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

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 quite a lot 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 certainly one of his initiatives, Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, might be returning to the highway for the primary time in 20 years with the 41-date Summer time of Inexperienced Tour 2023. And as they’d carried out on their 2001 launch, Dwell Frogs Set 2, Claypool and co. might be masking Pink Floyd‘s 1977 traditional, Animals, in its entirety.

Claypool spoke with AllMusic shortly earlier than the launch of the tour, and chatted concerning the present Frog Brigade lineup, Pink Floyd, Primus’ most missed album, his vineyard, and not too long ago acquiring his pilot license.

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

Claypool: “There have been simply a number of requests through the years. My supervisor, Brad, stored speaking about how there was a complete era of parents that felt they missed the unique Frog Brigade, missed the Animals factor. So, we might 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 correct factor to do.”

AllMusic: Who might be within the band?

Claypool: “As a result of Frog Brigade and the Claypool initiatives on the whole have been assorted through the years, it is form of a combined solid of characters. I’ve bought Sean Lennon on guitar this time, I’ve bought Harry Waters on keyboards, Skerik on sax, Mike Dillon on his varied 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 get entangled with Flying Frog Brigade?

Claypool: “Nicely…I wanted a guitar participant. And Shiner and I’ve been engaged on a 3rd Delirium file, so I simply mentioned, ‘Hey, do you need to do that factor?’ And he mentioned, ‘Sure.’ So, it was fairly easy. We will be doing stuff from my complete 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 known as him Shiner. We’re like brothers now – he is very shut with my household. It’s totally 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 lined in its entirety and what does that album imply to you?

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

And I would at all times mentioned, ‘If I had a keyboardist in my band, I needed to do ‘Pigs” – as a result of it is certainly one of my all-time favourite songs…undoubtedly certainly one of my favourite Floyd songs. So, we began doing ‘Pigs,’ and I assumed, ‘Nicely, hell – let’s do the entire file. We’ll do two units and we can’t should 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 ideal waypoint for development 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, making an attempt 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 collected through the years – so he is bought a reasonably monumental job in entrance of him. However he is chiseling away at it.”

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

Claypool: “Oh, there’s at all times speak. I’ve bought 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 missed?

Claypool: “They’re all missed – 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 mentioned that is his favourite Primus file, as a result of he says, ‘It sounds prefer it wants an excellent 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 – perhaps you need to begin speaking to some producers,’ and this, that, and the subsequent factor. So, I will simply say that one. It was a really experimental file for us – we purchased a bunch of outdated gear and set it up. It was very lo-fi. There isn’t 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 totally, very uncooked – and you’ll inform.”

AllMusic: Just lately, the ebook 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. But it surely’s nearly to the purpose the place we have now to do an replace/revision – as a result of it has been a number of years because the 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 positive there is a couple tales to inform.”

AllMusic: Which Purple Pachyderm wine is your favourite?

Claypool: “I’d in all probability 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 form of the ‘Stewart Copeland of wine makers.'”

AllMusic: I not too long ago 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, however it’s really actually good! It is magically scrumptious – however it freaks some individuals out. However that is form 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 just fancy?

Claypool: “Fancy? Up to date stuff, I am not even positive. 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 drive to be reckoned with.”

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

Claypool: “All I do lately 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 lately. It is all Moog synthesizer music, however it’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 power not too long ago in making an attempt to get a South of the Pumphouse movie made. It is at all times one thing. And I bought my pilot license – that is the massive factor. I’ve spent the final 4 months mainly specializing in nothing however getting my pilot license – which was an unbelievable quantity of labor. I’d stand up at 7am each morning and research till darkish, and I used to be only a hermit – I remoted myself till I bought my license. So, I am completely happy to be social once more.”

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

Claypool: “Nicely, I had began a few years in the past and by no means completed. So I assumed, ‘Nicely, I would higher end. I am not getting any youthful.’ And I used to be in search of one thing – I wanted a brand new chapter. So, that is my new chapter. Generally, that you must discover issues that make you need to stand up within the morning or hearth the synapse. It undoubtedly knocked a complete hell of a number 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 fortuitously – I can attest to this – there is not any silly individuals flying airplanes. There is perhaps 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 aircraft 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 actual fact, we have been going forwards and backwards once I was getting my license. I do not know Bruce. However I do not know a number of musicians who’ve their license. You form of named the one ones I’ve heard of. Oh, Gary Numan does, as properly. That is like 1%. So, it isn’t so much.”

For extra Claypool, take a look at his official website.

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