Interview with a Primitive Evolution

Talk about how music has influenced you each individually in your daily living.

Brett Carruthers: Music has always enhanced my life. It’s therapeutic, it can really change the mood of the room. It’s always fascinated me the power music has over me.
Stephany Seki: I use music to put myself to sleep when I just can’t stop thinking! I also fantasize about musical vacations where we just buckle down and create in nature (well, or next to nature or…)
Stu Dead: I listen to music a lot when I’m working, but since I’ve had kids my playlist have gotten all
fucked up.

Where do you each find yourselves listening to music most often?

Brett Carruthers: Since I work in music and audio almost daily I find that I really only get a chance to
listen to music in the car or while I’m travelling these days. At least once a week I try to throw something on really loud at home or at the studio to get the juices flowin!
Stephany Seki: At home in my bedroom or in the “band van” while driving around town or touring.
Stu Dead: In the studio when I’m working on art for Playdead Cult.

What are your favorite brands to use when it comes to the instruments, mics, amps, pedals and so on?
Why do you favor them?

Brett Carruthers: I could go on for days about this stuff hahaha. Currently I’m using a few things. I have a
different live setup compared to my recording set up. When we’re recording it’s a bit of a free for all and then when it comes to touring you have to recreate that studio magic within your rig.
My two main guitars are a Yamaha RS620 and a Fender Jaguar-HH. For A Primitive Evolution we tune down to D standard usually or Drop C. I built a custom set of strings with Stay In Tune strings so I can have a nice slinky top and super heavy bottom for down tuning. I’m really happy where the feel has
ended up. I can really dig into my bends for solos and play super hard on my low strings for percussive rhythms.
When it comes to pedals, you may say I have a problem haha. I’m obsessed with this company
Abominable Electronics. About a year ago I discovered them through a friend and have been collecting their pedals ever since. They’re a great boutique pedal maker from the US. It’s a one-man operation and he delivers these great versions of classic distortion and overdrive pedals with his own twist and added
features. On top of all of that the art is fuckin sick! I’m in love with his “Throne Torcher,” “Demon Lung,” “Oppressive Cult Destroyer with HM-2 mod,” and the “Hellstache,” which is a collab overdrive with Kurt Ballou from “God City Instruments.” These guys are the future of tone for Metal and Rock for sure. It’s already happening.

For my amp, it’s actually a Helix right now. I really like that the floor board gives your 4 effects loops for the above pedals to be integrated into my live set up. I generally run these pedals into the model of the “Fender Bassman” and then run all of that into a power amp. I used to use all tube amps and still have some great vintage stuff at the studio, but I found I was having a lot of problems on the road with them getting fucked up or tubes going. Too much maintenance until we have a full time crew to fix that stuff! Haha. So for now I use my Yamaha THR100 head. It’s great because it’s dual channel so we’re actually running my guitar on one channel and our keyboard player “Owen” runs through the second channel.
Stephany Seki: We recently scored an endorsement with Yamaha Canada and they give me this sick ass
Broad Bass. I can’t believe I actually replaced my Fender Precision Bass with anything! The Broad Bass’s got the punch AND the looks and it’s satin neck is really nice and smooth to play.
For the last...8 years or so my amp setup has been a Mesa/Boogie M9 Carbine head with an SVT ported 4x10 cab. The M9 is super punchy and has been quite reliable on the road. The SVT is just as impactful live when mic’d as having an 8x10 but it’s half the weight.
We use inTune Guitar picks because we can order them printed with our logo and use SIT strings cuz
they’ve got so many alloys to choose from. I love the ROCK BRIGHTS stainless steel work well with our music which is mostly down-tuned to D-Standard tuning or dropped C from D-Standard.
Stu Dead: Love using the Roland SPDS-X and their electronic kit. We write a lot using my Roland Electric kit and using that hooked up to Native Instruments sample packs. My acoustic kit is a DW kit and I make a lot of cymbal stacks using old broken cymbals.

Talk about your current project. Its conception. How it evolved. The storyline behind its development or any anecdotes that may have occurred during the writing/recording process?

Brett Carruthers: ha this album was quite the journey. It took us nearly 6 years to make it. A lot of ups
and downs, false starts and so on. What I can say is that the growth and the process really found us our own sound. We had to dig deep to figure this shit out and even though the album took forever, I feel like we have a perfect album and I couldn’t be happier with it. We don’t plan on it taking another 6 years for the next one though, the inspiration behind this album has gotten the ball rolling.
We started the album thinking we would produce it ourselves, but soon ran into our friend Ian D’Sa
from the band “Billy Talent.” He and our drummer Stu had been friends for ages coming up in the
Toronto music scene together. We showed Ian the new demos that we were working on and he got
really excited so we started working on a few tracks with him at that time. They were “Becoming” and “Close Your Eyes” and “Echo.” Ian’s energy and insight really ignited the process. He’s an amazing songwriter and producer so it was a real honor to work with him on these tracks. At the time, we were unsigned so we tried to raise some money and get some grants but it didn’t work out and Ian had to move on to work on the new “Billy Talent” album. We now had some great songs, but nowhere to record them so you know we did what any band would do and decided we should build our own recording studio! Hahaha. We figured that we needed a new jam space and our friends in “The Birthday Massacre” were also in need so we went into together on it and built a studio/rehearsal space in the basement of Stu’s “Playdead Cult” shop.

I have a background in music production and engineering so I designed it and built it with my childhood friend Kevin Oliver who’s a contractor. Stephany and I got a few friends to get dirty and we put the
whole thing together. At the time, it seemed like a terrible idea, but with the help of our friends it really came together and “Desolation Studios” finally was an actual studio.
Stephay Seki: Brett’s really covered everything. I can’t add much other than that the lyrics were all
written from an Alien’s POV commenting on Earth and all our crazy human behaviours.
Stu Dead: It seems like I have a new child after every album we make… … …
Where there any conflicts during the recording process? If so, how did you as a band overcome them, if not what do you think is Another Days Armor formula to gel so well?
Brett: There were definitely some conflicts along the way. Disagreements on the direction of the band
creatively certainly came up and we had to work through them together to make some compromises to come to a place where we would all be happy with the outcome. I think communication is key really. That’s all there is to it. Make sure you deal with the problems as they happen and not let them fester and cause real damage.
Steph: Probably the closest to breaking up we’ve ever been in the band, but we pulled through.
Stu: I like to think that everyone needs to be excited about the album and we all have to go forward
together. You can’t really vote against each other.

Is there a particular part you enjoy more than another in the process of a project?

Brett Carruthers: I actually enjoy all the parts. For real.
Stephany Seki: “likes when things are actually happening”haha~~~ Brett wrote that for me. BUT I
AGREE. It’s hard to keep motivated when time is just flying by and distractions are getting in the way.
Stu Dead: I really enjoy the production part of things. Adding new sounds and shaping the vision of the album is really fun.

How do you know when a song is done and ready to be taken to the recording studio and produced?

Brett Carruthers: You can actually feel it. You know when it’s ready for sure. I do find that the song is
always evolving. Sometimes even in mix the song can still be edited or changed up a bit as you come to realize it’s true vision.
Stephany Seki: When the Google Calendar tells us so.
Stu Dead: We have our own studio so we often create, write and recording all at the same time.

Looking towards the short and long term of where you might be currently- where do you see yourself
(yourselves) as an artist/band in 2019 and beyond?

Brett Carruthers: Jumping into writing and producing new material for the next album! I’m really hoping we can continue to expand and start touring Europe next year.
Stephany Seki: Yep as Brett said, touring Europe. We just finished shooting a wicked music video (well it WILL be wicked, editing just started! The raw footage is already dope though) for our song Ghost. One of my favourites for the album. I am also going to be making string arrangements for some of our songs, revolving mostly around layers of cello, but possibly adding violins/violas/contrabass.
Stu: Collaborating more and learning new gear. Expanding our creative processes and creating new
imagery for the band.