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Les Claypool talks new ‘Willy Wonka’-related album with original ‘classic’ lineup

Posted by on July 29, 2014

On October 21st, Primus’ ‘classic’ lineup of Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde and Tim “Herb” Alexander will release the first Primus album with that lineup in 19 years. You’d expect that to be nothing less than an event, and it certainly promises to be one. Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble is a track by track tribute to the 1971 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Claypool describes the album as “early Peter Gabriel meets Dark Side of the Moon meets the Residents.” In addition to the core trio, the album also includes Critters Buggin percussionist Mike DIllon and Frog Brigade cellist Sam Bass. And in addition to a percussionist, Claypool describes Alexander’s kit as “a pile of things to bang on”:

“He’s so musical at what he does, and he can be very orchestral when he wants to be, and taking him off a traditional kit just brought forth these sounds that we’ve just never gotten from him before,” says Claypool. “If you saw this kit, you’d laugh your ass off. He couldn’t get in and out of it. We’d open up a portion of it and shove him in there and then lock him in with other pieces of things.”

Claypool also discussed Alexander’s health issues, saying that he was adamant before he got operated on for open heart surgery last week that they not change the touring plans, which starts the day after the album’s release, so it appears that he’ll be back in touring shape by then. RS reports that he’d quit touring with the band in 2008 and had stopped playing drums altogether before a long phone call spurred a reunion. And as would be fitting for a tour and album around Willy Wonka, the band have pacted with Asher’s Chocolates to sell Primus candy bars, Mr. Krinkle (crisped rice), Professor Nutbutter (peanuts) and Bastard Bar (dark chocolate). In Claypool’s words, “we’re making chocolate bars because you can’t digitize a chocolate bar – yet.” Check out their take on “Pure Imagination” below, with the tour dates following:

10/22 Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
10/24 Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre
10/25 Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
10/26 Burlington, VT @ Flynn Center for Performing Arts
10/28 Waterbury, CT @ Palace Theater
10/29 Baltimore, MD @ Hippodrome
10/31 New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
11/01 New Brunswick, NJ @ State Theatre
11/02 Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory
11/03 Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
11/05 St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
11/07 Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre
11/08 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
11/09 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
11/11 Miami Beach, FL @ The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
11/12 Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/14 Biloxi, MS @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/15 Austin, TX @ ACL live at the Moody Theater
11/16 Dallas, TX @ The Majestic Theatre
11/17 San Antonio, TX @ Majestic Theatre
11/19 Phoenix, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre Phoenix
11/21 Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre LA

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Categorised in: News, Releases, Touring