Primus fans are in for a (sweet) treat. The band’s latest album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory With the Fungi Ensemble, is set to make its debut this week on October 21st. Apparently, each record will be chocolate-colored, in the spirit of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. But of course, no fantasy candy factory could be complete without the signature golden tickets, now could it?
The band recently revealed that mixed in with all of the rest of the records, will be five special golden vinyls. The lucky few that manage to get their hands on them will be rewarded with free Primus concert tickets…for life. Primus released a Nerds-filled, Willy Wonka-esque promotional video a few days ago showing the making of the “chocolate” records via their Youtube channel. The video is set to Les Claypool and the band’s take on the song “Golden Ticket.” At the videos conclusion, the album’s artwork — which emulates the style of the fictitious chocolate factory’s logo to a T — is displayed.
The video is certainly not the first time the band has dabbled in covering the Willy Wonka soundtrack. At a concert held in Oakland, California this past New Year’s Eve, they covered several songs from the soundtrack, and sold Primus candy bars at the venue. Candy themes aside, the new album is also making quite a buzz because it will be the band’s first release featuring their original members since the album Tales From the Punchbowl, released in 1995. Claypool, drummer Tim Alexander, as well as guitarist Larry LaLonde will all appear on it.
Apparently, the idea for a Willy Wonka-themed album was unintentional. It all began with a single cover of the song “Candy Man,” and the concept seemed to snowball from there. As far as the overall sound of the album goes, according to Claypool’s recent interview with Rolling Stone, it’s “sounding to [him] like one of the early Peter Gabriel records meets Dark Side of the Moon meets the Residents.” But, despite his fascination with Roald Dahl’s classic story, he doesn’t seem to be very impressed with Hollywood’s most recent take on the tale.
“We need to make sure that kids in the future watch the original Willy Wonka and not the horrendous, horrible remake that came along and left the taste of feces in our mouths,” he said in the same interview. Claypool’s strong opinions about the film seem to come from his idea that “taking on a sacred cow, you know… You’re gonna please some folks and you’re gonna piss off some folks.” As far as the album goes, the one person he says he doesn’t want to piss off by taking on the soundtrack of such a “sacred cow” is Gene Wilder, because “for his ’70s hairdo alone, he is a champion.”