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Les claypool is very sloppy.......which is very cool.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Guss, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. One of the arguments against Claypool is his sloppiness and bad inotation.
    I look at it different. It almost sounds controlled, I don't know quite how to say it. But I think it makes him sound good, it like a GOOD sloppy. It's sloppy but perfect.
    Anybody ever see it this way? Maybe I'm weird.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    He's only sloppy on fretless.
  3. Yeah but he pulls it off IMO. Kinda like Billy corgan and Kurt Covain pulled of singing badly. Not to say that he plays bass badly, just that there is a certain something that makes the sloppines sound good, ya know?
  4. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Nope, don't know.

    GOOD Sloppy. An oxymoron that makes sense? Nah.

    If he's sloppy then he must be lucky.
  5. Arjan


    Apr 18, 2002
    I understand what you mean, but I think it's also a "feel" thing. I know Claypool CAN play tight, listen to some other songs then "My name is Mud" and the whole Brown album. Take Anti-Pop e.g., on this album he plays some very tight basslines.
    I also think Les wants it to sound sloppy, especially on certain songs.
    But as far as his intonation goes, it could be better.
    Les should have the abbility to pull it of, but I think the intonation is not his priority.

    All in all I think Les is great because of his totally wacked vision of music and bassplaying in particular.
  6. For me, it's more like some of his live solos just don't groove. He doesn't really play fretless live much anymore, so that's not much of an issue. I like some of the solos on his Primus albums, wankerish though they were, but I wonder sometimes if he could duplicate that kind of thing cleanly live. (I suppose we'd need a Primus reunion tour for me to find out for sure; I've only seen him with the Frog Brigade and Oysterhead).

    And Corgan and Cobain pulled off singing badly? I used to love the Pumpkins a few years back, but when I listened to them again recently, Corgan's voice sort of killed some of that joy I used to have. Cobain was just a mess- he had a better voice IMO, but the live recordings I've heard of him are often sketchy to the point I'd rather not hear them. As music is made for listening, I'd say that's not good.
  7. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    Ok I just got done reading "to all the primus haters out there" and now I'm reading this and both have said lots of nice things about les....so for the sake of being different and an antagonist

    I've seen Les once with primus (brain on drums) once with frog brigade and once with Oysterhead. I really enjoy his singing and lyrics. when I was 13 primus was really funny and I learned a lot of it. I haven't touched it sense. it really works for les but I can't stand his tone touch or taste. thats 3 out of 5 senses (he seems to dress ok although not my style and I haven't smelled him) I just think he's a very overrated bass player I can't stand when he guest plays on stuff because it all comes through the same way showing how much of a one trick pony he is. with maybe the exception of what he played on the latest gov't mule album. Oysterhead to me is the most musical thing he's done partly because of stewart copeland being involved in the project it got pushed more melodically I'm sure. as far as les' technique, If I wanted to hear a guy beat an instrument aimlessly I'd go to a drum circle

    as they say "Primus sucks"
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    they did?

    sloppy is never good. sloppy is only sloppy. if stuff is cool, it's in spite of the sloppiness, not because of it.
  9. John Turner, you are WRONG!! HOO-WAH!

    Ok, so maybe I am weird. But I swear that there is something about his "rough around the edges" playing that adds to it's good sound, and unique style.:cool:

    Billy corgan defininitly pulled off bad singing. It is instantly recognizable. If you hear a new song on the radio, and it's got that super-nasaly sound to it, you know it's gotta be Corgan. And picture The smashing pumpkins with a clean, nice voice. The band would lose alot of it's style that makes them unique.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Horray for Les Claypool! Numero uno influence on me. He's not the best... SURELY not the worst. He's very unique, you can hear a bassline he wrote and be like... yeah that's Claypool.
  11. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    I agree with stupid Matt. When I hear that claypool phased out sound I always know when it's him so I can turn off the radio or cd player. And Billy Corgans voice sucked and was maybe the only reason I could not listen to the smashing pumpkins. Same goes with Nirvana. I think Recently Les is making a turn around on the gov't mule thing and on his last solo album.

    but if your gonna play something in a guitar store play some jamerson
  12. i read that BP interview with Chris Wood where he talks about purposely "playing stupid" sometimes, and i think he's got the right idea. which is not to say that sloppy is always good, or even most of the time. but sometimes it just feels right. see Page, Jimmy.
  13. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    I think too many people are musically restrained by the Latin 12-notes-per-octave style by which they are accustomed.

    There are so many other cultures out there with very different takes on music. A good place to start is the Orient.

    Or closer to home: Down Deep in the Pain on Steve Vai's Sex and Religion album: That solo is done on a guitar with the octave divided evenly into 16 steps instead of 12.

    Lighten up, those who think Les is off-key. The guy rocks!
  14. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    well dance hall thats that mingus thing where you have your musical center and then you form a circle around it and use it as an axis and you can play real close to it or on the outskirts. and thats what I hear a lot of in Chris's playing especially cause Chris is a mingus freak
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I really love how everyone acts like everyone's tearing Claypool apart, though there is only a few people who poo poo him.
  16. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yeah, i know. he's very decent. i love his work. Sure, his fretless playing is not all that great, but the guy can write basslines. and his tone is pretty sweet on the albums ive heard... like...all of them. while we are talking about les, what do you people think about carl thompsons? Ive heard people dog em, but the tone's ive heard from them sound pretty good?:confused:
  17. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    whatever. les has 4 more good albums to make before he even breaks my top 50 bass players. and he needs to do something about that scraggly beard. he's giving facial hair a bad name
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I think that the really trebly tone of them fit into Primus' music well because Les writes the songs to correspond with it, but I doubt they would sound appealing in many other contexts. The only other bassist I've heard who used Thompsons though was Stanley Clarke on his old albums, and I hate his tone.
  19. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    "I really love how everyone acts like everyone's tearing Claypool apart, though there is only a few people who poo poo him."

    Well, the problem with this board is that if you do poo poo somebody, the thread gets shut down. I completely respect Les Calypool's right to record total wank fests for 15 year old boys, but when one tries to point out his lack of songwriting skills, over-reliance on the really silly technical- almost athletic rather than musical- aspects of bass playing and the bad influence that may have on younger players, one finds oneself being accused of negativity (even though I'm quite positive about some of this) and the thread police shut it down. Personally, I think that it's just as valid to discuss a player's deficiencys as what makes him so rad, but whatever. Mind you, I've only seen Primus live once and heard just a few of their albums, but it struck me as the opposite of what's good about bass.
  20. As a young whippersnapper and former 15-year-old Claypool nut, I must concur.

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