Les Claypool

Les Claypool ( born September 26, 1963 in Richmond, California) is an American musician.

The skilled carpenter is bassist and vocalist for the rock band Primus. Claypool is known for his bass playing. He uses different ways to play, especially the slap technique, he has revolutionized by combining radio with experimental rock in the style of The Residents. In addition to the electric bass, he also plays bass, banjo and a homemade instrument called Whamola, a variation of the wash tub bass. Moreover, his nasal voice and imaginative lyrics are very characteristic.


Claypool grew up in the San Francisco, where he played in his youth in various bands. He learned various styles, among other things, funk and blues rock. He stood at that time in Metallica before ( Kirk Hammett is a school friend of his ), but opted for Jason Newsted. He then played in the thrash metal band Blind Illusion, where he met Ler LaLonde. In 1984 he founded primates, from which after some time emerged Primus. With this band, he began to tour and was able to catch the first albums. The breakthrough came with the album Pork Soda, which made ​​it to the United States in the album top ten. During this time he taught on a farm near San Francisco's one called Rancho Relaxo a studio where he recorded with various musicians. In addition to his musical work, he contributed also to the creative design of the album cover and the mostly animated video clips from Primus. In 1996, he released his first solo album, which he surnamed "Holy Makeral " ribbed due to the collaboration with many other musicians.

Since 2000 he has been reinforced with side projects. These projects usually arise at jam sessions, with the result that the projects are usually short-lived or are frequently renamed due to line-up changes. The best-known projects are Oysterhead with former Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Phish singer and lead guitarist Trey Anastasio and Colonel Les Claypool 's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade. In the latter, he worked with lesser known musicians, but which appear at various follow-up projects again and again. As a guest musician he has performed with artists and bands such as Tom Waits, Buckethead, Limp Bizkit, Adrian Belew of King Crimson or Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains.

Since the year 2005, he released his solo works without epithet. The first was this a DVD with insights into his work. In the same year he sat for about a half-dozen concerts under the pseudonym lapdog on drums by Electric Apricot. In 2006 his first novel, " South of the Pumphouse ", an autobiographical story, classified according to the blurb somewhere between Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson. Also in 2006 appeared the mockumentary Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo that accompanies a fictional band by the Californian jam band scene. Claypool led this director and worked as an actor. In 2008, the video game Mushroom Men ( Red Fly Studios) for Nintendo Wii and DS, for which he composed music appeared.

In 2010 he was the first time for a long time on tour in Europe. 2011 he has been with primus inter alia, on tour in Europe. Generally allowed Les Claypool, snatching his concerts as audio recording. Video recordings are not allowed.

Discography (not including Primus )

With Sausage:

  • Sausage Demo ( 1988)
  • Riddles are Abound Tonight ( 1994)

With Les Claypool and The Holy Mackerel ( solo project with guest appearances from Henry Rollins and Charlie Hunter):

  • Highball with the Devil (1996 )

With Les Claypool 's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade:

  • Live Frogs Set 1 ( 2001)
  • Live Frogs Set 2 (2001)
  • Purple Onion (2002)

With Oysterhead ( with Trey Anastasio and Stewart Copeland ):

  • The Grand Pecking Order (2001)

Colonel Claypool 's Bucket of Bernie Brains ( with Buckethead, Brain and Bernie Worrell ):

  • The Big Eyeball in the Sky ( 2004)

Solo albums:

  • Of Whales and Woe (2006)
  • Of Fungi and Foe (17 March 2009)

Guest appearances (selection):

  • The Sane Asylum (1988, Blind Illusion )
  • Bone Machine (1992, Tom Waits )
  • Trio (1994, Rob Wasserman, title: "Home is where you get across" feat Chris Whitley and "3 guys named Schmo " feat Jay Lane.. )
  • The Wild Bouquet in 1995 with MIRV, Brain & Mat Callahan
  • Boggy Depot (1998, Jerry Cantrell )
  • Garage Inc. (1998, Metallica )
  • Monsters & Robots (1999, Buckethead )
  • Mule Variations (1999, Tom Waits )
  • Significant Other (1999, Limp Bizkit )
  • Crank It Up (2002, a tribute album for Commander Cody classic Hot Rod Lincoln)
  • The Deep End Vol 2 (2002, Gov't Mule )
  • The Deepest End (2003, Gov't Mule )
  • Real Gone (2004, Tom Waits )
  • Attention Dimension (2005, Jack Irons, Title: Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd )
  • Side One (2005, Adrian Belew, with Les Claypool (bass) and Danny Carey (drums) on the first three tracks )
  • Be Careful What You Wish For ... (2005, Gabby La La)
  • Side Three (2006, Adrian Belew )
  • Beelzebub (2013, Beats Antique)


  • 5 Gallons Of Diesel (2005, Les Claypool DVD)
  • Fancy - Live 2006
  • Electric Apricot - Quest for Festeroo (2006)