Tag Archives: John Lennon

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

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Ep. #206: Faith No More’s Billy Gould

Billy Gould is a musician, songwriter, and producer who originally hails from the state of California. Throughout his life, Gould has played in bands like Brujeria, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Fear and the Nervous System, and more, and he also started his own label, Koolarrow Records. But Gould’s most impactful work to date is in the band Faith No More, an idiosyncratic and subversive rock band he co-founded in 1981. After an 11 year hiatus, Faith No More reunited in 2009 and have toured the world sporadically ever since. This past May, the band released Sol Invictus, their first new album since 1997 and the first on their own imprint, Reclamation Records. They’ll continue to tour over the next few months, including Canadian stops at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on August 7 and Heavy MTL in Montreal on August 8.  Here, Billy and I discuss life in San Francisco with little sun and lots of tech, the city’s wild political and civil history, travelling to Austin and touring as much as possible over the past six years, getting Faith No More back together, meeting fan expectations and being better, starting a record label and working with cool international bands, Faith No More’s new record label, creative control, whether or not general audiences today are more open to being challenged by music, music festival globs, how we entertain us, the reception, writing and producing Sol Invictus, band geography, tapping into sounds he doesn’t hear, darkness and reality in a shiny city, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, heavy and catchy, Faith No More and a tipped over potato truck, fate no more, tension forever, it’s business time, fan demand, boxing, knowing one’s limits, touring with Refused, the song “Separation Anxiety,” and this is it.

Related links: fnm.com vishkhanna.com

photo by Dustin Rabin

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Ep. #196: José Miguel Contreras of By Divine Right

José Miguel Contreras is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, film composer, and amazing songwriter currently based in Toronto. Contreras is best known as the only consistent member of By Divine Right, a tremendously significant band whose past contributors include Feist and musicians who went on to form Broken Social Scene, Holy Fuck, and Sheezer among many others. By Divine Right’s first show took place in June 1990 and, on July 1, they celebrate their 25th anniversary with a big, all-star concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, featuring past and current members and other special guests. By Divine Right are also returning to the Hillside Festival on the July 24-26 weekend and will release a new record this year as well. Here, José and I talk about being in bed, freshening and boning up, the history of BDR, when they sucked, when they ruled, wanting and not wanting people to be in BDR’s revolving door lineup, Lysh and Geordie, Mark Goldstein on drums forever, the three-night stint with Change of Heart I saw in Guelph in 1997, getting going with a tape and touring with the Inbreds, the first person to ever leave BDR, the only time BDR might ever stop for good is now, the chemistry, the differences between Toronto and the internet in 1990 and now, seeing high school mate Hayden succeed, the importance of James Ogilvie, finding cool sounds, playing with Mark and James could be a bit dirty, Guelph’s Trasheteria, Dallas Good and drugs, going to high school with Sean Dean, born in Chile on John Lennon and Sean Lennon’s birthday, Yoko Ono might be creepy for not suggesting John hang out with the Beatles every once in a while, Chilean folk music and the Monkees, Beatles comps, where does happiness come from, finding your purpose, bliss bubbles, growing up in Thornhill and attending high school with Jian Ghomeshi who could be weird, Jian’s little black book, playing Jian’s high school show Swé, José’s role in the new film Porch Stories, his co-star Laura Barrett, the film’s plot and themes, acting again, music for him versus music for BDR, upcoming solo and BDR releases, leaving the Beaches for the west end, Divine @ 25 at the Harbourfront Centre, “itineration,” juicy past band members taking part in this thing, two hours of BDR, figuring out my role in this event, playing Hillside again, the song “More Thorns,” and that was it.

Related links: bydivineright.ca vishkhanna.com

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