Les Claypool

Born: September 29, 1963
Richmond, CA, USA
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Unlike the majority of his musician brethren, Les Claypool didn't know that he wanted to be a musician from a very young age. In fact, it wasn't until junior high that he even learned the difference between and bass and a guitar. But, when he heard the difference, he knew which one he wanted to play. Joining the high school jazz band without even knowing how to read music, Claypool was a quick study. He learned the most, however, just by watching his mentor, Geddy Lee of Rush. Lee inspired Les to push himself to learn more about the bass, and learn he did. He would practice five and six nights a week, for four to five hours a night. He started joining bands in high school. He experimented with every sound, from big-band swing to funk metal. (In high school, Claypool met fellow musician Kirk Hammett, and would later unsuccessfully audition for Metallica after the tragic death of bassist extraordinaire Cliff Burton.) At was band-hopping that would spur Claypool to form a side-band called Primus. With Primus, he could pour his pent-up creative energy into something with no sound boundaries. After many agonizing personnel changes, Primus as we know them came to be. Claypool produced Primus' first album, Suck on This, after they taped a live show in a theatre in San Francisco. With financial backing from his dad, Claypool managed to distribute his album and get major college radio airplay, as well as independent label affiliation. The album was re-released on indie label Caroline. In 1990, however, Primus was signed to Interscope Records, after Interscope's A&R guy kept coming to their shows and was blown away by the talent and creativity that Claypool and the rest of the band exhibited. Since then, the band has had several great albums, but has largely failed to break through to mainstream radio. Claypool continues to work with up and coming musicians, as well as releasing new albums with Primus.

Bibliography

The Unofficial Les Claypool Homepage --http://www.spectranet.ca/~andrade/
Claypool's Home Page-- http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/2378/




Genres:
1990's Alternative Funk Metal Progressive Rock

Bands That Les Claypool Has Played For:
Primus

Les Claypool Has Worked With:
Kirk Hammett James Hetfield Buckethead Brian "Brain" Mantia Jerry Cantrell Tim "Herb" Alexander

Les Claypool Was Influenced By:
Jimi Hendrix Geddy Lee Paul McCartney

Artists That Were Influenced By Les Claypool:
Wes Borland
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"I think he is a genius. Well, let's put it this way: he was a genius. I don't know whether he is now."

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