Wednesday, July 31, 2013

INTERVIEW - Prima Donna

(Photo by Dawn Laureen)

Scoring the opening slot on the U.S. tour return of Adam Ant would seem to be almost any band's crowning achievement, but for L.A.-based rockers Prima Donna it's just another in a long line of amazing experiences that most bands would kill for.  The band's vocalist and songwriter, Kevin Preston, reached out via email from the road and talked about the band's (and his) experiences melting faces and the undeniable awesomeness of Iggy Pop.  

First off, congrats on scoring the opening slot on Adam Ant’s US tour!  How did that come about?

Well hey, thank you! Exciting stuff. He heard our latest record (Bless This Mess) and thought we'd be a great support band. 

Your songs have a very clear New York Dolls vibe….a nice mix of glam sleaze and huge pop hooks.  What are some of your musical touchstones, those things that you heard and loved and go back to?  Who continues to inspire you musically?

When it all started, we were playing in a garage doing covers of The Sonics and X-Ray Spex. We're into so many things that it's hard to narrow it down. I will say that Iggy Pop is always with me. I love everything he's done, new and old.

“Bless This Mess” seems to be a more collaborative effort songwriting-wise than your previous releases.  What is your songwriting process like?  Do you start with a riff and build from there or do the lyrics come first? 

It's always different. There were some special moments on this record for sure. “Let the Games Begin” was pretty much written in the van on the way to Texas. I pulled out my notebook and we passed it around. Everybody jotted down a few lines. Same with “Puta, Te Amo.”  Except, we wrote that one in Spain.

Kevin, you also have served time in Billie Joe Armstrong’s Foxboro Hot Tubs.  How has the experience as a sideman informed your “leadership” of Prima Donna?

I love being just the guitar man from time to time. I get to watch the crowd more. Playing alongside Billie is always a learning experience. He whips the crowd into a frenzy every time.   

I imagine your songs are like children – it’s tough to choose one above the others. But let’s say you are asked to make a “Sophie’s Choice”; is there one that you are particular proud to have written or one that is particularly special to you?

If people only remember one thing I've ever written, let it be “Feral Children.”

You’ve been given one “musical wish” – to work with any musician/songwriter/producer – who would you choose and why?

That's a toss-up between Prince and Iggy. To me, those guys are both untouchable, unstoppable, timeless & genius.

Other than the tour with Adam, what is on tap next for you?

Oh you know, just more world domination! We already have another European tour booked. I've been writing music like a fiend, so we'll start working on some of that soon...

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