Written By: Trevor Cardone
Primitive Lips, a local North Jersey post-punk band, have released one EP, and are recording new material for the coming months. I was able to meet up with the band during one of their practice sessions to talk about the beginning of the band, touring, and the future of the band. The band is made up of three friends: Shane Furst on bass and vocals, Cosmo Marri on drums, and Matt Morgantini on guitar.
How did this all begin for you guys, and did you have any musical influences?
Matt: The band began when we went to a surprise party for a mutual friend. Shane and I didn’t know Cosmo at the time, but we met him there.
Cosmo: Matt asked if I played any instruments, and I lied to him saying I played the drums, in reality I never played an instrument before I just wanted to be in a band. So Matt and Shane asked if I wanted to jam with them one day, and two weeks before that day came I taught myself how to play drums.
Matt: That is pretty much how it all started, within three weeks we wrote four songs and released our first EP. We listened to mostly 80s post-punk, so that could be considered our influence.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
Matt: We are all usually late, for some reason we all can’t make it on time. It’s harder for me because I have to commute from New York. So, if we were to have a practice I need to know ahead of time, and plan my whole day around that. We don’t have any set dates for practice, if we want to practice we will just pick a day, there is no weekly basis. During practices, we tend to screw around a lot because that’s just how we are.
How far have you guys toured? And what were some of your favorite shows?
Shane: The farthest we toured was probably New Hampshire, we played a few shows in the North Eastern area.
Cosmo: Our favorite show was definitely in Connecticut.
Matt: Yeah, Connecticut was the best show we played. When we got there, there was about three people in the crowd, but when we went on the stage the venue became completely packed. Everyone in the crowd was dancing, and having a good time. I also think this was the show we sounded the best live.
How much has the band evolved since the beginning?
Matt: The band has evolved a lot. Sound-wise we are always trying to refine it and find something new. We also went through a name change since we first started. And we all became best friends with each other since the first night we met at the party.
Cosmo: We started as total strangers between each other, or well I did at least. Shane and Matt knew each other prior. But after all this time, we’ve grown to be best friends with each other.
Who writes the songs in the band?
Cosmo: There isn’t really a designated person who writes the songs or lyrics. It usually starts with a guitar or bass riff, and we work from there.
Matt: Yeah, that usually how it starts, we don’t write any lyrics or melody first, that usually comes in the end. The lyrics are usually written in a group effort.
Cosmo: But I’m not the best writer for lyrics, they usually end up being cheesy (laughs).
Matt: Shane and I work together on the lyrics.
Shane: It usually starts out as poems, and not lyrics for a song. We then use the poems and see what we can work with from them for our songs.
If you could switch places with each other who would you be and why?
Matt: This is actually something that we bring up multiple times between us
Shane: When we practice we sometimes switch roles, usually I go onto drums, Cosmo goes onto vocals and guitar, and Matt plays bass. This is just how it ends up for us, we don’t have a specific reason.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you guys had to overcome?
Matt: Booking shows is probably the hardest for us. There really isn’t a scene established for our type of music, so it’s hard to find bands to play with live. Also, since a scene doesn’t really exist it’s difficult to establish a fanbase.
So far you released an EP, can we expect anything within the near future?
Matt: We actually have a release that is pending right now. We’ve recorded it twice but are still deciding whether we should change a few songs.
Shane: We are planning on having a third recording, and by that time we should have a new release. So, it should be coming out real soon.
Where would fans be able to find your music?
Matt: They could find our music on Sam’s Place Records, and our bandcamp page.
Do you plan on having any upcoming shows? If so where and when?
Matt: We have a show on October 29th at Mexicali in Teaneck, NJ and we have another one on December 16th at The Meatlocker in Montclair, NJ. We are playing with Whiner, Kissing Is a Crime, and The Black Ships.
Primitive Lips describes themselves as three friends just hanging out who want to make music together, and not take themselves too seriously.