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Couple of Primus questions..

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by mebusdriver, Feb 27, 2005.


  1. One, just got the Halucino-genetics DVD and was wondering about Tim the Herb. He looks pissed the whole time he's playing. So I was wondering if anyone knows why he left Primus when he did.

    Two, Les's cabinet and head set up. What's he using? And is there any particular technique or setting to get his super up-front, super clean, but super trebbly tone? How does he keep his highs so high without being too harsh?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Oh yeah, anybody know where I can get some pics of the different cartoon characters Primus uses for videos and what not? In particular the devil character from Laquer Head. Thanks again.
     
  3. As far as I know, Tim didn't have much creative power in the band. Les orchestrated the drums for the most part and had a specific vision of what he wanted.

    Also AFAIK, Les uses Ampeg heads and cabs. SVT-II and Pro series cab, I believe. He has a bunch of 4x10s if I remember correctly. I mean a LOT.

    EDIT: Here's a pic I had on my comp.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I'm a huge Primus fan, shoot any other Primus questions you got!

    Herb isn't angry, that's just his natural look. Whatever Jenderfazz said about Les arranging the drum parts, i'm not really sure about that. It could very well be true. I do know that Les can play the Drums. Herb left the band as a mutual thing, no hard feelings. "It was like a marriage that slowly decayed."

    If you want me to take some screenshots off of "Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People" on my DVD player on my computer, I would be more than happy too. Just tell me exactly what you want.
     
  5. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Tim has said in interviews that the reason he left was that Primus went from making bizarre but great music with a serious-ish message ("Too Many Puppies", "American Life", etc) to being a bunch of clowns with no direction.

    Since disbanding Primus after the Brain era, Les has mentioned that the record company put severe pressure on the band to keep cranking out albums, which would explain why the earlier stuff was really good an the post-Seas of Cheese stuff was (to me) uninspired and not even worth downloading, much less paying $15 for.

    It's said that after Primus split, Les packed his gear up in a trailer and went out playing small clubs and that being out from under the label's thumb made music worth making again. So I would guess that the pressure aspect had something to do with the music slipping, and possibly even directly influenced Tim's decision to leave. Knowing how most of the majors operate, I can't say I blame him in the slightest.

    There have been at least a few instances of Les or Tim talking about the writing process which indicated that Tim wrote his parts alongside stuff that Les was playing and vice versa. I've never seen any indication of a Megadeth-type situation with the bandleader arranging everything in Primus. The work that Tim has done with other groups (Michael Manring, Laundry, Attention Deficit) seems to back this up.

    As to why he looks pissed all the time, it could just be that he simply isn't the kind of person to display Tommy Lee flamboyance behind a kit. He could also be concentrating, as his parts are not exactly basic drumming and can be downright strenuous to play at times. I've never seen a picture of him where he looks like he's having fun, but it's apparent that he enjoys doing it since he continued to be prolific after Primus and recently got back together with them.
     
  6. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Quite a few of his songs aren't very easy to play as well...

    I've heard him talk on some DVDs, he's a pretty funny guy with a dry sense of humor. With my encounters, people with dry senses of humor just don't really "act too jolly" if you will.
     
  7. sambass

    sambass

    Apr 15, 2003
    MA
    i read a quote of him saying something along the lines of "I was tired of playing that big brown beaver bulls***"
    Les does play drums and does orchestrate at times.
     
  8. Yeah from what I heard he said he just couldn't play songs about big brown beavers anymore. Which lead me to believe that he might have been a little bored with Primus's whole style. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever seen the guy when he doesn't look pissed or like he's just not having fun.
     
  9. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Not suprising to me he didn't like playing about big brown beavers, tales from the punchbowl is the one Primus album I just can't tolerate. I liked the stuff with Brain less than with Tim, and Im glad he's back, even if Primus isnt exactly back on the road as before. Brain is a great drummer, I just prefer Tim's style.
     
  10. Punchbowl is about the last one I can tolerate. Even parts of Pork Soda sounded noodly (Hamburger Train)
     
  11. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Well I have to bring up a point here. Les Claypool is probably the worst bassist technique-wise probably ever. I was listening to his solo for "Those Damned Blue Collared Tweekers" at Woodstock '94, and he has no idea what the hell he's playing. Maybe Tim just wanted to be with a band who everyone had set parts or something like that.

    I love Tales from the Punchbowl and The Brown Album. I don't think Primus is really Primus with Brain, but I do think Brain sounds sweet on The Brown Album.

    EDIT: I figured out why he left! Actually, it's just my guess, but, maybe he didn't like fishing!
     
  12. Malcom

    Malcom

    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    The classic Primus sound was an ADA MP-1 (modified), a Mesa/Boogie bass 400+, and two Mesa 2X15's. He didn't start using Ampeg until Oysterhead/Frog Brigade.
     
  13. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I was just going to post the exact same thing!
    The classic Claypool sound came from a modded ADA MP-1 that was designed to be used for guitar, at least the distorsion section. He used this along with the Mesa 2x15 cabs. I got a pretty good look at the man and his rig as I was being escorted out of the pit during a Sausage show back in 92 or 93. Instead of throwing me out of the venue, they decided to remove me from the pit area and instead keep on the side if the stage! It was great...I got to witness one of my childhood bass heros up close and personal. As far as Ampeg goes, I'm pretty sure that Les has been playing their stuff for some time now. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that he's been playing their stuff for about 6 or 7 years now and maybe even longer.
     
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  15. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
     
  16. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Halucino, clean? Jees, I hate les's tone on that DVD. It's nothing but mud (Go go ampeg, no offence anyone). The live sounds that he got through his Mesa rig were so much cleaner, tighter and more defined..and he was using 4x15's! I want les to go back to the stuff, but ya know. I also think he's got a couple 15's under his rack gear, but i'm not sure..

    I also prefer Brain over Herb, he just puts in so much more energy into the shows and music and I find Herb's drumming gets a bit boring, were Brains is more exciting, also a funnier/cooler guy IMO. Oh well, theres still C2B3. Brown Album and Antipop are my two favourite albums though.


    Now to my question, apart from the Mesa 400+ and his 4x15's.. Anyone know what Les used to use up to he started using Ampeg classics (now Pro)? He's got a few things in his rack, not sure what they are though. I really like his sound at woodstock '94 and on the family values tour 99. I know it woulda of changed a bit, and he was actually using his little GK practice amp as a preamp on the Antipop tour for some things... but yeah. Anyone know?
     
  17. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I think a fe of us have mentioned that the ADA stuff was in his rack and what was considerred the "Les" tone. By the way, I way prefer the tone from his Mesa rig as well, but they won't pay him the kind of bread that Ampeg does, so he'll continue to use his muddy set-up.
     
  18. Here's a pic from that era:
    [​IMG]
    I believe that was the Lollapalooza tour. The little graphic on the bottom left corner says '93.


     
  19. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    The last couple posts got me thinking - I really wonder if Ampeg just showers him with lots of free gear in hopes that he'll never switch? I mean the man has money. You would think he's tried Bergie's or Meyer cabs or something.
     
  20. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Maybe he just likes his tone. Tone is preference, not fact. Bergantino cabs sound different, not universally better.

    Jason, I never could find that Morphine show; would you mind burning me a copy? I'll be forever indebted to you. :D


    P.S. About the notion that Tim left because they started making songs that told a story instead those with a underlying message, I suggest you check out John the Fisherman or Groundhog's Day. Both are on Frizzle Fry and both tell a story. While Year of the Parrot and Southbound Pachyderm is on Tales from the Punchbowl and both have a pretty obvious message in the music.