Just announced: Primus – the thrash funk eccentrics – will release their eighth studio album in October, and according to Rolling Stone, the whole kit and kaboodle will be a tribute to the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!
The LP, entitled Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble will feature the original, classic Primus trio of supreme bass-meister and lead singer, Les Claypool, guitarist Larry Lalonde and drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander. The new album will be the first full-length Primus album since 1995.
Why Willy Wonka? Primus frontman Les Claypool attempted to explain it to Rolling Stone:
“I don’t think it was until Jaws came along that I was more obsessed with a film, when I started drawing sharks all over my binders and notebooks. Prior to that, it was everything Wonka.”
Last New Year’s Eve, Primus played a Wonka-themed set in Oakland, California. The new album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory, is an extension of that performance, with help from Critters Buggin percussionist Mike Dillon and Frog Brigade cellist Sam Bass.
Asked about the sound of the record, Primus bassist Les Claypool said:
“It started sounding to me like one of the early Peter Gabriel records meets Dark Side of the Moon meets the Residents.”
The album reportedly “clatters and spurts” like other Primus albums, due to Alexander not really playing on an official drum kit, but rather sitting in the midst of dozens of “bangable” objects.
Drummer Alexander last played with Primus in 2008. He’d left Primus to start a family in Northern Washington and had quit playing drums altogether. Claypool said a long, long phone call pulled Alexander out of retirement and back into the studio. Unfortunately, Alexander recently suffered a heart attack and is on the mend before Primus launches their Chocolate Factory tour in October.
Claypool says the tour will be very reminiscent of the Primus show from last New Year’s Eve, saying the show will be a “stripped down, old school, nightclub Primus set,” before the curtain pulls back to reveal the Wonka Chocolate Room and a full rundown of the Wonka set. Claypool says they’re even thinking about doing afternoon gigs for kids.
“We’re also talking about doing a matinee stage production of it, for kids. We’re gonna do an early show that’s only the Wonka thing – and it’ll be a short show ’cause kids have a short attention span.”
Primus and Willy Wonka fans can also expect to see Primus candy bars on sale at the shows with such names as Mr. Krinkle, Professor Nutbutter and the Bastard Bar.
“The tour and the album are solely a marketing tool just so we can sell candy bars,” Claypool joked. “We had to come up with another income stream, so we’re making chocolate bars because you can’t digitize a chocolate bar – yet.”
Tour dates for the Primus and the Chocolate Factory tour are posted at Primus’ official website. The album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble is released on October 21st.
[Images Via Primus]