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Primer 55 heads to Sandusky stage

John Benson • May 13, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Primer 55

• WHEN: 7 p.m. May 14

• WHERE: The Underground, 224 E. Water St., Sandusky   

• COST: $5/ticket, $8/ticket (under 21)

• INFO: 419-609-9463

You can’t help but feel there is something Spinal Tap-ish about nu-metal act Primer 55, which, for the past 11 years, has existed on and off between break-ups, drug addictions, side projects or other gigs.

Bandleader Bobby Burns, who created the group out of Memphis, Tennessee around the turn of the century during the Limp Bizkit zeitgeist, recently quit his gig as Soulfly bassist to return to Primer 55.

Recently Burns, an Atlanta resident, got the band back together — but as you’ll learn, the future is uncertain and the end is always near for the raucous outfit.

In the past, the numerous lineups of outfit have opened for the likes of Staind, Biohazard, Godsmack and Soulfly, as well as appeared at Ozzfest.

However, the latter achievement was in 2000 when the group was buoyed by up-and-coming buzz culminating with its 2001 studio album “The New Release,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The album’s single “This Life” even hit the top 40 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Primer 55 returns to Sandusky May 14 at The Underground. Funcoast talked to Burns about Primer 55, which seems to live on the wild side.

Funcoast: So you recently quit Soulfly. Why return to Primer 55?

Bobby Burns: I took a few years away from it a little bit when I joined Soulfly but it’s always kept going and stuff, just a little less. I never left. It’s always been there. We’ve always been playing shows and stuff but just not extensively like back in the day.

FC: Any chance the band returns to full capacity now that you have some free time?

BB: You never can tell. Primer 55 is such a damn…I thought Guns N’ Roses was bad, but you never know what you’re going to get.

FC: You mean Primer 55 has a debauched, tumultuous history?

BB: Yeah, pretty much.

FC: Lots of crashing and burning?

BB: Oh wow, too many to count. I’d like to have a couple that I’m proud of, but I don’t. Being on the inside of those situations is

horrible. I guess it looks cool to some folks on the outside, but it’s hard to get stuff

accomplished when you have a couple of crazy guys in the band.

FC: If it’s such a pain, why do you keep Primer 55 alive?

BB: It’s my baby. It’s always been my baby. I put that band together and got my first record deal and stuff like that. It means that much to me. I think it’s crazy that people still come and listen because it’s not something I really tried too hard at, you know. I’ve always been a punk rock kid my whole life. I don’t know, maybe we’d all be millionaires if we tried harder. I don’t get it.

FC: Any new music in the works for Primer 55?

BB: I have a couple of records worth of material, but one of my guys still has an addiction problem so I will not take a lot of time out of my day to pursue something like that if everybody is not on the same page. We’re not playing any of the new music. I don’t want to get anybody excited for something that could possibly not happen. We’re the type of guys that we couldn’t be a band tomorrow.

FC: Okay. Um, you think you’ll still be a band when Primer 55 is supposed to play


BB: Yeah, we’ll be there for sure. There’s always that vibe that follows the band. And our show is always memorable, bro, one way or the other.

Primer 55 appears at 7 p.m. May 14 at The Underground, 224 E. Water St., Sandusky. Also on the bill are El Diablo, Bo Young, Defiant, Realm of Insanity, A Beautiful Massacre and more. Tickets are $5 ($8 under 21), and are now on sale at 419-609-9463.

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