the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu

Les Claypool on Primus Lineup Change, Duo de Twang Album and More

Primus - new lineup

Les Claypool is one busy man.

For starters, he’s announced that Primus will be switching drummers as Jay Lane takes off to perform with Bob Weir’s RatDog. The iconic trio will once again be rounded out by Tim “Herb” Alexander, who was with the band from 1989 to 1996 and played on everything from their debut Suck on This up through Tales from the Punchbowl.

“It’s kind of odd – we love Jayski, he’s my buddy, and we very much enjoyed playing with him,” Claypool told Rolling Stone. “But he has a relationship with Bob Weir that is very tight, and of course, they started RatDog together many years ago, and RatDog’s getting back together this next year. It was conflicting with some stuff that we were doing, and so he opted to go with Bob and RatDog over the Primus stuff. Just coincidentally, Herb had been peeking out of the woods and wanting to play again, so we thought, ‘Well, let’s talk to Tim about it.’ So we’ve been talking, and it seems like he’s in a much better space now than he had been in the past. He’s got a little girl now and it just seems like he’s excited about playing drums again, which I hadn’t seen that from him in many years.”

Alexander will be joining the group starting next week, and on top of that Claypool went on to say that Primus is talking about going into the studio in November to work on a new album. It’s still early in the process, but depending on the chemistry the trio may “jump right in the studio.”

Speaking of albums, Claypool’s Duo de Twang is in the final stages of their debut recording, entitled Four Foot Shack. The bassist describes it as similar to their live show with “Twang-style” interpretations of cover songs as well as his own tunes.

“There’s interesting renditions of ‘The Beaver,’ of course, and ‘Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,’” Claypool said, “as well as ‘D’s Diner’ and ‘Rumble of the Diesel,’ and there’s some Johnny Horton on there, there’s some Stompin’ Tom Connors. We’ve been toying with a Bee Gees tune, which is coming out sweet. You can Twang-ify anything.”

Finally, Claypool will be playing with Tom Waits at the Bridge School Benefit, and he’s currently working on a fishing show with former Ween member Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo.

As if that’s not enough, he’s also looking into more work with his band Oysterhead.