With so much trouble in the world, it hard to believe it’s been five years since their last LP, but in times of turmoil great artists shine.
Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has been hard at work on a new album, but also devoting time to sort out his own life. After facing off with some personal demons, the rock ‘n’ roll icon has shown resilience, finishing the last masterstrokes for his new album More Light, due for release in Australia on 10th May.
Bobby G told Music Feeds this week, “The last five years have been good for me, you know. I kind of started taking care of myself, cleaned it up, straightened up.” It was clear in the humility of his voice his newfound light was going to channel some exciting new insights.
With numerous troublesome events playing out in his life internally and externally over recent years, he lays out the mysterious craft of his philosophical songs.
“I’m trying to create music that provides songs that speak to people, that also speak to myself… trying to make sense of my life,” he said. “I use words the best I can in the context of a rock ‘n’ roll song, poetic in my kind of way. It’s like you’re creating this magical atmosphere, which when somebody listens to it you can get a hold of them with a spell. Basically, art at its best can speak to people and it can heal them.”
It is with a breath of fresh air and a clear mind that Primal Scream had the vision to create a new arthouse record to be played loud and proud. Somewhat of a throwback to the glory days of vinyl, their forthcoming record is a woven canvas of gritty psychedelic rock tracks.
“We knew that we wanted to make a free, experimental record,” claimed Bobby. “We wanted to experiment with different time signatures, we didn’t want to be tied down to a 3-minute “verse, chorus, bridge, solo” – classic pop rock songs. We just wanted to make an art record, not trying to please baby programmers and record companies… just trying to make good music. It’s got a hallucinogenic feel some of the record… We want to take people on a trip,” he said.
“You know bands that we love,” continued Bobby, “Like, Funkadelic and Khan – those records, 30 or 40 years later, people are still listening to them… because the music is great.” That revolutionary ’70s-style influence doesn’t end there either. Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant got the call-up to make a vocal appearance on the upcoming album.
More Light is produced by Northern Irish musician David Holmes. David rocked out an essential mix on BBC1 back in 1998 at the peak of his DJ career, however in more recent times he has done a lot of work with film soundtracks, such as the Ocean’s 11 series and Hunger. So when it came time to sequence the record, “He (David) wanted to make it run like a movie… like a narrative. And it sounds fucking great.”
The movie starts with opening track 2013. According to Gillespie, “That’s the opening credits… Then it cuts right to River Of Pain and Culturecide – right into the fucking action… no messing about… right into the darkness… Then it lightens up to hit Void and Tenement Kid.” It then morphs into a flurry of free rock, jazzy, psyche tunes, until you hit Relativity, which, according to Bobby “is just total psychedelia”.
Then right at the end, the credits roll up with It’s Alright, It’s OK. “It’s like you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. It all ends and you leave the cinema and think, ‘Well, we’re ready to take the bastards on!’” he laughs.
For those who know Bobby, you’ll know just who those bastards are.
More Light is due for release in Australia on 10th May.