For alt-rock act Primus, the very thing that made it hard to break through is the thing that’s kept it from going away.
“I think the key has been not being relevant, in the sense of music genres as they’ve come and gone, and we never really fit into any of them,” guitarist Larry LaLonde said. “It’s our saving grace. Trends come and then go away, but we are never a part of any of them.”
Formed in 1984, the trio is seemingly immune to becoming boring as it gets older. The weirdness of beloved early albums “Frizzle Fry” and “Pork Soda” is ever-present in Primus’ work today, including one of the headliners at the inaugural Brady District Block Party in Tulsa, alongside Oklahoma City’s The Flaming Lips and Pretty Black Chains.
“We’ve always tried to do something new, come up with something we haven’t heard before,” LaLonde said. “That challenge of it keeps it interesting.”
Primus currently approaches music with new vigor, preparing to release its first studio album in a decade as it embraces a renewed a sense of purpose behind touring.
“Honestly, it’s my favorite time ever in this band. Over the last 10 years, we’ve come together to do touring, but it’s always been this nostalgia type thing ... and that’s not really what we are about,” LaLonde said. “This time around, it feels good to be doing it like a real band: new album, new songs, the way we are used to doing it.”
First comes a select few dates with The Flaming Lips — kindred spirits who share a passion for the unusual, and whose careers have taken off with a remarkably similar trajectory in an almost identical amount of time.
“Even though we are totally different in a lot of ways, we both sort of have our super own thing where there is really nothing like it that ties us together. It’s funny that we haven’t crossed paths more before now,” LaLonde said. “As someone in a band, you think, ‘How do they pull that off?’ It’s rare to see someone that has everything perfect about them.”
Primus’ aforementioned new album, “Green Naugahyde,” will see the light of day Sept. 13 after a string of delays. With original drummer Jay Lane returning, the material is said to take right off from the group’s hiatus in 1999; LaLonde promises both retrospection and progress. “When it was all done, I thought it had a little of everything we’ve done along the way. Some people say it reminds them of the first two albums, but it’s still hard for me to say. It’s so new, I’m still trying to figure out what it is,” he said. “Every time we make a Primus album, it’s always up in the air as to how it will be perceived.”
Head over here for an exclusive Q-and-A with Brady District Block Party act AWOLNATION.