The original lineup of PRIMUS — Les Claypool (bass/vocals), Tim "Herb" Alexander (drums) and Larry "Ler" Lalonde (guitar) — has reformed after a four-year hiatus and has recorded five new songs for inclusion on the upcoming DVD/CD set, "Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People", due October 7 on Prawn Song/Interscope Records.
According to the official Les Claypool newsletter, the DVD will contain all 13 PRIMUS videos, including the little-seen "Lacquer Head" (an anti-drug clip banned by MTV for its drug references), along with 1992's "Cheesy Home Video" documentary, award-winning cartoon "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", and previously unreleased live footage.
Live performances on the DVD cover every single era of the band's career, from a 1989 college radio appearance, to Woodstock '94, to latter-day shows with Brain. A rarities section even includes pre-Larry and Tim performances from the Eighties with first guitarist Todd Huth, and drummers Jay Lane and Tim "Curveball" Wright.
The five brand-new cuts recorded for the collection are as follows:
01. Pilcher's Squad
02. Mary the Ice Cube
03. The Last Superpower aka Rapscallion
04. My Friend Fats
05. The Carpenter and the Dainty Bride
The new songs were recorded in June during a session at Rancho Relaxo. Some of these musical ideas were generated in May in Los Angeles, when Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim Alexander first got back together and spent three days jamming, testing the waters, feeling each other out and working on new jams.
"The track 'Pilcher's Squad' was written and recorded in one afternoon," stated Les. "The lyric was inspired by the activities of the notorious Sgt. Norman Pilcher, a London police detective that used to bust Pop stars (including John Lennon and George Harrison) in the late sixties for drug possession. He was later convicted and subsequently jailed six years for planting evidence."
Regarding the idea behind the package, Claypool said, "It seems of late that bands are adding supplemental DVD material to their album releases to promote record sales. We've done the opposite. We've added a supplemental audio recording of brand new music to an extremely comprehensive DVD of classic visuals. Also, we've enlisted the incredible talents of some local artists to create a cutting edge, interactive interface."
The band will promote the package with a limited run of shows starting Oct. 15. Dubbed "Tour de Fromage", the trek will feature PRIMUS offering an opening set that varies nightly followed by the full performance of 1991's "Sailing the Seas of Cheese".
Confirmed shows so far are include the following:
Oct. 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern Theatre
Oct. 21 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
Oct. 31 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
"The spontaneous visual presentation and the varied song selection will insure that no two performances will be the same," said Claypool, who has spent the last three years creating and collaborating on a range of projects with a wide array of influential musicians. "It has been an incredible period of growth for me as an artist and performer. And one thing I have gained from this time away from PRIMUS is a huge respect for the unique creative chemistry that Larry, Tim and I have together."
In other news, San Francisco photographer Jay Blakesberg is publishing a photographic history of PRIMUS and all of Les Claypool's solo projects. The 192-page hard covered "To Defy The Laws of Tradition - Photographic Archive of Primus & Les Claypool" features over 800 shots (at last count) culled from Blakesberg's 10,000+ image archive of PRIMUS, HOLY MACKEREL, SAUSAGE, OYSTERHEAD, and FROG BRIGADE photos. Les Claypool and others contribute essays to this one of a kind, limited-edition, numbered collector's item.
Available for $100 (including shipping and handling) only through the PRIMUS and LES CLAYPOOL web sites (no bookstores), "To Defy The Laws of Tradition…" will be signed by Les Claypool and Jay Blakesberg and will come in a special handmade box. This will be a one-time-only printing.
If you are interested in purchasing this book, send an e-mail to [email protected] and write 'YES' in the subject line (this does not commit you to purchasing anything). Your response will help the band judge how big a press run they will need to satisfy PRIMUS aficionados (right now the print run is scheduled to be 2000 copies). Books will be shipped in October.
To view sample pages from the book, click here.