Log of The Artist Shop/Talk City chat with Tony Levin and David Torn on Sunday, March 29, 1998


Session Start: Sun Mar 29 1998

<WotanCCC> Our good friend Gary Davis from the Artist Shop will be typing for Tony and David today. Gary is a typin fool... B-{)} We will send as many questions to Tony and David as time allows.

<GaryD> Actually, instead of typing, I'll be copying and pasting like a mad fool!

<WotanCCC> LOL

<GaryD> I have both Tony and David on-line now on AOL. I will be pasting the question to them, then pasting their responses back here!

<WotanCCC> Ok, lets get this show on the road.

<WotanCCC> ******************************
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Welcome to tonight's
<WotanCCC> . Artist Shop
<WotanCCC> . Featured Artist Conference
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Tony Levin
<WotanCCC> . and
<WotanCCC> . David Torn
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Presented by
<WotanCCC> . @Music and TalkCity
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ******************************

<WotanCCC> Bassist Tony Levin of King Crimson and experimental guitarist/loopmaster/sonic mayhem maker David Torn have joined us today to talk about their latest recording effort "Bruford Levin Upper Extremities". Tony Levin has toured and/or recorded with Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, John Lennon, Lou Reed, and many more. His two projects on Papa Bear Records - World Diary and From the Caves of the Iron Mountain - have etched new ground musically and carved out a place in the industry for the company. Guitarist David Torn has been recording his own avant garde projects for some time - a leader in the field of new instrumental music, he's much in demand at European festivals. His album Cloud About Mercury featured Bruford and Levin and has become a classic of the genre. Our good friend Gary Davis of the Artist Shop will be typing for Tony and David today.

<WotanCCC> Tony and David, we appreciate you taking the time out to speak with us today. Welcome to @Music and TalkCity!

<GaryD> When I do pasting for Tony, he's referred to as Levinbass. David is Texture444.

Texture444:    herro to all: yo!

LevinBass:    First, let me say hi to you all, and thanks for coming by. I'm not actually at the site, but in an aol room, and the dialog's being pasted to me please forgive any delays - I'll be typing as fast as I can (no dictating for me & David!) to try and correspond with everyone here.

Texture444:    same w/me: torn, that is.....

<WotanCCC> Thanks so much. Upper Extremities is absolutely incredible.  Can you tell us where the original idea for the CD came from, and do you have any plans to record again with the same lineup of musicians?

LevinBass:    Mr. Bruford and I, having played for about 18 yrs together,

Texture444:    (i'm eating cold chicken breast on garlic toast w/roasted peppers.....

LevinBass:    in Crimson, had been wanting to    do something on our own - logic led us to use the Tornster, who fits in perfectly with our thing --- then I thought that Chris Botti's simple melodic sense might hold the whole thing down to earth.

Texture444:    (me, i just wanted to have some coffee w/mr. levin.)

LevinBass:    hah

Texture444:    hee

LevinBass:    and we DID have some happenin' espresso at the sessions.

Texture444:    f roast!

LevinBass:    yes, as I remember, David has a COFFEE endorsement, and provided the bean

<WotanCCC> You can never have too much Joe.

<WotanCCC> ****
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . For more information on todays guests and
<WotanCCC> . the CD "Bruford Levin Upper Extremities"
<WotanCCC> . go to;
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC>  the Papa Bear website;
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> http://www.papabear.com
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ****

AskUs> dan-etweb says: How was the music for BLUE written? Did you "noodle" until you hit a tune, or was it more structured than that?

LevinBass:    different ways, - (David, please give your input at same time) some compositions were from Bill B. - he usually writes pretty much what he wants all to play.  I like to leave room for each player to make up his own part - usually in reaction to what I've done. For example, first piece, Cerulean Sea, Levin bass line, sent to Torn, who puts on loops at "The Loop Pool" - david's studio,  then we present Bill B. with the whole thing, and laugh as he plays the weirdest drum part imaginable.

Texture444:    for my first go-round, tony presented me w/a coupla pieces on tape, that i messed around w/here, at the looppool

LevinBass:    Another example, Bill gives me a dat of gamelan percussion - I fool     around (loops, acoustic gtrs, etc) with it, slow it down to 1/50th the speed! send it to the Loop Pool, then overdubbed Monks chant onto the whole thing

Texture444:    and: i *loved* going into the studio w/tl, bb & cb to do that very live, visceral thang.

<WotanCCC> Whats the looppool?

Texture444:    the looppool is my home studio!

<WotanCCC> Ahhh, thanks.

Texture444:    (pool of loops, yo.....)

LevinBass:    David, what was your other name for the studio? I loved it

Texture444:    i also call my studio "ubiquitous cafe & mastering".....

LevinBass:    Ah, The Ubiquitous Cafe! perhaps the name of our next offering!!

Texture444:    right on, ya know.

<WotanCCC> Great CD title.

<AskUs> swedefan18 says: To Tony and David: Why is Chris Botti on this cd instead of Mark Isham?

LevinBass:    Don't know- I haven't seen or worked with Mark in many years...Chris is a friend, an excellent player - that's why I thought of him first.

<GaryD> Texture444:    me, neither! though he uses my loops pretty regularly.....

<WotanCCC> For some reason Bruford Levin Upper Extremities made me think of King Crimsons early effort "Lizard". Was there an intentional connection there or is it just me? In fact after my first listen to Blue I immediately put on Lizard and Islands.....seemed to work...

LevinBass:    I haven't heard that music, so it wasn't intentional - can't help having been influenced by Mr Fripp though, after 18 yrs in the band.

Texture444:    i'm not familiar w/the crimson material, so.....

LevinBass:    There was a mention of the cd and tour on MTV news last week, which featured how one of the tracks has a riff from Led Zeppelin. I was pleased to see them mention the cd, NO MATTER WHY! (Maybe I should steal all the riffs, and get more publicity that way!) They (MTV) even asked Plant & Page what they thought. No reply.

<WotanCCC> Led Zeppelin? I must have missed that...which cut?

LevinBass:    Midnite Glass

<GaryD> You'll hear a bit of Kashmir on it ;-)

LevinBass:    Of course, the riff was played by me on Uprite Bass, with a bow, which right away makes it quite a different kind of thing -- i WISH I could sound like Page

Texture444:    moi, aussi. hey: did iplay some pseudo-arabic acoustic stuff on that track?

<AskUs> ogg says: do you plan to do any Cloud About Mercury material on the tour?

Texture444:    the rumors are that we might play 3 minutes of pure entertainment & previous man

LevinBass:    Ogg? Is that you Oscar? Anyway, yes, we'll probably do at least one track from that Classic.

Texture444:    , nah? oscar? really?

<WotanCCC> Can you share some performance dates with us? And do you have any plans for West Coast appearances?

LevinBass:    the U.S. dates start April 13st in New Haven (Toad's Place) Can't do the W. Coast - only have the band for two weeks, and we had to stick to the East Coast. Very sorry. Second show, Phila. TLA on the 14th then Alexandria VA, Birchmere on the 15th. well.... why don't you just go to the Papabear site, and see the schedule. It's http://www.papabear.com

<AskUs> ogg says: David: Does your hearing problem cause you any trouble in a live band situation?

Texture444:    thanks for asking! i'm used to it, so long as i can stand at stage left!

LevinBass:    I find that I have trouble hearing David now. (lol)

Texture444:    i mean: stage right! tl: turn yer spkrs on.

LevinBass:    OH.

<WotanCCC> I love the packaging . Tony, can you tell us about the artwork and the design for the package?

LevinBass:    Used the same packaging design I did for previous Papa Bear records, slightly diff. inner booklet - I like to vary them. The artwork is my paintings, done to various tracks on the cd (cover painting, titled Upper Extremities, was painted while listening to "Cerulean Sea" looped.

<AskUs> veilmaya says: when is BLUE coming to the UK??

LevinBass:    Well, I tried to get the band for Summer tour, but they're too busy with outher work - Other work, that is, so I had to pass on that I still have some hopes for Fall, but not in the works yet.

Texture444:    i is ready

<AskUs> heyday says: David I like your film scoring on Kalifornia and Short Cuts are you doing any more soundtracks?

Texture444:    thanks, yeah: i did play on botha those scores, but i didn't write anything but my parts (& my textures). i've done probly about 50 films, by now. the new ones are: the big lebowski, conspiracy theory, the velvet goldmine, snake eyes, theme: murder, etc etc.....

LevinBass:    Say, David, didn't I hear you on "Gone with the Wind"?

Texture444:    gone w/ my own wind,

LevinBass:    quicker to tell us the films you DIDN'T play on. Go way with yer wind!

Texture444:    haaaaaaaawwwwww me wind is blowing deep, wot w/all this garlic toast!

LevinBass:    I've gone to the kitchen thrice now, waiting fer questions...

<AskUs> swedefan18 says: To Tony: Do you think there will be a KC after the ProjeCKs? Or is this just the 90´s way of breaking up?

LevinBass:    good question! We'll mostly be in Japan next week, and I'm sure we'll talk over the plans for the coming year. - Mostly it's in Robert's head, so I can't say much about the future. I do know we're still a band, just looking for alternative ways to spur our writing on to ...to... different places.

Texture444:    i'd like to take this opportunity to request the position of 3rd guitarist in KC & the sunshine band.

LevinBass:    Everyone, it's a Beautiful Sunday afternoon here in NYC, and I'm on a break from rehearsing with Jeff Beck - In 15 minutes I'm afraid I'll have to run back downtown and continue, and I'm very sorry if there are questions we didnt get to.

<AskUs> kenzak says: The two of you are on record as being avid coffee drinkers. Any recommendations? (currently sipping an espresso of Peet's Major Dickason's)

LevinBass:    Peet's is Goood. Torn's the expert on that -- I believe he's a user of that make.

Texture444:    Peet's Major Dickason's! inna stainless steel, stovetop expresso maker.....

LevinBass:    Of course, on the ROAD, where it counts, I RULE, with the Crimson Valet, which is a touring setup for making good espresso and cappucinno (I don't indulge in the latter) So we're well hooked up backstage. On the B.L.U.E. tour, however, finances don't permit taking that along (or crew either!!)

Texture444:    tl: d'ya bring that thang out, w/us, mehopes?

<WotanCCC1> Everyone MUST go to the PapaBear website and check out the Crimson Valet.

Texture444:    guess not.

LevinBass:    so I've put out a call, on the site, for suggestions for excellent brew near each venue. Have had lots of helpful responses, and of course, they're up on the site with the itinerary.

<AskUs> scope says: <DAVID - Are you still using Rivera amplifiers these days?

Texture444:    rivera: yes, indeedy-do. m-100, two 100 duo-12's.

<AskUs> dumela says: Tony, this seems like it might be your first tour (?) as a leader/co-leader. Is the experience any different from other tours?

<WotanCCC1> Good question Dumela

LevinBass:    YES< it's the first time I've been in charge. It's MUCH more fun to just be the bass player!

Texture444:    folks: sorry: i must leave the arena, as my son has a rehearsal to which i gotsta go. peace!

<WotanCCC1> Thanks David.

Texture444:    bye, tl. sorry. gotta bolt.

LevinBass:    I can't wait til the first show to just     be a guy in the band again. I didn't KNOW how much work it is doing the booking. (of course I'm also doing promotion for the cd, and trying to setup instores in some of the cities near the venues. Generally I don't sell the cd's in stores, but it seems that since we're out there, I'd like to give people a place, other than the show itself, where they can get the cd.

<WotanCCC1> Sounds like a great idea.

<AskUs> rael_ says: is projekct 1 live at the jazz cafe going to be released on CD?

LevinBass:    I don't know about that ... of course we DID record it... and these recordings of Crim stuff have a way of finding their way onto disc sooner or later.

<WotanCCC1> Luckily

LevinBass:    Don't know of any plans for release though.

<AskUs> ubo says: Question for Tony: What is the future of King Crimson, will it exist as fractal projeckts (As Robert Fripp describes them) from now on?

LevinBass:    I don't think it'll be long till we do a major album again - depends on the writing. I know we won't put one out till we're happy with a new direction (it's not a band that can just do what we did before).

<AskUs> bagelboy says: <of all the musicians Tony has not worked with, what names come to mind (especially the odd ones!!)>

LevinBass:    there are lots I'd love to play with - basically anyone who plays great! A couple I asked to be on World Diary who couldn't do it are: Gwo Uye, a flutist, Kazumi Watanabe, guitarist. and ....cant' think of her name - but she's Pakistani, and sings unaccompanied -- Great!@ Sheila Chandra!

<AskUs> scope says: <TONY - Will there be any newversions of the FUNK FINGERS?>

LevinBass:    don't know .... no plans to change the design. I've got a page on the site for users to share ideas with each other - some wild stuff there. I have to go quite soon...

<AskUs> ianonthebeach says: Since you live close to one another, can we expect more of these types of gettogethers in the future?

LevinBass:    well, we certainly like each other, and see each other up in Woodstock a lot, but as the record company, I'm finding that there's a large expense in releaseing a cd - (especially cause I'm fussy about the packaging being great so it' s not practical to put out many releases from Papabear. Having said that, I'd love to work again with this same lineup. We will be recording the live shows too, just in case.

LevinBass:    I'm afraid I've got to return to rehearsal - thank you all for coming,

<WotanCCC1> Thank you Tony.

LevinBass:    and for your patience. Though my screenname today is just a temporary one, LevinBass@aol.com I'll keep it for a few weeks, in case any of you have questions to e-mail me, and I'll try to get to them from out on the road. Please visit my page in the next weeks, for tour diary, and photos http://www.papabear.com/tlev.htm. Best wishes to you all, tony

<WotanCCC1> Very cool! We appreciate that. Looks like our time is up... I'd like to thank everyone for joining us tonight. Tony and David, we appreciate taking the time to come and chat with us. We all hope youšll come back to Talk City again soon! It was great. Thanks! For more information on today's guests and the CD "Bruford Levin Upper Extremities" go to the Papa Bear website; http://www.papabear.com. Finally, thanks to the Artist Shop for working with us on this conference. We especially appreciate the efforts of Gary Davis in giving us the opportunity to speak with Tony Levin and David Torn. Don't forget to drop by the Artist Shop and explore all of their musical offerings. http://www.artist-shop.com.   Thank you all for coming folks.

<GaryD> I'm a copying and pasting fool!!!!

<WotanCCC1> Good job buddy.

<WotanCCC1> Next on our Artist Shop Featured Artist Series:
<WotanCCC1> .
<WotanCCC1> . Sunday, April 5 at
<WotanCCC1> . 2 pm pt / 5pm et
<WotanCCC1> .
<WotanCCC1> . Buck Dharma
<WotanCCC1> . of
<WotanCCC1> . Blue Oyster Cult
<WotanCCC1> .
<WotanCCC1> . another
<WotanCCC1> . Artist Shop / @Music
<WotanCCC1> . production
<WotanCCC1> .

Session Close: Sun Mar 29 23:10:40 1998

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