Following the death of Cliff Burton in 1986, Metallica auditioned a young Les Claypool to be the band’s new bassist. While he didn’t get the job, the Primus frontman now tells Kerrang! it probably wouldn’t have worked out, anyway.
“Well, however it would have sounded I would have only lasted for a month or two before they kicked me out,” Claypool says. “They’ve got enough chefs in the kitchen in that band — they don’t need a guy like me.”
Claypool, who’d founded Primus two years earlier in 1984, actually had a connection to Metallica prior to the audition, having been friends with guitarist Kirk Hammett since high school.
“I wasn’t really into metal at the time,” Claypool recalls. “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,” he continues. “Afterwards I fantasized about quitting my carpentry job and touring Japan with them, but I didn’t get the gig.”
Claypool adds that Metallica’s current bassist, Robert Trujillo, is “unbelievable.”
“Robert Trujillo is one of the nicest and sweetest guys I’ve ever met in the industry, and his playing is unbelievable,” he says.
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