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1[[quoteright:319:]]²[[caption-width-right:319:[[Music/{{Eminem}} Hi, kids! Do you like Primus?]]]]²²->''[[OurProductSucks Primus sucks.]]''²²''Primus'' is a cult favourite AlternativeRock[=/=]FunkMetal band from El Sobrante, California.²²Primus were formed in 1984 by bassist and vocalist Les Claypool, who has always remained the driving force behind the band. The first incarnation of the band included Todd Huth on guitar and Jay Lane on drums, and recorded absolutely bugger all. [[note]] this line-up would eventually record one album, billed as the band Sausage, in 1994. [[/note]] The second incarnation was more successful, containing guitarist Larry "Ler" [=LaLonde=] and drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander. Alexander left in 1996, dissatisfied with the direction the band was taking, and was replaced with Bryan "Brain" Mantia, who played on ''The Brown Album'' and ''Antipop''. ²²The band went on hiatus in 2000, but then reunited in 2003 with the classic Claypool/[=LaLonde=]/Alexander lineup, recording a few new songs for the EP ''Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People''. However, in 2010, Alexander left the band once again and was replaced by Jay Lane. Alexander came back in 2013 though for an all new album, ''Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble'' a re-imaging of the soundtrack of the film ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''. This line-up continues with 2017's album ''The Deaturating Seven'', inspired by the children's book ''The Rainbow Goblins'', written by Italian author Ul de Rico.²²Primus' music is incredibly hard to describe, to the point that it is the only band to have its own [=ID3=] tag in Winamp[[note]]Not that this is saying much, given Winamp's notorious inaccuracy with genre tags[[/note]]. The closest general description would be "alternative rock/funk metal" or the band's own suggestion of "psychedelic polka", with main influences including [[Music/GeorgeClinton Parliament-Funkadelic]], Music/TheResidents, Music/FrankZappa, Music/{{Metallica}} and Music/{{Rush}}. Additionally, their initial fans came from the Bay Area thrash scene due to opening gigs for Music/{{Testament}} and [[Music/ExodusBand Exodus]], among others, and Larry [=LaLonde=] was previously in seminal thrash metal bands Music/{{Possessed}} and Blind Illusion, the latter of which also included Claypool. ²²The dominant songwriter and [[FaceOfTheBand Most Valuable Player]] is Les Claypool, he of the incredible bass talent and silly voice. For this reason, Primus subvert the general alignment of heavy metal and rock bands, having the bass as the lead instrument and the guitar on the backseat. Larry himself generally complements Les' riffs with distorted noise and going on atonal tangents, but can bash out a heavy metal riff in lockstep if it's required. Alexander and Mantia generally both play incredibly complicated drum patterns that anchor the songs, acting as the [[Music/JimiHendrix Mitch Mitchell]] or [[Music/TheWho Keith Moon]] of the band.²²The result is a weird, compelling fusion of HeavyMetal, FunkRock, ProgressiveRock and RuleOfFunny. ²²You probably know them as the [[HeAlsoDid band who made the]] WesternAnimation/SouthPark ThemeSong, while lead singer Les Claypool is known for doing the theme (And the "'''IT'S ALIIIIVE'''" scream) from ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''.²²Les Claypool holds the distinction of being the only bassist to ever audition for Music/{{Metallica}} and be turned down because he was too good, according to James Hetfield. [[note]]For the record, Claypool himself [[ thinks]] the "too good" explanation is BS and the real reason was that Hetfield thought Claypool was too weird and said he was "too good" just to be nice.[[/note]] His FunkMetal style also didn't match the band, as he jokingly asked the others after his audition to "jam on some [[Music/TheIsleyBrothers Isley Brothers]] tunes".²²Primus landed in a bizarre, [[UnknownRival one-sided]] feud with Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum in 1995, due to their absurdist country-funk-metal single "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver". Les went to great lengths to point out that the song is not, emphasis '''''not''''', about Creator/WinonaRyder - the spelling and pronunciation are different, not to mention the fact that the lyrics make no sense. Ryder didn't mind, but her boyfriend Pirner did, and even renamed one of his songs "Les Claypool's a Big Fucking Asshole" in concert. The correct title should have been "Dave Pirner Doesn't Know What the Hell He's Talking About".²²Band members:²* Les Claypool - bass, vocals (1984-2000, 2003-present)²* Larry "Ler" [=LaLonde=] - guitar, backing vocals, synthesizer (1989-2000, 2003-present)²* Tim "Herb" Alexander - drums (1989-1996, 2003-2010, 2013-Present)²* Bryan "Brain" Mantia - drums (1996-2000)²* Todd Huth - guitar (1984-1989)²* Jay Lane - drums, backing vocals (1984-1989, 2010-2013)²²Albums:²* 1989 - ''Suck on This'' (live album)²* 1990 - ''Frizzle Fry''²* 1991 - ''Sailing the Seas of Cheese'' (first album released on a major label, breakout success)²* 1992 - ''Miscellaneous Debris'' EP (cover album)²* 1993 - ''Pork Soda'' (their highest charting album, thanks to the single "My Name is Mud")²* 1995 - ''Tales from the Punchbowl''²* 1997 - ''Brown Album''²* 1998 - ''Rhinoplasty'' EP (another cover album)²* 1999 - ''Antipop''²* 2003 - ''Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People'' EP²* 2006 - ''They Can't All Be Zingers'' (GreatestHitsAlbum)²* 2011 - ''Green Naugahyde''²* 2014 - ''Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble'' (Their tribute to the ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'' soundtrack)²* 2017 - ''The Desaturating Seven''²²Not to be confused with the God/Ancestor/Homeworld of the Franchise/{{Transformers}}, who has the same name.²----²!!Tropes employed by Primus:²²* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Larry "Ler" [=LaLonde=].²* AlternativeMetal: The TropeCodifier ²* AteHisGun: The fate of the man in "Coattails of a Dead Man."²* AuthorAvatar: Les Claypool is a fly fisherman, and Primus has a series of songs called "The Fisherman Chronicles."²* AwesomeMcCoolname: Les Claypool has a nice ring to it. Larry Lalonde gets bonus points for {{A|ddedAlliterativeAppeal}}lliteration.²* BatterUp: "My Name Is Mud"²-->''We had our words, a common spat; So I kissed him upside the cranium with an aluminum baseball bat..''²* BookEnds: "Hello Wonkites" and "Farewell Wonkites", the respective opening and closing tracks from ''Primus and the Chocolate Factory" both feature a slurred, ethereal guitar cover of "Pure Imagination"'s melody, with a deep, sharp bass pedal note in the background. The biggest difference, however, comes in the below LastNoteNightmare example.²* TheCameo: Music/TomWaits plays the titular character in "Tommy the Cat", and Claypool's grandfather plays the live-action Tommy in the music video.²* CatchPhrase: The sentence "Primus Sucks", a reference to Les Claypool introducing the band saying "We are Primus and we suck" in early concerts, and meaning something along the lines of "Primus rocks" seems to have become this for the fans, even though its use is kind of controversial.²* CompanionCube: "Mary the Ice Cube" ²* CoverVersion:²** "Hello Skinny", "Constantinople" and "Sinister Exaggerator" by Music/TheResidents, "The Thing That Should Not Be" by Music/{{Metallica}}, "Behind My Camel" by Music/ThePolice, "Making Plans for Nigel" and "Scissor Man" by Music/{{XTC}}, "Intruder" and "The Family and the Fishing Net" by Music/PeterGabriel, "Tippi-Toes" by The Meters, "Have a Cigar" by Music/PinkFloyd, "Silly Putty" by Stanley Clarke, "Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed.²** The band played the intro of "[[Music/{{Metallica}} Master of Puppets]]" live, and the intro from "YYZ" by Music/{{Rush}} at the beginning of "John the Fisherman" on ''Suck on This'' and "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" on ''Frizzle Fry''.²** Their cover of "N.I.B." by Music/BlackSabbath has Music/OzzyOsbourne himself on lead vocals. Perhaps because of this, its their biggest rock radio hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.²*** CoverAlbum: "[[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble]]''.²* CurseCutShort: "The Air Is Getting Slippery" has the word "fuck" replaced by "Forgive me if I hesitate", until the very last line. And even then, in the studio version, "fuck" is snuffed out by a SoundEffectBleep of a smashed bottle.²* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Pork Soda'' - the music is somewhat heavier than on ''Frizzle Fry'' and ''Sailing the Seas of Cheese'', and it also features "Bob", one of the band's few entirely serious songs.²* DoubleEntendre: Subverted for "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" - the title explicitly sounds like a double entendre, but when put in context, the lyrics [[WordSaladLyrics make so little sense]] that it might as well not be.²* DrillSergeantNasty: "Sgt. Baker".²* DrivenToSuicide:²** "Bob", where Les sings about his friend who "hung himself in the doorway of the apartment where he lived."²** The male protagonist of "Coattails of a Dead Man". Some fans believe that the song was written about Music/KurtCobain and Music/CourtneyLove.²* DrugsAreBad: "Lacquer Head"²* EnsembleDarkhorse: An in-universe example serves as the title subject of "Lee Van Cleef". One part of Claypool reminiscing about his youth is how he and his friends watched a lot of Western movies. Everyone "really loved watching {{Creator/Clint|Eastwood}}", but he preferred the less well-known contributions from [[Creator/LeeVanCleef the song's title character]].²* EpicRocking: "To Defy the Laws of Tradition", "Frizzle Fry", "Harold of the Rocks", "Fish On (Fisherman Chronicles, Chapter II)", "Hamburger Train", "Professor Nutbutter's House of Treats", "Southbound Pachyderm", "Over the Electric Grapevine", "Eclectic Electric".²* EvilLaugh: The infamously-creepy tunnel scene in ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'' is covered in an even more nightmarish fashion by Primus in the form of "Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride", with an EvilLaugh replacing Wonka's maniacal scream after the poem.²* FakeOutOpening: "To Defy The Laws Of Tradition" functions as this for both ''Frizzle Fry'' and the ''They Can't All Be Zingers'' compilation. It starts with the same cymbal riff of [[{{Music/Rush}} "YYZ"]] that opens Primus' debut album, ''Suck On This'', before suddenly LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand and beginning the real track.²* FirstPersonSmartass[=/=]PrivateEyeMonologue: parodied in "Tommy the Cat", where it's performed by Music/TomWaits.²* FunkMetal: One of the genre's key bands. It's both an accurate and somehow [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly completely inadequate]] description of their sound...²* GenreBusting: Just what in the ''fuck'' are they?²* HiddenDepths: In the sea of supposedly wacky, off-kilter novelty songs you'll find topics like war ("Too Many Puppies"), suicide ("Bob"), student abuse / mental illness ("Mrs. Blaileen"), the environment ("Southbound Pachyderm"), murder ("My Name Is Mud"), substance abuse ("Laquer Head", "Jilly's on Smack"), and immigrants trying to make it in America only to end up destitute ("American Life").²** "Ding Dong" by spin-off band ''Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade'' is about hateful slurs and how they negatively affect people. ²* HiddenTrack: ''Antipop'' is their only album to have one - A new studio version of "The Heckler", which previously could only be heard live on ''Suck On This'', was hidden after "Coattails Of A Dead Man". ²* IconicItem:²** Les wears goggles or sunglasses a lot. And hats. Lots and lots of hats.²** Once he started his solo career, he developed a thing for masks.²* IndecipherableLyrics: "Pork Soda" (the title track of said album) consists of this is ranting form. The CD's liner notes omit the lyrics to this song, and barring the ACappella chorus they are completely unintelligible - if one looks them up on any lyrics site, only the first few lines of each verse is written down, and even then they make no sense.²* InNameOnly: Despite appearing on ''Frizzle Fry'', "You Can't Kill Michael Malloy" is a keyboard instrumental not written or performed by Primus - it's an edited version of a song of the same name by The Spent Poets. Spent Poets member Adam Gates did the artwork for the album and is credited for the song. ²* LastNoteNightmare: "Farewell Wonkites" off ''Primus and the Chocolate Factory'' is primarily stuff one has already heard before from the album's opening track, "Hello Wonkites". However, the final minute of the track is nothing but Les Claypool shakily singing "Pure Imagination" as if having an emotional breakdown, while Larry imitates a passing emergency siren on his guitar. Also counts as a Last ''[[UpToEleven Track]]'' Nightmare, as it's the last thing you hear on the album.²** "Hail Santa", the unsettling instrumental epilogue that closes ''Pork Soda'' after a reprise of the opening track.²* LastOfHisKind: "Last Salmon Man" on ''Green Naugahyde'' tells the sad story of Jimmy [=MacDonagal=], a third generation fisherman who still continues to trawl Bodega Bay commercially for salmon long after the other fleets have left, due to [[LastRequest a deathbed promise he made to his dad.]] It also doesn't help that after [[FromBadToWorse "Three closed seasons and a banknote on his shoulder/Now Jimmy's hidin' from the law."]]²* LeadBassist: Les Claypool arguably hits all four types: A) He is ''very'' good, B) he is the lead singer, C) He's been in Primus since Day One and is the most well-known member, and D) The bass, not the guitar, is central to the sound of Primus.²* LetsMeetTheMeat: One possible interpretation of "Shake Hands With Beef", the other being ADateWithRosiePalms. Les says it was the catchphrase of a vegetarian friend of theirs who'd occasionally eat meat.²* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Happens at the start of ''Frizzle Fry'' with "To Defy The Laws Of Tradition", which opens with the same cymbal opening of the [[{{Music/Rush}} "YYZ"]] quotation that opens ''Suck On This'', before suddenly dropping out and starting the real track.²* LoudnessWar: ''Brown Album'' was one of the first albums to prominently feature clipping drums.²* LyricalColdOpen: "Mr. Knowitall", "Mrs. Blaileen"²* MediumBlending:²** There's a fondness to blend live action with stop-motion animation in Primus videos, such as "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" and "Southbound Pachyderm".²** Or more traditional animation in "John The Fisherman" and "Tommy the Cat".²* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: 5-6 with a few going up to 7, which is unusual considering the band is so bass driven.²* MoodWhiplash: Their cover of [[{{Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory}} "Golden Ticket"]] starts off slow and sombre, before suddenly kicking into a "Welcome To This World"-esque triple-time shuffle.²** Similarly, much like the scene in the film it is based on, the ending of "Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride".²* MotorMouth: Les on "Is It Luck?", and Music/TomWaits on "Tommy the Cat", and he still has no idea how he managed to sing that fast.²* MundaneMadeAwesome: From "Nature Boy": ²-->"I pull the blinds, fill out my income tax form, pen in hand, I write so legiblyyyyy..."²* MurderBallad: "My Name Is Mud".²-->"The breath on that fat bastard could bring any man to tears\²We had our words, a common spat\²So I kissed him upside the cranium with an aluminum baseball bat"²* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: They're the only band with their own ID3 tag in Winamp. The band themselves famously refer to their sound as "[=psychedelic polka=]". This is what you get when you take a bassist who was into jazz fusion, progressive rock, and funk who also loved Music/TheResidents, a guitarist who played in thrash metal bands but was also obsessed with Frank Zappa, and a jazz-funk drummer (Jay Lane) who was later replaced by another jazz drummer who was also heavily into African folk (Tim Alexander).²** Referenced in "Mr. Krinkle":²-->"Hey ho Mr. Krinkle have you heard the brand new sound\²It's a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bocephus, Cher and James Brown\²It's called "Heavy Hometown" New Wave, cold-filtered, low-calorie dry"²* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" is NOT about Creator/WinonaRyder, as Winona's then-boyfriend Dave Pirner mistakenly believed. It led Dave to announce at a Music/SoulAsylum concert, "This next song's called 'Les Claypool's A Big Fucking Asshole'."²* NoodleImplements: In "Here Come The Bastards", we're never sure as to why Les Claypool is so fearful of their arrival. His only basis is some second-hand rumours that may or may not involve, "something about a hammerhead shark, nosehairs and flatus".²* OurProductSucks: Their tagline.²** CreatorBacklash[=/=]OldShame: Claypool is, however, sick and tired of hearing it.²* PlaceWorseThanDeath: "I've been to hell... I spell it D-M-V", from "DMV".²* ProtestSong: "Too Many Puppies" is a humorous attack on the military. A verse mentioning "too many puppies in foreign lands" and another about "maintaining our oil fields" making it seem like it's against the UsefulNotes/GulfWar, but the album appeared in February 1990 and the war only started in August.²* RecordProducer: '''DIY''' produced the majority of their records; co-produced ''Frizzle Fry'' with Matt "Exxon" Winegar and ''Antipop'' variously with [[Music/RageAgainstTheMachine Tom Morello]], [[Music/ThePolice Stewart Copeland]], Music/TomWaits, [[Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone Matt Stone]], and [[Music/LimpBizkit Fred Durst]]. ''Suck on This'' was produced by Matt Winegar and Bob Cock.²* RhymingWithItself: {{Lampshade|Hanging}} in "Mr. Knowitall": ²-->"They call me Mr. Knowitall/I am so eloquent/"Perfection" is my middle name/And... whatever rhymes with eloquent"²* RockTrio: Or "Alternative/Funk Metal Trio" if you prefer.²* RuleOfFunny: They live on this, sliding all the way along the SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness.²* SadistTeacher: "Mrs. Blaileen".²* {{Sampling}}:²** Clips of ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' variously saying "Bastard!" in "Los Bastardos" ²** The ''Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre2'' sample of Chop Top saying "Dog will hunt!" in "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver".²** "Where you goin', city boy?!" from ''Film/{{Deliverance}}'' is used in "My Name Is Mud".²* SelfDeprecation: Their motto/slogan is "Primus sucks." When fans first began to recognize the band on the street, Les' stock response to "you guys rule!" was "no, we really suck", and it mutated on from there. Occasionally fans who aren't in on the joke get offended when someone else says this.²* {{Sellout}} : "HOINFODAMAN" from ''Green Naugahyde''.²* ShoutOut:²** The beginning of "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" includes a bit from their previous live album ''Suck on This'', with Alexander playing the intro of Music/{{Rush}}'s "YYZ" to great audience approval.²** The music video for "Tommy the Cat" looks like ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''. One of the song's melodies sounds like the theme to ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat''.²** "Mr. Krinkle" is asked "Have you heard the brand new sound? It's equal parts Music/JimiHendrix, [[Music/HankWilliamsJr Bocephus]], Music/{{Cher}} and Music/JamesBrown."²** "Creator/LeeVanCleef" is a tribute to the [[Creator/LeeVanCleef western actor of the same name]].²** ''Sailing The Seas Of Cheese'' ends with a ''Series/TheYoungOnes''-quote-laden reprise of "Here Come The Bastards" called "Los Bastardos", as a reference to a similar reprisal track from ''[[{{Music/Genesis}} A Trick Of The Tail]]''.²* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Ler sings lead on "I Want It Now" from "Primus and the Chocolate Factory."²* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: "The Air is Getting Slippery" does this with setting up a PrecisionFStrike, before instantly subverting it into the pre-chorus, "Forgive me if I hesitate". [[spoiler:At least until the ending.]]²* SurrealMusicVideo: which ones aren't?²** Okay, there's ''one'' exception: "DMV", which is mostly a PerformanceVideo interspersed with behind-the-scenes moments and a little stock footage having to do with the lyrics.²* TakeThat:²** "Coattails of a Dead Man" has never been really explained by the band, but it's frequently interpreted as being anti-Music/CourtneyLove.²** "Year Of The Parrot" is allegedly a veiled swipe at Music/ToriAmos and [[Music/CountingCrows Adam Duritz]], as the lyrics mention 1994 and unnamed artists ripping off Music/KateBush and Music/VanMorrison (which the previous two respectfully sounded like).²* [[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs They Call Me Mister Know-It-All]]²* ThrashMetal: Have always had elements of this in their heavier songs, particularly on ''Frizzle Fry''. This could probably be owed to Larry [=LaLonde=]'s time in Possessed and the time that he and Claypool both spent in Blind Illusion.²* TownWithADarkSecret: "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers".²* UncommonTime: "Eleven" is, appropriately enough, primarily played in 11/8.²** "Here Come The Bastards" is in 5/4²* WarIsHell: "Too Many Puppies", which talks primarily about NewMeat sent to the Middle East to fight a WarForFunAndProfit.²* WidgetSeries: WAT Band: they have such a strange mix of bass-led FunkRock, ThrashMetal, ProgressiveRock and PsychedelicRock that they're the only band on Winamp with their own [=ID3=] tag.²* WordSaladLyrics: Many songs. For example, have you tried making heads or tails of "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver"?²----


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