Tag Archives: Bill Rieflin

Ep. #225: Tony Levin of King Crimson

Tony Levin is an accomplished musician who originally hails from Massachusetts. A noted bassist and master of a polyphonic chordal guitar called the Chapman Stick, Levin has appeared on over 500 albums by people like John Lennon, Alice Cooper, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Sarah McLachlan, and Lou Reed among others. In recent years, he became a full-fledged member of the pioneering progressive rock band King Crimson, whose current tour includes a three-night stand at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on November 19, 20, and 21. Here, Tony and I discuss the strangeness of being off the road and at home, upstate New York, Big Pink, joining King Crimson in 1981 and staying in the same line-up for some years, being the fifth man in a four-man group, when the band broke up in 1986 and re-formed in 2008, meeting Robert Fripp during the 1976 sessions for Peter Gabriel’s first solo album, working with Robert as a band leader, the drumming of Bill Rieflin, Pat Mastelotto, and Gavin Harrison, musical direction and creative freedom, good and bad bass ideas, Robert’s trust, the meaning and connotation behind “progressive” or “prog rock,” why such bands seem to call upon Tony for sessions, Lawrence Gowan, punk and prog rock, playing bass on John Lennon’s final album Double Fantasy and what he and those sessions were like, revered musicians are normal people, not navel-gazing or admiring past accomplishments, musicians who predict the future of their own work, King Crimson’s touring and recording plans, playing new material live, “Radical Action” and “Meltdown,” plans an improvisation, touring the strange animal that is Canada, the song “21st Century Schizoid Man,” and that was it.

Related links: papabear.com dgmlive.com vishkhanna.com


Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes. Now available via AudioBoom.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ep. #223: Ian MacKaye & Steve Albini (Part I)

Ian MacKaye was once in bands like Minor Threat and Embrace and is currently in the bands Fugazi and the Evens. He also co-founded and continues to oversee the excellent label Dischord Records, which is based in his hometown of Washington D.C. Steve Albini has been in bands like Big Black and Rapeman and is currently in the vital and wondrous rock trio, Shellac of North America. He’s a very well-respected recording engineer who owns and operates the Electrical Audio facility in the city of Chicago, Illinois, where he has lived for a good long time. In this first of a two-part moderated conversation between Ian and Steve, we discuss how they first met via either the late John Loder or Corey Rusk, Steve’s harshly written published review of the Rites of Spring record, Big Black playing D.C., machines and heartbeats, the formalization of punk, the influence of Minor Threat, punk violence, the Butthole Surfers, one-upmanship, explaining Pailhead and how Ian came to work with Al Jourgensen, the significance of John Loder, his company Southern Records, and its role in distributing underground music, Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Wax Trax! Records, Strike Under, punk to electronic music, Paul “Ion” Barker, the Blackouts, Bill Rieflin, drumming, Chicago’s drug scene, Minor Threat’s ferocity and execution, the time Pailhead employed an Ian MacKaye impersonator at shows, Adrian Sherwood almost working with Big Black, the story behind the In on the Kill Taker sessions, staying in London and missing John Loder, why Fugazi recorded in Chicago, how the greatest session ever yielded the saddest demo tapes, Fugazi let its guard down, Steve’s magical rapport with bands, Fugazi goes hard, how Steve bonded with Fugazi during their session together, stifling your fandom as an engineer, treating people you record with respect and trusting their vision, Ian teaches Steve how to double vocals, Ian’s phrasing, single vocals are just fine, trumpets, Ian as a prolific producer, the first Teen Idles recording session with a mean engineer, how Terrie from the Ex obtained his first guitar, Skip Groff and Don Zientara, Inner Ear Studio, Round Raoul Records, resisting technological trends when running a studio, how the In on the Kill Taker sessions with Steve ended up circulating publicly, Fugazi tried to bury it, how records leak, the song “Great Cop,” and that was the end of part one.

Related links: dischord.com electricalaudio.com vishkhanna.com


FLS0609 via Neil Thomason_01

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes. Now available via AudioBoom.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,