Prima Donna - Here to Save Rock N Roll (cover feature)
Rock and roll has been in a rut for the past couple of years. If it’s not hip-hop, it’s deejay programmed and synced tracks or indie rock bands that have more attitude than ability to actually play their instrument. Prima Donna is here to save the day. For the first time in a long time a real rock band is out there making great music and turning heads with a great live show and songs that refuse to get out of your head. Prima Donna toured for a while with Green Day and now on the road in support of the legendary Adam Ant. Lead guitarist and vocalist Kevin Preston took a few minutes to speak with Enigma from the road.
Not to blow any smoke, but thank you for being a real rock band, especially the way I've been inundated by indie rock, hipster bands and other genres and sub-genres the last couple of years.
Well hey thanks! We really love rock 'n' roll. It's the only thing we wanna do.
That being said, to you… what makes a rock band?
Sweat, blood, dirt and loud guitars. Keep the guitars loud, man.
How important is attitude?
It's great for the stage, I'll tell you that. You have no business being up there if you don't have some attitude. Just remember to hang up the 'tude when you jump in the van.
You guys are hot in your hometown of L.A. and have gotten tour with Green Day and now Adam Ant. What did and are you learning about your art by touring with two icons in popular music?
Green Day and Adam Ant are some of the best performers of all time. The most important thing I've learned: give it all you've got every single night. You can never ever half-ass it.
Was there anything they may have or are picking up by having you on tour with them?
Well, I think you'd have to ask them that one.
How do you think your attitude and eve motivation has changed the more you've gotten away from home and are on the road a lot?
On the road I get really focused, laser focused on one thing - performing. That's all I think about. I get really intense. At home, I get quiet and write my songs.
To you what makes a good show?
Energy. I go see all types of concerts. You can watch an artist in a dive bar or a stadium and as long as they've got energy, it's gonna be good.
Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Everywhere. Even bathroom wall graffiti.
How are the songs written? Is it music first or do you write the music to fit the lyrics?
Both. Just depends. For example: "Sociopath" started with words and "Maxine" started with music.
What is the most overrated part about being in a band?
Well, I'd really have to go with the whole backstage fantasy. Everybody wants to hang with us backstage. It's usually us five guys cramped in a janitor's closet with half-eaten food all over the place. Let's just drink at the bar instead.
What songs or songs, if any, were you surprised that people picked up on the most?
On this record, "Broken." It's really personal, so I'm always surprised that other people get it.
Do you consider yourselves more of a "live" band?
Sure. We really get off on stage. We started this band to play shows. Now, we've become a real force in the studio, too.
Are you guys actively writing new material even while touring, or is it one of those things were you have to set time aside just to write?
I write a bit on the road, but I'm really just concentrating on the performance. I write at home when I've got time to think.
You guys have garnered growing attention over the last five years. How have you handled the increase in attention?
We want more! More the merrier when it comes to the band. Not crazy about people digging for personal stuff though...
What can I look forward to when I see you in concert?
Five guys firing on every fucking cylinder!
Prima Donna is currently on tour with Adam Ant. They will be at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville on Monday, August 5 and at the Center Stage Theatre in Atlanta, GA Tuesday, August 6.