They might have only shone for a brief time, but the impact San Franciscan act Possessed left on metal is undeniable. Regarded by many as the originators of Death Metal, between 1985 and 1987, the Californian four-piece released two full-length albums and an EP, their now legendary debut, Seven Churches (Relativity/Combat) gaining deserved recognition as one of the benchmarks of mid-eighties Speed/Thrash. Continue reading
Primus has just revealed that they will be releasing their new album, The Desaturating Seven, on September 29th via ATO. Continue reading
band. A few excerpts from Jones:
“The way we’ve always done our live thing is to put as much money as we can afford into the production and make it as exciting as possible,] “Our whole outlook on putting out a CD or making a T-shirt or a poster or doing something live is, ‘What would you want if you went, and did you get your money’s worth or did you get more than your money’s worth?’ I don’t want to make any promises, but we try to make it a really great visual experience. To me, it’s always been the visuals are first, and seeing the band is secondary. That’s what we would want if we saw a concert.”
On the new album:
“My philosophy has always been, ‘It’s not good when it’s done, it’s done when it’s good,'” Jones says.
On tour partners Primus:
We’ve done a lot of one-offs together. We’re always talking about how we should do a tour together. We’re big fans.
Yeah. I got on the plane to go home, and I’m sitting next to some guy and he goes hi, and I go hi, and he goes, “Adam, it’s Larry [LaLonde] from Primus.” And I’m like, “Oh, my God. I didn’t even recognize you.” The last time I saw him, he had his hair dyed and it was shorter. We started talking and I said, “We’ve got to play together; we’ve got to tour together.” And he’s like, “Absolutely.” I got back and our manager had already talked to their manager about possibly touring together. The stars were aligned.
And changing up the set-list for the new tour, dusting off old songs
Yeah. Usually, Maynard picks set lists because he’s the one who’s gotta sing and get through it. Sometimes his voice is a little sensitive so he picks a certain kind of set list and sometimes his voice is right-on. I like playing different songs. I don’t want to keep playing the same songs over and over again.
On the new track played at Monster Mash Music Festival on Halloween, Descending:
Yeah, it’s a working title. We have a song that’s probably about 13 or 14 minutes long, so what we’ve done with it is … I don’t want to call it a “best of,” but it’s a shortened, different approach to it. It is a new song. It’s like a vague movie trailer to the real movie [laughs]. Sometimes we do jamming between songs or some kind of segues, and it’s usually involved in some kind of new material. But that one’s just a little taste of things to come.
That was more than a segue, though — it was written onto the set list.
Yeah. But sometimes you’ll see it and it will say, “Justin,” and Justin [Chancellor, bass] will do an intro or it will say “Jam” and we don’t have a name for it yet. “Descending” is the newest title of the song. We were calling it “B.G.” or “Bluegrass” or something. It had a funny name. Now it’s “Descending.”
…Yeah, the song’s amazing. It’s one of those things, too, where we’re playing this “movie trailer” version of it and we just want to go into the main part of it. The main part’s the best part, I think, but we just don’t want to give that away yet. We’re just doing a little taste test all the way through and put it together. I’m glad the response has been really good. But again, we don’t want to go too far with it because we’d rather just hear the end piece, and we don’t want people to hear the end piece until it’s done and everyone’s happy with it.
On the progress of the new Tool album, expected in 2016
I’ll tell you, it’s wonderful. Things are really flowing and going really well, and I’m just blown away at the stuff that’s coming together. I’m excited and can’t wait for it to be done. It’s something I’ve been missing for a long time [laughs], that beautiful collaboration that we have because we’re all so different and have different tastes. But again, when you are all meeting in the middle and that thing you do that meets in the middle is just beautiful, it’s very rewarding. So yes, I’m very happy.
We probably have 20 potential song ideas now. Of course, 20 won’t be on the record. We’re just jamming. But I’ll tell you, there’s nothing better than having too many good songs then not enough. It’s great. You pick your faves.
If Maynard has heard the music yet, often one of the last steps in finishing new music for the band:
Yeah. We have an FTP and a Dropbox and we’re in communication. He’s got other stuff he does, so we keep him in the loop, and he has written lyrics, but he’s still working on that and he’ll commit. The best thing for all of us is when the song is done. I don’t write leads until the song is done. You want to get a vibe. And Maynard can work on lyrics, but until the song’s done and he knows how the end is, he’s still figuring out the flow.
The thing with Tool is you have four critical thinkers who like different stuff, so our process is not an easy one but it’s a very rewarding one. So yes, he is exposed to new music. It’s always been this way and it probably will always be this way and it’s just how people work.
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With a career spanning three decades and a reputation as one of our world’s most loved and respected bands of a near cult status, Primus are one of our world’s leading lights in music that is, to put it lightly, unconventional and unpredictable. Even by their standards however, the proposition Primus And The Chocolate Factory (ATO Records) (the reunion of original members Claypool, Lalonde and Alexander) is a difficult one to fathom.
Both a tribute and a reimagining to the songs of 1971’s musical classic Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory; made famous by Gene Wilder’s untouchable performance as the eccentric and somewhat sinister factory owner, this really unearths and highlights the film/books’ menacing undertones. Introduction track “Hello Wonkites” encapsulates the tone with its playful, cartoon like sound but with a twisted atmosphere.
Their take on ‘Pure Imagination’ has to be the albums highlight, taking the uplifting and joyous original and turning it into the kind of madness that Frank Zappa would be proud of. Yet there are traits present that stay faithful to the film soundtrack; notably the several “Oompa” segments which maintain the original patronising appeal, only with Claypool’s fat bass sound on top of it.
By heightening the dark, ominous undercurrent of a film that many of us would have grown up with this could be mistaken for the biggest childhood ruining event since a certain Rolf Harris, but this is performed with an affection for the tale, and the detail within is a testament to this. As unhinged as it is catchy, this should strike a note with both those who grew up with the film and those who are drawn to music of the quirky and bewildering variety. Surely the sonic equivalent of sitting down to enjoy the movie with a couple of LSD pills.
Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool will be released via Akashic Books on September 16, 2014. Authored by journalist Greg Prato, he curated an oral history of all things Primus, and includes a 16 page full color photo insert with rare and never before seen images, and compiled 50 all new interviews with such names as Tim Alexander, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, Geddy Lee (Rush), Mickey Melchiondo (Ween), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Stone (South Park), Tom Waits, and many others.
Primus will be releasing Primus and The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble via ATO Records on October 21st, with a two set “evening with” show beginning October 22nd at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, PA.
This record marks the first full length release featuring the classic lineup of Les Claypool (bass/vocals), Larry Lalonde (guitars) and Tim “Herb” Alexander (drums) since 1995. Alexander last played with Primus in 2008.
As previously announced Tim Alexander recovering from open heart surgery and should not miss the fall tour.
The band’s eighth studio album is a tribute to the 1971 musical Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
Primus Tour Dates:
Oct 22: Tower Theatre – Upper Darby, PA
Oct 24: Palace Theatre – Albany, NY
Oct 25: Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA
Oct 26: Flynn Center for Performing Arts – Burlington, VT
Oct 28: Palace Theater – Waterbury, CT
Oct 29: Hippodrome – Baltimore, MD
Oct 31: Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
Nov 01: State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
Nov 02: Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY
Nov 03: The Fillmore Detroit – Detroit, MI
Nov 05: Peabody Opera House – St. Louis, MO
Nov 07: Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
Nov 08: Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
Nov 09: Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
Nov 11: The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater – Miami Beach, FL
Nov 12: Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
Nov 14: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Biloxi, MS
Nov 15: ACL live at the Moody Theater – Austin, TX
Nov 16: The Majestic Theatre – Dallas, TX
Nov 17: Majestic Theatre – San Antonio, TX
Nov 19: Orpheum Theatre Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ
Nov 21: Orpheum Theatre LA – Los Angeles, CA