What do you know about Les Claypool? As it turns out, he’s quite the talent, as he is the head of a funk metal band called Primus. It might surprise you to learn that he is sort of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to entertainment. In that respect, he is a singer and a musician in a punk band, but he also writes his own songs and even produces many of them. He also has some experience as an actor. If that’s not enough to get your attention, he’s also a published author and director. That’s quite a resume, to say the least. However, there might be a lot more that you want to know about him. If that’s the case, here are 10 of the more interesting things that are listed below.
1. He started playing bass guitar in high school
A completely chance conversation with a classmate eventually got him interested in playing the bass guitar. He has commented that one of the guys in his algebra class asked him to be a singer in his band. Being too shy to sing, he opted instead to play an instrument. The same guy who had asked him to sing was playing electric guitar, so he chose to get a bass guitar in order to accompany him. The rest, as they say, is history.
2. He thought it would be easier to learn the bass guitar
As it turns out, the reason that he chose the bass guitar is because it has only four strings. At the time, that’s all he knew about the instrument. He says that in his mind, he believed that it would be relatively easy to learn because it didn’t look all that complicated. Since there were only four strings instead of a bunch of difficult looking appendages, he believed that he would be able to learn that type of guitar fairly quickly.
3. He based his decision on how easy it would be to get a gig
He also thought that it would be relatively easy to get a gig with a bass guitar, as he had noticed that virtually every band had to have one and they were in seemingly short supply. Throughout his years in high school, it had become apparent to him that almost everyone wanted to play an electric guitar or something similar because they wanted to be out front. Bass guitarists never get to be out front. They are always in the background, providing accompaniment for the people who are in the limelight. He didn’t care nearly as much about having the spotlight on him as he did about making music and having fun. For him, it was a no-brainer. It seems as though his thinking was correct, as he landed a gig almost as soon as he bought his first bass guitar.
4. He once auditioned for Metallica
When Metallica suffered that tragic bus crash that killed their bass guitarist, he ended up auditioning for the band. The funny thing is that he didn’t know anything about the band at the time. He wasn’t really a fan of the type of music that they played and knew nothing about them, even though he had a friend who was in the band. He says that he didn’t even realize that they were as famous as they were or that the audition was such a big deal until he got in there and started the process. He says he figured out quite quickly that his style of music and theirs were completely different.
5. He’s since played with them
He didn’t get the gig with Metallica, but he has played with them since then. There have been a couple of different times where he and his band have been involved with jam sessions with Metallica, all of them quite informal. Nevertheless, he says that he has enjoyed the experience.
6. His parents didn’t want him to get involved with music
His parents weren’t exactly thrilled with the idea of him getting involved with music. They wanted him to go to college and learn a trade but he says he had absolutely no passion for such things. In the end, he ended up working and playing music, which is exactly what he wanted to do. Unfortunately, he says that this caused some stress between him and his parents for quite some time.
7. His daughter doesn’t know what to make of his career
In addition to his parents being less than thrilled about his career choice, he’s also mentioned on a number of occasions that his daughter doesn’t exactly know what to make of it, either. In short, he says that she thinks his music is quite odd. It seems that he doesn’t get too offended by that comment, almost as if he takes it as a compliment. After all, his goal was always to do something completely different and that is exactly what he is doing.
8. He’s more interested in being a good family man than a musician
He loves playing music, there is no doubt about that. However, he also realizes how important it is to be a good person. As such, he says that he is far more concerned with his ability to be a good husband and father than anything he has ever done on stage. Incidentally, he thinks that becoming a husband and father were the best decisions he ever made.
9. He used to be quite shy
When he first started playing music on stage, he was so shy he wouldn’t even face the audience. Instead, he would turn to the side. It seems that he eventually got past that issue and is no longer struggling with being so shy.
10. He actually plays a number of musical instruments
In addition to the bass guitar, he also plays the drums and of course, heads up the vocals. His music is definitely unique, but no one can question that he has the ability to be quite versatile when it comes to playing instruments.