Les Claypool
Les Claypool
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Les Claypool
A Letter from Les

February 7, 2011

Hello there folks. First off I just want to say how fantastic it is seeing the support that has been put forth for my brother and his family. Little Matthew is plugging away and though he has got a long way to go, it appears he is a tough little fellow with a lot of heart. Keep your eyes peeled for a special show in his honor and for his benefit in the Santa Cruz area in the near future.

Since the New Year's Shows there has been a lot of speculation about my new four string bass that I was sporting. What I played at those shows was a semi-finished prototype bass that I designed and had built by my old pal Dan Maloney. I've known Dan since high school and in fact it was he that drove all of us to my first concert: Rush, Hemispheres Tour, Cow Palace. I slammed three beers and threw up in the parking lot. Those were the days. Dan is also known in our camp as the guy that built my banjo bass or "The Banji".

The design is something I've been working on for quite some time. Having had the opportunity to play many exceptional instruments over the years I've been able to incorporate elements of some of my favorites. Besides my own design fanciness, it is part Fender Jazz Bass, Precision, Rickenbacker 4001, Carl Thompson, Jaguar E-Type (yes, the car) and a bit of Dr. Suess. I've been playing it everyday in the studio and I must say it is the smoothest bass to play and it has a very punchy sound. I've never had such an easy time getting bass tones in the studio before. At this point I am refining the shape and, much to Dan's chagrin, I've been carving away at it with my fancy new Japanese files and rasps to get it to conform to the body in the most comfortable way. I am a picky bastard and for me to put my Carl Thompson aside, this has got to be an exceptional instrument. Some may wonder why I didn't have Carl make the instrument and the answer is that Carl is a unique artist and his designs stand on their own. Carl's instruments are beautiful because they are all unique unto themselves. He is the Picasso of bass design and in my opinion, the best bass luthier on the planet.

Ideally some of these instruments I'm developing will be available at some point but I want to work with and refine the bass for a while before we start selling them. These will be quality instruments and quality takes time, care and fancy materials (mine has diamonds in the neck). If interested, keep your eyes peeled for further developments.

The Primus record is nearly done. For those of you that enjoyed the new song, "Last Salmon Man", that we played New Year's, you'll love the record because every song basically sounds exactly the same as that one. In fact, we just kept recording the same song over and over and I would just change a few of the lyrics around. I hear that's the way Pink Floyd used to do it and those guys are no slouches.

(My manager got bent out of shape for me writing that last bit about the record and he wanted me to change it so, here is what I'm changing it to...)

The Primus record is nearly done. Every song is pretty much a variation of "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. Everyone should buy two copies.

Anyhow, I'll see you all in Australia.

Les (the guy that plays bass)

Les Claypool