Primus Readies First New Album in 11 Years
Primus Readies First New Album in 11 Years

Les Claypool says Primus is "accumulating material on a daily basis" for the group's first new studio album since 1999's "Antipop," and its first new material since 2003's "Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People."

"Right now it's throwing pasta at the wall and seeing which noodles are sticking, recording musical ideas from sound checks and whatnot, even live shows," Claypool tells Billboard.com. "We've been branching off on various tangents, and I have notebooks full of various writings. And now with the advent of the iPhone I've got my little recorder and can record things as I'm driving down the street, at a whim."

At this point, however, Claypool resists predicting where the music will head. "There was never a sense of musical direction with Primus or anything we've done," he explains. "It's eclectic, of course; I tend not to like to go down the same path twice, so we're trying to open new doors."

The wild card this time will be the presence of some "new old blood" in the form of Jay Lane, who was Primus' drummer in 1988 but left before the group recorded its first album, "Frizzle Fry." After recently playing with Phil Lesh & Friends, Lane rejoined Claypool and guitarist Larry LaLonde when Primus reactivated this year after a four-year hiatus, and Claypool expects him to have a significant impact when the trio hits the studio later in the fall. "Jay is much more of a groove-oriented player," he notes. "I would imagine the rhythms are going to be very strong and intense."

Claypool doesn't have plans to preview any of the new material during Primus' fall Oddity Fair tour, which wraps on Oct. 3 in Detroit, but he acknowledges that "certain portions of the show branch off into tangents, and every now and again one of those tangents is a little nugget that could be utilized for something in the future." A far greater concern, Claypool says, is how Primus will release the new music once it's done, although he expects "some form of release next spring."

"Y'know, I was one of those cutting-edge computer Internet guys back in the day when we were designing web sites for labels and whatnot," Claypool says. "People would ask me, 'What do you think is going on?' and I would say, 'I'm gonna wait 'til the dust settles and see what happens.' And the dust STILL hasn't settled, so I don't really know how the hell we're going to release this music. The music industry has been sitting on its hands for 10 years now, but now that it's happening to the film industry as well it will be interesting to see what their solution is, 'cause I think they've got much bigger balls and less of a sense of, 'Oh, let's sit around and wait and see what happens...' "

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