Primus On Hiatus, Les Claypool Says

Primus frontman Les Claypool plans on reuniting with former bandmate Tim "Herb" Alexander and continuing the group at some point in the future, but for now, he says, Primus are on an indefinite hiatus.

Primus' management has confirmed what bassist/singer Claypool posted earlier this week on the band's official Web site, www.primussucks.com: Bryan "Brain" Mantia, who replaced drummer Alexander in 1996, has left Primus. Claypool wrote on the site that Mantia is rumored to be playing with Guns N' Roses, but GN'R management will not confirm details about the band's lineup.

Claypool said in his post that he had recently worked with Alexander and that they agreed a reunion was "inevitable." He added that he hoped it would happen "sooner than later," but admitted that the band's third member, guitarist Larry LaLonde, was still "less than excited" about the idea.

"[LaLonde] is in a different

world these days and to be honest I have no idea what he's into," Claypool said. "I'm not here to air any dirty laundry but after working with someone for so many years in close quarters, there is bound to be a skid mark or two on the big Primus underwear.

"Like most friends that have been as close as we have, we need some space," he said.

In the meantime, Claypool said, he intends to concentrate on one of his many side projects, Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, originally known as Col. Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade.

The band includes two members of Rat Dog: drummer Jay Lane (who was a member of Primus in 1988 and the drummer in another Claypool project, Sausage) and keyboardist Jeff Chementi. Also on board are original Primus guitarist Todd "Paclabar" Huth, who was also in Sausage, avant-garde multi-instrumentalist Eenor, and Seattle sax maniac Skerik, of Critters Buggin'.

Claypool said Frog Brigade expect to release a live record in conjunction

with their pending New Year's show at the Fillmore in San Francisco, and plan to tour next year.

Primus' management confirmed Claypool's plans but offered no further details.