Fish On

Les Claypool stays alive by swimming through subcultures

From Primus to Oysterhead and a slew of spin-offs in between, from the grungy alternative nation to the freewheeling jam band tribe, from free shows in the UC-Berkeley dorms to the main stage at Bonnaroo, Claypool has seen a lot. His music has always evolved on his own terms and never lost him credibility.

"That's what defines time, you know?" he says. "When you look at the styles and the sounds of the '70s, it defines that era, to a certain extent. I live in a house that was built in the '70s, that's very '70s. It looks like Mike Brady designed this place. And I love it. I will never remodel it. Because it's gonna go in and out of vogue or whatever the hell as time moves along. When I bought the place, the Southwestern thing was very popular. Now you look at Southwestern-style homes or decor and you go, God, that's cheesy.' Now everybody's doing bleached pine -- French pine or whatever. All this pine, which back in the day it was all oak." He pauses to take a breath. "It's the same with music."

And with sturgeon.

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