Interview With Les Claypool: A Casual Affair

But fans too? Do you see that being an issue or does that matter to you?

I don’t think it is an issue. I think it’s like when I did the Electric Apricot film, people were like, ‘Oh, isn’t the jam band scene going to get upset?’ No, it’s actually a pretty endearing look at the scene, it’s more the characters in this environment. It’s more taking the piss out of these characters. And I still don’t see anything derogatory in ‘Red State Girl.’ It’s an observation of a couple of characters. It doesn’t say Sarah Palin is an asshole, it doesn’t say the characters are assholes. It says her tits are made out of recycled bottles, but that’s just another way of saying she’s got fake boobs. And a couple of my cousins have fake boobs. (laughs) And being a green society I’m assuming we’re making some of those boobs out of recycled bottles. (laughs).

It sounds like you’re having fun on this record, not to say that you never have before, but there is a sort of gleefulness about it.

I’ve always tended to shoot from the hip as much as I possibly could, and this is the most casual record I’ve ever made. It just really came without a lot of premeditation. Not that my other stuff has had a ton of premeditation, but I find that as I’m getting older it’s like having a conversation or an approach to writing a short story or whatever.

I find the best material comes when it just comes, you don’t think about it, it just rolls out. That’s what this was. Ask me ten years from now, I might say this is the worst album I’ve ever made, but right now I’m pretty proud of it. And it was a lot of fun. But it was kind of like writing a novel. It was very—I don’t want to say personal—but it was a lot of time to myself. It wasn’t a big collaboration with other people. It was me by myself out there in the studio being a mad scientist and mixing chemicals or throwing pasta at the wall or whatever metaphor you want to use. There wasn’t a lot of collaboration.

Right, because in a lot of your other major projects, Colonel Claypool’s Bucket Of Bernie Brains most recently as an example, you have all these other incredibly talented people you’re working with—not to say that the guys on this record aren’t incredibly talented—but this seems more your singular idea.

The cupcake was already there, and those guys came in to throw sprinkles on top of it. Except for the stuff with Eugene [Hutz, Gogol Bordello]. The Eugene stuff was us being hungover and then drunk again, just recording a bunch of nonsense, and this was the least nonsensical of the recordings.

What have you planned for the New York show?

We’re going to fill it full of freaks. I guarantee it’s going to be a memorable event. Whether you love or hate the music or the performers or whatever, it’s going to be a very memorable event. [At] the bigger shows on the weekend, we’ve brought in all these extra characters, and I believe for the New York show, we’re bringing in the Coney Island sideshow performers, so beyond what’s already going to be on stage there’s going to be plenty of things for the short attention span generation that is out there.

Of Fungi And Foe is available now. Les Claypool brings his Oddity Faire to NYC’s Terminal 5 on Saturday, March 28. For more info, visit