Hundred Reasons / Jetplane Landing / Biffy Clyro / Hell Is For Heroes / Lostprophets used to play in Norwich all of the time. I look back at that period of my life (about 10 years ago) with a smile on my face. Biffy used to be great when they started. I know people often say stuff like that because they think it makes them sound cool, but seriously, they used to be great. What went wrong?
Biffy Clyro - JustBoy
The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:
I had a conversation with my girlfriend last week about this as we were trawling through YouTube looking at videos that reminded us of our youth. My earliest childhood memories in that respect came from our weekly drive to London to see my grandparents/cousins/extended family. My dad would always pick the music on the way there, and my mum on the way back. My dad would 9/10 pick blues stuff like Clapton, BB King etc but also threw in a lot of American rap stuff too (which seems odd now that I think about it). My mum on the other hand would pick stuff like Simply Red. I suppose my dad had better taste, but my Mum's poor taste as a 30 year old woman probably helped me decide what I really didn't like, so I thank her for that.
Saying that though though, her record collection (despite its brevity) is actually quite cool. Lots of Roxy Music, Zeppelin, Cohen etc. The Country Life record by Roxy Music sticks in my mind the most. Not really for the music so much, but more the album artwork.
Roxy Music - The Thrill Of It All
The album that has dominated your last 12 months listening:
Oh man, this is when I have to consult iTunes... So it turns out Baths and Kanye West have had a lot of plays over the last 12 months. They always say it's the records that you don't instantly fall in love with that will stick with you the longest. Okay, I've never actually heard that before, but it sort of makes sense I suppose.
I came to Cerulean by Baths quite late in the day really. In fact, it was a Twitter suggestion that made my pick it up. Whoever suggested it...thanks! Whenever people ask me to explain what style of music Will Wiesenfeld makes, I tend to skip the genre tags in favour of what it feels like, which is the feeling you get when someone you like gives you a hug. It's warm, homely and lovely.
Baths - Lovely Bloodflow
The Kanye West record (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) took me a while to get used to. I've always dipped in an out of his work, and felt that this was another case of 'two strong songs, a few ok tracks, rest filler'. The more I listened to it, the more I came to realise how great it is. Ok, so it has a few silly moments in it, but overall it's very strong.
Kanye West - Power
A special shout out to the Broken Dreams Club EP from Girls. They followed up a fairly solid debut album, with a perfect EP. Great move.
The most exciting new band you've heard recently:
My brain is setup to breakdown the second I get asked questions like this. Let me go look through iTunes again...
Einar Stray is a pretty exciting dude. His album Chiaroscuro is a marvel and I had the pleasure of seeing him Norway last year. He was phenomenal. Another Norwegian band I like is Team Me. They have stupidly massive pop hooks.
Einar Stray - Chiarscuro
On the basis of his unreleased album, Youth Lagoon is up there as one of my favourite people on the planet right now. Just wait until you hear The Year of Hibernation. Holy crap, what a great record!
Youth Lagoon - Cannons
And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:
Broken Dreams Club by Girls or, if I'm cheating, the Pop Massacre compilation from Friends of Friends. Does that make sense? Basically self loathing and constantly doubting yourself, all whilst working every second of the day. Welcome to the music industry baby.
Girls - Broken Dreams Club
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