Picture Credit score: Paul Haggard
Few rock artists of the trendy day stay as persistently busy – or a member of as many tasks – as singer/bassist Les Claypool. Finest identified for his work with Primus, Claypool has additionally been noticed over time in a wide range of different bands – Sausage, Holy Mackerel, Oysterhead, Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains, Duo de Twang, and Claypool Lennon Delirium.
And starting in Might, one other one in every of his tasks, Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, will likely be returning to the street for the primary time in 20 years with the 41-date Summer time of Inexperienced Tour 2023. And as they’d executed on their 2001 launch, Dwell Frogs Set 2, Claypool and co. will likely be overlaying Pink Floyd’s 1977 traditional, Animals, in its entirety.
Claypool spoke with AllMusic shortly earlier than the launch of the tour, and chatted in regards to the present Frog Brigade lineup, Pink Floyd, Primus’ most neglected album, his vineyard, and lately acquiring his pilot license.
AllMusic: What made you determine to reunite the Flying Frog Brigade now?
Claypool: “There have been simply lots of requests over time. My supervisor, Brad, stored speaking about how there was an entire era of oldsters that felt they missed the unique Frog Brigade, missed the Animals factor. So, we might all the time talked about it, and we had an enormous ‘Primus couple of years,’ so it was time to take a little bit breather and it simply appeared like the proper factor to do.”
AllMusic: Who will likely be within the band?
Claypool: “As a result of Frog Brigade and the Claypool tasks generally have been assorted over time, it is kind of a combined forged of characters. I’ve obtained Sean Lennon on guitar this time, I’ve obtained Harry Waters on keyboards, Skerik on sax, Mike Dillon on his numerous marimb-eye, vibraphone-age, and percussion, after which Paulo Baldi on drums.”
AllMusic: You are additionally in one other band with Sean [The Claypool Lennon Delirium], however how did he become involved with Flying Frog Brigade?
Claypool: “Properly…I wanted a guitar participant. And Shiner and I’ve been engaged on a 3rd Delirium file, so I simply stated, ‘Hey, do you need to do that factor?’ And he stated, ‘Sure.’ So, it was fairly easy. We will be doing stuff from my entire catalog, so theoretically, we will dip into some Delirium now. It may be a smorg-e-bob of Claypool materials.”
AllMusic: You simply referred to Sean as “Shiner.” How did he get that nickname?
Claypool: “As a result of he is ‘Shine Lemons.’ He is been Shine Lemons for a very long time, so I’ve all the time known as him Shiner. We’re like brothers now – he is very shut with my household. It is very uncommon for somebody to exist in my world and never have some pseudonym that is thrust upon them by my warped sensibility.”
AllMusic: How was Animals chosen to be coated in its entirety and what does that album imply to you?
Claypool: “Properly, a few years in the past after I began Frog Brigade, in response to the Primus hiatus [from 2000-2003] – which was only a fancy approach of claiming, ‘Hey, we’re breaking apart…however we would do it once more’ – I obtained a keyboard participant within the band, who was Jeff Chimenti. I principally simply gathered a bunch of my favourite musicians collectively and began touring the west coast in an Airstream motor house.
And I would all the time stated, ‘If I had a keyboardist in my band, I wished to do ‘Pigs” – as a result of it is one in every of my all-time favourite songs…undoubtedly one in every of my favourite Floyd songs. So, we began doing ‘Pigs,’ and I assumed, ‘Properly, hell – let’s do the entire file. We’ll do two units and we can’t should have a gap band.’ That is how it began. Then it grew to become a problem – particularly again then, as a result of I actually had little or no confidence in my vocals in these days. It was an immense enterprise and a fantastic waypoint for progress for me.”
AllMusic: What are Primus’ future plans?
Claypool: “We’ll be on the market doing our stuff. We’re engaged on a bunch of dwell information proper now, attempting to get these collectively. There is a documentary being made proper now. The truth is, my son is spearheading that. And he is gone by way of 9 hundred and a few odd hours of video footage that we have accrued over time – so he is obtained a reasonably monumental activity in entrance of him. However he is chiseling away at it.”
AllMusic: Any speak of going again within the studio with Primus?
Claypool: “Oh, there’s all the time speak. I’ve obtained a reasonably full dance card proper now, so it will not be anytime quickly.”
AllMusic: Which Primus album would you say is essentially the most neglected?
Claypool: “They’re all neglected – that is the crux of my profession! We have been hoping to make an enormous splash with [1997’s] The Brown Album after we did it – as a result of it was simply such a left flip. And it was a really controversial file – lots of people beloved it, lots of people hated it. I do know Tom Waits has stated that is his favourite Primus file, as a result of he says, ‘It sounds prefer it wants a great wash.’ So, I’ve all the time prided myself on that.
However I do not suppose it was the favourite of the file firm by a protracted shot. That is after they began going, ‘Hey whoa hey whoa, Claypool – perhaps it’s best to begin speaking to some producers,’ and this, that, and the following factor. So, I am going to simply say that one. It was a really experimental file for us – we purchased a bunch of previous gear and set it up. It was very lo-fi. There isn’t any Professional Instruments or something on any of that stuff – it was all simply tape. I do not suppose we even did any overdubs on that file. It is very, very uncooked – and you may inform.”
AllMusic: Just lately, the e-book Over the Electrical Grapevine: Perception into Primus and the World of Les Claypool was reissued as a paperback model.
Claypool: “By no means heard of it! What are you speaking about? [Laughs] Yeah, it has been launched as a paperback. I believe it has been supplemented with extra pictures and whatnot. Nevertheless it’s virtually to the purpose the place we’ve to do an replace/revision – as a result of it has been a number of years because the unique has been launched. Clearly, Herb’s been again within the band for some time, and we have been tromping across the globe doing considerably attention-grabbing issues – Willy Wonka [Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble] and Rush [A Tribute to Kings tour] and all these completely different tasks. I am positive there is a couple tales to inform.”
AllMusic: Which Purple Pachyderm wine is your favourite?
Claypool: “I might most likely say the Rice-Spivak [the ‘CC Pachyderm’ Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir], as a result of I simply all the time gravitate in the direction of that. However they’re all superb as a result of they’re made by Ross Cobb. I all the time say, ‘I am in a band with Stewart Copeland [Oysterhead, with Trey Anastasio] which is a tremendous factor, and I make wine with Ross Cobb, which is equally as superb’ – as a result of he is sort of the ‘Stewart Copeland of wine makers.'”
AllMusic: I lately noticed an attention-grabbing scorching canine [called “whamola wieners”] served at Claypool Cellars, which included Fortunate Charms as a topping.
Claypool: “For the vacations, I normally give you a specialty canine. So, St. Patty’s day was coming, and what are we going to do? So, we had our regular wiener – however with yellow mustard versus wholegrain mustard, dill pickle relish not candy pickle relish, after which Fortunate Charms on prime. It began as a joke, however it’s truly actually good! It is magically scrumptious – however it freaks some individuals out. However that is sort of the purpose. We simply did an occasion final weekend – we did a Crusing the Seas of Cheeseburger. Which was superb – it was two smash patties with slices of cheddar and Swiss cheese, bleu cheese dressing, and cheddar cheese Goldfish on prime of it.”
AllMusic: Who’re some present rock artists that you simply fancy?
Claypool: “Fancy? Up to date stuff, I am not even positive. Clearly, I get my dose of Billy Strings – as a result of he is a buddy of mine. However I believe so far as a musician, Billy is a pressure to be reckoned with.”
AllMusic: What are some unusual albums you get pleasure from?
Claypool: “All I do as of late is I placed on the MoogTube playlist on Spotify, let it run, and let it simply wash over me. So, that is the place my head’s at as of late. It is all Moog synthesizer music, however it’s all attention-grabbing variations.”
AllMusic: Different upcoming tasks?
Claypool: “I am midway by way of this Delirium file, I am midway by way of a file with Billy, we truly put some vitality lately in attempting to get a South of the Pumphouse movie made. It is all the time one thing. And I obtained my pilot license – that is the large factor. I’ve spent the final 4 months principally specializing in nothing however getting my pilot license – which was an unimaginable quantity of labor. I might stand up at 7am each morning and examine till darkish, and I used to be only a hermit – I remoted myself till I obtained my license. So, I am comfortable to be social once more.”
AllMusic: What made you need to develop into a pilot?
Claypool: “Properly, I had began a few years in the past and by no means completed. So I assumed, ‘Properly, I would higher end. I am not getting any youthful.’ And I used to be in search of one thing – I wanted a brand new chapter. So, that is my new chapter. Generally, you’ll want to discover issues that make you need to stand up within the morning or fireplace the synapse. It undoubtedly knocked an entire hell of lots of barnacles off my synapse – as a result of I used to be utilizing components of mind I hadn’t used ever in my life. And fortuitously – I can attest to this – there is not any silly individuals flying airplanes. There is perhaps some assholes on the market…however they’re clever assholes, as a result of it’s a must to be sharp to get your pilot license.”
AllMusic: What sort of aircraft do you fly?
Claypool: “A Cirrus SR20.”
AllMusic: Now that I give it some thought, there are fairly a couple of rock musicians who’re additionally pilots – Bruce Dickinson, Krist Novoselic, and Alex Lifeson come to thoughts.
Claypool: “Alex used to fly. I do know Krist – in truth, we have been going backwards and forwards after I was getting my license. I do not know Bruce. However I do not know lots of musicians who’ve their license. You sort of named the one ones I’ve heard of. Oh, Gary Numan does, as nicely. That is like 1%. So, it isn’t quite a bit.”
For extra Claypool, try his official web site.
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