Cameron Crage is a primary co-founder of Primo Swine. He is also a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
Q: When you first decided to assemble a band, was there any initial sign or calling that pushed you to start?
A: I think when we first started the band, when we were in high school, it was just the fun thing to do. I think that I was so involved with music, I idolized bands like Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, but I didn’t really decide to dedicate my life to music until I didn’t have it in my life. It was when I was playing college football, I was away from the band, we were at different schools and not around each other 24/7 that I really realized I was missing something big. Music is what I wanted to do with my life and that’s when I started realizing that this was our calling. It took us going to college and it took us being apart for a while to understand that music brought me the most happiness and fulfillment.
Q: Did you have any mentors or guides along the way?
A: This is pretty bad to say, but when I was in a rough part of my life and pretty down on myself, my ex girlfriend was always pushing the idea. She was always adamant about the whole Primo Swine thing. That we should really do the band thing because she could tell how much it meant to me and she was the one that pushed “you really need to do something with this”, “what about Primo Swine, I think you should do this.” Finally it kind of sank in that she was right. She was the only one to really say that to me because my parents always wanted me to focus on football. Coming from someone that knew me so well in my life, she got it right.
Q: Did anyone advise the band on the industry?
A: Tom Peiro was the first guy in the industry to really think we had a kick ass sound. Tom was a home studio guy. He offered to record us and we spent the weekend in his house with his three pit bulls recording our first five song EP. Tom gave us the low down on the struggles of the industry and would later get us some great gigs. Obviously we have had many other sources of guidance, but Tom has never stopped believing in what we were creating.
Q: Talk about some challenges that came along with music.
A: Our first battle of the bands we tried out for, we didn’t make it. Then we tried out again a year later and made it into the show but still ended up losing. We didn’t even place and the other band at my school won. All our friends were there watching. It was definitely a low point for us as a band. I think that was personally the lowest point for me, in my music career.
Q: What would say was your turning point in music?
A: Realizing that I had to put more if not all of my time into music and more time into song writing. I had so much pent up artistic energy that the biggest obstacle I had to face was the sport of football. It was a waste of my positive energy it brought me down, I was depressed and I knew that if I stopped playing football I could write the songs I needed to write. Actually going in and ending that part of my life was when I turned a new leaf. I still have dreams that I am playing football and how miserable I was.
Q: Explain the rebirth after football
A: After football ended I wrote some of the greatest songs. We sent demos back and forth of songs we had written and wanted to work on in the future. The vibe completely flipped around and the band was my positive safe haven again. The industry is starting to see in us what we see in ourselves and doors are continuing to open for us on all sides.
Q: What is the next step in the band’s entrepreneurial journey?
A: As soon as school gets out we are all traveling up to Hanover, NH to play Green Key for our second year in a row. Every year Dartmouth has a huge festival called Green Key, all the teachers cancel classes and the school along with the fraternity’s book huge bands to come perform and entertain the student body. Following that show we are flying to LA. There we plan to spend three weeks recording with an up and coming producer, Josh Conway. Josh is our age and he is really ahead of the game on his visionary style of production. We think he will be a great partner for us in creating the magical sound we are pursuing and the industry is missing.
Interview conducted by Kevin Brodzinski, SMU student.