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Les Claypool

Biography

Few musicians embrace the mad scientist aesthetic more fervently than bass maestro Les Claypool. From his Bay Area high school days spent hanging with Kirk Hammett, to co-producing Suicidal Tendencies' second album, to the formation of Primus, to his post-millennial embrace of the jam band scene, Claypool has constantly done things his own weird way. Primus is perhaps his best known, best loved achievement, one of the more memorable alternative rock bands of the early '90s, which scored cult hits with brazenly funky, punky tracks like "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver" and "My Name is Mud." Bouncing manically over Claypool's quirky vocals and rubbery bass, drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander's neck-snapping beats, and underrated guitarist Larry Lalonde's wiry riffs, the band was a loony, rhythm-driven steamroller. After Primus disbanded in 2000, Claypool immersed himself in the freeform aesthetic of jam bands like Phish and Galactic, forming the Fearless Flying Frog Brigade with former members of Primus and Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains with P-Funk keysman Bernie Worrell and Buckethead on guitar. Though he was fully embraced by the jam scene, Claypool reconvened Primus in 2004 for two national tours, playing material old and new. Of Whales and Woe, Claypool's umpteenth album but first released under only his own name, was released in May 2006. After 15-plus years of innovating, he’s considered an elder statesman of sorts, albeit one who wears giant eyeballs on his head and sings about big brown beavers.
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