Interview with Bill Bruford in Musician

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Date Submitted: 5-Oct-1992
Submitted By: Paolo Valladolid (pvallado at waynesworld dot ucsd dot edu)

Subject: _Musician_, August 1984 interview with Crimson: Bruford

"Its easier to be in Crimson now than it ever was...Robert and I are both a lot calmer, in my opinion."

"I'm a classic Englishman. I sort of garden like crazy. Physical labor balances musical activity beautifully."

"I love jazz, what can I say? I still listen to _A Love Supreme_ all the time. In that record I find just about everything I respect in music."

"Creating Crimson's music," he (Bruford) explains, " is just about everything that the general public thinks it isn't...they have this idea that Robert comes in with this huge stack of manuscript...but its not like that at all...the music's hardly composed, anyway. 'Composition' is a nice, flattering term... we'd all like to think that our better rock groups compose...but Crimson sort of scuffles for its music...I'm quite an irritant at rehearsals because I don't settle. What used to be that deal was that the drummer would get his part immediately so that the rest of the group could go on changing theirs. And a drummer was also what everybody else...overdubbed on...which is a bit like being shat on. I've come to resent this idea that the drummer has to be a carpet...So I've been retaliating by deliberately changing my part...which really gets them, that's an exaggeration. It keeps them on their wits, though."

" ...Take "Sleepless", for example. Does what happened to his original drum track faze him?

"I mostly played the tune the way I thought it should be played, leaving out great sections of drumming. Which were then put back in...I'm quite happy to sort of provide some drumming and then let other people rearrange them as they see fit...I quite like that. There used to be an...insufferable preciousness with music, where the note was the precious item."

..."Drumming, for me, doesn't really occur with a machine...It can take away some of the chore of keeping was held that the other musicians *couldn't* keep time, so they employed this guy called a drummer to do it for them...we have to assume that by now that Robert Fripp can keep time. And if he can't, well, that's tough. But timekeeping is also something that we need for the audience. The machine can handle it, leaving me free to stand and play a vertical rack setup...embroidering on the top."

..."in the West, we spend thousands of dollars getting rid of every...harmonic distortion, and then of course spend thousands of dollars putting it all back in again...In this oscilloscope mentality, music is supposed to abide by some mechanized rythmic formula...Rhymthm, to me, is about Tony Williams coming and going like the breeze, like a storm, rather than the thing that military bands went to war with. Which is called beat. Rhythm is pulse, as supposed to beat."

...There is another drummer in King Crimson, after all: Adrian Belew. Bill feels it is important for the band to exploit that.

"God - Adrian, what can I say about Adrian...I think what Adrian has realized is that he doesn't have to please anybody else. And the most pleasing he will be to me is when *he's* most pleased...

"I think a lot of his life he's had the traditional entertainer's idea that must supply what the customer wants. Jon Anderson and I always had arguments about that when I was in Yes. I used to say 'Good God, man, Charlie Parker never worried about what the audience thought!'. And he'd say 'Who's Charlie Parker?'"