Primus’ Les Claypool Says Metallica Would Have Kicked Me Out After a Month or Two
Primus legend Les Claypool famously auditioned for Metallica following Cliff Burton’s death in 1986. In a new interview, Claypool clears up some misinformation about the audition and claims he would’ve only lasted one or two months in the band before getting kicked out.
Les Claypool knew Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett from high school, which helped get him the audition during the very early days of Primus. “To be honest, I wasn’t really into metal at the time,” Claypool tells Kerrang. “I just knew that it was my buddy Kirk’s band and that they were doing really well. It wasn’t until the audition that I got a sense of what was really going on. It was a bit of a heavy thing, the audition, and I didn’t realize until I got there that it was kind of a big deal. Afterwards I fantasized about quitting my carpentry job and touring Japan with them, but I didn’t get the gig.”
Claypool continues, “I would have only lasted for a month or two before they kicked me out. They’ve got enough chefs in the kitchen in that band – they don’t need a guy like me. And the guy they have right now is unbelievable. Robert Trujillo is one of the nicest and sweetest guys I’ve ever met in the industry, and his playing is unbelievable.”
The Primus frontman also dispelled James Hetfield’s claim that he told Claypool, "Man, you're much too talented. Go do something wonderfully weird on your own.” According to Claypool, “He definitely did not say that. He said that later on in an interview, which was very kind of him. I think they thought I was a freak. They were very nice — Lars [Ulrich, drums] was particularly kind … I think that James thought I was some sort of thug. Put it this way, I definitely didn't look the part." [via Blabbermouth]
While the guys in Metallica were dressed in black, the burgeoning Primus mastermind showed up with a bleach blond mohawk, baggy skater pants, and two different colored tennis shoes.