Primus FAQ

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General information

Personal information

Music and miscellaneous

General information

Who are Primus?

See the Primus band page.

What albums/videos have Primus released?

See the annotated discography.

What do Primus sound like?

See the reviews from the live shows page to get other people's opinions. Here's the original response:

Well, answers seem to vary. So this is just sort of a highlight film of some comments from record reviews, personal feelings, and comments from friends some who who like Primus and some who hate them. Once again, feel free to contribute any personal favorites.

"thrash-funk" --lots of lame reviews
"They're unique, they're a square peg in a round hole. They're totally new. Maybe that's what people were saying about us when we came out" --Kirk Hammet, Guitar Player sep 91
"The only thing I can think to compare you to is a heavy King Crimson." --Rikki Rachtman
"Oh yeah, we're a blatant rip-off of King Crimson" --Les Claypool in response to above question

What are their influences?

The consensus on this seems to include at least the following:

Those are the big four it seems. Others include:

What other activities do they enjoy?

Personal information

Where are they from?

How old are they?

Les was born in Richmond, CA and was 30 years old as of 10/93. Supposedly, his birthday is 9/29/63. Ler was born on 9/12/68, and Herb was born on 4/10/65.

What tattoo is on Les' head?

It is a picture of Skeeter, and the caption says "Skeeters suck too". He also has a tattoo on his right shoulder (right below the Skeeter one on his head) of the Cat in the Hat with a plate of Green Eggs and Ham.

Is it true Les is deaf in one ear?

According to an article in Bass Player Magazine Les lost half of his hearing in his right ear in a diving accident. Les say's "It sucks- when I go to listen to studio playback through headphones I think, what's the point?"

How did Herbs nickname come about?

Herb's nickname is for many reasons. First, there was at least one other Tim in Primate/Primus, Tim Wright. Also Herb has a fondness for herbal remedies, and is quite a health nut, at least according to Les.

Music and miscellaneous

What are the lyrics to Pork Soda/Jellikit/The Hecker/Is it Luck?

See the lyrics page.

What are the latest tour/concert dates?

See the listing of all live shows.

Who is "Michael Malloy"

See the write-up from the Useless Information page. A more condensed version is also available.

Do Primus have any formal music training?

Les was a member of his high school Jazz band where he received at least some formal training(reading sheet music). Ler was at one point a student of Joe Satriani, about as close to apprenticing to a master as you get in rock guitar.

What awards have they won?

How did "Primus sucks" originate?

Before Ler and Herb joined, fans of Primate/Primus would follow around Les and the guys saying, "you guys are great". Les would reply, "Nah, we suck". It caught on and the fans started yelling "You Suck" at shows. Les would reply, "Why Thank You". It caught on and the rest is history.

*When did Primate become Primus?

How many drummers/guitarists has Primate/Primus had?

See the family tree.

What's a tweeker?

Someone strung out on methyl amphetamines, or crank.

What does "Too Many Puppies" say if you play it backwards? (Paul Johnston)
	| Okay, okay, okay...this here is what we call a live simulcast post.  I'm 
	| transcribing everything I can get out of the "Too Many Puppies" song I've 
	| taped, unscrewed, rewound, and fixed so that it's backwards.  
	| Sure is harder to hear Les this way...
	| first that whisper...sounds like whoever it is says "Yeah, right!"
	| After a while it sounds like Les sez: "these here hamsters, they is so alike"
	| then there's a part where it sounds like just feedback (remember this is 
	| backwards) and it sounds like Les is talking on the phone.  The vocals 
	| are pretty buried, but it does sound like he is saying something real.  
	| If you play Puppies the right way, it sounds weirder (could this be 
	| something Les actually planned on purpose?)
	| Then it sounds a little like Les is yelling "please don't push us down!"
	| Soon after it sounds like "yeah, they're just sheep"
	| The intro (to the actual song, which is the ending to this) sounds 
	| *exactly* like the beginning of Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"
	| and that's it.


What does Les say at the end of "Too Many Puppies"?

: In article, (Dave Miller) writes:
	: >
	: >It says 'el sobrente(sp?) number one'.
	: >My motorhead friend tells me its some kind of racing term.
	: >
	: >-Dave

	: Well, El Sobrante, CA is where Les and Ler are from.  In "Jerry", 
        :  he says
	: "El Solo Number One", which might be a racing reference.

	: Many times in concert, Les will bastardize that line in Jerry as 
        :"El *Sobrante*
	: Number One".

	I think he does say "El Sob".  It sounds like "El Sob",
	and "El Sob" makes sense.  Admittedly, the handwriting in the CD
	insert can be read as "El Solo", but I think the 'lo' is really a 'b'.


        Too Many Puppies--When you play it straight and get to the part
        where everything gets all quiet and you hear the"ding-dinging"
        and the "da-da-da-da-da" of the bass drum, Les says something
        that's really quiet, but I figured out he says: "Save it for
        the road", then something like "sol ba tu ga la gutter, call co la
        road butter" which sounds totally insane, but that's Les for
        you. I'm not totally sure I got it right though.  Then, Les blows on
        the mike, or that's what it sounds like.  At the end, he does say "El
        Sobrante Number One" for sure.

What does Les add to "Nature Boy"?

	In article <>, (Jeffrey Swing) writes:
	| > ..... But can
	| > anybody figure out what Les says during the "extra" verse that they add to
	| > Nature Boy?  Something like: "Skinny was born in a bathtub, and he grew so
	| > incledibly thin....", and some thing with a "Hello Dolly record".  Anybody
	| > have the lyrics?
	| > 
	| >
	From: sdr4p@uvacs.cs.Virginia.EDU (Sean D. Reilly)
	| That sounds like part of a song by the residents called "hello skinny".
	| Here are the lyrics for the Residents version, I can't imagine any other
	| song having such similar lyrics.
	| Skinny was born in a bathtub,
	| and he grew so increidibly thin,
	| that even the end of an eyedropper,
	| Sucked him in.
	| SKinny never knew any questions,
	| And skinny never looked at lights,
	| But skinny sold something,
	| Every single night.
	| Skinny sold a soldier to me,
	| Skinny sold a wife,
	| Skinny sold a suction cup
	| And a knofe.
	| Skinny found a "Hello Dolly"
	| Record in the hall.
	| He sold it to a truck driver
	| In the fall.


What is the origin of "Tommy the Cat"

What Exactly does Les sing in Toys Go WInding Down?


Actually, I think he says: Skiddley dit dad dow de dee. No, that's not a stupid post, but you know Les......Check it out and listen to it again. I saw them live, and could have sworn that this is what he says.... From: Toys Go Winding Down--I'm quite sure that he says either Skiddily dit dow di dee or Skilly dit dow di day.

How was the Claypool style of playing born?

Did Les Claypool audition for Metallica?

What kind of articles/information is available?

What kind of articles/information is available on the net?

What is Prawnsong?

Who is on Prawnsong?

Do Primus endorse any products?

What bands were Les/Ler/Herb in before Primus?

What other projects have they played on?

What songs do Primus cover/mutate ?

Is there any Primus guitar/bass tab available?

What kind of equipment do they use?

There is also a list of equipment on Rams page.

Les' gear

Ler's gear

Herbs gear

Where is the sample in _____ from?

What is Wounded Knee about?

Who is in the Fart sandwich Posse?

Who are The Bastards?

Who are the Sathington Willoughby Orchestra?

What is El Bastardo?

Who does the album covers/claymation?

Who is Todd Huth?

Who is Matt Winegar?

Who is Bob Cock?

Who are Bob Cock and the Yellow Sock?

Why havent Primus/Bc &YS been on Mtv unplugged?

Who are the residents?

Is Les a member of the Residents?

Who is Schooly D?

Where is San Pablo bay?

What is "CMJ metal"?

Who is Carl Thompson?

Are there any bootlegs available?

Do Ler/Les use any non-standard tunings?

Where were their albums recorded/mixed?

See the annotated discography and the liner notes in the lyrics page.

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