Les Claypool is a bass god
. That'd be with a long 'a'
, of course: fish
probably don't think he's terribly good. A complete and utter goofball
, Les is the bassist
and lead singer
. He is the reason Primus rarely gets played on the radio
: not only is Primus' music a little... weird
... his vocals and lyrics are, to some
, extremly annoying
Les Claypool was born on September 29, 1963, in Richmond, California. He started playing bass as a teenager and went to school with Kirk Hammett of Metallica. No, the two of them were never in a band together, but Hammett introduced Les to good old-fashioned rock and roll like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Cream.
The first band Les was in was named Blind Illusion. A progressive metal act, they stayed together while the members were in high school; after graduation, Les joined a cover band called The Tommy Crank Band. Playing blues, R&B, funk, and some more of that good ol'-fashioned rock in a bar almost every night of the week, Les' improv skills became extremely developed. Today there isn't a musical style in existance (okay, there might be one or two) that Les can't play like he's been doing it his whole life.
In the early to mid-'80s, Les started making demo tapes of his own original material. This was the very beginning of Primus (originally known as Primate). Claypool's early vocals were even weirder than they are today. He would speak a lot of the lyrics, and it sounded much like narration to the music. Huth left Primus a few months after its creation, and Les returned to Blind Illusion for the recording of their only album, The Sane Asylum.
Blind Illusion's guitarist, Larry LaLonde, listened to some of Les' original material and absolutely loved it. Deciding to resurrect Primus, Claypool, with LaLonde and Tim "Herb" Alexander, recorded Suck on This, a live set that was absolutely loved in the San Francisco area. This was the start of Les' career with Primus, who has sold thousands of albums worldwide today. In addition to Primus, Les has many side projects, including Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel, Sausage, Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Oysterhead, and guest spots on albums by Buckethead, Tom Waits, Limp Bizkit, and many more.