Relix Revisited: Les Claypool’s Mockumentary Love
This coming Sunday in San Francisco, the current incarnation of Les Claypool’s Primus will deliver “The Über Secret Warm Up Show.” In this spirit, we look back to the February/March issue of Relix where Les wrote the following essay on the making of his film, Electric Apricot: Quest For Festeroo
There was always the idea being kicked around that we should do a film or TV show. Electric Apricot was actually a movie where we said, “Hey, we can pull this off!” It’s not so much a parody of the jamband scene as it is about taking the piss out of these four creative guys who take themselves a little too seriously. It just happens to exist in the jamband scene.
Since the jam scene embraced me, I’ve occasionally thought, “Okay, what the hell am I doing here?” and then I look around and there’s Galactic and Drums & Tuba who are the opposite of Phish, the poster boys for the jam scene. It’s more about how you approach the music, not the style you play. It’s all about putting on a varied live performance.
The first thing we did was assemble a band to see if we could write some music. Thus began work on the epic song “Burning Man.” We started fiddling around with it and booked a couple gigs. We already had a bassist, so I decided to play drums. Plus, it was way too obvious for me to play bass and besides, I’m a much better drummer than I am bassist.
We made the film in ourbackyard and it was like getting kicked in the nuts over and over again. At the end of the movie, when Gordo comes out onstage limping, that wasn’t part of the story line. He could hardly walk because he messed up his foot the night before filming the cop scene where he was getting thrown against the car. So instead of playing the song standing up, he plays it sitting down!
There are definitely some things in the film you may have encountered if you’ve been to a lot of different festivals. I mean, I’m the festival whore. In one scene, Lapdog talks about how he used to be into “the metal thing and the funk stuff and combined the two” (like someone else I know!) and then Aiwass mentions he “was playing Morrissey songs” and writes this song that sounds incredibly similar to a Radiohead song.
So you’ve got these different perspectives, not just in the jam scene but the music world in general, which is a lot of what the jam scene has become. I mean, you have Tool playing Bonnaroo and on the cover of Relix, so I think the borders of the jam scene have become a bit vague. I think the idea of the sit-in is getting to the point where the entire band is going to leave the stage and it is going to be all special guests. With lots of special effects and lasers!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the film is actually an endearing look at the scene at the expense of these four characters. Bob Weir, Wavy Gravy and Warren Haynes are all champs in this film and I am very happy with the results we got from them. Bob Weir comes off as a wizard sage and Warren stepped right up and has some serious therapeutic skills!
We’re using Electric Apricot as our calling card film and are going to see where it goes from there. We are talking about maybe spinning it off into a comic strip or pitching an animated series to a few networks and there is always the notion of making part five or part 12 or part 420 next. Making this film was like climbing Mt. Everest… or at least Mt. Whitney. You may lose a few toes here or there, but you keep going back again. Les Claypool’s film, Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo, is now playing in select theaters. Look for the film’s official soundtrack on Hip-O Records this winter.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
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