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It’s over 33 years since Primal Scream’s debut single Velocity Girl introduced one of music’s most unpredictable collectives to the public consciousness. A brand new singles compilation showcases just how maverick “one of the last high-energy rock ‘n’ roll bands in the world” have remained ever since. John Earls hears from mainman Bobby Gillespie about the perilous future of rock ‘n’ roll, how he doesn’t understand his children’s music and becoming an accidental political hero…
From first 45 Velocity Girl to the most recent 100% Or Nothing, Primal Scream have clocked up a grand total of 31 single releases

Rock ‘n’ roll is a dead language, like Latin. For rock ‘n’ roll to be relevant again, it has to be reinvented. To quote Karl Marx, it has to be the poetry of the future. And that’s not going to come from a copy of what’s come before

Bobby Gillespie and the late Robert ‘Throb’ Young during the ‘psychodrama’ that is a Primal Scream live performance

Primal Scream’s new singles compilation is called Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll. It seems a misleading title for a band who have incorporated dub, rave, pop, soul, country, funk and more besides into the compilation’s two hours and 31 songs. Ask frontman Bobby Gillespie what rock ‘n’ roll means in 2019 and he replies: “Rock ‘n’ roll is an old language, but it’s the language I grew up with, and so did everybody else in the band. It was primarily punk when we were growing up, but also bands like Thin Lizzy. And it’s the musical language we use when we play live, because I see us as one of the last high-energy rock ‘n’ roll bands in the world. When we play live, there’s a certain psychodrama involved, every performance has to be different. It can’t be the same boring set every time, with the same moves. There has to be the chance of it fucking up. We embody the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, and to me that’s what Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll means: giving everything to the audience every night.”

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Jun 2019 - The Stone Roses
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