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Primus

Primus

Fact Sheet

Country  USA
Primus is a popular rock band. Primus' first album, the live album Suck on This, was released in 1989 on Claypool's Prawn Song record label (a parody of Led Zeppelin's Swan Song Records). They gained a cult following in their hometown of Berkeley, and released their first studio album - Frizzle Fry - the following year.

Primus began to gain popularity, especially after the release of Sailing the Seas of Cheese on Interscope in 1991, the first single, Jerry was a Racecar Driver, obtaining significant radio time. The reaction to the album was good enough that 1993's Pork Soda debuted at number 7 on the Billboard charts, and for Primus to earn a headlining spot on the Lollapalooza tour later that year.

1994 saw the release of Riddles are Abound Tonight (under the name Sausage), a reunion of the original Primus lineup (Claypool-Huth-Lane). Tales From The Punchbowl was released in 1995, scoring their biggest hit yet with the Grammy Award nominated -- Wynona's Big Brown Beaver, and releasing a hit video of the same song featuring the band dressed up as mannequin cowboys. Due to the song's nature, both suggestive and explicit, the video received little airplay despite profuse fan requests.

Alexander left the band in 1996 due to creative differences and was replaced by Brian Mantia of Praxis and Buckethead after Claypool played with him on a tour of his solo album, Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel. (Interestingly, Mantia was one of the many drummers Claypool auditioned for Primus before settling with Alexander - Mantia bowed out before because of a foot injury).

1997's Brown Album was a departure from previous Primus albums, with its cruder production values and more straightforward song structure. (Interestingly, Tom Waits names it as his favorite Primus album, though some fans openly hated it).

The cover EP Rhinoplasty was released in 1998, and in 1999, Antipop was released. Featuring for the first time outside musicians and producers such musicians as Tom Morello, James Hetfield, Tom Waits, Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park), and Fred Durst, many fans regard Antipop as an effort by the band to sell out to the mainstream. The album met with litle success, and in 2000, Primus went on an indefinite hiatus. As Claypool would later state, they simply burned out.

In late 2003 Claypool reunited with original Primus drummer Tim Alexander and guitarist Larry LaLonde to record a DVD/EP called Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, which Claypool described as the first DVD with supplementary music, as opposed to the contrary. The band staged a two month tour in which they performed two sets per show, the second consisting of their 1991 release Sailing the Seas of Cheese in its entirety. 2004 saw them continue touring, and even performing their 1990 release Frizzle Fry in its entirety.