Primus changes the pace on their next record due out in June.
by Blair R. Fischer.
Taken from Rolling Stone Random Notes, March 17, 1997.
What's this? An accessible Primus record? Say it ain't so. Well, if you consider Coen Brothers films mainstream, then Primus is navigating uncharted waters. "'Fargo' is a prime example of how this record sounds lyrically," says Primus vocalist/bassist Les Claypool, describing the band's yet-untitled forthcoming album, due out in June. "I'd have to say more 'Fargo' in comparison to like 'Raising Arizona' -- it's a little more rooted in reality, but there are still some odd characters."
Ah, the characters. Primus fans will remember "Bob," who hung himself with a belt on the "Pork Soda" album. Well, Bob's apparently back from the dead on the next album and in good spirits, hosting "Bob's Party Time Lounge." As always it's the characters, along with the band's offbeat, punch-drunk instrumentation and cartoonish lyrics, that separates Primus from everyone. But, don't expect characters as eccentric as the gluttonous Professor Nuttbutter, the demeaning Sgt. Baker or the derisive Mrs. Blaileen.
"I don't know if these characters [on the next album] are as colorful," says Claypool. "By colorful I mean these characters are more reality-based than those that are obviously mythic or fairytale like."
And the Primus sound has taken a turn as well -- a turn backwards and possibly, into the abyss. "It seems like [the music] is leaning toward some of the stuff we did on "Sailing the Seas of Cheese" (1991), but still quite a bit different than anything we've done as far as, it's pretty 'pedal to the medal.' There's no real slowing down and it's much more of an 'up' record than we've done in a long time."
The addition of the equally enigmatic and loony Brain, who replaced Tim "Herb" Alexander on drums, certainly helped pep things up. "Brain's a nut," says Claypool. "He's much more like me and Larry [LaLonde]. He's a very 'up' individual and is on the fryer 90 percent of the time. As far as drummers go, it's kind of like going from Neil Peart to John Bonham."
To date, Primus has recorded 15 songs for the next album at Claypool's Northern California home. Following the album's release, Primus will tour Europe at the end of June before doing some small club shows in the U.S. this summer.