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Primus (1984-2000, 2003-2006, 2008, 2010-present): a Funk Metal band from El Sobrante, California, USA.


es Claypool (bass/vocals) and Todd Huth (guitar) got together in the early 1980s under the original name Primate. As something of a cult phenomenon, their first release was a live effort titled Suck On This (1989) recorded at a local club and released on their own 'Prawnsong' label. Joe Satriani protégé Larry LaLonde replaced Huth who had left to join another bay area Thrash act by the name of Blind Illusion, a band from which Claypool had once come.

Mixing a bizarre mix of thrash metal, avant-rock and aquatic funk with humor, and hardly being described as a breakneck 'riffarama' act, Primus would release their debut studio effort in America in 1990 on the 'Caroline' label and titled it Frizzle Fry. The tracks featured heavy doses of Claypool's marine influenced lyrical subjects with tracks like John The Fisherman, a work that many critics considered excellent. Adding to the ambiance was the recent addition of Tim 'Herb' Alexander's drumming complimenting Claypool's bass work.

Supporting acts like 24-7 Spyz, Faith No More and Living Color, Primus fit in nicely with the widening world of funk metal and soon got themselves a major league contract with the 'Atlantic' subsidiary 'Interscope' for the follow-up release Sailing The Seas Of Cheese (1991), whose highlight was a reworked version of Tommy The Cat, a track also found on their debut and complete with the assistance of fellow weird purveyor Tom Watts. Pork Soda (1993), and the subsequent tour with Rush, managed to gain them a 56 UK and a full 7 in the US charts.

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Now at the height of their success, Claypool took a brief break to team up with Huth again, along with Jay Lane, to form Sausage and release Riddles Are Around Tonight in 1993. But in 1995 another Primus top 10 album (8 US) came in the form of Tales From The Punchbowl. The album proved to probably be their most known with humorous tracks like Wynona's Big Brown Beaver, a risqué little ditty that would most likely lead to influencing the name of the follow-up album, Brown Album (1997), an album that received a 21 US ranking. But prior to the new album's release a rare line-up change occurred with Brian Mantia replacing Alexander.

1998 would see the cracks in their fortress with the release of the largely disappointing Rhinoplasty covers album. There was a small redemption in their reputation for success, at least in America, with the 1999 release of Antipop. Now far less metallic than their past they continued to push on, LaLonde also took up spots with death metal act Possessed in recent history, while Claypool is currently devoting time to his solo project the Frog Brigade.

The EP, Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People (2003) saw Tim Alexander ex-Attention Deficit) rejoining. Now with the original group reunited, for the first time in almost a decade, the EP was packaged with a DVD containing all of their old videos along with the usual extra footage.

March of 2010 saw Lane rejoin. August of that same year saw the release of June 2010 Rehearsal, a free four-track rehearsal EP available for download on the band's website. The EP consisted of new recordings of previously released Primus songs featuring Lane on drums. October of 2010, the track Jerry Was a Race Car Driver was included in the video game Rock Band 3.

Green Naugahyde (2011) would follow.

In the fall of 2012, Primus went on tour with the "first ever" 3D-enhanced live musical performance featuring "Quad Surround Sound" (formerly known as "Quadraphonic") and 3D visuals.

In September 2013, Lane once again left to concentrate on RatDog with Bob Weir; Alexander would rejoin.

New Year's eve 2013 saw Primus perform the soundtrack from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in its entirety. The soundtrack Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, a studio recording of the event, would be released in October, 2014.

In September 2014, a biography of the band titled Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool, written by music journalist and author Greg Prato in affiliation with Primus would arrive.

The Desaturating Seven (2017) represented their ninth studio effort.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Primus among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

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Nation USA
City El Sobrante, California
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Funk Metal
Formations 4
Web Unknown
Active Years 1984-2000, 2003-2006, 2008, 2010-
E-Mail Unknown
Last Modified 2021-09-13
Diskery ID 661

Artists Linked With This Article

Faith No More Possessed Rush

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