Interview & Show Preview: Prima Donna @ Showbox Market, Sat. 9/7

Adam Ant‘s headlining Showbox at the Market on Saturday night, September 7th, and he’s bringing with him Los Angeles’ Prima Donna, an honest to God rock and roll band. The quintet, chosen by Ant as his tour opener, has all the tasty glam and rock flavors Ant’s fans will enjoy – so get to the show early and don’t miss these guys! Singer/guitarist Kevin Preston sat down for a Q&A with Back Beat Seattle:

What’s one of strangest things that’s happened to you on the road?

Kevin Preston: So many. Where do I start? I can’t share most of ’em. Well, one time in the midwest, I woke up naked on a bathroom floor with blisters on my arm. Apparently, me and a friend were putting cigarettes out on each other. At some point I wanted to take a shower, but I lost the nerve and went to sleep on the floor. I’ve matured a bit since then…

Who are your top two favorite singers? What is it about them you admire?

KP: David Bowie & Nina Hagen. They both have incredible range & tone. . .among countless other things.

Prima Donna

How did the song “Maxine” come about – particularly the drumming and backing vocals?

KP: Funny enough, that’s our homage to Adam Ant. His music has always been a big inspiration. We wanted to show it on that tune.

What are some of your hobbies outside music?

KP: California things. If it snows, I ski. If it’s hot, I surf. But really, I’m always injuring myself. When I’m laid up, I write songs and watch way too much television. Total TV junkie. Wendy Williams really deserves an Emmy.

How did you decide on having a saxophone in band?

KP: Take a listen to Little Richard doing “Keep A-Knockin'”. That got us thinking. We’re also big disciples of The Sonics. Sax used to drive rock and roll just as hard as guitars. We want to bring that back.

What’s the song you’ve written you’re proudest of and why?

KP: So far, ”Feral Children” for reasons I can’t get into. I really spilled my guts with the song “Bless This Mess” – so that one gets a close second.

You’re touring with Adam Ant at the moment, what is your first memory of Adam Ant?

KP: Wonderful. When I was a kid, my mom listened to it over and over at loud volumes. He was a big part of my musical upbringing.

When did you begin playing music? What drew you to it?

KP: I think I was 11. I just wanted to be in a band with David (Field, drums) and our friend Dan. That was it really. We were kids, so it was like, yeah we’re a band. I guess we should learn how to play instruments or something.

Do you think rock has kind of become an underground form of music?

KP: At the moment, it sure has. Rock ‘n’ roll is always around, you just gotta look for it. Then, every couple of years, there’ll be some rock n roll troubling the charts. Better than nothing!

How did the band find their look? Is there a bit of each band member’s personality in it?

KP: Lots of ’70s in there. Most of our favorite stuff, both music and fashion, came from that decade. Personally, I’ve always gone for the early Joan Jett look. . .

In what ways do you think the band’s sound has changed from Kiss Kiss to Bless this Mess?

KP: We’ve become much more of a band since the first recordings. Let’s just say we’re much tighter these days.

Where did you grow up? What do you think that city gave you?

KP: The whole band was born and raised in Los Angeles. I’d say the best thing we’ve gotten out of it is the early L.A. punk influence. Shock, Bags, Skulls, Weirdos, Eyes, X etc. – all extremely close to our hearts and ears.

~interview by Dagmar


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