Like many times before, Birmingham’s immense amount of talent never fails to impress me, and in this particular case I was blown away from a psychedelic indie group known as Future Primitives. Long time before meeting the group, I was able to catch a glimpse of what intensity every member of the band performs with, and seeing them live was nothing short of what I was expecting. It’s hard to give a single Primitives member the “front man” title due to the fact that everyone performs with the same amount of energy as the next. A singer fueled by the inspiration of early English rock, you say? Check. A keyboard player that puts on a show of his own? Check. I could go on for days, but the point is that this band works as a collective unit unlike any other I’ve witnessed. They’ve worked with countless greats from Birmingham’s music industry for years (counting back to early 2000’s?), and have since managed to build a large support group consisting of their “bad ass wives” (all except one member of the group is married with at least one kid, I know, sorry ladies!) to endless support from fellow musicians and music lovers from all over the southeast. Drawing musical inspiration from older legends like Led Zeppelin and current touring bands such as Tame Impala, Future Primitives has managed to combine this variety of sounds from several era’s and genres to form what is their very own.
SMF Live: Take me through your personal history with music and how it led you to where you are now.
Daniel Hargett: Well, me and Casey both pretty much grew up playing music with our Dad, and we grew up playing in church or stuff like that…that’s pretty much where it all started at. Then, obviously, as we got older we got into what [we play now].
Casey “Cosmo” Hargett: I was working at a construction site and I met this guy named Dewayne and he had a band called Low Flying Plane and asked me if I wanted to come play drums with him, and that’s where I met Shane, and I used to bring Daniel to practise with me but he never actually played.
Shane Wynn: He never said anything, either.
CH: No, he never said anything, he always just kind of sat in the corner. Me, Shane, Dewayne, and another guy named Clint – we didn’t have a bass player but Daniel came to every practise and he learned how to play all of the bass lines, and eventually we decided to make him the bass player for a while, then Dewayne decided he wanted to quit, so once he did that he took the Low Flying Plane name with him and everything. We decided to start a new group and that’s pretty much us three and that guy named Clint, and we started a band called White Heap and we played for maybe four years together. We never got too popular or anything like that, we were just kind of coming out when the punk scene was still going strong and we’d go to shows booked with all of these punk bands, and we were like the only psychedelic group it seemed like at the time. Eventually Clint quit because he had other things going on, and at that point it was just us there and we were like “Well, what are we going to do now?” We decided to try to keep it a three-piece for a little while until we decided we needed some more members. I was like “I’ll play the bass instead of being the drummer,” and Shane’s little brother Caleb started to play drums for us. Justin is really close with Caleb because they grew up together. He played keyboard and we needed someone to come in and give us that sound, so that’s how we got Justin in the band. We played like that for the longest time, I played bass for a while, and we eventually got to where Caleb couldn’t play with us anymore, so I went back to the drums, and we got with a bass player names Lance Hays who played with us for a very short time, but within that very short time that he played with us he got out name out there. That’s where it all started, really.
SW: That was in 2012.
CH: Yeah, that’s when we became Future Primitives.
DH: We owe a lot of credit to Lance Hays for helping us out. He just knows a lot of people, he worked at Bottletree for a long time.
Justin Todd: That’s where we got to know all of these people that decided to start helping us out.
SMF: Did you kind of start out at Bottletree then?
CH: We’ve only been playing Birmingham for thirteen or fourteen years.
JT: We did get bigger at Bottletree.
CH: Once we played there it started taking off. It was like all of a sudden there was this place where it was our kind of people that wanted to hear our kind of music.
SW: We had to work our way up, we had to play a bunch of those showcases that let us play, like, five songs.
JT: Yeah, we’ve definitely paid our dues. But, that’s how we became Future Primitives.
CH: Yeah, then we had Lance in the band for a while, but he decided to go tour with someone else. We met Lane because we went to record with Jeffrey Salter from Banditos and Lane was just hanging outside there.
Lane Smith: They called me and told me they had this bad ass band that had bad ass fuzz guitar and that I needed to come check it out. So, I did, and then that was when I met them. Lance and I have similar personalities, so we hit it off and I called him up one day out of the blue like “Hey Lance, what’s going on?” and he was like “Nothing, I’m moving.” So I went “What do you mean you’re moving? What about the band, what’s happening?” and that’s how I found out about everything.
CH: Daniel and Greg play in a band called The Great American Breakdown together.
Greg Henderson: In some form that band’s been around since 2003. We’re still going today but Great American Breakdown went on tour and we kind of took a break after that. I asked Dan if he would run it by the guys for me to come play guitar.
JT: I always thought Greg was the most bad ass guy. I’ve watched Greg play in Great American Breakdown for years. We had been looking for a guitar player and we needed somebody to come in and play that would know how to put the best licks in- Greg was that person. Greg could put the sickest licks into these moments, and so does Lane, when Lane came in his bass was thumpin’. Our band has evolved and evolved, like right when you think we’re fucked, we get even better.
DH: I forgot to say I think Greg was in White Heap for a hot minute.
SMF: How have your personal influences gone into Future Primitives’ sound, because it’s very unique.
JT: Each of us are inspired by different things.
DH: First of all, Shane is a really big fan of The Who. And Guided Voices, which of where he gets a lot of his influence from. He writes his vocals and, in general, that’s the way he presents himself in his live act. Me personally, and I can speak for Greg too, we’re both really into Led Zeppelin, and that’s where a lot of those rock and roll roots come from. Casey is really into The Beatles, so we get some pop-ey elements into it.
LS: I listen to a lot of softer music, when I’m at home especially, it just puts me in this chill mood.
GH: Some new artists that we all listen to together on tour are Tame Impala-
JT: Black Angels.
SW: All of the different eras of rock are here, like prog rock, glam rock, psychedelic rock, and just everything. But there’s been a good rock record made for every year since 1953.
SMF: So what have come challenges been with releasing your latest album (“Erase The Future & Hope For Now”) compared to your other EP’s?
JT: The Evolution. There was this huge evolution. What we did was different because our last album was primarily written by Dan, Shane, and Casey.
GH: I wasn’t on that album, I hadn’t joined the band yet.
JT: With this album, I wrote two songs on it, Shane wrote two songs on it, Dan wrote some…Greg came in at the middle of it when we were all ready producing these songs, so he’s not on this one, but will be for the next album.
DH: Just trying to evolve, basically, when you’re trying to write an album people hear it so you want to keep up the genre and the style that you play because you know that’s what your certain crowd is into but also want to do something different every time to keep people on their toes.
JT: There’s a certain groove you have to get into, and finding that can be tough. We couldn’t do it without each other.
Want to keep up with Future Primitives? Good news, they’re on the road, so keep an eye out on these dates and catch a show near you!
9/28-Saturn, Birmingham, AL w/ The Glorious Sons
10/3- Syndicate Lounge Birmingham, AL. w/ Nerves Baddington 10/30-Humphrey’s Huntsville, AL. w/ The Van Allen Belt
10/31-Upsidedown Plaza Birmingham, AL. w/ The Van Allen Belt, TBA
11/21-Head On The Door Montgomery, AL. w/ TBA
WITH MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON !!!