Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Hello, My Name Is Les

| March 2, 2009

Hello, My Name Is Les
Q&A With Les Claypool

photo by Jake Blakesberg

IE: Of Fungi And Foe is based on two projects you’ve worked on, a video game called Mushroom Men and the Pig Hunt film, right?

Les Claypool: I was commissioned to do the score for both those pieces, so what Idid was, I knew when I went into it that I wanted to take the music from these pieces and make my next record from them. So I wrote long pieces – when they needed 30 seconds here or 30 seconds there, I’d give them, like, five minutes [laughs]. So they had a lot to choose from, and also I was able to utilize that material for my next record.

Appearing: Saturday, March 21st at Riviera Theatre in Chicago.

IE: On a related subject, you’re an avid King Bolete mushroom hunter?

LP: Yeah, it’s basically Porchini mushrooms, Italians call them. They show up in northern California 21 days after the first big rain. And then they’re around until it gets kind of frosty, then they’re gone.

IE: How much do you end up “capturing?”

LP: It depends. This year we probably got over 30 pounds. And these things are huge; some of the big ones we got probably weigh two or three pounds a piece. They’re huge. We spend many a day out looking for these things. You’re just always looking at that time of year. My wife’s always giving me shit because I’ll be driving down the road, and I’ll be driving really slow, and she’s like “You’re looking for mushrooms aren’t you?” [laughs].

IE: Is it true you didn’t get the Metallica bassist gig in 1986 because you were “too good”?

LP: That’s what James [Hetfield] said on VH1, but, being we were hanging out around the time he did the VH1 thing, I said “What are you talking about? You guys thought I was a total freak, that’s why you didn’t want me in the band,” and he just laughed. He was being kind saying I was too good. Basically, I did not fit in, and that’s why I didn’t get the gig. I was . . . I didn’t fit in [laughs].

IE: Are there ever what ifs, bad or good?

LP: It wouldn’t have mattered because they would have booted me out within a month and a half anyway. The thing is, they have the perfect guy right now. Robert Trujillo is a great, just as a guy to hang out with, is a great guy. He’s a fabulous guy, and he’s an amazing bass player. So as a guy who’s had many different people in many different bands over the years, having those two elements is unbelievable, ’cause sometimes you get one, some- times you get the other. To have them both, that’s incredible. They made the best move they probably ever made by getting that guy.

Les Claypool’s Of Fungi And Foe (Prawn Song) is out March 17th, and The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest comes to the Riviera on the 21st. Q&A by Trevor Fisher.


Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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