INTERVIEW: PRIMARY DELUSION
Finnish outfit Primary Delusion's latest single, 'Beyond The Blue,' masterfully combines the evocative sounds of late 70s and early 80s post-punk, new wave, and goth rock with a contemporary twist that is both nostalgic and refreshing. Artist and singer-songwriter Velde Vainio, the creative force behind Primary Delusion, crafts a sonic experience that explores the intricate relationship between art, dreams, and reality.
At its core, 'Beyond The Blue' is a song about the importance of realising one's dreams in life. It's a lyrical journey that encourages us to pursue our dreams even in the face of failure because our dreams make us immortal. The song draws a powerful analogy to sailors of old, navigating the treacherous oceans of life to break free to the other side, the true existence (or beyond the blue), through the fulfilment of our dreams.
We sat down with Velde to learn more about what makes him tick, the inspiration behind the new single much, much more, exclusively for FLEX!
Can you tell us more about your journey as a musician and what inspired you to create Primary Delusion, blending elements of post-punk, new wave, and goth rock with a contemporary twist?
I've always been interested in creating music but was never really encouraged to pursue that. So my life went to other directions for a long time before these past few years. But I remember when we got our first PC in the late 80s one of the first things I found fascinating to do was to compose music with it. Such a long time ago, it's funny. Back to present day, Primary Delusion came together through a mix of desperation of not knowing what to do with a bunch of half written songs, and the struggle of finding my 'voice', both in terms of the actual way to sing my music and the 'voice' to use to write lyrics. I have always wondered about the concept of reality and what all of this we experience actually is... I had taken notes for a long time and even kept dream diary for some time, and certain things just started to coalesce into themes. I also personally felt I had a lot of questions relating to my own existence and interaction with the world around me, so I started to write about it.
And I realised that writing songs is a very unique way of asking questions and bringing difficult and even painful topics forward, yet leaving plenty of room for interpretation. And it kind of just started to come out more the more I did it. The post-punk, and other 80s vibes turned out to be the closest style I feel comfortable to express music with. I did not look for any style or vibe consciously but that's the way it seems to come out.
"Beyond The Blue" is described as having an '80s influence, reminiscent of artists like Morrissey and The Cure. What draws you to this era of music, and how do you bring a fresh and modern twist to it?
Like I said above, the 80s influence is mostly coincidental, but it’s also true that I do like a lot of music from that era. I guess it’s also my “nostalgia era”, having grown up from a kid to a teenager during that decade, so it may explain why I feel drawn to it in many ways. The way it stays modern is by not trying to copy anything but also not trying to avoid if something good reminds me of something old. I think in a way you should trust coincidences... With “Beyond the blue” though, a big part of the sound and vibe comes from Joonas Munck (our lead guitarist) as he had laid down some guitar parts for me to write a song from. I really like his sound on this one so I kept most of it the way he played it. The Morrissey and The Cure comparisons are probably accurate but, again, coincidental, but I do like both so I happily accept the comparison.
Your vocals are described as deep and enchanting. How do you approach your vocal delivery to convey the emotions and themes in your music effectively?
Well I think I try to maintain some sort of tension in the music by singing kind of baritone and deep against the jangly guitar-drenched sound. I can’t really explain the process, nor do I know if I have one, but I often ‘hear’ vocals and utterances when I listen to an instrumental piece of music... It often guides the writing process, too. It’s a feedback loop. Then, a lot of the emotion obviously comes from the lyrics and the message they attempt to convey. "Beyond The Blue" showcases your talent for crafting catchy melodies. Could you walk us through your songwriting process and how you develop these memorable hooks?
I’m not necessarily looking for catchy melodies, but of course I try to make music that is memorable and evokes emotions, and melody does play an important part in that. When I started writing “Beyond the blue”, I got inspired by some of the guitar parts that Joonas had recorded for me to use. As I often do, I started identifying the melodic parts that could work as verse and chorus and then started drafting lyrics and overlaying additional guitar/piano/string melodies, and doing trial vocal recordings. I go through many iterations, composing and arranging the structure of the song while reflecting on the emotions I get from the various musical parts, which in turn is feeding the lyric writing process.
Can you share any insights into your plans for the future, including upcoming releases or projects that your fans can look forward to?
We are rehearsing more often as a band these days, and are looking to break into the gigging scene because that really tightens a band. So far the songs have been recorded and mostly performed by myself, but as the band gets tighter and we find our sound, I would like to record together as well. As far as I’m concerned, there are plans to release more music towards the end of the year, and I guess a debut album should be in the cards as well...
As an artist who seamlessly blends nostalgia with a contemporary edge, what do you hope your audience takes away from your music and performances?
Feeling good, and hopefully moved, at least on some level. I often feel energised, free and reassured when I hear great music. I hope people feel that when they hear ours.
Finally, could you share a memorable moment or experience from your musical journey that has had a lasting impact on you as an artist?
Well I must admit that it’s still early days for me in this so I can’t think of many. But I suppose the moment when I learned that there are people who genuinely think the music I make is good.. You know, not just my family, wife, and
Stream 'Beyond The Blue' in full here: