Interview: Suzanne Walker of Primo! (Melbourne) talks new album Amici ahead of hometown launch

Melbourne’s PRIMO! are band worthy of the added exclamation mark; with a rallying pop punk flair, the band have been making their mark on the local scene with the lead up to their new album Amici generating much excitement. Already, there is an European tour in the works, taking the girls from Melbourne – where they’ll launch the album next week – out to international crowds for what’s set to be quite the exciting tour.

Suzanne Walker tells us some more about Amici, which is being released by London label Upset The Rhythm, and what it has been like working with the band in bringing this record to life.

What’s it been like bringing Amy into the mix?

She’s been a part of our ‘extended family’ since the beginning and played some live shows with us first before becoming a permanent member. It’s all felt very organic and natural; we were lucky when she said yes. There’s no doubt her creative input will help the sound evolve in healthy and interesting ways. She’s also a really lovely person, we’re all over the moon to have her around full time.

How are the new songs developing live? Are there any you’re particularity excited to play to crowds at the album launch? (Especially given this will be the first time you’ll be playing to crowds who have hear the new music…)

It takes a while to feel comfortable playing songs live but we play to some really supportive audiences/friends in this music community so we never feel like we should hold something back till it’s perfect (if perfection exists). It takes a few shows for a song to really sit well but it doesn’t stop us trying. Family Dinner Club is a good one to play live … sometimes it feels a bit hectic, but it’s still one of our faves … maybe because it’s a bit hectic!

How do you feel Amici compares musically to your earlier releases? What can fans expect?

We’ve only released a tape previously so this is our first big release. We recorded that tape very soon after we got together so I think this record is more considered and probably more confident.

And how did the recording process compare to your earlier productions? You must have felt much more comfortable with that side of the process?

I guess so … we’ve only ever recorded with friends so we’ve never felt ‘uncomfortable’ per se. Recording with Al Monty is of course a lot of fun; he’s a bit of a musical maverick and having recorded countless times himself he was always patient and open to experimenting or re-recording. Because we recorded in stages there was time to listen to what we had and what was missing or in some cases where we had to subtract or simplify. People often comment that we have a stripped back sound, and I think we all like that, so we’re interested in retaining a certain starkness to the songs.

Can you tell me a little bit about working with London label Upset The Rhythm (who are releasing your next record)? How did you come to work with them and what has that experience been like?

Upset the Rhythm released the Terry records so we knew them that way. They’ve been really supportive … at the moment they’re organising our European tour for late August which will take us to Copenhagen, Vienna, Paris, and other amazing cities including some great shows in London where the label is based. We’re also so incredibly happy with how lovingly they printed the record – it means a lot when you spend so much time making it and its a collage or your personalities.

You’ll be heading to Europe not long after your show in Melbourne – Are there any places you’re particularly excited about playing? How are you finding your music is connecting with European audiences?

We’re excited to play in Manchester but also Vienna and places with more intimate venues. In terms of connecting with a Euro audience, the record is very new so we’ll probably know more when we’re on the ground over there! We’re all really looking forward some sun, music and of course being with our ‘amici’.

PRIMO! launch Amici at The Tote in Melbourne on July 20th. For more information and tickets, head here. The album will be out through Upset The Rhythm on July 13th.