Listen to FUTURE PRIMITIVE’s Debut Release ‘FP14,’ Read Their Interview With Us, Then Go Skate Some Curbs

future primitive

Today, we’re pleased to share with you the fantastic debut EP from North Carolina-based skate-punk / melodic hardcore band, FUTURE PRIMITIVEFP14 sounds like the work of a band that already has a few releases under their belt, yet somehow FUTURE PRIMITIVE has only been around for a few months. Seamlessly juggling a wide variety of influences, from skate-punk to youth crew to emo, FUTURE PRIMITIVE have found a sound that harkens back to a wide variety of genres, while still feeling uniquely their own. Simply put, while this is technically a demo, FP14 sounds way more put together.

We decided to sit down with FUTURE PRIMITIVE to talk about FP14, what it was like getting a band together that sounds the way they do, their skateboarding aesthetic, and what their future looks like. Before you do anything, though, hit the play button on the widget after the break to vibe with FP14. It enhances the experience, trust me. Once you’re done with all of that, go outside and skate your local parking lot with the record in your headphones. It’s important to note that they already ran out of downloads on Bandcamp, so if you like what you hear, they say you can pick up the record for free here. However, I say throwing a few bucks to a local band is never a bad thing. Hell, I’d even say it’s about as close to buying good karma as you can get in the music scene.

So first off, can all of you just introduce yourself and what you do in FUTURE PRIMITIVE?

Ben: I play guitar and do vocals, Daniel Gorham plays drums, and Cameron Phipps play bass.

Matt: I’m Matt and I play lead guitar and do vocals.

The first, and most general question I have is, how did FUTURE PRIMITIVE start?

Ben: Well, I grew up on a lot of old school hardcore. The first CD I bought was Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables by Dead Kennedy’s, so I’ve always wanted a fast band that really pulls from older hardcore. Just by aging I found myself into a number of genres and wanted to put together something that pulls from everything I like. I’ve been sitting on these songs for a number of years and it just took a while to find the right people to make it happen.

Discovering the Jade Tree label in high school was also a huge influence on me. Matt is really into Leftover Crack and No Cash so it was easy to pull him into the band, [laughs]. Skateboarding was the thing that got me into music, so I’ve always rallied behind anything that sounds like it could be on a Tony Hawk game. That was my selling point on finding members.

Matt: Daniel and I were in a band through high school called No Reception. I knew he could play drums pretty well so we asked him to do it. Then we just asked our friend Cameron if he would be down to play and he said yes.

Yeah, that actually leads into my next question — a lot of the imagery in your band’s promo stuff, from the album art to your cover photos, to even the opening sample of the record, all have to do with skateboarding. Obviously this was a conscious decision, but what made you want to really commit to this aesthetic?

Ben: Skateboarding is everything to me. As silly as it sounds, getting my first skateboard was the key to opening my eyes to a whole slew of underground cultures. I’m obsessed with lots of old school skateboard videos- the band is even named after a Powell Peralta video, and I feel like punk rock and skateboarding used to have a really intense connection to one another.

The thing that’s really struck me about the demo was the wide variety of styles of punk and hardcore. Sometimes the songs change on a dime into different spheres of punk or hardcore which makes every song feel really fresh. Was this a conscious decision, or something that happened a bit more organically?

Ben: I’ve been describing the band as Mineral meets Kid Dynamite. I really wanted to have the melodic, more old school emo intros and then shock people with the immediate transition into faster stuff.

Yeah, my buddy and I were jamming FP14 while driving to This Is Hardcore and the transitions really hit you in the face. At one point it will feel very skate punk/hardcore, then move into something youth crew influenced, then hit you with melodic hardcore influences.

Daniel: I love the fact that our songs have very different styles and dynamics and that they work well together. That’s why it’s cool to play this type of music- it gives us the best of our favorite music to play.

Ben: We all come from listening to different stuff. Cameron is into much heavier stuff and he brought that element into it. I feel like some of the songs were meant to be like that, and some really are just a product of our tastes meshing together.

On paper it sounds strange but it really works out together.

Ben: That’s why it was so hard to find a band to back Matt and I’s songs. Some people would laugh it off. I love seeing hardcore bands that do things differently. Stuff like Blacklisted and Modern Life Is War, as well as how newer bands like Back and Forth are trying to do new things with hardcore.

Cameron: Yeah, I wasn’t sure what I was agreeing to at first but I honestly just want to play music and hopefully tour if that’s an option and all four of us have that want [to tour]. I’m into more stuff like Power Trip, Twitching Tongues, Code Orange, and that vein of stuff but I love anything grungy for the most part. When I first heard [the song] “Shitfoot,” I was stoked and really impressed with how tight the other three were after only getting together for a few weeks.

I saw Blacklisted this past Saturday, and it was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. They are so dynamic and are able to do so many different and interesting things within the course of a set.

Ben: Cameron went last year and didn’t stay for Kid Dynamite. So fuck that kid, [laughs]. You can even print that.

So if your new demo was a skateboarder, who would it be and why?

Cameron: Fuck, that’s a good question.

Ben: Natas Kaupus. Have you ever seen Natas skate? Go watch Streets of Fire. Timeless. Natas boards and merchandise were banned from schools in the ’80s due to the Natas Satan decks.

Matt: Tony Hawk because he was the video game guy. I actually don’t know much about skateboarding past the Tony Hawk games, and I’m absolutely terrible at it in real life. Most of the time when they skate, I’m the guy hanging out and watching on the curb.

Cameron: Rodney Mullin- no wait, I want Rune Glifberg. I used to play THPS with my Dad when we got the first Playstation and I thought his Jersey was bad ass. It might have been a cut-off shirt, but it was bad as shit.

Ben, you write the lyrics for your band, and a lot of the messages have to do a lot with inclusion. Can you tell me where your head was at during the writing process

Ben: Well, I see a huge problem in hardcore/punk/pop punk/emo/whatever. All these people talk shit and judge kids who like larger bands like The Wonder Years, A Day To Remember, The Ghost Inside, and whatever. But these kids who are definitely deeper in punk make no effort to include them or introduce them to new bands. There’s no effort to include a younger demographic. It’s become an environment where you only support your friend’s band. I want to see people reaching across genres and reaching across age barriers to introduce as many people to good music as possible.

This was the hardest question. I get excited about so many bands. So many bands really are doing it right. I don’t want our songs to be negative, I don’t want to be that band that always talks about scene issues- there is so much more at play. Just make punk an inviting place.

But some of the songs are more personal. “Broke In” is about a girl that I met when I was undergoing treatment for an eating disorder a few years back. It’s a reflection on how I feel about my progress and my views on how she’s fallen to her condition and struggles to help her self.

Cameron: I hate when bands complain about the state of hardcore. NCHC is alive and well and is only continuing to grow.

So what bands are really doing it right these days? Meaning, if you could hype bands you think that are both good musicians and people, who would they be? 

Matt: Well Back and Forth rules, and Such Gold of course.

Ben: I love Back and Forth, great people. Random Holiday, One Fell Swoop, Discourse. There are so many good NC bands right now. Sinai Vessel, Down In It, Rapid Change.

Cameron: I think the Carolinas are killing it right now. There’s this band from Wilmington called Down In It. Their message is that everyone in hardcore is a freak and that’s why we’re in it. Shane’s lyrics are really deep and hit home to a lot of people. Another band from here is called Society Sucker (ex-Overlooked / Members of Riptide) and everything about that band is killer to me. Discourse is a band from Columbia, SC and they’re badass. If you’re into ’90s hardcore like Turmoil and Indecision, you should check them out. Back and Forth from New Jersey are like brothers to me- well, Matty, Dean, and Chez.

Daniel: Definitely Such Gold, Distances (when they were a band), Random Holiday, and also Young Luck (our local buddies).

Ben: Paint It Black is a massive influence on this band as far as how we hold ourselves. Sometimes Dan Yemin can push the limit a bit too far, but he always has the fans’ best interest at heart. That band has a great deal of deep lyricism. Go Deep is another band that I love right now as well as The Sheds who really cater to my love of ’90s skate punk.

Right now, what is the main purpose of Future Primitive as a band?

Ben: Right now I just want to get the songs out. I want to get it heard. These songs had been sitting for so long. My head isn’t at touring or even getting anywhere with it. I just love these songs, I feel good about them, and I want people to hear them. My friends in this band have worked really hard and I feel like it really shows. We’ll be writing new stuff and putting a split out in the Fall. This is all about the music and not about some farfetched Jack Kerouac tour experience. Touring is immensely important, but too many small bands go out on the road before they’re ready and just discourage themselves.

Cameron: I want what most people want. I want to play music that people can listen to and relate to. I think touring with these guys would be rad but not until next Summer at the earliest. I want us to have a decent canvass around our town and region and state before we do anything too big.

Matt: Fuck you punk rock break shit.

Ben: We also cannot take ourselves seriously. The music is very serious but this is a fun band. Just look at the song titles.

Any last things you want to say before we wrap up?

Ben: Friends don’t let friends push mongo. All the music is free. We’re nobodies. I just want people to have it. Peace out. Shout out to Board Patrol.

Daniel: HOLD UP. PUSHING EQUALITY. If you push mongo, that’s okay with me. I push mongo sometimes cause one leg gets tired…and yeah, shout out to Board Patrol.

Cameron: I wanna give a shout out to all my friends who have told me our demo was good and I wanna say “fuck you” to the shithead who threw a fucking beer can at me walking from Ben’s apartment the other night. Rest in power to my dad. I also wanna thank Ben for letting me live with him. Go vegan.


Interview written and conducted by Tyler Osborne(follow him On Twitter)

Tyler Osborne

Live in DC, grew up in PA. I specialize in writing, filming and taking pictures about punk, pop-punk, and hardcore music, and I also have a huge background in film as well. When not on the site, i'm running my own internet radio show, ToZ's Edge Radio ( I also love stage diving and goldfish.
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