- An Interview with Prima Donna Jammerzine Exclusive 40:09
Prima Donna is a band that has strong ties around and within the music scene. They are, to me, the underground underdogs. What I mean by that is that they keep their street-creds while raising the flag for the indie scene showing just how awesome it is.
And, in this interview, we get to talk with one-fourth of this awesomeness in the form of David S. Field, drummer for Prima Donna. We cover a lot of ground here too. We get a glimpse of the beginnings of Prima Donna as well as collaborations including there inclusion into legendary musician Steven Van Zandt’s illustrious Wicked Cool Records stable of artists as well as the side project David and Prima Donna frontman Kevin Preston have with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong called The Longshot.
Prima Donna clearly has a full plate throughout 2020, as you will hear in the interview, including a new video for ‘Sing to Death’ (read our single review HERE) as well as a new album and more.
About Prima Donna
Prima Donna has shared the stage with such notable acts as Andre Williams, Andrew WK, Angry Samoans, Anti-Nowhere League, Ash, Avengers, Backyard Babies, Bellrays, Blondie, Boys, Briefs, Business, Charged GBH, Chelsea, Cock Sparrer, D-Generation, Demented Are Go, Dollyrots, Dragons, Dritte Wahl, Duane Peters Gunfight, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Electric Frankenstein, Electric Prunes, Electric Six, Emily’s Army, Exploited, Fitz & the Tantrums, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Fuzztones, Gears, Girl In A Coma, Glen Matlock, Green Day, Guana Batz, Hangmen, Humpers, Iggy & the Stooges, Joneses, Josie Cotton, Kepi Ghoulie, Lords of Altamont, Lower Class Brats, Mad Sin, Mau-Mau’s, Michael Des Barres, Motorcycle Boy, MU330, Muffs, Nick Curran & the Lowlifes, Nikki Corvette, 999, Phenomenauts, Pointed Sticks, Polecats, Razor Dolls, Rezillos, Rikk Agnew, Rocket from the Crypt, Semi Precious Weapons, Sham 69, Skulls, Sonics, Steel Panther, Stitches, Stranglers, Stza Crack, Subhumans, Sylvain Sylvain & Cheetah Chrome’s Batusis, Texas Terri, Throw Rag, Tornado Rider, Toyah, Turbonegro, TV Smith, 20/20, U.S. Bombs, UK Subs, Undertones, Vibrators, Weirdos, Willie Nile, Zeros.
About ‘Sing to Death’
Following the success and acclaim for their fifth album S/T (their first for Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool label), Prima Donna is back with ‘Sing to Death’ (read our single review HERE), a new single as they ramp up for a new album in 2020. Dropping October 25th, the new track was preceded by the band’s dynamic cover of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer,” which was released the first day of summer 2019, and their original holiday song from December 2018, “Gimme Christmas.” As “Sing to Death” releases digitally, Wicked Cool will also release a 45 rpm vinyl version with “Cruel Summer” as the B-side. Kevin Preston, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of “Sing to Death,” commented that “the song is an anthem for all those people who are sick and tired of being silenced and controlled…and you can dance to it.” “Cruel Summer” was featured on Coversongs.com, who reported “Prima Donna plays it as a hard-driving pop-rocker, with Clash-inspired guitar licks. Preston belts out the song’s refrain with all the swagger of an ‘80s pop star transplanted into the 21st century. Apparently summer heartbreak never goes out of style. Or, as keyboardist and saxophone player Aaron Minton put it, ‘Summer is not necessarily having fun all summer long as the Beach Boys would have you believe.’”
Following the release of S/T, the band lensed two videos for the album’s singles, “4 Real” and “Press Your Luck.” “4 Real” ran the band thru a brain-washing center where people learned to survive without their cellphones, directed and produced by the Enclave, who previously worked with Joe Perry, the Pagans and The Two Tens. For “Press You Luck,” the Prima guys got back to work with long-time pal and Phenomenauts guitarist Arthur Leon Adams III, who had directed two previous Prima videos for the songs “Deathless” and “Sociopath.”
“We love working on the records, but the videos are a different world for us,” says drummer David S. Field. “It’s really important that we work with people we trust and who we feel get us. Working with both the Enclave and our old friend Arthur goes a long way. We can relax and have a good time making them, and not worry that we’re being presented in some way we’ll be uncomfortable with after the thing is edited.”
Both Preston and Field have been moonlighting the past year as half of the Longshot alongside Green Day leader Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day touring guitarist Jeff Matika on bass. Prima Donna’s association with the Green Day camp goes back to Preston working as the second guitarist in Foxboro Hot Tubs and Prima Donna touring as Green Day’s support band in both Europe and Asia following the release of After Hours in 2008. After Hours, incidentally, was reissued for the first time on vinyl in 2019, with the band playing a sold-out bash in downtown L.A. to celebrate.
As bassist and backing vocalist Lights Out Levine noted, “It wouldn’t be a Prima Donna year without a significant amount of touring. The highlights for us were hitting both sides of the Atlantic with our new friends Danko Jones.” The band has also recently played alongside Andrew W.K., Adam Ant, Blondie, Nina Diaz, and the Muffs.