[Q&A] Larry Lalonde of Primus on dinosaurs, sandwiches, and his impressive equipment / 10.20 @ Orpheum

Primus group shot. (Larry "Ler" Lalonde is on the left.)

PRIMUS have been called, on this blog, by me, "the greatest fucking band in the world." They're on tour again. And this time, it's weird even by Primus standards. The 3D Tour, described by bassist and frontman Les Claypool, is "bringing back acid rock to the masses." Attendees are given 3D glasses, and the performance incorporates improv jams with a visualist. That's definitely a "you had to be there to get it" kind of experience, and fortunately, there are still a few tickets left for the Saturday, October 20 show at the Orpheum.

An abiding dude, Larry "Ler" Lalonde plays guitars for Primus, and he's one of the most original and influential of the last two decades. We had the chance to interview him, but instead of talking about the tour, or his gear, or anything relevant, we asked him questions that every true Primus fan wants to know.

What's your favorite cheese?
Man, I had a fantastic one last night. Don't remember what it was called. Any cheese that's hard to cut with a knife. I like it when it's hard to cut the cheese.

Do you have a big dong?
Are you kidding? Of course I do. It's huge! That's the part of me that's French.

What's your favorite song to play live?
Changes all the time. I guess "Tommy the Cat," because there's that part where I go off by myself. And of course, I love to play the new songs (off Green Naughahyde). But really, it changes all the time.

What songs would you like to bring back on tour that you haven't done in a while?
There's just so many. We have so many songs it's impossible to do all of the ones you want. "The Air Is Getting Slippery" is a good example. I'd love to do it but I can't find the banjo I originally played it on. It's in an odd tuning.

What are your top five favorite albums?
That's another tough one. Listening to music has changed so much because I have so much stuff on my iPod. I always have the Talking Heads on there. I need to listen to the new David Byrne/St. Vincent album. But there's always something new. Police albums... I focus on weird things like the snare sounds on each album and shit. Or the moods of specific songs. It all changes on the iPod. Kind of like my radio show where I can't tell what's going to be on until it's actually happening.

Did you ever jam with Stewart Copeland?
I have, yeah! We live very close to each other. I actually had a weird jam at his place while ago. It was me, Stewart, Danny Carey of Tool, and Matt Stone from South Park.

Do you think you could take [Police guitarist] Andy Summers in a fistfight?
No! I actually just met Andy Summers two weeks ago. I almost met him ages ago because Stewart Copeland asked me if I wanted to meet him, but then there were too many people, and I didn't get to see him. Andy and I had a great conversation. What a cool guy. Our studios in Los Angeles are a football throw away from each other.

You guys should record an album together.
We should, but I'm afraid. I Advance Masked (Andy Summers's collaboration with Robert Fripp) is one of my favorite things ever.

How does it feel to be a fucking guitar god?
You're the first person to have told me that. I'll mark this day in my hotel room. It feels awesome.

Is it difficult to pleasure yourself on the tour bus?
You know, I've never given it a shot, out of respect for the other people on the bus. It's definitely one of those things. You don't want to be known as the tour-bus-masturbator guy.

Primus drummer Jay Lane has his Czarcie Kopyto bass pedals. Do you have any such crazy gear?
Hah, Jay was wearing their t-shirt last night! I used to have a Ludwig guitar effect. You know, Ludwig as in the drum company. It was insane. I've given away a lot of stuff over the years. I just don't have the space to store all that stuff.

For a while, there was a fan rumor that you only use pedals that start with the letter "M." Is that true?
No, but it sounds like a good idea. There's no way that could be a dumb thing to do!

What's your routine before you go on stage?
You know, I do a lot of warming up. Joe Satriani taught me when I was 15, and I still do those lessons. I try to get as limber as possible.

Is there any specific thing you like about specific cities?
I like to cruise around. I like Pittsburgh. It's gonna be so cold this year. I like Boston a lot because it's one of the few cities that has a lot of cool record stores left. I love going to record stores and buying stuff. You find all sorts of crazy shit.

What's your favorite dinosaur?
T-Rex. My daughter's totally into dinosaurs and she loves the T-Rex. I gotta back her. Hey, man, dinosaurs are cool!

What's your favorite sandwich?
Some lame vegetarian thing. People ask me why I'm a vegetarian. I don't do it for health reasons or anything. I do it just to be annoying.

Please play "Southbound Pachyderm" in Boston.
I'll mark it in my calendar.

Follow Arafat Kazi on Twitter @arafatkazi.

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