Primus – American Funk Metal

Primus – American Funk Metal?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have no access to radio, YouTube or other, you’ve probably heard of the band Primus! Hailing from California, the band forms in 1984. while most bands have a rock or alternative background, Primus emerges from a metal background. To date, the current line-up is bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander. 

While it’s true! They’re not for everyone but they really should be. Sure, they’re weird and have strange names for their songs. Along with weird costumes and other weird stories to tell. But I got to tell ya! Their live shows are intense, loud and a blast to attend. Also, they’re huge Rush fans! 



As Claypool states, “We’ve been lumped in with the funk metal thing just about everywhere. I guess people just have to categorize you”.  He been known to say that they are “psychedelic polka. And MTV suggests that Primus is “a post-punk Rush spiked with the sensibility and humor of Frank Zappa”. Why not just say that they’re great musicians with a unique way of interpreting things? While having a blast performing for their fans?


Also add Parliament/Funkadelic as well! Needless to say, they have a huge following so depending on where you live or willing to drive, you may not get tickets because their shows sell out pretty quick. Plus, the band has changed up at times, gone on a hiatus but still no matter what format, they bring entertaining moments and music to their fans! 


A Farewell to Kings Tour

For a while it was tough on the touring side of things because of Covid. But in April, the band is already back on the road performing live. Their latest tour is “A Farewell To Kings Tour” a Rush Tribute tour. Here’s what the band’s website says: Finally, the clouds are parting, the planets are aligning, the dough is rising…whatever metaphor floats your preverbal boat, PRIMUS is going on tour again.


The setlist varies each night, so there is no telling what you might hear. Primus tours seem to come and go on the whim of bandleader Les Claypool, so you never know just when you might see them again. We’re poised and ready for a massive, bent-rock extravaganza when the gremlins of covid came and yanked the rug out from under us all. I personally have been climbing the walls like a shit-house rat and, after my first season off in 30 some odd years, I’m very anxious and excited to stand in front of the microphone with my four-string piece of furniture and belt out some girthy ditties to sweaty throngs of punters. – Les Claypool. 



Yep, we too miss the live music aspect as well!  “A Tribute To Kings” is a cross-country tour that will feature Primus playing Rush ‘s classic 1977 album “A Farewell To Kings” in its entirety, in addition to their own music. “Geddy, Alex and Neil had been superheroes to Larry, Herb and I in our teens, so when we all became pals while touring together in the early ’90s, we were pretty delighted; Partially because of the musical geek-out factor but mostly because the three guys whom we had admired so much from afar, turned out to be truly great, down-to-earth humans, and like us, a tad eccentric. – Primus.


Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang

I saw Claypool’s Duo De Twang when he’s in south Florida as one of the bands on an upcoming Jam Cruise. The Jam cruises are a big deal here in south Florida and the line-up for this one is no exception. Although, I didn’t go on the cruise, I did get to see Les Claypool at Revolution Live and it was fantastic! It’s a laid-back vibe type of show as if you’re hanging out around a campfire listening to twangy guitars and even hints of bluegrass music.  



Furthermore, Claypool grew up on classic old school country music while working on cars with his dad. So, while it’s nostalgic for him, to the native Floridians it’s reminiscent of the southern rock bands that toured throughout the state in the 70s and 80s. Below is one of the Duo De Twang shows in Ft. Collins, Co. with Bryan Kehoe (“Psychobilly mad man” guitarist and member of Exodus and MIRV).  Also, Claypool’s son is helping out as well. 


Other Weird / Fun Facts – Etc.

They’re the band who made the South Park Theme Song – It’s composed and performed by PRIMUS, featuring the band’s lead singer, Les Claypool. He’s also known for doing the theme It’s (And “IT’S ALIIIIVE” scream) from Robot Chicken. Les Claypool holds the distinction of being the only bassist to ever audition for Metallica and be turned down because he was too good, according to James Hetfield. His Funk Metal style also didn’t match the band. There are others but these are the most popular. They were nominated for “Best Hard Rock Performance” in 1995, for the track “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”.  Les Claypool also has a winery called Claypool Cellars in Sebastopol, CA. 



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