Les Claypool: Need-To-Know Bassist | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Les Claypool: Need-To-Know Bassist

Play associated audio

Primus got plenty of of airtime on MTV and college radio in the 1990s, thanks to songs like "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver." By the start of the next decade, though, the San Francisco band was ready for a hiatus.

"Which was just sort of a fancy way of saying we were all tired of each other and tired of the music and not getting anything done," founder and bass guitarist Les Claypool tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish.

Claypool didn't sit still during those years: He published a novel, produced a satirical movie about psychedelic jam bands and even got into wine making. Eventually, after performing with other bands, he says, he couldn't resist the pull back to Primus. The band has a new album, Green Naugahyde, and it features lots of Claypool's trademark funky bass, the sound that distinguishes Primus above all else.

"I've always said the bass just happens to be the crayon I picked out of the box," Claypool says. "I'd still be drawing the same pictures ... should I have picked trumpet or accordion or guitar, whatever it may be. The sounds in my head are still the same."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, June 30, 2015

You can use your imagination to place yourself at a Grateful Dead concert or at a 1930s-era circus.

NPR

Why You Should Thank A Caterpillar For Your Mustard And Wasabi

Eons ago, cabbage butterfly larvae and the plants they eat began an evolutionary arms race. The result: "mustard oil bombs" that give the plants, and condiments we make from them, distinctive flavors.

WAMU 88.5

Troubles In Puerto Rico And Greece And What They Mean For Other Economies

Puerto Rico's governor says the U.S. territory cannot pay its billions in debt. Like Greece, it faces a long road to stability. We look at the fundamental economic problems in Puerto Rico and Greece, and how they could affect economies in the U.S. and worldwide.

WAMU 88.5

Pop Culture Trends in Video Gaming

More women on screen and more exploration are among the trends in video gaming this year. Tech Tuesday explores how pop culture and new technology are changing the gaming experience.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.