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Interview: PRIMITIVE MAN talk SPLIT record with HELL and upcoming shows

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Great things coming from the Denver sludge trio.

primitive man, sludge, doom metal, denver
From left to right: Jonathan Campos, Ethan McCarthy, Joe Linden

Denver, CO can be considered a hot spot for metal's best up and coming talent, producing countless quality acts year after year, one of those being the thunderous PRIMITIVE MAN. The band is aptly named, given that they deliver cavernous and dissonant sounds from the depths below, punishing eardrums with blunt force.

PRIMITIVE MAN, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Ethan McCarthy, bassist Jonathan Campos, and drummer Joe Linden, is simply a slaughtering doom/sludge juggernaut that has left charred remains with every past release. Having recently announced a forthcoming Split with MSW's HELL while writing their new full length album, the band maintain their sedulous work ethic and further establish themselves as one of the most prominent doom acts in modern day. To bring some of the Split and unnamed record tracks to life, the three-piece will hit the road for a short string of shows in January.

We talk to frontman Ethan McCarthy about the band's upcoming Split, the upcoming shows, and what we can expect from their new material.


You recently announced your upcoming split record with Hell and the first two vinyl variants sold out incredibly fast, with the 3rd version almost close to selling out as well. How does it feel for you as a band to have such an incredible response from fans?

We feel very lucky that people appreciate the pairing/the music we make. I can tell you that this is probably our most well received split up to this point.

Will you have some copies for sale during your upcoming string of shows or should fans purchase them now before they’re shit out of luck?

Purchase now or you're fucked.

I’ll be honest, ‘Oily Tears’ scared the shit out of me upon first listen. Not just because the lyrics touch on our decaying planet, but the music itself is just incredibly apocalyptic and thunderous. Where do you draw from to compose these emotionally charged tracks?

I've got a lot of problems and the world has a lot of problems.

It’s exciting to see you pair with MSW and HELL to put out the split. How did this collaboration come about?

We played together last year, and have been fans of each others music so a split made sense!

Dave Otero oversaw Caustic, Home Is Where The Hatred Is, previous splits and also worked on your upcoming split. How’s your relationship with Dave and how does his expertise influence the final result?

Dave is an amazing engineer and we are lucky to have him in such close proximity. Our relationship is outstanding and I think he is the best individual available within 1,000 miles. I have recorded almost everything I have done with him (aside from some no name grindcore bands I was in) since 2008.

You designed the cover art for the split and have also done the covers for the previous records. Do you feel that only you can capture the bands visual elements? Or why not hire another artist?

Why hire out when you can do things in house?

You have a short run of shows coming up next month, with each stop accompanied by great new bands like Ulthar, Wake, Cave Bastard, and more. Did you individually choose what bands to accompany you at each show? (Thank you for bringing Ulthar to LA).

We have a long standing relationship with WAKE and thought that doing this one off show in Calgary would be cool. We haven't played together in at least 3 years. Ulthar we asked to join us as well for the LA show because their new album is out of this world good. Cave Bastard we do not know as well, but we played with them the last time we were in San Diego. This past summer we went on a European tour with -(16)- so we asked them to hop on the San Diego show as well.

Maryland Deathfest 2019 is also coming up and you’ll be sharing the stage with some notable death metal bands. Seeing the lineup and past bills you’ve been on, are there any bands you’d like to play with that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet?

Cannibal Corpse, Corrupted, Morbid Angel, SUNNO))), Grave Upheaval, Immolation, Incantation, Blasphemy (this almost happened last year but...),Napalm Death, HTRK, Dead Meadow, Freddie Gibbs and about 1,000 more bands. We want to play with every band/artist we have ever liked.

You’ve stated that you’ll be testing out some new songs at these upcoming shows. By new songs, do you mean the two tracks from the split record? Or new songs that haven’t been announced yet?

A little bit of both.

You’ll also be recording next year. How are writing sessions coming along? And what can we expect from Primitive Man’s next outing?

Good, we have about 3/5ths of the next record finished, and we really "dug deep" for these songs. They still sound like Primitive Man but in my opinion we're getting better at writing songs together & exploring ideas that we were previously afraid to bust out due to the pressure of following up the success of Scorn. Which sounds pretentious but none of the bands we were in prior to P//M sold any records so yes, there was a bit of pressure there.


There you have it. Grab your wallets and get yourself a ticket to the face melting performance being put on by Denver's doom titans alongside crazy good bands.


1/19: Calgary, AB - The Palomino (with WAKE, MESSIAHLATOR, PATHETIC)

1/23: Salt Lake City, UT - Diabolical Records (with 2-HEADED WHALE, GLUME)

1/24: Los Angeles, CA - Catch One (with ULTHAR)

1/25: San Diego, CA - Brick by Brick (with CAVE BASTARD, SIXES, -16-)

Join Heaviest of Art for a night full of head banging devastation at the Catch One in Los Angeles as PRIMITIVE MAN and Oakland's black metal trio ULTHAR set out to terrorize the city, courtesy of Psycho Entertainment. If you want a glimpse of what to expect from the trio in the coming months, this is where you want to be. Get your tickets here.

primitive man, ulthar, relapse records, 20 buck spin, catch one, psycho entertainment

To (somewhat) prepare for the shows, stream the crushing Oily Tears from their upcoming Split and pre-order your vinyl copy via Translation Loss before they're gone. No copies will be sold on tour so get yours now before you're fucked!

primitive man, hell, split, translation loss records, doom metal


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