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Interview:
Primus finds a reason to come back together
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Primus has been largely dormant for the past four years for one reason, according to Les Claypool.

“It had become sort of a nostalgia band for me,” says the singer, bassist and leader of the musically ambitious trio he formed in 1984 in El Sobrante, Calif., and has captained through seven albums and six lineups. “I tend to like to not go backwards, so the whole notion of going out and doing a nostalgia show and tromping over the same old turf was hard for me.

“I did it mainly for the folks that wanted to see it, not so much for me. And that’s just not a good space to be for a guy like me, who has a somewhat unscratchable creative itch.”

What turned Claypool, 46, around was the return of Jay Lane, who was Primus’ drummer in 1988 but left before the group recorded its first album, “Frizzle Fry.” Lane, most recently with Phil Lesh & Friends, has not only given Claypool and guitarist Larry LaLonde the impetus to tour — including headlining Primus’ current Oddity Fair — but also has inspired a desire to make the band’s first studio album since 2003’s “Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People.”

“We’re accumulating material on a daily basis,” reports Claypool, who says that Lane “is much more of a groove-oriented player. I would imagine the rhythms are going to be very strong and intense.

“Right now, it’s throwing parts at the wall and seeing which noodles are sticking, recording musical ideas from sound checks and whatnot, even live shows. We’ve been branching off on various tangents, and I have notebooks full of various writings. And now with the advent of the iPhone I’ve got my little recorder and can record things as I’m driving down the street, at a whim, so we’ll be taking all that into the studio.”



Primus, Portugal the Man and Split Lip Rayfield perform Sunday, Oct. 3, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $57.60 and $47.20. Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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