PRIMUS frontman Les Claypool was just one of numerous bassists to audition for METALLICA after the death of Cliff Burton back in 1986.
As we all know, the gig would eventually go to FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist Jason Newsted, who remained with METALLICA until 2001.
In a new interview with Goldmine, Claypool said that he was ready to quit his day job as a carpenter to join the heavy metal giants. He also added that he eventually came around to realizing that he wasn’t the right guy for the gig, and even commends METALLICA for recognizing that.
Claypool also hinted that when Jason Newsted split from the group, he was also in the running once again to be METALLICA‘s bassist. A position that was eventually granted to former OZZY OSBOURNE and INFECTIOUS GROOVES bass player Robert Trujillo.
Les said: “At the time I didn’t think that. I thought that I would be able to quit my carpentry job and head to Japan. But there’s a reason why they didn’t pick me. I didn’t fit and they saw that. I had my own thing going and it was a wise move on their part. And even when it came up again they knew that I wasn’t the right guy for it and they got the perfect person. Robert [Trujillo] is one of the nicest humans that I have ever met in the music industry and he’s a monster bass player.”
In an interview with Kerrang published in 2021, the PRIMUS frontman said he probably would have been fired after a few months if he was brought on after the passing of Cliff Burton.
“Well, however it would have sounded, I would have only lasted for a month or two before they kicked me out” he said. “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.”
PRIMUS are currently on the road for their “A Tribute To Kings” tour, paying tribute to classic rock icons RUSH among their own set of material.