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Welcome Back: Sean Lennon & Les Claypool – rock’s oddest couple

Primus frontman Les Claypool and Sean ‘Son Of John’ Lennon step through the psychedelic looking glass with The Claypool Lennon Delerium

Sean Lennon’s post-rock band Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger toured with Primus last summer, and he hit it off so well with Primus bassist/vocalist Les Claypool that they formed The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Their oddball debut Monolith Of Phobos, recorded at Claypool’s Northern California studio Rancho Relaxo, is a cosmic collision of two highly individual artists. Kaleidoscopically creative, joyfully melodic and saturated with vivid musical colours, it’s an engaging trip populated by genies, monkeys, millennials and mucky old men – harking back to the classic psych of the late 60s, and served up with a modern twist. Now 40, Lennon discusses his new cochise, why this isn’t a ‘retro’ record, and his parents’ influence on his music.

You’ve been a Primus fan since you were a kid. Do you have a favourite song?

Southbound Pachyderm. Les and I jammed it backstage and I played it with them on the tour. Les told me to play whale sounds. I had that dialled in on my pedalboard so that’s what I did [imitates whalesong]. It was perfect! We started talking about recording. The timing worked out, so I went up to Rancho Relaxo and we made Monolith Of Phobos very quickly. We wrote a song a day for two weeks and mixed it a month later.

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