This interview was conducted for a friend's daughter, as help for her school project:
Very interesting questions of the Hmm... sort. SO here we go.
1) What would you say prog rock is?
Ha! Yes - That dread question... Easier to say what it isn't ;-) !!
However perhaps it is an attempt by talented musicians (tho'
not always equally talented in the composition dept) to expand
the limited horizons of the the 3 minute pop song, utilising the
more simplistic elements of jazz, classical and ethnic music,
to often end up with the musical equivalent of the platypus?
2) Does it make a certain statement?
Hmm. Seldom. Though it often so wishes to think it does. An example
of perhaps truly progressive music IMHO would be Joni Mitchell.
3) Did it die? Is it alive? If it's dead, what killed it?
Nay... nay. It thrives in its own large niche rather like er, 'Christian Music.'
4) Where would you say progressive rock began? Who would you say began it?
Well - The easy answer is "Seargent Pepper..." by you know who.
5) How does the british invasion tie in with the onset of progressive rock?
No idea... perhaps for every action there is an equal reaction.
6) How was King Crimson formed?
That is a long story. But briefly; at a point in time when it was fashionable
to seek out restless, kindred spirits wishing to challenge the popular music
establishment. Those that were seeking hard enough somehow found each
other. This is perhaps comparable with previous movements in the fields &
streets of blues and jazz?
7) Did you play completely original music, or did you start out mimicking another band?
Well - While we found the time & inspiration to write our own stuff we did
a couple of tunes by others we respected... notably Joni Mitchell & G. Holst.
8) What did you do in the band?
Roadied- Built & operated 'the lights' - Mixed the sound - Art directed posters
& album covers - and, ahem, wrote the words before and/or after the Music.
9) Were there certain meanings to you'r lyrics?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no... On occasion just the sound of the words is
more delicious than their obvious superficial 'meaning' or message.
10) Did you try to keep the same theme in most of your lyrics?
Well I tried to let them be heartfelt and always have a distinct flavour of ME.
11) How were you discovered?
Ian MacDonald came to audition for my band... and famously said..."Look
man, your band is pathetic/useless/crap...but you write really interesting
lyrics. Would you like to get together and write some songs....?"
12) Was there a lot of pressure in keeping the crowd happy, or did you do the music for yourself?
We worked very hard to shock, beguile and astonish the crowd. Happy was
not a parameter we considered. We did it first for us and very 2nd for them.
13) Did the attitude of the band change once you were signed?
Ha! Perhaps it gave us the confidence to be even more adventurous...?
14) Did you ever decide to try something different with you'r music?
Sure... 10 years into my career when punk killed prog. I, ironically, decided
that it would be better to learn how to write HIT songs rather than starve.
15) Were there other genres of rock that appealed to you? Maybe glam and glitter rock, or punk?
Not as such.. I always go back to the roots and seeds; be they blue or classical.
16) What kind of music inspired King Crimson?
Music Hall, Bach, Miles Davis, Eddie Cochran... The list is endless. ;-)
17) Are you satisfied with the accomplishments of King Crimson? Do you think you could have accomplished more?
18) Have you won any awards? If so...what were they for?
I have 2 Ivor Novello awards for "The Best Song Lyrically & Musically"-
(Sort of UK grammys) for "Think Twice" & "Have You Ever been In Love"
(These are particularly nice as they depend on the votes of one's peers.)
There you go,
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