Claypool Peels Back The 'Purple Onion'
Primus frontman Les Claypool has set a Sept. 24 release for his solo debut, "The Les Claypool Frog Brigade Presents Purple Onion," which will be issued on his own Prawn Song label. "This is the firstPrimus frontman Les Claypool has set a Sept. 24 release for his solo debut, "The Les Claypool Frog Brigade Presents Purple Onion," which will be issued on his own Prawn Song label. "This is the first time I've actually sat down and written material without other musicians in mind," Claypool tells Billboard.com. "It was the song first, then bringing in musicians and instrumentation to support the song structure and whatever visual image I had in my head. This record has a plethora of interesting characters and textures on it."
Aside from current and former members of the Frog Brigade -- including former Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander, percussionist Mike Dillon, guitarist Eonor, and horn player Skerik -- Claypool gets assistance from Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes on "Buzzards of Green Hill," and Fishbone's Norwood and Fish Fisher on "D's Diner," which also features Weapon Of Choice bassist Lonnie Marshall.
"I think Primus fans are going to be happy with this record, because it does hearken back to a lot of the earlier Primus stuff," Claypool says of the 12-track set. "It reflects a lot of that but it stretches quite a bit more. It's almost like an early Peter Gabriel record meets Tom Waits meets Pink Floyd or something. I tend to think in visuals, and it's a very visual record."
With the prospect of working again with Primus "pretty far down the road," Claypool will focus his attentions on touring with the Frog Brigade for most of the summer. "We're doing [the] Bonnaroo [festival] this weekend," he says. "We're doing some headlining dates and then quite a few co-bill dates with moe. I want to take August and most of September off, but then we'll hit the States pretty hard in the fall right when the record comes out."
While at Bonnaroo, Claypool will indulge his love for on-the-fly experimentation by playing a Saturday set under the moniker Colonel Claypool's Bucket Of Bernie Brains. He will be joined by Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead, Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and drummer Brain and admits, "we've deliberately not picked any songs to play. Since we weren't able to rehearse anyway, I thought we should just go out and totally wing it!"
Here are Les Claypool's upcoming tour dates:
June 21: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo Festival)
June 22: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo, w/ Colonel Claypool's Bucket Of Bernie Brains)
June 25: Indianapolis (the Vogue)
June 27: Farmingville, N.Y. (Brookhaven Amphitheatre, w/ moe.)
June 28-29: Boston (FleetBoston Pavilion, w/ moe.)
June 30: Gilford, N.H. (Meadowbrook Farm, w/ moe.)
July 3: Pittsburgh (Station Square, w/ moe.)
July 4: Cleveland (Tower City Amphitheatre, w/ moe.)
July 5: Mariaville, N.Y. (Indian Lookout Country Club, w/ moe.)
July 6: Chilicothe, Ill. (Three Sister Park, w/ moe.)
July 8: Cincinnati (Bogart's)
July 10: Columbus, Ohio (Promowest Pavilion, w/ moe.)
July 11: Wilmington, Del. (Kahunaville, w/ moe.)
July 12-13: Brandywine, Md. (Wilmer's Park, w/ moe.)