Posts Tagged ‘Les Claypool’

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The Claypool Lennon Delirium, as the name suggests, has as its nucleus Les Claypool and Sean Lennon. Their latest album, “South of Reality”, was recorded at Rancho Relaxo — the name Claypool has given his home studio in Sonoma County, California. “I don’t bring in producers or engineers because I’m the only one who knows where to kick it when one of the relays sticks,” Claypool says.

In town for a show at the Varsity Theater, the Claypool Lennon Delirium — accompanied by keyboardist João Nogueira and drummer Paulo Baldi — visited The Current for a full studio session hosted by Mary Lucia.

“With Sean and I, we tend to push and pull each other,” Claypool says of the band’s creative process. “I think that’s what’s good about our relationship is we push each other into directions we wouldn’t normally go.”

“I think the thing about Les is that he doesn’t overthink things when it comes to recording because he has a sort of belief in capturing spontaneity,” Lennon adds. “He’s really into capturing the moment like a documentary filmmaker.”

Beyond talking about the latest record, Lucia asks about which instrument, during the learning phase, is probably least forgiving to neighbors. “I know the answer to that one, because I was that neighbor to someone beneath me. I was learning drums,” Lennon says. “I think like a lot of kids, I didn’t really have a sensitivity towards what it’s like to not want to hear the noise. So yeah, I used to actually practice [drums] really loud with the window open and the whole building would complain.”

One of Lennon’s neighbors didn’t complain, however. That neighbor? Roberta Flack.

The Claypool Lennon Delirium perform ‘Blood and Rockets’ from their 2019 album, ‘South of Reality’ (ATO Records) live in The Current studio.

The Band : Les Claypool, bass, vocals Sean Lennon, guitar, vocals João Nogueira, keyboards Paulo Baldi, drums

“Little Fishes”
“Blood and Rockets”
“Easily Charmed By Fools”

All songs from the Claypool Lennon Delirium’s 2019 album, South of Reality, available on ATO Records.

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Just when it seems the shadow of The Beatles can’t get any longer and everything in rock has been done before, along come Sean Lennon and Les Claypool, asking the musical question: What if, instead of ducking The Beatles, you embraced the band’s tricks the galumphing marches, the sun-dazed harmonies and then made them a little weird?

South of Reality is the second album by the duo, who perform as The Claypool Lennon Delirium. As the bassist and chief prankster of Primus, Claypool has always been a bit of a mad scientist, pushing his gawky, tottering funk-metal creations to the brink of absurdity. But he’s also a secret pop fan, who says he’s spent 30 years trying, with mixed results, to write catchy hooks. In Sean Lennon (famous son of John), Claypool has a collaborator with an instantly recognizable voice, for whom this kind of candy comes naturally.

The two began working together in 2015, after Lennon’s band, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, toured as an opening act for Primus. They released their debut in 2016, and began work on this follow-up with a week of open-ended jamming they recorded on their phones. Then, each went off and wrote songs built on those riffs.

As with The Beatles, it’s clear who the primary composer is on each tune. But Claypool says both multi-instrumentalists felt comfortable offering tweaks and suggestions during the recording. Many of the songs explore a surreal intersection — where the fitful upheavals of progressive rock collide with soaring, blissed-out refrains.

From The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s new album “South of Reality” Released February 22nd, 2019.

South Of Reality, The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s epic sophomore album might be just the antidote this sick world needs. Music so potent it could repel an asteroid impact from space, these seasoned warriors of psychedelia have crafted timeless songs that may as well be chiseled in stone. The monolithic dream team’s new record was produced by Les Claypool and Sean Lennon themselves, and engineered and mixed by Les Claypool. Grab your goggles and a month’s supply of Kool-Aid because you’re about to go for a ride on a rock n roll rocket ship, and frankly you may never come back!

Listen to “Blood and Rockets- Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon”

From The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s new album, “South of Reality”, available everywhere February 22nd, 2019

Primus bassist Les Claypool and multi-instrumentalist Sean Lennon have united for their second collaborative album as the Claypool Lennon Delirium. The self-produced South of Reality due to be released February 22nd, 2019 via ATO Records and available for pre-orders now it follows their 2016 debut, Monolith of Phobos, and the proggy 2017 covers EP, Lime and Limpid Green.

The experimental psych-rock duo previewed the LP with the six-and-a-half-minute “Blood and Rockets,” a sprawling epic that finds Lennon and Claypool crooning and snarling, respectively, over spacey synths and chiming guitars. “How high does your rocket fly?” Lennon sings on the chorus, his voice elevated to a blissful falsetto. “Better be careful ’cause you just might set the world on fire.”

Lennon saysthe song’s dark lyrics document “the lascivious exploits of famed JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons, the man who not only helped America get to the moon with liquid fuel technology, but was also a Magister Templi in Aleister Crowley’s cult, the Ordo Templi Orientis.” He added that Parsons “sadly passed away in a violent explosion during a secretive alchemical experiment at his house in Pasadena.”

The Lennon Claypool Delirium will promote the record on a headlining U.S. tour. Lennon and Claypool co-produced South of Reality themselves, with the Primus frontman engineering and mixing at his own Rancho Relaxo studio in Sonoma County, California. They wrote and recorded the album over roughly two months, prompted by what Claypool describes as “the desire to sit in a room and make space sounds again.”

“Basically it was the same setup in the same place,” the bassist says of their process. “I am a creature of habit and have all my old vintage gear dialed in the way I like it, so I like to helm from the same spot.” The South of Reality announcement arrives just barely a year after Primus issued their ninth LP, The Desaturating Seven, but Claypool emphasizes that he started with a clean slate on the latest Delirium set, with zero “cross-pollination between the two projects.”

Lennon, who was admittedly a bit intimidated years ago before his first jam session with Claypool, felt more at ease during their most recent sessions. However, he still describes Claypool as a disciplined “ship captain” who expects his musicians to be prepared on day one of any rehearsal.

“We are great friends indeed, and I guess I’m not nervous in quite the same way as I was in the beginning, but I still make sure to do as much preparation as possible,” he says. “Ideas always come quick for us, and I think that’s why we like working together. But playing with Les is like knowing you’re gonna be playing tennis with Rafael Nadal – it makes you wanna brush up on a few things before you get on the court.”

The pair wrote in every possible permutation: jamming, bringing in seeds of musical ideas, fleshing out tracks from scratch. Their resulting material feels like an organic extension of Monolith of Phobos, blending the wildly surreal and psychedelic with satirical social commentary.

The paranoid, Eastern-tinged “Cricket Chronicles Revisited” – a continuation of “The Cricket and the Genie” from their first LP – is a critique on what Lennon calls “our modern tendency to over-medicate both children and adults alike.” He elaborates: “Most people just need to eat better and exercise, but we’re told to believe the only answer is some drug that sounds like it comes from another galaxy. The [song’s] spoken word outro is just an extension of that Big Pharma advertisement language; the side effects are so unbelievably insane it’s hard to imagine taking any drug that can give you octopus tentacles, or make you spontaneously combust. Honestly the real ones are worse than that I just can’t mention them here.”

Claypool developed the bouncy, heady “Easily Charmed By Fools” from a line in a Charles Bukowski story that he swiped and let linger for years in his note book. “When it came time to flesh it out, there were no lack of examples to support that notion,” he says. “Who is the bigger fool; the fool or those that follow the fool? It may be the guy that tries to write a song about such things in an environment where rational thought is being vilified on a daily basis.”

South Of Reality, The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s epic sophomore album might be just the antidote this sick world needs. Music so potent it could repel an asteroid impact from space, these seasoned warriors of psychedelia have crafted timeless songs that may as well be chiseled in stone. The monolithic dream team’s new record was produced by Les Claypool and Sean Lennon themselves, and engineered and mixed by Les Claypool at his own Rancho Relaxo studio in Sonoma County, California. Available worldwide on Feb 22nd, 2019.