I had a chance to email with Lee Heir, the lead singer for Prime. This band UK band has been getting a lot of attention lately. Mark Del, a TV personality in the UK said they are “a band you must check out live… Lead singer Lee is as compelling a front man as you will see”. Their debut single was featured on a BBC radio show, hosted by Christian Carlisle, who said it was a “great track”. Overall, in an email sent to me by their PR company, the band has been described as “rebellious and entertaining in equal measures”.
After interviewing Lee, I can confirm they are pretty mischievous and indeed rebellious. When asked why he wanted to join a band, Lee gave the most “rock-n-roll” answer possible: “Just to rebel against the system really…Oh, and I like the attention.”
So please, follow this band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @primeukband
Their music in on YouTube and Spotify if you are interested in checking them out.
- What are your biggest musical influences?
The likes of Lou Reed – particularly his solo work – and David Bowie and Iggy Pop have always had a huge influence on me, with their mystery and the epic nature of their lyrical scope. In terms of musical urgency and bringing punk, funk and other musical genres together as we do, the likes of The Clash, John Lydon, The Specials, Ian Dury, Blur and other quality bands come to the forefront. I got into music like Prince, Michael Jackson and Queen in my young days, along with lots of catchy house music and dance and indie music, so I’ve always had an open mind.
- Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
I’m a huge, huge disco fan. I love the likes of Chic, Heatwave, Donna Summer, Luther Vandross and Gloria Gaynor’s earlier stuff, along with lots of 80’s pop. It seeps through somewhere.
- What’s next for Prime?
We’ll be busy promoting our new compilation “Art/Facts” 2014 – 2018, and our new website, and hopefully getting our music to many more ears.
- How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
I was watching an interview with David Bowie and he commented a good few years ago that free music will become as common as turning on a tap, and therefore lose its value to a degree, and I think that could be the case. The fact that the likes of The Stone Roses, Liam Gallagher and their ilk have come out of retirement show that revenues aren’t what they were. That’s why we try to embrace other avenues and are currently working with a publisher in London.
- Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
I love independent films by the likes of John Cassavetes, Martin Scorcese, Eric Rohmer and Maurice Pialat, so their visual and intellectual ideas and general ways of living inspire me to approach art in different ways. I love lots of paintings and poster designs too and like to get involved in the latter for other musicians when I get chance. I designed the Prime logo that you see on all our artwork, for example.
- Can you describe your sound?
It’s classic rock and heavy indie, mixed in with punk, funk and blues influences, and vocal harmonies thrown into the mix.
- What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
I’ve been listening to a lot of music that I’ve heard on the road doing different gigs, releases by the indie group Bandicoot from Wales, and my buddies from Sweden – The Blue Ruin – who are like voodoo rock. I’ve been listening to a lot of Strange Circuits from Chicago who has some new music coming out this year, he’s a mix of electronic and industrial and is doing a comeback tour and documentary with my videographer Bad Friday Pictures. I enjoyed the tracks I’ve heard from the new Pet Shop Boys album too, and a band from the 90s that my girlfriend got me into called Marion, very good stuff.
- What made you decide to “get into” music and start a band?
Just to rebel against the system really, and change things from within, I think I like causing a bit of havoc more than I like being in a band sometimes. Oh, and I like the attention.
- How does your writing process work, do you all collaborate on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
I like people to give me rough lyric outlines sometimes, and I add my own flavour, but usually I come up with vocal lines, lyrics and harmonies myself. Most of the released Prime tracks are my doing vocal and lyric wise.
- If you had to pick just one, which album would be your favorite?
I love Searching For The Young Soul Rebels by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, but my favourite changes weekly!
- Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
Not desperately, but big bands and shows with audiences that will probably like our sound would obviously appeal.
- What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
I think a mix of both is good, but I think also that just releasing singles scatters your sound a little bit. An album can give so much more of a flavour of what you do if you do it right. The free Spotify – and I refuse to pay for the thing as it takes control away from musicians – chops up and tampers with people’s art. It’s a complete mess. You’re listening to classic albums in completely the wrong order. Then Ed Sheeran or Ellie Goulding pops up. Fuck off.
Prime’s Art/Facts 2014 – 2018 compilation is out now! Check out their website and Social Media for more information.
Lee performs at the o2 Academy Leicester alongside Chris D Bramley and TRAPS on March 2nd 2019.