[Schizoid Man Eyes] Back to Elephant Talk -- Articles page

Trey Gunn ET Posting: Why play live?

Date: 26 Jun 96 14:36:33 EDT
From: Trey Gunn <74744.443 at CompuServe dot COM>
Subject: why play live?

The subject has come up in ET, as well as among the band members ourselves, about why we choose to do the things we choose to do. In particular a recent ET post (which I've lost so I can't tell you which one) questions why we would play at all in America this summer when it seems that our current set-lists in Europe aren't that different from last year's.

Originally we weren't going to come to America at all this summer unless we could do something different. Since the beginning of this configuration of the band we have only done 13 shows in all of Europe. Our first intention, for this summer, was to REALLY play Europe. In particular we wanted to get to some of the far Eastern European countries that had never seen the band before. Poland, Eastern Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary were some of the places we've made it to.

As far as North America goes, we felt we have made a good effort to get to some of the areas that are a bit difficult to reach for an operation of our scale (like Texas and Florida for example), in order to play to many of the hard-core fans (of which ET, no doubt, comprises a good portion.) We want everyone, of course, to see the band but this isn't possible for many various reasons. It seems that most people near the larger areas who wanted to see the new band have had the opportunity. (All right you 2 in North Dakota, quiet down!!! we working on it.)

When the offer came up for us to play the HORDE shows we thought that we had found our "something different" to warrant a return to the US. Myself, I made a strong push to do the HORDE, or some other type of festival tour in America. Personally, I felt like there were a lot of people who were real lovers of new music who would NEVER EVER EVER under any conditions WHATSOEVER go to a King Crimson show (for many multitudes of reasons -- they're old farts; I like new music but aren't they a rock band?; aren't they that prog-rock retread out-fit???; never heard of them; isn't Bon Jovi their singer?; too expensive to take a chance, etc......) Many of these listeners would really love what we do. Because we get virtually no radio play, the only way they would ever come into contact with this music is if they accidentally bumped into it. Playing a festival tour answered this for us.

So, in a sense, this tour of America gives us the opportunity to play to innocent ears. In addition, it makes it possible for us to go to Old Mexico and play to other audiences who have never seen the band.

There are a few dates in the US where we are not playing with the HORDE. The California Guitar Trio will not be with us on these, and in order to round out a full evening we have asked Vernon Reid to open most of these shows with his new band. I can't wait to hear him.

There is one other aspect to this current tour that ET'ers may find interesting. In Robert's words this is tour of "Consolidation." To put this is my own words, we are "refining the coherency of the band." Something that we can only do on stage, and playing some of the older KC material is largely giving us the means to this end...... so we must play live and must do it now.

This internal consolidation is essential for us to take the next step in the band's life -- the new generation of material. We will begin some preliminary work this fall, with heavier writing and recording in 1997. We anticipate the next KC studio album in the beginning of 1998, but ONLY if we feel we have made the leap successfully that we are hoping for. KC is in a position of independence and we need not be pressured into delivery if the muse has not spoken. We will not do any touring in 1997 unless it is useful for preparation of the next album. These performances, if they should occur, would probably take place in South America in similar way to the work we did which was documented on B'Boom.

So, I suppose for some of the hard-core fans, coming to the HORDE shows may not be something they would want to do, I don't know. (Our management and some of the band members would probably kill me if they heard that I posted THAT on EleTalk.) On all of the HORDE dates we will be the first band on the large stage, and we will be playing a 45 to 60 minute show depending on the date (not one second more and no encores.) This means that we will be playing early in the day (usually around 5:00 p.m., but sometimes as early as 3:30.) This is due to the fact that Rusted Root, Lenny Kravitz, and Blues Traveler sell a bizzillion more records than we do. Because we have such a short amount of time to "do our thing" we will probably be playing very different sets at the different shows.

So, for those of you who are mainly in interested in new material and feel let down by the current set-lists maybe this isn't for you. But don't worry, it's coming. Though, I will add the band is playing better than ever and the new THRAK's leave THRACKaTTacK in the dust!

Myself, I'm very much looking forward to seeing Morphine and Son Volt at the HORDE and maybe even sneaking into Lenny Kravitz's wardrobe case on occasion to spruce up our image.


trey gunn

[Schizoid Man Eyes] Back to Elephant Talk -- Articles page