SuperHeavy's credentials don't read much like those of most new bands. Its members boast 11 Grammy Awards between them, legendary parents, record sales in the millions and multiple Academy Awards for film scoring. And, on top of that, the band's existence was kept a secret until May 2011.
An atmosphere of tension surrounded The Rolling Stones when the band got into the studio to record Some Girls, its 16th U.S. release, in 1978. Not only did the group worry that the new waves of disco and punk threatened to pass it by, but Keith Richards was awaiting a serious heroin-trafficking court date that threatened to put him and the group out of commission. The Stones were in trouble.
For musicians performing behind Bob Boilen's desk at the NPR Music offices, there's often an inverse relationship between professional accomplishment and the amount of time required to set up. For new bands still finding their way, pre-show preparation can be a numbing chore of positioning effects pedals and rehearsing song after song before the cameras start rolling.
Primus got plenty of of airtime on MTV and college radio in the 1990s, thanks to songs like "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver." But by the start of the next decade, the San Francisco band was ready for a hiatus.
"Which was just sort of a fancy way of saying we were all tired of each other, and tired of the music, and not getting anything done," says founder and bass guitarist Les Claypool to Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish.