There aren’t many rock bands where the frontman is the bass player. Then again, there aren’t many bass players like Les Claypool. In 1986, his high school friend, Kirk Hammett invited Claypool to audition for Metallica after Cliff Burton’s death. The band turned him down because he was too good. Claypool would instead go on to form Primus, make a lot of weird funk-rock, name his house after a spa in a Simpsons episode and open a boutique winery (the only one, to my knowledge, to include the word “dipshitty-ist” [sic] on its website). You may know him best, however, as the guy who does the theme music for South Park.
Fittingly, there isn’t a whole lot about Primus that follows traditional conventions. As such, “To Defy the Laws of Tradition” could be seen as an appropriate motto or theme song for the band. Being untraditional alone isn’t a path to success, but finding a unique and engaging alternative voice can win you accolades like the only band to have their own ID3 genre tag and push you into the limelight pretty quickly. Because of Les Claypool and Primus’ quirks and eccentricities, we’re all better off.
To Defy the Laws of Tradition – Primus