It is with honor that we at the Daily Rock Report Louisville Rock & Metal Hall of Fame announce our very first inductee, Bobby Burns, the driven, and musically clever mastermind, visionary and founder of PRIMER 55.
Released January 25, 2000 by Island Records, Primer 55’s debut, ‘Introduction To Mayhem’ has proven to leave an eternal stamp in modern music history, maintaining staying power among fans with songs such as ‘Loose’, ‘ Freak Love’, ‘Dose’, ‘Set It Off’, ‘The Big F**k You’, and other groove metal hybrid based cutting edge tunes carefully and uniquely arranged by Burns.
The album is permanently embedded into hard rock and metal history having been sort of an “Introduction” to the 2000’s portion of the then rising alternative metal / Nu-Metal revolution.
Led by Bobby, with the swagger of some sort of musical modern alter-ego of General George S. Patton, the music of Primer 55 provided a flare to the industry. His vision of ideas melted and stirred into a soulful mixing pot of punk, metal, hip-hop with a powerful element of body twitching groove that listeners of the genre simply could not deny.
Not just some dime-a-dozen guitar player, Burns knows his way around the mixing knobs, wrinkles and pockets of the recording studio due to the fact that he has a superior ear packaged with a strong vision.
Primer 55’s sophomore effort, (The) New Release, dropped on August 14, 2001, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and #102 on the Billboard 200. The single ‘This Life’, peaked at #37 on Mainstream Rock Tracks.
In 2003 Bobby would join forces with metal heavyweights SOULFLY, accepting an offer to fill the role of bassist, a gig that many well-known metal bass players would have begged, clawed and killed for just for a secure shot to play with one of the most relevant metal musicians of all time, Max Cavalera.
Soulfly released four studio albums with Burns over the course of seven years. An admirable feat of mental and physical endurance for anyone working with Max Cavalera, and his managing wife Gloria. The couple has developed a sort of reputation among industry insiders as being difficult to deal with. Just ask Max’s former Brazilian band mates SEPULTURA. When Max and Gloria left them behind after feuding over power struggles, Max even left his brother, Igor Cavalera behind. A bit ironic for a guy being all about “family”.
So where does Bobby Burns get his unstoppable determination to keep pushing forward with all he has? There is this little theory I have, called the Muhammad Ali Effect.
The story goes, and in my opinion, is one of truth, that after the Cassius Clay (who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali), returned to the city of Louisville after winning the World Olympic Gold Metal for Heavyweights, representing our country and planting the seed for what would grow into something much larger than just simply being a boy from Louisville.
Ali, after giving the USA a reason to swagger, especially his hometown, walked into a local eatery in the downtown Louisville area, Gold Medal around his neck, and was told that “Colored’s were not allowed, despite being a National Sports Hero. He probably did not even consider the thought of being barred, Louisville was already a much more evolved melting pot and known for its racial relations, which became a model for many cities, and every south of the Ohio.
Ali was furious, the Gold Medal, in his mind had been reduced to nothing more than a chunk of worthless scrap metal. He walked onto the Second Street bridge, feeling defeated as he walked along the walkway, and angrily feeling defeated, tossed the Gold Medal into the Ohio River.
He would go on to never give up ever again. To give all he had for what he believed. In a bout with millions of Americans calling him a traitor, facing prison, he pressed on. He would not bow down, he told the world, someone would have to kill him. They didn’t. Ali, now a long time sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, has not let that deter him still to this very day. In recent years, I personally have seen him in attendance at several University of Louisville sporting events, representing his city. He never gave up on Louisville or himself.
Somewhere lodged deeply in the sediment of the Ohio River is something nearly as symbolic, which transcends any one life and is responsible for being the source of unlimited hope and determination. The Holy Grail of the Ohio River. Those living in the city drink the tapped water and live off of it. Call me crazy, call me what you will, THE GREATNESS is within an incredible number of local natives and citizens. Many who are iconic and world-famous. I personally cite the great Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, my literary hero, as a prime example.
Those living in the Louisville, Kentucky area will have a chance to see PRIMER 55 on September 19, 2015 at a cancer research funding event called ‘HORNS UP AGAINST CANCER’. with all proceeds funding the well-established ‘F**K CANCER FOUNDATION’. It just may be the bands final show ever, “or at least, the last Primer 55 show for a very long time” Burns said recently stating that new vision, with a new direction have emerged from the mind of the musical genius.
Bobby Burns talks about playing what could be last Primer 55 show in Louisville…</div>
By: Brooke Edgewater
In November, 2009, Freaks Like Me band-mates Dave Eve (bass), Jon O’Connor (vocals, guitar) and Steve Kilroy (drums, backing vocals) resolved to combine their talents and ambition to establish a tribute virtuoso for a world-renowned band that we are all acutely familiar with, dubbed Nirvana. Having grown up in the nineties myself, I feel that music was at its unadulterated prime, during this time period. The “grunge” era was all about long hair, flannel shirts, and music that resonated a deep-seated devotion for forlorn angst and inner self-reflection.
As a tribute band, ‘Nervana’ (aka Freaks Like Me), captured the epitome of what was Nirvana and the masses simply could not get enough as it lead up to a gathering of 60,000 fans, at a show on Mathew Street in Liverpool. Lead vocalist Jon O’Connor has a voice that captivates and exudes the same raspy emphasis the late, legendary Kurt Cobain possessed, but with an authenticity that is, exclusively, all his own. With Dave Eve’s background in an assorted variety of distinctive musical fields, playing bass, and the multi-talented Steve Kilroy’s artistic expertise, tinged with an aggressive beat, on the drums, the band was destined to evolve into something preeminent. And emerge, they sure as hell have.
After signing with record label Pavement Entertainment, the band’s progression commenced. On April 7th of 2015, their imminent evolution was conclusively introduced as a flawless new sound by the band, that is now entitled, Freaks Like Me.
Upon releasing their debut album, Philosophies for the Modern Ant, they have been consistently illustrated as “genre… Whatever You Want to Call It“ but I, on the other hand, would characterize them as a nostalgic, gravelly wrath of depth, that has recently made its profound presence and undeniable potential, officially known.
Brooke: First of all, where are you all from originally?
Jon: We’ll say Dublin. Though it’s actually Waterford.
Dave: London. But I’ve been living in the states for eight years now.
Steve: Boston. Dave grew up in a pod off world!
Jon: (laughs) Yeah…he was grown far away.
Dave: (laughs) That’s funny!
Brooke: (trying to not laugh and appear professional) So we have a band that consists of one member from Waterford, one member from London and another from Boston that have miraculously congregated to form the tribute band, Nervana. Aside from some obvious sort of divine intervention conspiring here, how did every one meet?
Dave: You know one thing that is especially pertinent with the tribute thing is we really don’t take ourselves seriously. We take our music seriously. Not ourselves. Steve and I have known each other for many years. We’ve been in a lot of bands together here and over in London. Steve is definitely one of the top drummers out there. I always try to stick close.
Jon: Steve contacted me on YouTube and asked if I was interested in doing a Nirvana tribute. I thought it was a joke, at first.
Steve: After I saw him trash a guitar in one of his videos. (laughs)
Jon: Oh yeah…that’s right!
Steve: Yeah, we flew him over and had a jam and immediate gig.
Jon: It definitely was that total click straight away. We knew it would work.
Steve: He also wasn’t ready for a New England winter and froze solid!
Jon: Literally. You could have shattered off my nipples!
Brooke: (still suppressing laughter) What was it like playing for 60,000 people in Liverpool?
Steve: Yea, more actually, but it was an insane amount of people. Whoa, it was totally surreal in Liverpool, right in the city center, it was awesome! (laughs) Madness and loud as fuck!
Brooke: Wait…is smashing instruments a common occurrence?
Steve: Yes, it is. (smiles)
Jon: Quite common. Sometimes when it’s not even intended.
Brooke: When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Dave: Oh, well before my teens. I’ve been obsessed with music as long as I can remember. I used to take stuff apart as a kid. I would build mini-studios and drove my parents mad!
Brooke: So Dave, your parents encouraged music for you at a young age?
Dave: I think they just wanted to keep me from taking shit apart.
Brooke: Who, would you say, influenced you guys the most musically?
Dave: Arg! Tough one. My parents basically gave me their record collection, a record player, and a pair of headphones when I was around five-years-old. I was permanently attached to that thing. But they had the whole Beatles collection, Lou Reed, Led Zeppelin. All the good stuff from 1964.
Jon: I’d have to say John Lennon. I’ve been a fan since I was five-years-old.
Steve: My dad. Drums and pianos were always in the house. He was a Boston session drummer and keyboardist and he’s still in a band! (laughs) His own Dixieland band and they’re very good too!
Brooke: Was singing something you started to do as a child, naturally, Jon? And when did you decide that was what you wanted to do in life?
Jon: I guess I’ve always loved to sing as a kid. Then it stuck. By the time I was ten-years-old, I was screaming my head off on a daily basis. Yeah, I loved to make noise.
Steve: In the beginning, there were some moments that I thought Jon would not be able to sing due to a cold or whatever, but he can literally scream through it.
Brooke: What is your process when writing your music?
Jon: I write the songs. I demo them and work them together in the studio. Hashing out the last details and making them as good as possible. If it wasn’t for Steve and Dave, they wouldn’t have come out the same. Without Dave’s bass and production and Steve’s drumming, it wouldn’t have been anything like this.
I tend to start with poetry, then I choose lyrics and phrases in my head. I don’t tend to talk about the lyrics very much. But I will say that it’s my way of closing the doors on some painful things from my past. A release of sorts. It’s screaming out the angst and pain for three minutes plus.
Steve: One thing for sure, we all work very hard at our craft and we love performing.
Brooke: Okay, I have to know. How did you come up with the unusual name of the band and the title, Philosophies for the Modern Ant , for your debut album?
Dave: I can’t tell you that. It’s a secret. Jonny may tell you if you feed him a Guinness. (wink)
Steve: That would be my fault! (laughter) It’s an honest title. That is how I feel sometimes and I know the other guys do too. It’s such a weird, exposed world now. I think people, especially young people now, can easily feel like freaks and relate.
Jon: Yeah…we’re just a bunch of freaks, really, and a great name was needed.
Brooke: Dave, what would you say is the most challenging aspect of what you guys do?
Dave: Making things good enough for my own standards.
Brooke: Would you say you have high standards?
Dave: Always. But more for myself than anyone else. It’s a good driving force. I want to put one-hundred-percent into everything I do. The battle is always time.
Brooke: Did it change anything with the bands dynamic when you were signed by Pavement Entertainment?
Steve: Yes, we all went and got haircuts and pedi’s!
Jon: I thought we’d have to shop it around for a while but the deal came to us. The only thing I reckon it’s changed is our drive. We want to do more.
Steve: Like get perms!
Jon: We want to tour more. And yes, I have rollers in right now!
Steve: On a serious note, I believe we can evolve, if given the opportunity. I love giving it all away on stage. I just hope people latch on.
Dave: It’s a combination of three things. We are all deeply passionate about music, firstly. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true. Secondly, we have been through a lot together. That reflects in our music, I think. Even though we sounded like we’d been together for years the first time we jammed. But lastly, is finding people like you that understand what we are trying to do. We couldn’t do it on our own.
Brooke: If you guys could give any insight about what you have learned thus far, what would it be?
Dave: In this industry you must have enough passion for what you’re doing to be able to make the sacrifices you have to make. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s not an easy job. The only advice I can give is never, ever, ever, ever give up. Ever! Also, as Eddie Van Halen says, “No fucking around!” That’s my motto. (laughter)
Steve: That’s simple. Don’t burn bridges.
As I sit here, with my headphones on out of habit, literally listening to one of their songs, All In A Lie, I can now genuinely say, Freaks Like Me have produced an indisputably contemporary sound that, I believe, will only accelerate from this point on. Another thing I can tell you is that, after a hell of a lot of research, Jon, Dave, and Steve have legitimately raised the bar for me, personally. They have unapologetic-ally, (which is the only way to do anything worth while), forged their own path and the trail is still lit, with a dim glow from the flames left in their wake.
As Freaks Like Me continue to gain momentum into the next phase of their career, I can guarantee you that I for one, will be keeping track of this particular band and will be anxiously waiting to see what their sophomore album is all about.
To find more information on them yourself, check out their official Facebook page here or hit up iTunes, HMV, 7 Digital, as well as, Spotify, and YouTube. I also have to give them a huge shout out “Thank you Freaks Like Me!” for taking the time to conduct this interview with me. You guys are a stellar group and as we say in the south….I appreciate you!
Q) Tell us about Corey Sturgill as a child, growing up and discovering music. What’s the first thing you remember hearing that gave you that rush?
I had a Walkman cassette player, and my dad had a copy of the Sevendust album ‘Home‘, I listened to it constantly...the heavy guitars and awesome drums. I STILL listen to that record!
Q) When did you get your first set of drums (or other instrument)? Explain how it felt, what kind of drums were they, what color, etc? Those very first moment of realizing you had your very own kit, who was your idol?
Q) Eventually you ran into some other kids and they found out you were a drummer, (the hardest member in a band to find IMO), and of course, you guys set up your first ever jam session of you life with other people. How old were you? Who were they? What did you guys attempt to play? How did it feel to have that feeling of ‘Yeah! I’m in a band!”?
Right away I started a band with with my buddy Jayson Johnson, still my homie til this day. He played guitar and recorded our first song on a tape recorder. We were so pumped! Our band was called L.E.D., and I don’t think it stood for anything. lol
I grew up playing in church and playing in my youth group and stuff like that.. But my first REAL show was with a band called Primal Dust. My dad was the singer and guitar player. It was at Bulldog Cafe (Fairdale, Kentucky). It went very well. I wasn’t really nervous cause there was only twenty people there lol, plus I played at church in front of a bunch of people on a regular basis so i wasn’t very nervous. I’m usually good under pressure
Q) Tell us when playing in a band became REAL. When the focused and serious musicianship really took over you and the band you were playing with. Who was the band, etc.?
Playing in Johari brought a whole other side to being in a band. good musicians and business minded. made me realize how hard it can be. My goal was always to keep pushing my limits as a drummer, strive to be the best (knowing that I’m not) but I’m always trying to learn more about the drums. A lot of musicians reach a point where they are comfortable and stop learning, I never Wanna stop!
Started drumming at eight-years-old, got my kit at age ten. I was so in love with drums!! I remember I asked my dad one day when i was like eleven, “How do you become a professional drummer?” he said, “Learn as much as you can and be really good!“, so I learned by ear for a long time and when i was fifteen-years-old, I wanted to take lessons because I wasn’t learning anything on my own.
I took jazz lessons because I always heard it was the hardest, then I began playing in church and other random projects. Jay Daunt (Flaw, guitarist) happened to see me play one time and liked my style. So when they began looking for a new drummer I was the first person he hit up. I’m honored and can’t wait to show everyone what i can do. Johari is a metalcore band here in Louisville, still active and about to release an awesome new record! We (Johari) have a drummer who fills in when i can’t play shows. Great music and great guys!
Q) Lastly, tell us what kind of kit you play, cymbals, etc. How many pairs of sticks do you foresee blasting through during the REAWAKENING TOUR?
On April 27th : Emperors And Elephants will release a brand new music video for their single “Change” off of the Devil In The Lake album. On May 5th the band will re-release the with 9 bonus tracks that will include acoustic takes and demos of the songs you may already know.
Emperors And Elephants have been touring steadily since the release of Devil In The Lake, and will continue to tour throughout 2015 including playing Rock Fest 2015 in Cadott, WI on July 18th.
By: Donnie Hardin
Born on March 31,1955 in Glasgow, Scotland, Angus McKinnon Young was the youngest of eight children of William and Margaret Young, a would be rock icon would eventually pick up a banjo, which has been re-strung with six strings. Having shown so much interest in making racket on the banjo, his mother would buy him a cheap acoustic guitar, and he began to hone his unique skills.
Then, in 1970, history would be made. He became the very proud owner of a Gibson SG at a music store a couple of blocks down the street from the family home. “I got out and got a Gibson SG that I played until it got wood rot because so much sweat and water got into it. The whole neck warped. I bought it second-hand; it was about a ’67. It had a real thin neck, really slim, like a Custom neck. It was dark brown.” Young once said in an interview about his very first Gibson SG, the model of guitar which has remained his weapon of choice since.
Before forming AC/DC, Angus played in a local band called ‘Kantuckee‘. He was eighteen-years-old when he and his older brother, Malcolm, formed AC/DC in 1973 with Angus on lead guitar, Malcolm on rhythm guitar. In 1971. On February 17, 1975 AC/DC would go on to release their debut album, High Voltage. As we all absolutely know, the rest, was indeed…history.
Happy birthday Angus, For The Rock You Have Given Us, We Salute YOU!