Denver musician creates dream-lineup for Primitive Race’s new album

Jonny Rhein

 

 

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The album artwork to the band Primitive Race's upcoming album "Soul Pretender" portraying a woman with blank open eyes and various designs in the background.
The artwork to Primitive Race’s upcoming album “Soul Pretender” out Nov 3. (Photo courtesy of Primitive Race)

Primitive Race is preparing to release their second full-length album, “Soul Pretender,” and it is complete with a lineup of all-star musicians. 

According to a press release, the band’s core members are Chris Kniker on bass and guitarists Erie Loch and Mark Thwaite. Singer Chuck Mosley, formerly of Faith No More, and drummer Dale Crover of The Melvins were brought in as guest collaborators for this album.

Despite the lineup of well-known and prestigious musicians, Primitive Race founder and Denver resident Chris Kniker does not like to label the band as a supergroup.

“I hate to call it a supergroup,” Kniker said. “That puts way too much expectation on it.”

Kniker had been involved in the music industry for many years prior to Primitive Race’s formation. He initially found his place in the scene through journalism and eventually started interning for record labels. He has held various jobs in the industry but only recently started writing and recording albums. His experience and connections helped him form Primitive Race’s lineup.

“I’ve produced some records and A&R, but I had never done anything from a performance standpoint,” Kniker said. “Fortunately over the years, I’ve been able to meet a lot of cool people and forge some really neat relationships and become good friends.”

On “Soul Pretender,” Kniker had the rare opportunity to include Mosley and Crover, two of his favorite musicians from when he was a teenager.

 “(The Melvins) are one of my favorite bands,” Kniker said. “That’s the thing that’s just totally surreal about this project. You’ve got a band that you listened to growing up and you loved those records. I couldn’t get enough of Faith No More. I loved the records from Chuck. The fact that we became friends and made a record together, that doesn’t happen. That’s fairytale kind of stuff.”

The 2015 self-titled debut album was a valiant effort toward Kniker’s vision, but he wanted to do something different with “Soul Pretender.”

“Recording the same record over and over is boring,” Kniker said. “I wanted to take the pieces that worked from the first record and build off that, and then I thought, ‘Let’s strip it down, make it more organic and let’s go with a static line up and have this cool cohesive thing.’”

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Mosley agreed to lay down vocals on a few tracks after Kniker sent him some song ideas, but Mosley ultimately ended up singing on the entire album.

“Right away I called Chris back while I was still listening to it,” Mosley said. “I was actually kind of excited and I said, ‘Yeah I’ll throw down a couple songs.’ Before I knew it, I woke up one day and all the sudden he told me I was doing the whole album.”

The selling point for Mosley was the originality of Primitive Race’s sound.

“I can’t even describe its origin,” Mosley said. “The music is almost futuristic in a way, just because I can’t pin point it. It starts from 90’s-based, but it goes to a next place, and I can’t even describe. That makes it cool to me, when I hear something I’ve never heard before, like Faith No More at the time.”

Somewhere in the recording process, there was a mix up of tracks and an anomaly in a few songs causing Mosley to return to the studio to fix the problem. He originally recorded vocals to tracks that had computerized drums, but this time around, Crover had replaced them with original drum parts which Kniker describes as organic, powerful and loud. Mosley ended up re-recording all of his vocals to match Crover’s percussion style.

“When I recorded everything, I recorded it to machine drums, and then Dale from The Melvins came in and put his drums down,” Mosley said. “When I went back to Salt Lake City and did everything over, my dynamics were more locked in with Dale. It made it all that much better. The end result was pretty awesome.”

“Soul Pretender” will be released via Metropolis Records on Nov 3. The album is available for pre-order on Metropolis Records website.

Collegian reporter Jonny Rhein can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @jonnyrhein.