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Primus is an American genre-defying band, which sucks. It was founded by cannabis spokesman and addict Les Claypool, whose idea was to write "'creative' music and a failed attempt [at copying] Rush"  . In strong contrast to other bands, Claypool the bass player serves as the band's frontman. As a result of this however, all other instruments are mixed to be quiet so that his playing is most prominent. This is not a problem, as Claypool being an exceptional banjo-player-turned-bassist has mastered many bass techniques, such as slapping, and nothing else.
Due to many people's opposition to music where the guitar is nearly inaudible and the bass is at the front of the mix, an anti-Primus club, Primus Sucks!, exists. It consists of several vegetarians, the American Pet Association, Comedy Central, the Fishermen's Club, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, James Hetfield, Tim "Herb" Alexander, and the entire Muslim community. "Primus sucks" is actually the official catchphrase of the band, invented by Claypool so that critics' complaints lose all meaning - as a result, the "Primus Sucks!" club consists of many devout fans who simply ended up at the wrong place. This is a fine example of Claypool thwarting critics' attempts at foiling his success.
edit Early beginnings (1984-1986)
In 1986, when Metallica bassist Cliff Burton died under suspicious circumstances, guitarist and former school chum Kirk Hammett encouraged his old friend, a Les Claypool, to play his part. Claypool didn't get the job due to an argument that broke out over his demands to turn the band into a funk act. Metallica frontman James Hetfield denied Claypool's pleas, claiming they would never do such a thing as alienate their fan base and change their image. Hetfield later remarked that "Claypool was too shitty to play in Metallica" and "He should do his own thing", which made Les very sad. Les decided to get revenge, and started to make new friends to form his own, much-better-than-Metallica band.
edit Primate and Frizzle Fry (1986-1990)
Surprisingly, Claypool found friends; a guitarist called Todd Huth and a drum machine called LinnDrum. LinnDrum, unfortunately, exploded when they tried to make it imitate the sound of a hammer (which meant that they hammered it so long until it learned to, which it never, unfortunately, did). Luckily Claypool's old friend Vince "Perm" Parker had just got away from
prison army and wanted to play drums. They called themselves Primate, but changed their name after a group called The Primates threatened to sue them for obviously ripping them off. Aware of all the political shit, they changed their name into "Primus". But when Parker heard the new, horrible band name he had a heart attack and died. He was replaced by Peter Libby. Libby unfortunately wanted to play something a liiiittle bit more normal, and so he got replaced by Tim "Curveball" Wright, who was then replaced by Jay "Jayski" Lane. Primus then recorded a demo called Sausage, which was named after Claypool's huge love of sausages. Unfortunately, Lane got sick from all the sausages he ate, and so he was replaced by Brian "Brain" Mantia. That was the point when Huth went insane, thought he was a chicken and flew away. With no guitarist in the band and Mantia side-lining from a foot accident, Claypool replaced himself with no one and left the band. He planned to join to his old band, Blind Illusion, but then he heard of this one guy who was ex-possessed and knew how to play a guitar! Les was so excited, so he hired that man, Mr. Larry "Ler" LaLonde. Then he heard of this other guy, who was bald and could play the drums a bit. This man, Tim "Herb" Alexander, was hired on the spot.
On Christmas Day 1989, instead of spending time with their respective families, the band recorded the Frizzle Fry album. Featuring such super hits as "You Can't Kill Michael Malloy" and "Sathington Willoughby" and making a music video with Kirk Hammett, Primus's popularity grew and they were ready to sink in seas of cheese.
edit Sailing the Seas of Cheese (1991-1992)
With the "success" of Frizzly Cheddar Fries, Primus headed out to the Atlantic Ocean on a teeny little boat for a fishing trip, hoping to gain some inspiration for their next LP. Sadly, the band entered the Bermuda Triangle and were never heard from again. HA, just kiddin'. Boy, I had you going there for a minute, didn't I? The band instead entered the fabled "Seas of Cheese". It was there that the band learned the ways of fighting off conformity. To be what they want to be. To have their front man be the main guy with his big, stupid voice and slap happy bass, and for the guitarist to just make a bunch of noise that sounds like a cross between a cat getting stepped on and a pig getting a rim job. And what about that drummer? I can't even remember his name. Josh, right?
However, a reputable source claims that the band never even left dock. They merely dropped acid and stared at the sun for 2 whole weeks straight, which is why they're now all blind. Renaming themselves The Three Blind Mice (and then quickly changing their name back to Primus when they realized they just had sleep masks on the whole time), the Prima Donnas went about to record their sophomore effort. Containing such non-hits as "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Tommy the Cat", the band insisted on making music videos for both songs even though MTV wouldn't bother playing them, or at least not when anybody would be watching their stupid channel. Their next genius idea was to record a five song EP of cover tunes, named Miscellaneous Debris, ranging from the bold (The Meters, The Residents, XTC) to the bland (Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd). Both the album and the EP combined sold a total of 6 copies, each release bought once by each band members mother who all felt sorry for their unsuccessful sons.
edit Pork Soda (1993-1994)
In 1993, Primus released their third album, Pork Soda, which was Les's statement against Coca Cola's refusal to his plea of making pork tasting soda. The album was also much darker than their previous efforts, dealing with such subject matter as gays, rude abuse of belts and people painting their couches burgundy with a "Goddamn sprinkler". The band claimed that all the cheesy stuff on the previous album had made them sombre and that they would now do porky stuff. What next? Punchy stuff?!
Although success had eluded the band up to this point, and would continue to do so for years to come, they finally found some success with "My Name is Mud". It was a time where lesser known bands were getting airplay on the radio and MTV, in the wake of the humongous success of that one, smelly grudge band from Seattle. Primus managed to sneak by despite their lack of flannel and unappealing sound and appearance. In the video, Les Claypool does his take on the film Deliverance and admits to "kiss[ing]" a friend of his "up-side the cranium [with an] aluminum baseball bat". Many fat people are seen lounging in a sauna and a skinny dude (rumored to be the infamous Bob C. Cock) takes a mud bath and drinks what appears to be an illicit substance made out of pigs. More people would have been outraged over the objectionable content of the lyrics and video had more of them cared. Fortunately, just enough people paid attention to make Primus a success (of sorts). Videos were also made for "DMV" (at MTV's request, thus making it shitty) and "Mr. Krinkle" (featuring many of the bands friends, including ol' Brainerd), but again nobody cared.
That same year, Primus appeared at the Woodstock '94 Festival of Peace, Love and Venereal Diseases. It proved to be one of their most memorable live concerts they had ever done, and included such interesting moments as ending the show with Claypool throwing mud around the stage and pouring it into their amplifiers, calling people 'sonsabitches' (whatever that means) and leaving the stage after having a bowling ball thrown at him, nearly taking his head right off of his body.
edit Tales from the Punchbowl and Alexander's departure (1995-1996)
After wasting an entire year playing around with side projects and themselves, the band settled down to record their fourth full length studio album, Tales from the Punchbowl. Like those that came before it, the album totally rocked, but all anybody wanted to talk about was the big hit song about Winona Ryder's vagina. Ryder's then boyfriend Dave Pirner of Minnesota rockers Soul Asylum took offense to the song and threatened to beat Claypool up. Claypool scoffed at this statement, and replied: "What is he, some kind of a jerk off? I'm, like, 7 ft. tall, he couldn't kick my ass with one arm tied behind his back! Oh, and I totally did it with his girl too, HAHAHAHAA, fuck you."
Although the band was on top of the world once more (or so they thought), their camraderie soon took a nose dive as Claypool ventured off to record his first solo album "Highball with the Devil". Embarking on a tour with long time friends Adam Gates, Mark "MIRV" Haggard, and Brian "Brain the Beaver Stain" Mantia in tow, shows consisted soley of people throwing shit at the stage and cries of "Where's Ler?!?!?!".
Feeling that his talents were being put to waste, Alexander departed in 1996 and went on to play with a couple of acts that nobody has ever heard of. Claypool and LaLonde were despondent. After years of maintaining a solid lineup, the band spiraled into a depression that lasted a fortnight. Fortunately, there was another. Yes, a special, little guy that WOULD have stayed a member of the band had he not broken his leg trying to recreate the bike crash scene from Pee-wee's Big Adventure years ago. Yes, Mr. Brain Mantia was still available, and had been waiting for years to join Primus. Sitting alone in his room, banging away at his tiny drum kit from the morning to the evening, occasionally being interrupted by his doting mother, Mantia had been honing his craft in preperation for the day that his good buddies Les and Ler would call him and ask him to join. And that day finally came for the psuedo-Mexican. And then they recorded a song for some TV show that didn't even feature his mad, wicked drum skillz at all.
edit The Brown Album (1997-1998)
The Brown Album, named after the color brown, was a monumental undertaking for Primus. Now with new drummer Brain Mantia in tow, some adjusting was in order, if you know what I mean (heh heh heh....?). Converging at Les Claypool's own home, dubbed "Rancho Relaxo" after a location in an episode of TV's The Simpsons, Primus would spend 6 hellish months attempting to make the record. For one, Les had decided to self-produce the album despite having gone deaf in one ear from all those years of listening to his beloved Rush at full volume despite warnings from his mother. This lead to the record gaining a muddy (ie: shitty) sound as described by the smelly fans (all 40 of them). For another reason, Ler had gotten it into his head that he was some sort of "hippity hopper" and wanted to turn the group's efforts into a rap record after 5 awful weeks of churning out and tossing out song after failed song. Needless to say, his band mates were furious. A neighbor claims that he heard screams coming from the basement one night, an unholy racket similar to that of the sounds known to emanate from famous vocalist Cher. No one knows for sure what occurred that particular night, but it nearly tore the band apart, literally and.....well just literally. Like, seriously. I think they may have even killed a guy too.
In the mean time, fabled guitarist and ventriloquist Buckethead was discovered living in one of the many closets in Claypool's home. Buckethead proved to be a guiding light to the confused band, and set them on the right path. Chowing down on some Kentucky Fried Chicken (and subsequently throwing up into the buckets), and with a renewed vigor, the band set out to record the best damn album that they possibly could. The album begat the video for "Shake Hands with Beef", yet another obvious and tired masturbation joke. This time, the band portrayed a couple of flies playing their stupid song on top of some garbage near a gross, sweaty family with a hot daughter trying to have a barbecue. For the tour, Les decided to grow an afro which seemed to turn many fans off from attending their loud, raucous concerts, and provoked others to yet again throw things up on the stage, prematurely ending many shows.
edit Antipop and break up (1999-2000)
When Primus started recording their sixth album with Brain as the drummer, their recording company, Interscope Records, started to finally realize how much Primus actually sucked. Interscope tried to fix this by inviting other musicians to co-operate on the album, such as Matt Stone from South Park, James Hetfield from Metallica, and Tom Waits from... Tom Waits. The record company noticed that nothing actually had changed and so Claypool was fired from Primus. Les was only heard once on the song "Natural Joe" where his screams of pain are heard after he was shot in the leg with a machine gun by Eric Klebold moments before he turned the gun on himself and took his own life on that horrible day. The vocals were performed by Les's children, Cage and Lena Claypool. Les Claypool directed and appeared in the video for the song "Lacquer Head", but it was so horrible and immoral that MTV ultimately banned the video.
When Les realized that he had been kicked out of his own band and saw that the album had succeeded, he got really depressed and smoked weed for the next 2 years. After he had smoked some more, he realized that he couldn't go on like this. He decided to start his life again. And so he did. Embracing the jam band community, Claypool entered the darkest period of his life.
edit Reunion and Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People (2003-2006)
On the unbelievably long break of 4 years, Claypool, as well as the other band members (Bob and Doug), joined various other groups. Claypool quickly grew bored of his Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains band when guitarist Buckethead killed a live cow on stage every night while simultaneously playing one hour long guitar solos, always upstaging Claypool and making him mad, very MAD. Primus reunited with Tim and they released the EP Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, whose title was inspired by a book written by Ler's son, Frederick Douglas the 4th Lalonde. This was how low Primus were willing to go in their career...hey, it happens to the best of us.
Primus toured for three years, performing only the Pizzle Pie and Nailing the Knees of Louise albums in their entirety per one live performance and playing 10 hour long jams to the delight of the stoned, hippie cretins and to the disgust of others.
Altough Animals featured old Timmie as the drummer, the EP only had 5 songs, which inspired Claypool to force extra content into the EP as much as possible. Unfortunately, the fans weren't very excited of miniatyres of the band members and old Donald Ducks which Claypool had signed his signature on. The songs were also pretty shitty, so the album wasn't a very succesful album to begin a reunion with. That's why the band went back to sleep into their coffins again to wait for "better times", except Timmy, who was pretty damn pissed off at Primus and went to make some real music. Claypool started doing some new solo projects, but after releasing an album which included only video game music dealing with killer mushrooms, (Claypool later told the press that it was his son's idea. Yeah right.) he decided that he was now insane enough to begin another reunion.
edit Reunion No. 2 and Green Naugahyde (2009-2012)
When Claypool had thought over this ridiculous idea of reforming the band Primus once more, both Timmy and Brainy had become "too good" for Primus. That meant Les needed another drummer, someone "not too prizy". They luckily (that was a joke) re-discovered Les's old drummer friend Jay Lane. Claypool stated in interviews that "...[we] actually had some jam with Jay Lane..."  Influenced by the colour of the jam (green), they began recording their new album Green Naugahyde. The album was recorded in a sandbox outside Claypool's house, which explains why his voice was so dark and low and different. Although Les's new voice sounded stupider than ever, that wasn't the main reason that the album was disliked. The main reason was, once again, the non-existence of everyone's favorite drummer, Tim "Herb" Alexander.
Possibly due in part to the large gap since the band's last official release, or even due their "nostalgia" status amongst some it's fans, many attendees of the Green Naugahyde tour were confused and angered over Jay Lane's presence and the band's insistence on playing the new album in it's entirety instead of just playing their "hits" as any good 90's act should. As it is to be expected at any given Les Claypool show, many things were thrown up onto the stage, causing Les to throw many, many hissy fits and threaten to expose various male audience members allegedly minuscule genitalia. The tour was not a success, to say the least.
edit The Future
Les Claypool is said to be an immortal. Even at the astonishing age of 206, he will still be rocking the free world with his bass playing. And people will still be throwing shit at him.
Les "Leslie" Claypool - Les Claypool is the bassist and the lead singer of the band. He also likes nachos and drinks coke.
Les was born in California to a little potter family. His parents had an own family company, Claypool's Claypools, but Les wasn't very excited of it. He always dreamed of being a great fisherman and to change his name to John (Claypool lately told in the interviews that he had always liked the name "John"), altough his mom always told him to stop dreaming stupid things. Les got very mad and made a fishing rod from the lumbs of clay. Unfortunately, the fishing rod broke one day and so he made another one, this time from his cat, Tommy. Claypool found out that Tommy the Fishing Rod made funny noises if you hitted it. This made Claypool to understand joy of bass
raping playing and that's the reason why he... plays... bass...
Larry "Ler" LaLonde - Ler (banjee boy) is the guitarist of the act known as Primus. He started life immediately out of the womb as a heavy metal rocker type, joining the proto-death metal band Possessed in 1984 at the tender age of 16. After rocking the Bay Area for years, Possessed split and LaLonde joined Primus, replacing founding member Todd Huth and starting what would become a beautiful friendship with Claypool that would last for decades. Ler's guitar playing style includes making kooky sounds with his guitar that don't even sound much like a guitar, but more like a chicken being choked, if you know what I mean (heh heh heh).
His favorite Black Sabbath song is Snowblind.
Tim "Herb" Alexander - Tim "Herb" Alexander is the person who used to play drums in the band. Other drummers have also tried to take his place at Primus but they don't deserve to be mentioned because Tim beats anyone, anywhere and anytime.
edit "Sources" and Notations
- ↑ Pat Mabals, SPIN Vol. 23, Issue 4, "I thought I told you to shut up!", the Les Claypool interview that wasn't, 2007
- ↑ It's not what you think, get the fuck out of here, you pervert.
- ↑ Corroding it, if you will. Heh heh heh, see what I did th-no, no you don't. I'm sorry :(
- ↑ See Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode #206, Ring of Terror.
- ↑ See a therapist, there's something wrong with you, you friggin' weirdo
- ↑ My uncle
- ↑ hint hint
- ↑ or wherever
- ↑ The C is for Cock!
- ↑ The Art of Felching: My Life in a Gimp Suit and Why I Am the Way I Am, Bob C. Cock, 2006
- ↑ Brain's diary that I found while digging around through his trash, Brain, circa 1997
- ↑ Hey, don't blame me for that one, I stole it from Neil Hamburger!
- ↑ Adolf Hitler's 110th birthday
- ↑ No it doesn't
- ↑ Not to be confused with Pinkie Pie
- ↑ Clay Jones, Some stupid magazine Vol. 1, Issue 1, "Remember Primus? Neither do we, HAHAHAHA!", 2008
- ↑ his words, not mine
- ↑ According to Wikipedia, of course.