Jay Lane's roles on drums have earned him a place in San Francisco's music history. He started performing in the Bay Area in the early '80s, joining the original lineup of Primus with Les Claypool, but left the band due to prior commitments to the local cult band The Freaky Executives. Shortly thereafter Lane co-founded the hip hop/jazz collective Alphabet Soup.
In 1994, Jay Lane reunited with old friends, the 7-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and sax man Dave Ellis, to form the original Charlie Hunter Trio. Lane recorded "Bing Bing Bing!" with them, but left shortly thereafter when he started playing with Grateful Dead guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir and bassist Rob Wasserman in a side project that would eventually become RatDog.
After Jerry Garcia passed in 1995, RatDog began touring and recording more often, giving Jay Lane the opportunity to jam with incomparable musicians and to perform worldwide. Evening Moods (1999) and Live as Roseland (2001) featuring his work with RatDog, are available through Grateful Dead Records. He has also appeared on Austin City Limits, VH1 Classic's All Star Jams, the Montreaux Jazz Festival and others in Europe, the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival and the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, and almost every state in the US.
In 2002, Jay Lane earned accolades from his peers and fans, winning "Drummer of the Year" in the California Music Awards. His beats are urban, funky, and fluid, and demonstrate the physical power and stamina he's built over a lifetime on the drums.
In 2005 Jay Lane toured with both Claypool (Skerik, Mike Dillon, Gabby La La) as well as Bob Weir & RatDog. Between tours, he still found time to lay down the grooves with Alphabet Soup in SF.
In 2006, founding Soup rappers Zach Mose and Chris Burger formed a new group with Soup rapper Mike Blake and Mo'fessionals rapper Kingpin Rowski called The Band Of Brotherz, which continues the pioneering of hip hop with more of a reggae/world influence. They recorded a single, Down in Babylon, for a Katrina benefit CD that spawned a slew of great songs produced by Zach from his Golden Baboon Studios. Lane hopped on board right away, and they took it to the club. With a few recruits—Kenny Brooks, Dave Shul, DJ Teeko, Andre Marshall, Jeff Chimenti, and legendary six-string bassist Troy Lampkins (all Soup mainstays)—they performed a handful of early shows. 2009 saw the Band of Brotherz playing more shows nationwide including shows at the Fillmore and Austin's South by Southwest Festival along with an east coast spring tour. Special guests included Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, and Gaby La La. In fall, the debut CD Deadbeats and Murderous Melodys was released.
In fall 2009, Jay Lane became a charter member of Bob Weir and Phil Lesh's new band, Furthur. Along with Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, and Joe Russo, the band played a sold out three-night stand at Oakland's Fox Theatre followed by several well-received U.S. tours.
In summer 2010, Jay Lane rejoined Les Claypool in Primus.