Colin Hanks & Primus

Colin Hanks Explains The Profound Impact Primus Had On His Life


Actor/director Colin Hanks (and yes, son of Tom Hanks) was a recent guest on ‘Dean Delray’s Let There Be Talk‘ and discussed the music of his upbringing in Sacramento, CA. While Hanks has since gone on to make some sizable contributions to the music world in recent years—he directed the Tower Records documentary ‘All Things Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records‘ and the ‘Eagles Of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)‘ documentary—it appears that Primus played a big role in defining his younger self. He commented of that:

“I was a big music kid growing up… For me there was a period there that was just really like Sacramento bands that never really went anywhere else… There was a band called Funky Blue Velvet that I really liked, there was another band called Little Guilt Shrine

But Far was big when I was growing up, Deftones were obviously big. Cake was obviously another big one. So there’s really, mostly, just like a bunch of bands that never really made it out of Sacramento.

Far, Deftones and then there was this other band Simon Says—those were sort of the three that made it out of that scene. Cake was kind of special—Cake was kind of like an anomaly…”

“I was a big Primus fan growing up. I was obsessed with them… I was really drawn to them because they were so different. And that was really sort of like the big thing for me growing up…”

He later went on to discuss how his experiences growing up in Sacramento shaped his outlook and how he has learned to appreciate it with time:

“It led me to places, it led me to places like Tower Records and that’s where I was able to get into Primus and Mr. Bungle and just like all very different kind of things.

And I was very fortunate in that I sort of came up during the era of grunge in music and got to see this music change. Like when I was younger it was all hair metal bands and all that sort of stuff and I’d watch that shit on MTV—I loved Def LeppardHysteria“; listened to that in fourth grade on the school bus and all that sort of stuff.

But then to see music change was like ‘oh, this is my kind of stuff.’ And Primus was a big example of like, this is kind of cool for a majority of people—but they’re not really all that into it—but I’m going to go all in on this and become obsessed, and learn everything I can about it and learn what their influences are and who inspired them to do what they’re doing and pay more attention to the bass player and things like that.

As a result of that I was able to really sort of find my identity and who I was. That sort of component, like, there are components of punk that I really love and really resonate with—questioning authority and things like that. But I was also kind of like, ‘yeah, there’s no reason to make a scene if there’s no need for it.’

I didn’t need to rebel just to rebel. I’m not into that. I would spend much more time trying to find what’s unique, what’s different and what’s really interesting. Like what’s the thing that needs to exist, purely to exist. And that was Primus for me. That [led to] discovering The Meters, XTC, all different kinds of stuff.”