In 2003, Primitive Reason recorded what was to be the band’s first release on their own independent label Kaminari Records. 'The Firescroll', the band’s 4th album, generated rave reviews with the public and media alike. An extensive tour included an appearance in front of 30,000 fans at the Rock in Lisbon (Portugal) stadium festival alongside Marilyn Manson, Audioslave, Deftones, and Disturbed. Video-clips for the singles Kindian and Had I the Courage were voted #1 ahead of top international acts on several TV programs, and Primitive Reason was nominated for Best Band at the 2003 MTV European Music Awards.
Songs written & arranged by Primitive Reason
Produced by Marsten Bailey & Primitive Reason
Guillermo De Llera - Lead Vocals, Percussion, Didgeridoo, Saz, Bass
Abel Beja - Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals, Portuguese Guitar, Bouzouki, Sitar, Melodica
James Beja - Bass
Jorge Felizardo - Drums
Buford O' Sullivan - Trombone, Trumpet
BBM - Beatbox
Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Primitive Reason was formed in 1993 by Guillermo De Llera (bass,vocals) and long-time schoolmates Jorge Felizardo (drums) and Brian Jackson (lead vocals), who were later joined by Mikas Ventura (guitar) and Mark Cain (sax). The members, being of different nationalities (including Spanish, Portuguese, American, and British backgrounds), set out to explore their diverse musical interests. After a couple of demos and several live shows, the band began to develop a unique fusion of metal/hardcore/ska/reggae/hip-hop/funk with hints of jazz and world music, complimented by dual vocals that mixed melodic singing with rap, spoken word, and aggressive screams.
Their innovative sound and impressive live performances caught the attention of both local fans and media alike. In 1995, Primitive Reason landed a national recording deal with Uniao Lisboa. The band quickly made its mark on the national music scene with the release of two critically acclaimed albums in Portugal (Alternative Prison, 1996 and Tips and Shortcuts, 1998, both of which sold over 20,000 copies). After several successful national tours, including memorable performances at important summer festivals like Paredes de Coura, Superbock Superrock, and Vilar de Mouros, the band had generated a large national following and was looking to further its musical experience beyond borders.
Frustrated by their label’s lack of interest in releasing their albums internationally, Primitive Reason re-located to New York City where they signed with independent label Jah Notion in 1999. The move was not without its hardships though. By the time they started writing new material for their U.S. debut, De Llera and Felizardo had found themselves at a major crossroads after the rest of the band had decided not to continue. The duo moved on though, with De llera taking on the lead vocal role, completing the band’s third album, Some of Us, which was recorded in NY and featured some friends they had made on the scene including members of the Scofflaws, Toasters and New York Ska Jazz Ensemble.
At the turn of the century, the band recruited local natives James (bass) and Abel Beja (guitar) and quickly became a fixture on the NYC circuit, playing such renowned venues as CBGB’s, Mercury Lounge, Knitting Factory and Wetlands. To kick off their first U.S. release in the summer of 2000, Primitive Reason embarked on several U.S. national tours, included opening slots for major acts such as Fishbone, The Urge, The Misfits, Murphy's Law and The Pilfers, before returning to Portugal in 2001 to promote national release of the album. Another year of constant touring was to follow, including a national head-lining tour and appearances at major summer festivals alongside international acts such as Soulfly, Rammstein, Manu Chao, Suicidal Tendencies, UB40, Slipknot and Nickelback. The band then took a break from touring and decided to explore their individual and collective interests in other musical roots and cultures. Each member traveled to a different part of the globe: to Asia, South America, North America, and Europe. These experiences would deeply inspire their following works.
In 2003, a ‘reincarnated’ Primitive Reason finished recording what was to be the band’s first release on their own independent label Kaminari Records. The Firescroll, the band’s 4th album, generated rave reviews with the public and media alike. Their national tour included an appearance in front of 30,000 fans at the Rock in Lisbon stadium festival alongside Marilyn Manson, Audioslave, Deftones, and Disturbed. Video-clips for the singles Kindian and Had I the Courage were voted #1 ahead of top international acts on several TV programs, and Primitive Reason was nominated for Best Band at the 2003 MTV European Music Awards. By the end of summer, Primitive Reason had suffered another major line-up change with the sudden departure of Felizardo. The band was able to find a temporary replacement and finished the last leg of the national tour but was forced to cancel any plans of international touring.
Over the next few years, the band found themselves faced with a ‘revolving door’ of replacement drummers as they continued to tour nationally. This didn’t stop them from returning to studio to complete their next album. Pictures in the Wall (Kaminari, 2005), Primitive Reason's 5th release and most adventurous work to date, was the reflection of the diversity that characterizes and always has been a trademark of this unique band. The album was conceived as a 74-minute ‘soundtrack’ to a short-story written by De Llera. As he explains it, “The book, and the music that accompanies it, describes a deep sleep, in which several distinct dreams tell their own story, filled with hopes and desires, living on memories and suffering through its own sorrows, like a wall filled with photographs that seemingly mark the passage of time”. Originally written in English, the book also includes both Spanish and Portuguese translations.
Following the release of Pictures in the Wall, Primitive Reason toured consistently. Highlights included their first concerts in the UK and Spain, as well as festival appearances alongside Tool, System of a Down, Placebo, Prodigy, Deftones, and Incubus. Both Kaminari releases were then made available worldwide through CD Baby, Super D Distribution and all major digital music services including I-tunes and Napster. In 2007, with the additions of Pepe de Souza (drums) and Ricardo Barriga (guitar), Primitive Reason solidified their line-up and returned to the studio. Their first recordings were recently released as a ‘limited edition’ EP, anticipating the band’s 6th full-length which is scheduled for international release in mid 2008.
Since the beginning of their 15-year existence, they’ve remained faithful to their roots and ideals while consistently re-affirming their position as one of the leaders on the international underground music scene. Backed by a faithful and ever-growing cult following throughout many parts of the world, Primitive Reason continues to cast the way…
Primitive Reason is:
Guillermo de Llera – vocals, percussion, didgeridoo
James Beja – bass, vocals
Abel Beja – guitar, vocals
Pepe De Souza - drums
Ricardo Barriga - guitar
For more info please visit: primitivereason.com