In early 2000, Les was asked by Superfly Productions to put together a one time only power trio to play at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. For his super group he chose Trey Anastasio of Phish on guitar and vocals, and legendary Police drummerStewart Copeland. Les had played with Phish in 1994 and 1996; while Copeland had produced the track Dirty Drowning Man off of Antipop (Copeland had no idea who Primus was before that time; when he showed up and unpacked his drum cases (Primus had asked him to bring his gear for a jam), confetti from the last Police show in 1983 tumbled out!). Having been out of the loop of modern rock music for fifteen years, Copeland was  interested in getting back into a live band (he discusses in a Modern Drummer interview how Police reunions kept falling through and how he missed the band camaraderie and creativity).

This trio jammed in Trey's barn in early 2000, then had one brief live warm up at the 2/21/00 Primus show in Burlington, VT, prior to its first full show on 05/04/00 (apparently Copeland had wanted to cover an entire Zeppelin album, but Les had convinced him that a set of largely original material, heavy on the jamming, would be more exciting for the fans). The band had a mini reunion on 09/30/00, when the newly formed Frog Brigade and Phish (about to enter a long hiatus of its own) both played Las Vegas. In the spring of 2001, between Frog Brigade and Trey Anastasio Band tours, Oysterhead recorded their first studio album in Trey's barn. The album was released in 10/01, and the band played a full fall tour, with sets ranging from 80 min to two hours, and most songs involving extensive jams. While the new material was not particularly intricate or complex, it nicely showcased this trio's ability to creatively play in a variety of styles, from up-tempo rock to noodly ambient jamming to bluegrass. The only major shortcoming of the tour was the lack of material itself, although the improvisations and change ups in set list order kept most shows fresh. After a 5 year hiatus, Oysterhead played a reunion show in 2006 at the Bonnaroo festival. Whether you loved the band or thought their individual styles did not mesh well enough, in 2001 Oysterhead provided a vehicle for Copeland to return to rock drumming, and for Claypool and Anastasio to exercise a different creative outlet.


Les Claypool

Trey Anastasio

Besides his usual Paul Languedoc guitars, Trey also used the following instruments:

Stewart Copeland

Besides his regular kit, Copeland also used a percussion kit (with roto-toms, cymbals, bells, chimes and assorted percussion) on: Shadow Of A Man, Radon Balloon, Grand Pecking Order, Wield the Spade and Matterhorn/Whamola Jam.

Live Repertoire

Grand Pecking Order

Other Les Claypool Band Material

None to date.

Unreleased Originals



Vocal Teases / Lyrics

Official Video

Guest Performers

None to date.

Special Shows

Historically Important Shows

Radio/TV Appearances

Classic Shows

Frog Brigade


Claypool's main interest post-Primus (until he transitioned into the Fancy Band see below), the Frog Brigade is a chameleon, having changed names, lineups and set lists since its inception in the summer of 2000 through 2005. Unlike Claypool's other projects, within the context of the Brigade, Les has been able to act as a bandleader much in the same way that Frank Zappa operated. He has picked interesting musicians and varied the line ups, changed set lists to reflect the strengths and knowledge base of a given lineup, and acted as an overall impresario and master of ceremonies. The Frog Brigade remains Claypool's most vital and prolific tool for improvisation and experimentation, and is the band that has cemented his reputation in the jam band community.

After two one-off shows, in 8/00 Les unveiled the first long-term version of the band, with the rather unwieldy name of 'Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade'. This six-piece band toured in 8/00, with sundry shows in the fall (Claypool has released live albums culled from the 10/8 and 10/9 shows, appropriately titled Live Frogs I and II). The year culminated with the first annual FrogOut, a two-day extravaganza with long sets and multiple guest stars. The same lineup reunited for a tour in Jan-Mar 2001, in the middle slot between headliner Galactic and various opening bands.

After a few June 2001 shows with changing lineups; a different, leaner Frog Brigade (with a shorter name, having dropped the 'fearless' and 'flying' adjectives) toured in the summer of 2001. This lineup premiered several new Claypool compositions, his first Frog Brigade songs with vocals. Fall 2001 was quiet, as Les toured with Oysterhead. The year finished with the second Frog Out.

2002 witnessed yet another stylistic change in lineup, as Mike Dillon of Critters Buggin' joined on percussion and xylophones to augment the changing roster of drummers. There were three separate tours, a spring tour with shows scattered from April through early June, a summer tour during which Tim Alexander and Claypool reunited (!), and a fall tour. Claypool's first solo album as a bandleader since Primus, the Purple Onion, was released in 2002. During the course of the year's tours, the album material was incorporated into set lists. The year ended with the third FrogOut.

Les has said in interviews that the Purple Onion recordings were a new experience for him because it was the first time that he composed music without specific musicians in mind. Instead, he wrote the music regardless of instrumentation limitations, and then picked the right musicians to record it. Just like the addition of Dillon and the use of xylophones both compositionally and as a soloing instrument in concerts, this approach to writing and recording music was very reminiscent of Zappa's work and mindset.

2003 saw a spring tour with yet another drummer (Paulo Baldi), followed by a stylistic shift as Eenor was replaced by Brian Kehoe (of fame) on guitar for the summer 2003 tour. This lineup played several shows only in 2004 and 2005 (including FrogOuts), at which time Claypool replaced Kehoe with Gabby La La, the drummer changed again (back to Jay Lane) and the band name became the Fancy Band (see their page for more info). Despite the similarity in setlists and lineup, Claypool has philosophically treated the Fancy Band as a distinct entity, as opposed to yet another version of Frog Brigade. Whether this spells an end to the Frog Brigade or not remains to be seen.


Note: The following musicians played one-off Frog Brigade performances:


Les Claypool - see Unusual Instruments
Todd Huth - acoustic guitar: Pigs On the Wing Pt I, Dogs
Mike Dillon - percussion includes xylophone, marimba, timbales, cowbells, cymbals, tabla, etc.

Live Repertoire

Purple Onion

Live Frogs Set 1

Culled from the first sets of the 10/8-9/00 shows, the first Frog Brigade album was released in early 2001 and won Les an award at the 2001 Jammys for best live album. Live Frogs I serves as a representative sample of the first set of fall 2000 shows, replete with long jams and Les' gushing liner notes about the power and potential of his first touring live band since Primus.
The album includes mildly edited versions of:

NOTE: Song descriptions are under specific headings below for ease of readability and taxonomy.

Live Frogs Set 2

A complete rendition of the fall 2000 Set II performance of Pink Floyd's Animals, recorded at the same time as Vol 1, but released in late 2001. All songs were premiered on 08/17/00 and played at every show until 12/30/00 (except for Pigs).

Note: While this is an all-cover set, it remains listed here for conceptual continuity with Live Frogs 1. All of these songs were first played by Claypool with this band.

Other Les Claypool Band Material




Note: All Sausage material was played on 2000 and winter 2001 tours only (See Fancy Band for more information).

Unreleased Originals

None to date. During summer 2003, the band sound checked (but never played live) an instrumental called Ancient Mariner, reportedly written by Les and Kehoe.

Released Covers

      This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

         This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

         NOTE: Those in ( ) were premiered on 05/27/00 or 06/24/00, but put into regular rotation by this band:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 27

Summer 2001 - Headliner and Phil Lesh and Friends (opening slot)

With Chimenti, Lane and Huth all leaving (Chimenti played in the first few 06/01 shows, and Bob Cock played one show, which turned out to be the last two guitarist FB show), the lineup became a more taut quartet, including new drummer Svena. While this leaner lineup lacked some of the timbral range of the prior group, it really showcased the talents of Eenor and Skerik, who became the de facto lead soloists. The band stuck with the one set format, playing 45 min opening sets for Phil Lesh and 100-120 min headlining shows in clubs.
The material also changed quite a bit. Without Huth or Lane, Les replaced the Sausage and Primus material with an expanded focus on Holy Mackerel songs. He also premiered two new original songs, his first FB compositions with vocals. This tour also distinguished itself by having a song suite organized around a specific theme, namely outer space! By mid tour, Les and company were donning strobe light equipped space helmets for a medley of David Bowie's Space Oddity, the B52s Planet Claire, Cosmic Highway, and Walking On the Moon by the Police. All four songs had similarly lean, metallic arrangements, with Les shouting out the vocals through a distorted wireless mic in his helmet. While the latter part of some sets seemed at times like deja vu, the massive jams made up for the less diverse set lists.

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 20

FrogOut 2001/Spring 2002

The main change in this lineup was in the rhythm department. Once again, there was a new drummer, Dean Johnson, who brought with him a larger drumset and more sound options than prior Brigade drummers. More importantly, Skerik's band mate from Critters Buggin', percussionist Mike Dillon, joined the band, adding a variety of colors and orchestral marimba/xylophone capabilities to the group's sound (all future Frog Brigade and Fancy Band lineups stuck with this 5 piece, drums and percussion paradigm). The set lists changed once more, incorporating a variety of new Frog Brigade originals, while trimming off some of the Holy Mackerel and space suite covers.

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 18

Summer 2002 - Headliner and moe. (opening slot)

This tour was important for two reasons. First, Claypool and Alexander reunited, bringing Tim back into the spotlight and hinting at the 2003 Primus reunion. Second, the band played a number of shows with Les' friends in moe., leading to members of both bands sitting in with each other. The band played 95 min sets on the moe. double-headers and two hour plus shows when by themselves. Set list material was similar to the spring tour, with the addition of a number of songs for extra variety and jam potential.

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 25

Fall 2002/FrogOut 2002

Once again, the drum chair changed hands, first held by Fishbone drummer Fish Fisher on the West Coast dates and then back to Dean Johnson for the East Coast shows. Claypool worked the remaining tracks from Purple Onion into live rotation on this tour. Another major highlight was the presence of opening band Deadweight, whose members sat in on a near nightly basis.

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 25

Spring 2003

The drum chair changed hands yet again, as Deadweight drummer Paulo Baldi took over. This was otherwise a short tour featuring similar material.

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 26

Summer 2003 and 2004-5 Shows

For once the drum chair stayed the same, although FB underwent a major stylistic change as Eenor was let go and replaced by Brian Kehoe of MIRV fame, who got plenty of soloing room (on guitar of course, but also including his a capella operatic renditions of O Sole Mio). The band debuted a number of new covers (although just as maddening were the excellent soundcheck versions and jams of covers that never made the setlists) over the course of the summer tour, two FrogOuts and the Jam Cruise shows. 2004-5 were very quiet, as Les focused on the Primus reunion and C2B3. The FB lineup played a final show on 4/29/05 (exactly five years after the Primus lineup with Brain went on hiatus), showcasing the transition into Fancy Band, as Gabby La La sat in on the first and last performances of C2B3 material by the Frogs.  

This lineup/tour introduced the following complete songs:

Total # Complete Songs Played On Tour: 34

Special Shows