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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Les Claypool Discusses Flying Frog Brigade, Whamola Wieners, Pilot License

Photograph Credit score: Paul Haggard

Few rock artists of the fashionable day stay as constantly busy – or a member of as many initiatives – as singer/bassist Les Claypool. Finest recognized for his work with Primus, Claypool has additionally been noticed through the years in a wide range of different bands – Sausage, Holy Mackerel, Oysterhead, Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains, Duo de Twang, and Claypool Lennon Delirium.

And starting in Could, one other one in all his initiatives, Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, will probably be returning to the highway for the primary time in 20 years with the 41-date Summer season of Inexperienced Tour 2023. And as that they had performed on their 2001 launch, Dwell Frogs Set 2, Claypool and co. will probably be protecting Pink Floyd‘s 1977 traditional, Animals, in its entirety.

Claypool spoke with AllMusic shortly earlier than the launch of the tour, and chatted in regards to the present Frog Brigade lineup, Pink Floyd, Primus’ most neglected album, his vineyard, and just lately acquiring his pilot license.

AllMusic: What made you resolve to reunite the Flying Frog Brigade now?

Claypool: “There have been simply plenty of requests through the years. My supervisor, Brad, saved speaking about how there was a complete technology of parents that felt they missed the unique Frog Brigade, missed the Animals factor. So, we would at all times talked about it, and we had an enormous ‘Primus couple of years,’ so it was time to take just a little breather and it simply appeared like the suitable factor to do.”

AllMusic: Who will probably be within the band?

Claypool: “As a result of Frog Brigade and the Claypool initiatives basically have been assorted through the years, it is form of a combined forged of characters. I’ve obtained Sean Lennon on guitar this time, I’ve obtained Harry Waters on keyboards, Skerik on sax, Mike Dillon on his numerous marimb-eye, vibraphone-age, and percussion, after which Paulo Baldi on drums.”

AllMusic: You are additionally in one other band with Sean [The Claypool Lennon Delirium], however how did he become involved with Flying Frog Brigade?

Claypool: “Properly…I wanted a guitar participant. And Shiner and I’ve been engaged on a 3rd Delirium file, so I simply stated, ‘Hey, do you wish to do that factor?’ And he stated, ‘Sure.’ So, it was fairly easy. We will be doing stuff from my entire catalog, so theoretically, we are able to dip into some Delirium now. It’ll be a smorg-e-bob of Claypool materials.”

AllMusic: You simply referred to Sean as “Shiner.” How did he get that nickname?

Claypool: “As a result of he is ‘Shine Lemons.’ He is been Shine Lemons for a very long time, so I’ve at all times referred to as him Shiner. We’re like brothers now – he is very shut with my household. It’s extremely uncommon for somebody to exist in my world and never have some pseudonym that is thrust upon them by my warped sensibility.”

AllMusic: How was Animals chosen to be coated in its entirety and what does that album imply to you?

Claypool: “Properly, a few years in the past after I began Frog Brigade, in response to the Primus hiatus [from 2000-2003] – which was only a fancy means of claiming, ‘Hey, we’re breaking apart…however we’d do it once more’ – I obtained a keyboard participant within the band, who was Jeff Chimenti. I principally simply gathered a bunch of my favourite musicians collectively and began touring the west coast in an Airstream motor dwelling.

And I would at all times stated, ‘If I had a keyboardist in my band, I wished to do ‘Pigs” – as a result of it is one in all my all-time favourite songs…undoubtedly one in all my favourite Floyd songs. So, we began doing ‘Pigs,’ and I believed, ‘Properly, hell – let’s do the entire file. We’ll do two units and we can’t must have a gap band.’ That is how it began. Then it grew to become a problem – particularly again then, as a result of I actually had little or no confidence in my vocals in these days. It was an immense endeavor and an awesome waypoint for progress for me.”

AllMusic: What are Primus’ future plans?

Claypool: “We’ll be on the market doing our stuff. We’re engaged on a bunch of stay data proper now, attempting to get these collectively. There is a documentary being made proper now. The truth is, my son is spearheading that. And he is gone by way of 9 hundred and a few odd hours of video footage that we have accrued through the years – so he is obtained a reasonably monumental job in entrance of him. However he is chiseling away at it.”

AllMusic: Any discuss of going again within the studio with Primus?

Claypool: “Oh, there’s at all times discuss. I’ve obtained a reasonably full dance card proper now, so it will not be anytime quickly.”

AllMusic: Which Primus album would you say is essentially the most neglected?

Claypool: “They’re all neglected – that is the crux of my profession! We have been hoping to make an enormous splash with [1997’s] The Brown Album once we did it – as a result of it was simply such a left flip. And it was a really controversial file – lots of people beloved it, lots of people hated it. I do know Tom Waits has stated that is his favourite Primus file, as a result of he says, ‘It sounds prefer it wants a very good wash.’ So, I’ve at all times prided myself on that.

However I do not assume it was the favourite of the file firm by a protracted shot. That is once they began going, ‘Hey whoa hey whoa, Claypool – possibly you need to begin speaking to some producers,’ and this, that, and the following factor. So, I am going to simply say that one. It was a really experimental file for us – we purchased a bunch of previous gear and set it up. It was very lo-fi. There is not any Professional Instruments or something on any of that stuff – it was all simply tape. I do not assume we even did any overdubs on that file. It’s extremely, very uncooked – and you’ll inform.”

AllMusic: Not too long ago, the guide Over the Electrical Grapevine: Perception into Primus and the World of Les Claypool was reissued as a paperback model.

Claypool: “By no means heard of it! What are you speaking about? [Laughs] Yeah, it has been launched as a paperback. I feel it has been supplemented with extra images and whatnot. However it’s nearly to the purpose the place we’ve got to do an replace/revision – as a result of it has been a number of years for the reason that authentic has been launched. Clearly, Herb‘s been again within the band for some time, and we have been tromping across the globe doing considerably fascinating issues – Willy Wonka [Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble] and Rush [A Tribute to Kings tour] and all these totally different initiatives. I am certain there is a couple tales to inform.”

AllMusic: Which Purple Pachyderm wine is your favourite?

Claypool: “I’d most likely say the Rice-Spivak [the ‘CC Pachyderm’ Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir], as a result of I simply at all times gravitate in direction of that. However they’re all superb as a result of they’re made by Ross Cobb. I at all times say, ‘I am in a band with Stewart Copeland [Oysterhead, with Trey Anastasio] which is an incredible factor, and I make wine with Ross Cobb, which is equally as superb’ – as a result of he is type of the ‘Stewart Copeland of wine makers.'”

AllMusic: I just lately noticed an fascinating sizzling canine [called “whamola wieners”] served at Claypool Cellars, which included Fortunate Charms as a topping.

Claypool: “For the vacations, I often give you a specialty canine. So, St. Patty’s day was coming, and what are we going to do? So, we had our regular wiener – however with yellow mustard versus wholegrain mustard, dill pickle relish not candy pickle relish, after which Fortunate Charms on high. It began as a joke, but it surely’s really actually good! It is magically scrumptious – but it surely freaks some folks out. However that is type of the purpose. We simply did an occasion final weekend – we did a Crusing the Seas of Cheeseburger. Which was superb – it was two smash patties with slices of cheddar and Swiss cheese, bleu cheese dressing, and cheddar cheese Goldfish on high of it.”

AllMusic: Who’re some present rock artists that you simply fancy?

Claypool: “Fancy? Modern stuff, I am not even certain. Clearly, I get my dose of Billy Strings – as a result of he is a buddy of mine. However I feel so far as a musician, Billy is a power to be reckoned with.”

AllMusic: What are some unusual albums you get pleasure from?

Claypool: “All I do today is I placed on the MoogTube playlist on Spotify, let it run, and let it simply wash over me. So, that is the place my head’s at today. It is all Moog synthesizer music, but it surely’s all fascinating variations.”

AllMusic: Different upcoming initiatives?

Claypool: “I am midway by way of this Delirium file, I am midway by way of a file with Billy, we really put some vitality just lately in attempting to get a South of the Pumphouse movie made. It is at all times one thing. And I obtained my pilot license – that is the massive factor. I’ve spent the final 4 months principally specializing in nothing however getting my pilot license – which was an unimaginable quantity of labor. I’d stand up at 7am each morning and examine till darkish, and I used to be only a hermit – I remoted myself till I obtained my license. So, I am completely satisfied to be social once more.”

AllMusic: What made you wish to change into a pilot?

Claypool: “Properly, I had began a few years in the past and by no means completed. So I believed, ‘Properly, I would higher end. I am not getting any youthful.’ And I used to be searching for one thing – I wanted a brand new chapter. So, that is my new chapter. Generally, you have to discover issues that make you wish to stand up within the morning or hearth the synapse. It undoubtedly knocked a complete hell of plenty of barnacles off my synapse – as a result of I used to be utilizing components of mind I hadn’t used ever in my life. And thankfully – I can attest to this – there isn’t any silly folks flying airplanes. There is likely to be some assholes on the market…however they’re clever assholes, as a result of you need to be sharp to get your pilot license.”

AllMusic: What sort of airplane do you fly?

Claypool: “A Cirrus SR20.”

AllMusic: Now that I give it some thought, there are fairly a number of rock musicians who’re additionally pilots – Bruce Dickinson, Krist Novoselic, and Alex Lifeson come to thoughts.

Claypool: “Alex used to fly. I do know Krist – in truth, we have been going backwards and forwards after I was getting my license. I do not know Bruce. However I do not know plenty of musicians who’ve their license. You type of named the one ones I’ve heard of. Oh, Gary Numan does, as effectively. That is like 1%. So, it isn’t lots.”

For extra Claypool, take a look at his official web site.

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