|Years active:||2000 - 2006|
|Associated acts:||The Police, Phish, Primus|
Oysterhead is a supergroup rock/jam-band composed of guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Les Claypool, and drummer Stewart Copeland. The band's sound is an eclectic mix of the jam band sound of Anastasio's work with Phish, the funk metal of Claypool's Primus, and the rhythmic, reggae-infused pop Copeland made popular with The Police.
The band was originally planned only to come together for a one-off gig at New Orleans' Saenger Theatre on 2000-05-04. Claypool had been invited by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to put together a band for the event. He went to Anastasio for opinions on the project and together they came up with the idea to invite Copeland to join the band. Claypool was playing a show in Burlington, Vermonth, and invited Copeland to join them to see if some kind of project could come together.
After a very brief rehearsal period, Oysterhead's 2.5 hour set at the festival consisted of a mixture of original songs (many of whose lyrics were composed at the last minute backstage), long instrumentals reminiscent of Pink Floyd's early 70s stage jams, and cover songs ranging from The Animals's "The House of the Rising Sun" to Led Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song." Tickets to the performance had sold out at a lightening pace and some were noted as selling on ebay of upwards of $2,000 before the show. The performance was a bit of a "trainwreck", according to Copeland, but the drummer claims he later listened to the live recordings of the performance, edited them together, and sent the tapes to Anastasio and Copeland to convince them that maybe they needed to do something more with the project.
In April 2001, Oysterhead reformed to record an album at Trey's studio in Vermont, The Barn. Entitled The Grand Pecking Order, the album was released 2001-10-02, and it featured several new tracks along with the ones performed originally in New Orleans. A brief North American tour followed the album release, playing to largely sold out audiences, although some dates had to be rescheduled after the September 11th attacks. After the tour, the trio went their separate ways and have yet to record another album, primarily due to the scheduling difficulties for the three very busy musicians.
On 2006-06-16, Oysterhead reunited to perform a two-hour set at Great Stage Park (Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival). No new material was performed at this show, but members continue to express interest in reviving the band at some point in the future.
In February 2020, Oysterhead once again reunited to play a new series of mostly outdoor festival shows. The tour launched in Colorado on 2020-02-14 for two nights at the 1STBANK Center. While no new songs were performed at these shows, the band premiered several covers including songs by The Police, Primus, and Phish.
List band members, current and past, here. Format:
- Trey Anastasio - guitar, vocals (2000 - 2006)
- Les Claypool - bass, vocals (2000 - 2006)
- Stewart Copeland - drums, vocals (2000 - 2006)
- Main article: Discography (Oysterhead)
Awards & Honors
Summarize major awards here in list format, as well as awards received not specific to a particular album, song, film or other release.
Quotations and Trivia
- On 2001-11-09, The Boston Herald published an interview with Stewart Copeland about Oysterhead. Stewart angered many Sting and Police fans with his comments in the article, including:
"Up until recently I was maneuvering and cajoling (for a Police reunion) and Sting would always say, 'Well, never say never.' That's because he's a tease. Then I met Les and Trey and now I couldn't give a (expletive) about the Police."
- Fans on The Police Xmission Mailing List and elsewhere would argue over these comments and the relative worth of Oysterhead vs. Sting's solo work for months afterward. Discussion became so heated that a number of people left the group after public statements that they found it too argumentative at the time.
- "liveDaily Interview: Stewart Copeland of Oysterhead." liveDaily. LiveDaily.com 29 Oct. 2001. 9 Apr. 2008. <http://www.livedaily.com/news/3870.html>
- "Oysterhead." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 8 Apr 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oysterhead>
- Oysterhead - The Grand Pecking Order. Oysterhead 2006. 8 Apr. 2008. <http://www.oysterhead.com/>
- "Stewart Copeland: Infiltrating The Order Of The Grand Jam." Nude as the News. 3 Jan 2002. 10 Apr. 2008. <http://www.nudeasthenews.com/interviews/15>