Primer 55

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Primer 55
Origin Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Genres Nu metal,[1][2][3] rap metal[3][4]
Years active 1997–2003, 2007–present
Labels Island, KEG Management, Family For Life Records
Associated acts Soulfly, Murder The Flesh, Killer In The Workplace, Love Said No
Members Bobby Burns
Grover Norton
Darren Walling
Past members Josh McLane
Mike "Jr." Christopher
Kobie Jackson
Jason "J-Sin" Luttrell
Preston Nash
Heath Shaw
Joey Busciglio
Donny Polinski

Primer 55 is an American nu metal band from Louisville, Kentucky, United States.[5] The name originates from the combination of Primer, meaning "something that's unfinished," and 55, which refers to Interstate 55, "the road that drugs run on to get to Chicago through Memphis".[6]


Formation and early days (1997–1999)[edit]

Primer 55 was formed in 1997 by guitarist Bobby Burns and vocalist J-Sin. The two met when J-Sin's previous band was the opening act for Burns' previous band.[6] Burns' heavy metal music influences and J-Sin's hip hop influences melded to create the band's rap rock sound.[7] Bassist Mike "Jr." Christopher and drummer Josh McLane were then added to complete the lineup.

Record deal, "Introduction to Mayhem" and "(the) New Release" (2001–2002)[edit]

After releasing an EP on the independent label Propellant Transmissions, Primer 55 signed a contract with Island Records and reissued the EP as their debut album, Introduction to Mayhem on January 25, 2000. The remixed and reconstructed album features appearances from Incubus turntablist Chris Kilmore and Hed PE frontman Jared Gomes.[7]

The band toured with Biohazard, Slipknot, Machine Head and Dope before scoring a slot as a second-stage performer on the Ozzfest 2000 festival tour. Then, in September 2000, Primer 55 toured alongside Soulfly, downset., and Slaves on Dope.[7][8] During this time the band experienced several line-up changes, a pattern that would continue on through the recording of their next album and beyond.[9]

On August 14, 2001, Primer 55 released their second studio album, (the) New Release. It went to number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and No. 102 on the Billboard 200. The album's single, "This Life" peaked at No. 37 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.[10] After the album's initial success, it was suddenly shelved by Island Records. Burns told PureGrainAudio, "The album was out 2 months then 9/11 happened and we got lost in that shuffle that was going on in NY at that time."

Despite having their album shelved, the band embarked on "The $12 Riot Tour" on October 31 with Dope, Skinlab and Society 1.[11] The next year, Primer 55 performed as the opening act at the 2002 Gathering of the Juggalos in Peoria, Illinois.[12]

Hiatus (2003)[edit]

In 2003, the band went on hiatus after struggles with record labels and internal issues among bandmates. Burns joined Soulfly, a band he'd met while touring with Ozzfest 2000. He toured the world and released four albums as the band's bass player. J-Sin would unfortunately battle alcohol and drug addiction, with Burns later describing him as not "in any shape to tour or anything like that for a really long time."[13]

Reformation and "New American Gangsters" (2007–present)[edit]

When Soulfly went on hiatus in 2007, Crash Music contacted Burns, inspiring him to reform Primer 55 with J-Sin and join fellow Crash Music band Love Said No. The "Crash Music Metal Crusade Tour" took both bands out on the road together in late 2007[14] and the band released the EP Family for Life, a collection of previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1998–2002, on November 6.[15]

At an early 2008 performance, rapper Donny "The DRP" Polinske attended a Primer 55 performance in hopes of interesting Burns and J-Sin to guest on a track for his solo album. After only three weeks of touring, however, J-Sin was forced to exit the band due to poor performances and costly antics caused by continued drug and alcohol addictions that would eventually land him in rehab. While J-Sin was replaced temporarily by Heath Joyce, a longtime friend of Burns,[13][16] officially The DRP would become Primer 55's next vocalist, performing with the band at the 2008 Gathering of the Juggalos alongside 2 Live Crew, Ice-T, and Twiztid.

In 2009, Primer 55 released the song "Flexin'" with an accompanying music video.[17] A full-length album titled New American Gangsters was in the works[18] until January 2010 when Burns fired all of the other band members.[19] Later that year, the band's MySpace page announced that J-Sin had returned to the band, yet the band also resumed recording and performing with The DRP.[20]

In early 2012, Primer 55 began playing acoustic sets through the midwestern and southeastern United States after Burns was inspired by watching old MTV Unplugged performances by bands like Nirvana and Korn.[21] In 2012, As Seen On TV was reissued under the title The Big Fuck You, with bonus tracks.


Current members[edit]

  • Bobby Burns - vocals (2010–present), guitar (1997–present)
  • Grover Norton - drums (2013–present)
  • Darren Walling - bass (2014–present)
  • Sergio Alemar - lead vocals (2015–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Josh McLane - drums
  • Kobie Jackson - bass guitar
  • Jason "J-Sin" Luttrell - vocals (1997–2003)
  • Preston Nash - drums (2001–2003)
  • Heath Shaw - drums (2011–2013)
  • Billy Grey - bass guitar
  • Joey Busciglio - guitar
  • Donny "THE DRP" Polinski - vocals
  • Joshua Toomey - bass (2002–2007)



Other releases[edit]


  • "Loose" (2000)[22]
  • "Set It Off" (2000)[23]
  • "Appetite For Destruction" (2000)[24]
  • "This Life" (2001)[25]
  • "Smoked" (2014)
  • "Fake" (2014)
  • "War Of Words" (2014)


  1. ^ D'Angelo, Joe. "Nu Metal Meltdown". MTV. 
  2. ^ Udo, Tommy (2002). Brave Nu World. Sanctuary Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 1-86074-415-X. 
  3. ^ a b "MusicMight :: Artists :: PRIMER 55". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "CD Revuews - Introduction To Mayhem Primer 55". Blabbermouth. 
  5. ^ Staff, Mark (May 22, 2000). "Stroke 9 puts a fine ending on K-Rock Spring Thing". Syracuse, New York: The Post-Standard. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "VOX Interviews PRIMER 55". Archived from the original on 21 October 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Loehr, Josh. "Biography of Primer 55". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  8. ^ Manicini, Robert (August 25, 2000). "Soulfly Taps Downset, Primer 55, Slaves On Dope For Tour". MTV News. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Primer 55". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Charts and awards for The New Release". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Dope To Incite $12 Riot Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Main Stage, Saturday 7-7:30PM: Primer 55". Psychopathic Records. Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  13. ^ a b James Wright. "Interview with Primer 55 guitarist Bobby Burns «  Interviews «". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Primer 55, Love Said No To Join Forces For 'Crash Music Metal Crusade Tour' -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "PRIMER 55 Signs With CRASH MUSIC". Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "Primer 55 Change Singers - Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Primer 55 - "Flexin" - El Haney Video Productions LLC". YouTube. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "Primer 55 Signs With Thc:Music/Rocket Science Ventures -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Primer 55 fire members - Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ David Burke. "Primer 55 leader steps back for acoustic show". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Introduction To Mayhem by PRIMER 55, CDS with seidboard". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Relative Ash - Primer 55 – Split Sampler". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Various – Rebirth Of The Loud". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "PRIMER 55". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 

External links[edit]