Jim Roe lets us in to what he has conjured… The Primitive.
BM: Hello Jim. First off thanks for taking the time to enlighten the Bulldozer Mag maniacs to all things Jim Roe and “The Primitive”, a one man band all done by you who has recently unleashed “Founded in Hell” a perfect example of primeval Death Metal.
Jim Roe: Thank you, it’s my pleasure
BM: You played all the instruments and do vocals for the Primitive. How long has the idea for The Primitive been around and when did you start playing guitar, bass and doing vocals. I don’t think I’ve heard you on any other instruments on your previous bands.
Jim Roe: Yes, I started playing guitar around 2013, and that is when I started putting music together for The Primitive, in the begining I thought I would get someone to do vocals but as the songs started coming together I wanted to try doing it myself, and I liked it, so I kept doing it.
BM: What are the main differences when working with bands where you’re the drummer and in The Primitive where you’re the sole contributor? Is the one man band a way to avoid the hassles that come with having 4/5 members?
Jim Roe: I guess you could say that, it’s hard to be in a band and keep it together, but when things are working its really great to be in a band, when it’s working it’s really easy to create songs with other people, usually just get in a room and jam and stuff will come together, I guess they both have good and bad points, doing The Primitive feels good to me because I know I can always do it, I can always go and make music with no worries
BM: You also recorded the music, this is such a great advantage I think. What got you interested in recording?, what program are you using for recording?. I assume this is a home studio? Have you recorded any other bands?
Jim Roe: Yes I am really liking recording and mixing these days, I’ve always liked recording, back in the early 90s I had a four track cassette recorder, and I would do recordings some of the Incantation pre productions, a couple of them recently came out on Necroharmonic Recs, ‘Christening the After Birth’ and ‘Blasphemous Cremation’ (just those songs as singles not the original split, that also came out recently on Necroharmonic Recs called Blasphemous Cremation) were pre-productions that I did before we went into the studio to record ‘Onward….’, back then I had a friend, Bill Zanowic, he was really good at recording, he was using a cassette 6 track, it was hard to record back then, Bill recorded the first Womb Demo ‘Bound Fucked Humiliated’, that was in his home studio and it was great to see. Then later Paul Crook did some recordings for Disciples of Mockery, Paul did the three song demo in 1998, that was a live recording in the studio, then later Paul did the Full length ‘Prelude To Apocalypse’ 1999, that was really great to see how he worked and pulled it all together, Paul came to the D.O.M. House, set up all the gear in our living room ran cables down to the basement, that is were I lived and the band rehearsed, and we recorded that record right there in our own rehearsal place, it was great seeing Paul record everything and then mix it in our living room, all within one week, that was really inspiring to me, it made me realize what is possible, at that time we were recording on Adat recorders, three of them linked together totaling 24 tracks, today I am recording with Protools in my home studio (Neanderthal Studio), I recorded and mixed both Goreaphobia LPs ‘Mortal Repulsion’ 2009, and ‘Apocalyptic Necromancy’ 2011, and Engorge ‘Demonic Omnipotent Barbarism’ 2013, and all the stuff from The Primitive.
BM: Listening to the full length “Founded in Hell” I would say that The Primitive is accurately named. The music is primordial Death Metal at it’s finest. You describe the band/project as “Pounding Metal” why did you choose this as the tag line for The Primitive?
They asked me to describe the style of music, and I just answered with “Pounding Death Metal.
Jim Roe: Well Thank You very much, it’s a work of love for me, yea so when I got some songs done and was uploading them on different sights , they asked me to describe the style of music, and I just answered with “Pounding Death Metal”, I never really thought about it before but these days with the internet and all these music sights that are really great for sharing music, but it’s kinda different, ya know tags, it’s all good time moves on , things change, I would rather embrace it and just keep making metal than fight it, most people call this style “Old School Death Metal”, but for me I’ve been doing this since before it was old school, so pounding death metal just feels and sounds better to me, and I think it describes what I am doing
BM: The Primitive encompasses elements of bands I would say are your friends and contemporaries. Something that everyone listening to “Founded in Hell” will see and hear. Is this a conscience decision on your part? I believe you have the right to that sounds as much as those contemporaries. Your thoughts?
Jim Roe: Yea, I am not trying to sound like anyone else, really I am just doing what I’ve always done, I just went a little deeper and am playing more instruments, and doing doing things myself, music like early Incantation and DOM, Womb… it’s the kind of death metal that I really love, it’s a place I feel at home, back in the early days of Incantation we were all very driven, very focused and dedicated, and we all brought a lot to the table including me, those days were also very formative times for all of us as individuals and as a band, in the end I dont think any of us walked away quite the same, when I first started creating my own music for The Primitive, I had been through a lot, a lot of bands, people, bands falling apart and then starting over, sometimes with a new or different band or sometimes the same band and new people, and also just regular life, working, paying bills and everything else, so musically I felt kinda lost in a way, I felt like I can relate to everything I did in the 90s, early Incantation, Womb, DOM, so I thought about kind of continuing from that place, like if I started doing this right after leaving Incantation or DOM, I know it was a lot of time between Incantation and DOM, but its just something I can relate to, a place and a time where I feel like I knew my place, the song ‘Next’ off of Founded in Hell is all about this, all the words/lyrics on Founded in Hell, are about why I started playing other instruments and started doing my own music.
BM: Some of the songs on the full Length also appear on versions of demos/ep’s prior to the “Founded in Hell” full length. They are from different recording sessions, something that I have to admit I like. I enjoy hearing the progression of songs and style changes from bands and seeing where they came from and where they ended up musically, especially in the beginning. Is what I mentioned the case with the other versions of the songs? Explain the different versions and the formats they were released in.
Jim Roe: Yes I like hearing bands early stuff to, as I recorded songs I just put them out, I did a 5 song demo/EP called Founded in Hell, it is the first five songs I put together, that was in early 2016, then later in 2016, I did a three song demo/EP, these were both on CD and youtube, soundcloud, bandcamp, I pressed 100 of the five song and 250 of the three song, and I kept playing and getting better sounds, then in 2017 I put together three new songs, so when it came time to repress, I had new and better recording of all the songs from the first two EPs, and three new songs, so I put it all together as an 11 track LP. Called ìFounded in Hellî 2018, so there are two versions, it grew from an EP to an LP hahaha
BM: “Founded in Hell” was self released and again keeping that DIY mentality that you’ve seem to embrace. The Jim Roe name carries a lot of weight and I think there are labels who would not hesitate to add The Primitive to their roster. Why did you forgo the label route and is this something that will continue for the band/project.
Jim Roe: I dont know, I think working with a label could be good, but I am alright just doing it like this, I just want to put music out.
BM: We’re going to veer off of The Primitive for a bit but will return. Lets talk Jim Roe for now. You’ve played on some great albums and in bands that have spawned countless clones. What are your thoughts on that? What would be your advise to newer bands as far utilizing influences. Should the goal be to acquire your own sound or is worshiping bands to the point of imitation fine as well?
Jim Roe: I guess that depends on the band and what they are out to do, bands that I like have there own sound, but I dont know, whatever people do is fine with me, people can like it or not, it really doesn’t matter.
BM: What is your day to day life like?. How much of it involves family, work, music, rehearsal, and recording studio time? Are you in touch with people in bands you’ve played in?
Jim Roe: Well I have always worked a lot, I am an auto mechanic, I have been working in garages since I was 19, I fix cars for a living, these days I am not rehearsing much, I do play a lot of guitar, and drums mostly when I am working on a recording, I hang with my girl Jen, we go out and do fun stuff, studio stuff I am always working on, and I see, and talk with, and hang with lots of people that I have played music with, some of them I even fix their car.
BM: 17 year old Jim Roe is listening to music at home, what was in rotation on your stereo?. Was it extreme music mostly or was your taste more varied? What about now, what does Jim crank on his stereo in 2019?
Jim Roe: Wow 17, that would bring us back to 1985/86, extreme back then for me would have been Slayer, Metallica, Celtic Frost, Exodus Bonded by Blood, Death, and earlier bands like Maiden ,Sabbath. Priest, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Floyd. That’s what I listened to then and pretty much still do today along with newer bands like Autopsy, Carnivore, Necrophagia, the list goes on.
BM: Notably Incantation, Mausoleum, Goreaphobia, Morbid Sin all are killer bands you’ve been involved with but I want to ask about Terror, Engorge and Blood Storm. What’s happening with these bands and how involved are you with each of them?
Jim Roe: Bloodstorm, Chris and I are currently working on a new record, I am playing drums and recording/mixing, ‘Terror’ I did some live shows and recorded drums for two old classic Terror tunes for a 7 inch, Legions of Gore and Carving Techniques. ‘Engorge’ I played drums for on and off from about 2004 to about 2013/14, I did one full length in 2012 ‘Demonic Omnipotent Barbarism’
BM: Your drumming influences have been noted in other interviews I’ve read but what drummers actually come into play when drumming for The Primitive?
Jim Roe: With The Primitive, I am really just reaching back to my younger self, kind of going back to where I left off
BM: I imagine that doing The Primitive as a one man band wasn’t the final objective from someone who has played live for so long. I assume playing live will be part of The Primitive’s journey. When are we going to see The Primitive live and how will the live situation be handled? Will you be drumming or just doing vocals, are you handling guitar or bass on stage? Who are you recruiting for the live version of The Primitive?
Jim Roe: I have done a few shows live with The Primitive, I played drums and vocals, and Brian Sekula (Terror) played guitar, Gene Lambert played bass. I would like to do more live shows, but I am not really focused on it right now.
BM: I see that new songs are already on youtube.. How far along are you with a new album? any tentative date/year for new material being officially released?
Jim Roe: Yea I am working on some new ones, I have three songs in the works now, I will wait till I have a full length this time before pressing anything up, I will put out digital releases in the mean time, not really sure when hopefully 2020.
BM: Thank you for answering the interview Jim, looking forward to what The Primitive will bring us next. Any words for the Bulldozer Mag fiends?
Jim Roe: Hell yea! Thanks for the interview!!!!! Drummer Riffs and Pounding Death Metal Forever!!!!!!!
Interview by JS