Interview with Tony Levin in Musician
Date Submitted: 6-Oct-1992
Submitted By: Paolo Valladolid (pvallado at waynesworld dot ucsd dot edu)
Subject: _Musician_, Aug. 1984 Crimson Interview: Levin
"I'd never listened to King Crimson. Wasn't influenced at all by the band and here I am in it."
"Crimson live is better...You mean Robert says that too? You mean we agree?
...He loves taking pictures while on tour so much that he finally published ..._Road Photos_. He loves the opera so much that...he tried to schedule his tours so that they wouldn't conflict with the season at the Met. He shifts with equal fascination from discussing the joys...of electronic mail, to boxing, to how overwhelming he found his visit to the Rodin...in Paris.
...a growing tension between Bruford and Fripp. That's why Tony is busy programming a (drum machine) to use on the upcoming tour...Clearmountain and Tony wound up creating a whole new drum track for the song ("Sleepless"), by taking the sounds of Bill's snare and bass drums and electronically cutting them back into the track...
"We had tried recording that song (Sleepless) before. It was slow and moody. BUt we ended giving up on the song in June...in December, I was in a different mood with my playing, and I did the slapping part instead of using a pick, as well as playing it much faster. It just took off to a different place then...That \ happened with quite a few songs. On this album, more than the others, we would get together and work hard and...fail...we breathed a collective sigh of relief because about half of the album just suddenly, magically came together.
...the band has a mind of its own...we're four pretty intelligent guys and we ca can't push the band in any direction, even though we try.
...But I think he (Robert) feels better about the band than he says he does ...I'm a very strong player, so I...guessed that...I would have counteracted Bill's English style. But I didn't. Instead...I grew. In a sense, I deserted Adrian and left him with the pop element of the band. I went English. I went busy. But that was years ago and I've done a much in that direction as I can so I've fallen back to playing with a strong pulse...
Tony's new experiment is in mixing electric and synth bass as tone colors, by playing both at the same time ( me: he should get a Peavey MIDIBase! ).
"Both Robert and Adrian, when they create a song, create the whole basis of the song. Which doesn't leave a whole lot of room for the other guitar player. And they usually have bass parts in mind and certainly a drum part, an dits not easy for them to see those go...and sometimes it's not easy to make them go...
"When we first started rehearsing this album, I was intent on it being more of a dance album...as King Crimson goes, anyway...By the time we were working in England another idea had become popular, of having it be an industrial album. I envisioned at one time doing a whole album like "Industry". Warner Bros. wouldn't have been happy at all."
"I've always loved barbershop quartets, ever since high school...I multitracked four vocal parts, and the next day I said "Right guys, seriously, I've got something here I think is pretty good and that we could do""
"And Robert said, 'Let's put it on the record.' Except for that, I think it was a pretty good laugh."
Truly a rare insight into Tony Levin the man.