In a very Flaming Lips-ian move, zany prog-rockers Primus have decided to dedicate an album, tour and band reunion to the 1971 culinary classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
The “classic” Primus lineup — bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde, and drummer Tim Alexander — got back together for Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, which will be their first LP together since 1995. The album — Primus’ eighth overall — will drop Oct. 21 on ATO.
You can expect Primus’ takes on “Pure Imagination” and “(I’ve Got A) Golden Ticket” to be quite different from the originals. “As we started putting it together, especially with the expanded soundscape of having string and vibraphone and marimba, it started sounding to me like one of the early Peter Gabriel records meets Dark Side of the Moon meets the Residents,” Claypool told Rolling Stone. “That’s what I get out of it. Obviously that’s some big-ass horn-tooting to be doing.”
Check out their version of “Pure Imagination” below:
Primus also enlisted Critters Buggin percussionist Mike Dillon and Frog Brigade cellist Sam Bass to collaborate on the recordings.
When the album drops, copies will be available on chocolate-colored vinyl and, in keeping with Willy Wonka tradition, five golden tickets will be inserted at random. They’re also fully aware of today’s challenging music business, and have a plan. “In light of the record business being gutted by the internet, we’ve made some Primus brand chocolate bars to peddle as well,” Claypool said in a statement.
Speaking of shows, the band will embark on a United States tour beginning Oct. 22 in Upper Darby, PA’s Tower Theatre (see dates below). Claypool said the shows will begin like “stripped down, old school, nightclub Primus set(s)” before jumping into the Willy Wonka material.
“We’re also talking about doing a matinee stage production of it, for kids,” Claypool said. “We’re gonna do an early show that’s only the Wonka thing — and it’ll be a short show ’cause kids have a short attention span.”
And in case you were wondering, the Primus frontman is none too fond of Tim Burton’s remake: “We need to make sure that kids in the future watch the original Willy Wonka and not the horrendous, horrible remake that came along and left the taste of feces in our mouths.”
Primus’ upcoming tour dates:
Oct. 22: Upper Darby, PA (Tower Theatre)
Oct. 24: Albany, NY (Palace Theatre)
Oct. 25: Boston, MA (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 26: Burlington, VT (Flynn Center for Performing Arts)
Oct. 28: Waterbury, CT (Palace Theater)
Oct. 29: Baltimore, MD (Hippodrome)
Oct. 31: New York, NY (Beacon Theatre)
Nov. 1: New Brunswick, NJ (State Theatre)
Nov. 2: Rochester, NY Main (Street Armory)
Nov. 3: Detroit, MI (The Fillmore Detroit)
Nov. 5: St. Louis, MO (Peabody Opera House)
Nov. 7: Cincinnati, OH (Taft Theatre)
Nov. 8: Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)
Nov. 9: Orlando, FL (Hard Rock Live)
Nov. 11: Miami Beach, FL (The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater)
Nov. 12: Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall)
Nov. 14: Biloxi, MS (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Nov. 15: Austin, TX (ACL live at the Moody Theater)
Nov. 16: Dallas, TX (The Majestic Theatre)
Nov. 17: San Antonio, TX (Majestic Theatre)
Nov. 19: Phoenix, AZ (Orpheum Theatre Phoenix)
Nov. 21: Los Angeles, CA (Orpheum Theatre LA)