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PRIMUS & RUSH Used To Jam Backstage On Instruments They Didn't Play While Touring Together In The 90s

Using some very unconventional instruments.

Claypool Lee
Via Les Claypool's Instagram

In a new interview with Guitar World, Rush's Alex Lifeson and Primus's Les Claypool and Larry LaLode sat down for a chat to discuss the latest Primus tour, which finds the Bay Area kings covering the 1977 Rush album A Farewell to Kings in its entirety. The tour was originally planned for the summer of 2020, but like all other things, was sidelined as a result of the pandemic. Now, two years later, the tour concept has finally come to fruition.

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“Honestly, this whole thing started as a joke,” bassist Les Claypool told Guitar World, "Then one day it was like, ‘Hey, wait. Maybe this isn’t a joke. Maybe we should actually do this.’”

The two bands have been tight for nearly thirty years, beginning with Rush's 1991-1992 Roll The Bones tour, which included Primus as the opening act. The two bands would even jam together before showtime, as Lifeson recalled.

"We would do sound check at 4:30, and then Primus would set up and they'd do their sound check. We'd have dinner at 6, and then we would have a jam, usually in our dressing room or in a hallway that was nice and echoey. At one point, the deal was that you had to go out and get an instrument you couldn't play. [LaLonde] got a clarinet… I got an accordion and a flute. We all played these instruments we had no idea how to play. We actually recorded these jams. I don't know what happened to those recordings, but we did them everywhere."

If it sounds unconventional, you're right. What else can you expect from two of the most unconventional bands in rock? As LaLonde told Guitar World, “I saw Alex using a tortilla chip for a guitar pick one time. That was pretty sweet." Hey, it looks like a guitar pick, and it packs that extra crunch, so why not?

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Primus are currently on tour playing A Farewell to Kings plus their own hits, with Austin, Texas hard-psych rockers The Black Angels in support. You can see those dates below

6/17 – Sacramento, CA – Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
6/18 – Reno, NV – Grand Theatre, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
6/19 – San Jose, CA – San Jose Civic
6/21 – Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theatre
6/23 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium
6/24 – Long Beach, CA – Terrace Theater, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
6/25 – Las Vegas, NV – The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

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