DATE OF INTERVIEW:
19th November 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: This mix is amazing, I have to say. I think it’s one of those albums that you can only truly appreciate by listening to it through headphones because the stereo mix is incredible.
CHRIS: That’s because he spent hour after hour at night time when his missus was in bed going, “can you shut up!” So he sat there doing it on the headphones! In the track ‘Powdered’, we had the idea to pan the vocals from left to right where Mark almost raps if you like. It wasn’t like that but it needed to be like that because I was listening to it one day in the studio and thought just pan that – one line to the left, one line to the right. And it came out fucking brilliant. Absolutely superb.
(Graham Lyons on working with Mark Giltrow and Lee Dunham)
"...even though I only joined this family ten years ago when we got Mark in the band, even though Lee and Mark would constantly fight, I’ve never worked with two guitarists so in tune with each other."
The Primary Slave family in Hoddesdon, UK, 19th November 2011
Photograph copyright © 2011 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Primary Slave Official Website:
PRIMARY SLAVE DISCOGRAPHY
Data Plague (2000)
Thanks to the Primary Slave guys for the invite down to Hoddesdon, putting me up for the night, and a fantastically enjoyable evening
Another Mark is Drawn (2011)
Primary Slave Official MySpace:
Primary Slave Official Facebook:
LEE: I had no input into the album whatsoever but I spoke to Graham afterwards, and Graham’s metal through and through, but the reason why Mark ended up with Paul Allender in the first place was because…
G: …well, two things. First, the reason why a lot of people do like the rawness is because it was all done by ourselves. So the first album, even though no one knows where it was done or anything like that, people actually connect with the fact it isn’t all polished and done in a million pound studio. And, obviously, the second one had the same treatment and that rawness comes through… to cover that point. But the actual original story, the reason why Mark was singer for Primary Slave in the first place, or Lilith originally, is because I was approached, at the time, by Mark Royce from Entwined, he was the keyboard player for Lilith. And, at the time, we had a guy who did black metal vocals, sort of really low. At the time, Paul gave me loads of riffs on a cassette tape which was taped over someone’s demo tape. I was learning the riffs off the cassette and at the end of the cassette, there was about thirty five seconds of the end of the track that was on this demo tape of this guy screaming his tits off. At the time, I said to Paul, “our singer’s great but this guy, we need this guy, these are the sort of vocals we want, it’s amazing”. So, anyway, we got a phone number off the cassette tape, Paul phoned through…
LEE: It was my phone number! It fucking was! “Hello, is Mark there?”; I said, “no”. He said, “oh, have you got Mark’s phone number?” I went, “yeah”, so I gave some geezer Mark’s phone number and the next thing I knew, Mark had left my band! I was like, hold on a fucking minute!
G: So that’s how it came about because Paul phoned me and said, “I’ve got that geezer’s number, shall we get him in for audition?”; I said, “fucking great”. So he comes down on his motorbike, this skinny little bloke, and I’m like, “was that really you on there?” And he just went – “wahhhhhh”! That was just what we needed to push the music really hard.
MD: So was that the end of Cenobyte then when Mark was asked to join Lilith?
LEE: I’d actually been asked to do a Killers tour with Paul Di’Anno. We’d played a gig at the Roadhouse in Covent Garden, I came off stage and some geezer came up to me, fucking hammered, and said to me, “do you know who I am?” I said, “actually, yeah, I do know who you are”, being a massive Maiden fan; it was Paul Di’Anno. He said, “I thought it was brilliant what you just did… do you wanna be my guitar player?” You know when you’re in a band already and you think, I can’t say no but I don’t want to let the rest of the band down. So I said to him, “phone me tomorrow” and he phoned me and sent me the tapes, I learnt all the songs, went to a couple of rehearsals and, at the end of the day, his old guitar player came back.
G: And the weird thing is, five years later, his son Conan Di’Anno ended up singing in my band Niota.
MD: I read there were a couple of early guide vocals used for a couple of tracks on the album, what ones were those?
NEALE: We used whatever we could get. There were songs we had on the album that had no vocals so we were literally scrapping for vocals that we could find anywhere that would fit. So we looked back through the archives and, luckily, we pieced together just the right amount that would fit the track. We managed to mix the track right through from beginning to end, find the perfect vocal take, and layer it right over the top perfectly.
MD: I totally love the album but probably the weakest track for me is ‘The Game’. That’s not one I really clicked with.
LEE: That’s really weird as that was really strong. I’ll tell you what happened – ‘The Game’ was a really strong track that we gave the record company and they loved it. It was real dark, heavy… but, when it came out, we missed so much of the original… I don’t know how it happened; it must’ve been in recovering the files and we didn’t bring the files back of what we actually had. It really didn’t sound right. It’s weird you say that’s the weakest track because when we gave it to the record company it was the strongest track.
MD: It sounds good but it’s just lacking something.
LEE: The song’s strong if you can listen underneath the production of it. There’s not enough going on.
MD: I think part of it as well is that there are four very strong tracks before it so when ‘The Game’ kicks in, it’s not so effective. I have to say that the drums sound awesome on the album. Are all the drums live or are any sampled on there?
G: All played live but with triggers. Every band that you and I love uses triggers. It’s exactly the same thing – you mix that between the live and the trigger and Neale spent many hours with me doing that.
NEALE: This guy lives in Colchester and I’m calling up saying, “look, Graham, can you come down because I need you to check this out before I commit it to tape.” And he’s driving an hour and a half each way to come down and listen to each drum take. I’m saying, “before I commit this to tape, are you happy with this?” I played some stuff down the phone which is not a good medium, but what can you do with the limited amount of budget we had to try and produce an album… for free? The amount of work that we’ve done…
G: I’d come down on my day off and do a track and then two weeks later I’d come down and do another track, and that’s how it was built up over a few years. It took a few years to do it originally before Mark died.
MD: You can download the album for a quid or but the digipak, so what’s the interest been so far; have you sold many?
HORACE: Not much, we haven’t really pushed it very hard. So far, your review has been the only real thing we’ve done. We’re sort of getting everything together, getting the website totally sorted and all in position.
LEE: It’s taken a little while to get a website up and running. Now that’s done, we’ve got something coming up with Metal Hammer. Once that comes out, obviously everyone else is gonna be interested. But obviously we know you so you’ve come in first.
MD: So what are some of your favourite memories of Mark?
G: I think this is quite incriminating but we played the Highbury Garage and Mark Mynett from Kill II This, Mark walked up to him and introduced himself and threw a pint of beer on him, called him a nasty name and walked off!
LEE: Bear in mind they were on the same label as us!
G: Can I just say one thing - even though I only joined this family ten years ago when we got Mark in the band, even though Lee and Mark would constantly fight, I’ve never worked with two guitarists so in tune with each other.
LEE: We both had Korg tuners!
LEE: The first memory that springs to mind is Mark, before every vocal take, his vocals were so important that his vocal takes had to be taken after a whole bar of Dairy Milk! He’d eat a fucking bar of Dairy Milk and then go, “right, I’m alright now”!
MD: So Horace, you say in the cover notes on the album – “where do we go from here?”
HORACE: Well, hopefully, we’ve got the drummer, guitarist, bassist…
MD: I was gonna ask if you’ve thought about getting a vocalist to get out there and do some gigs as a kind of tribute to Mark’s music?
LEE: It could be possible, put it that way.
HORACE: We’ve got a huge amount of talent sat right here…
LEE: It could be done. There’s been such a long time spent on it, I didn’t realise the difference of what’s happened in ten years. Ten years in anyone’s life is nothing but from 2000 to now, the industry is fucked. It was like I was saying, in 2000 we didn’t realise how good we had it to have a record deal.
MD: Okay, the final thing, if Mark was around now what do you think he’d have to say about all your painstaking efforts to get the album finished and out?
NEALE: He’d probably say, “you cunts”!
LEE: “You bunch of wankers, that’s not how I wanted it”!
HORACE: “It’s nothing like it”!
NEALE: “It’s all fucking wrong”!
G: “You’re all a bunch of wankers, skin up”!
LEE: “At the end of the day…”
CHRIS: Yeah, “at the end of the day”, that’s what he’d always say.
G: He’d probably say, “I’m not putting that out, it’s shit!”
LEE: That’s right, he’d say, “you can fucking do that again!”
Review of 'Another Mark is Drawn':