Interview with the Primitive Calculators
Mia Timpano: Did behaving in this way [i.e. destroying private property] ever concern you in any sense, or were you truly that bad?
Stuart Grant: I don’t know about the other guys, but for me, but when I first heard the first Ramones album, and the morning “Anarchy in the UK” came out, it was profound change in my life. I felt like all of the sense of rebellion … ’Cause we came off the tail end of the hippy movement and the tail end of the Vietnam War movement. And I personally had a taste that the rebelliousness, the potential for social change had gone sour, and had turned into a sham. And that was reflected in rock and roll through the mega-bands — Yes and ELO, people who had once been in bands in the sixities. They were older than us, but I felt like I didn’t have a voice for my own need for rebelliousness. When I heard that first Ramones album, I felt like something clicked. There was a nihilism, a malicious stupidity and a destructiveness in it that chimed with me. I believed in the Primitive Calculators firmly, with passion, that we were changing the world, that what we were doing was of such cultural and social import that it was a very, very, very serious thing. We were that stupid. And so every time we smashed stuff and broke property, I firmly believed that we were doing good in the world. And that it was a creative act. Propety is theft. We were young.
Originally broadcast on 3RRR FM 27 Oct 2008.
This interview was also selected for 3RRR’s “Best Of” Music Interviews podcast.