Interview with Adrian Belew in Musician

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Date Submitted: 6-Oct-1992
Submitted By: Paolo Valladolid (pvallado at waynesworld dot ucsd dot edu)

Subject: _Musician_, August 1984 interview with Crimson: Belew

"I feel, personally, that I'm getting further and further from wanting to do the normal pop song, the kind of thing I think I was brought into the band to do." [ me: Wasn't 1984 about the time Belew worked on _Desire Caught By the Tail_? The liner notes in _Desire of the Rhino King_ said that Belew at that time was tired of pop and caught up in the romance of art...]

"I think about the future of the band all the time."

"I think of myself as not a very articulate person. But I do study the dictionary a lot and read lots of words, because I think it's part of being a lyricist to understand words.

"My two favorite drummers of all time were Ringo Starr and Bill Bruford."

...Earlier he was leaning with Fripp, trying to get Bill to simplify. But that, he feels, was in a period when the songs were also leaning in that direction... He's less inclined (now) to stomp on someone else's inner path when he's just beginning to dust off his own. Like the lyric says - "dig me...but don't.. bury me."

"...I feel that Bill should be playing as Bill plays. Because I love it...and there are plenty of drum machines that can play a straightforward pulse if that's what you like...I prefer Bill being Bill, which implies inventiveness and pretty much placing the beat all over the place."

Of course if Bill plays that way it's guaranteed to irk Fripp...

"I haven't found the solution to this basic dilemma yet. Right now we're starting to arrive at a style where Bill and I play together with me functioning as the beat drummer, which I'm pretty good at, and Bill functioning as the random schizophrenic drummer...I think that should be the answer...I know this problem really bothers Robert. And I don't really know what to say about that, because it doesn't bother me anymore."

"I'll tell you one difference I think we've successfully managed. For a long time the band had talked about playing more freeform style, actually not playing together. It was suggested that we go into the studio and really not pay attention to each other, but still try and go in the same direction...That's how a lot of the industrial sounding stuff came about, by just going in there and trying to make an 'almighty noise', as Robert calls it. Where it really works for me is the thing I'm happiest about on the whole record, 'Dig Me', where I told the guys I wanted to lay down this very awkward guitar part and then have them play to it, but in a way that would sound like we're really not playing together...The song sounds like it's falling apart."

"...We got all this stuff (new gear piled around the rehearsal room) set up and we were looking at it and saying 'Gee whiz, look at all this,' and I said 'Y'know, boys, we should just go back to Strats and Super Reverbs.' And Tony and Bill and I were laughing about that and we just shook our heads and said 'Yeah, man, we'll just have a garage sale.'"