It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Primus – eight long years in fact. In that time Les Claypool and company have sailed the Seas of Cheese to various side projects, novel writing, soundtracks and other non-rockist pursuits.
But then drummer Jay Lane, who was not only in the band briefly back in 1988 and has played with Claypool on his various side projects, came into the fold and injected new life into the band.
But though Green Naugahyde, the latest Primus album, is new there is an energy whose only analogue is the sound of primal Primus. “From a sonic perspective,” says Claypool, “it definitely is reminiscent of Frizzle Fry in many ways, because of Jay coming back into the fold. The rhythmic feel of it is very similar. But it’s also got 20 years of life experience on it – from many different angles. A song like ‘Jilly’s on Smack’ just wouldn’t have been written in the early Nineties, because we hadn’t lost a friend to heroin addiction. A song like ‘Lee Van Cleef,’ which is reflective of my youth, just wouldn’t have been written back then. So there’s a lot of salt to it, yet there is this vigor of Jay’s very rhythmic playing.”
So there you have it. What’s old is new… But Green Naugahyde will never go out of style.