Log for The Artist Shop IRC Chat with Ian McDonald on Wednesday, October 27, 1999

WotanCCC: .
WotanCCC: ******************************
WotanCCC: .
WotanCCC: . Welcome to tonight's
WotanCCC: . Artist Shop
WotanCCC: . Featured Artist Conference
WotanCCC: .
WotanCCC: . Ian McDonald
WotanCCC: .
WotanCCC: . Presented by
WotanCCC: . @Music and TalkCity
WotanCCC: .
WotanCCC: ******************************

WotanCCC: Many will remember Ian as the main composer keyboardist/wind instrumentalist for the original King Crimson. Ian is here tonight to talk to us about his days with King Crimson, the recently remastered "In The Court of the Crimson King", and his new solo effort "Drivers Eyes".  Guests on this album include Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Lou Gramm, Gary Brooker, John Waite, Mike Giles, Peter Frampton, a co-write with Pete Sinfield (the first since King Crimson and McDonald & Giles days). One track is purely a McDonald and Giles track.

This is Ians third visit with us here at TalkCity. Ian, we appreciate you taking the time out to come back and speak with us today. Welcome to @Music and TalkCity!

IanMcDonald: Thank you very much, it's good to be back.  I look forward to speaking with the audience, cyberspace audience.

ASKIAN: WotanCCC says: Are you happy with the 30th anniversary reissue of In The Court of the Crimson King? Is there anything you would change?

IanMcDonald: Although I recently got a copy, I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Ive been told it's very good and that it's like hearing it for the first time. I think the packaging is great and its a pity it can't be done indefinitely like that (it's a limited edition, the packaging). When I get a spare hour, I'll give it a listen. I look forward to hearing it. Wotan, what do you think of it?

ASKIAN: dougm_phi78 says: will Iian be doing any mellotron work his upcoming album.

IanMcDonald: Looks like Wotan got disconnected, so we'll go to the next one till he gets back.  Actually there are no mellotrons on the Drivers Eyes album. I wasn't able to get my hands on a Mark II, but I did use the next best thing, which is a real orchestra. Or at least a small one - a ten piece string section.

ASKIAN: DanKirkd says: Ian, A pleasure to have you here for the chat. I am; curious if you've ever considered becoming a DGM artist, and if not, why not?

IanMcDonald: Well, I am a DGM artist indirectly, or even directly if you consider the early Crimson material I'm involved in, as it's all on DGM. It was obviously one of my considerations. It just happened that my deal with Camino, Steve Hackett's label, just fell into place very naturally. So that's where I made my home.

IanMcDonald: Hi, Wotan, welcome back. So tell me, what did you think of the 'Court' remaster?

WotanCCC: I'm still waiting for my copy. I've ordered it but haven't got it yet. I don't have your connections.
WotanCCC: B-{)}

IanMcDonald: Then get one from Gary ;-)
WotanCCC: <---- poking Gary in the side....

ASKIAN: Rajaz says: Have your heard of a Prog Fest in the works for 2000, how true is this?

IanMcDonald: I've heard of something in Panama City if I'm correct in thinking that,   that's about all that I know about.

ASKIAN: veldhuid says: Any plans to work again with Hackett. BTW I loved Tokyo Tapes.

IanMcDonald: Thank you, yes, the Tokyo Tapes concert was a lot of fun! Steve does appear on Drivers Eyes, and also I will be appearing on Steve's next album. I am on his current album Darktown too.

ASKIAN: Bravos10 says: what was it like to play with Robert Fripp ?

IanMcDonald: It's been a while now, but I have nothing but fond memories of the live shows that we did with the original King Crimson. They were quite 'out there,' and because the musicians in the original band had such confidence and trust in one another, in short, it was great playing with Robert.

ASKIAN: CaptainBeyond says: How has your taste and approach to music changed over the course of your career?

IanMcDonald: Hmmm. My approach hasn't changed really. Other than trying to become more and more accomplished as a musician. But my taste has always been quite broad, eclectic, and I try to bring in different elements into my writing style. But as I said before, my approach hasn't really changed. I've always just tried to serve the song or the particular piece of music as best I can.

ASKIAN: DanKirkd says: Have you considered buying one of Robert Fripp's Mellotrons?

IanMcDonald: I did make an attempt to try and secure the original 'In the Court' mellotron, but I think Robert was looking for the highest bidder.  But it would have been nice to have that particular machine.

ASKIAN: dayat says: Which period of your musical career satisfies you most?

IanMcDonald: I think whenever I'm working and whenever I'm playing I get great satisfaction and enjoyment, but I must say I'm very happy to be releasing my first solo album in the US at this point in time. So I'm deriving a lot of satisfaction from that. It's great to be able to offer an album of my music to the American listener.

ASKIAN: veldhuid says: What are you're future plans?

IanMcDonald: I'm thinking about touring perhaps in the near future. But I also intend to produce other artists.  In fact, I've just completed production on an album by a jazz harpist by the name of Park Stickney, which with any luck will be available from Artist Shop.

IanMcDonald: Of course I'm enjoying the release of Drivers Eyes. But I'm also thinking about the next album.  And I'm very eager to continue to record and release albums.

ASKIAN: Rajaz says: Ian, will the Wetton-Hackett group ever tour again?

IanMcDonald: I'm not sure. That was kind of a one off event. It was a lot of fun. It was a really short tour, however.  I think the group was just getting good when we had to pack up and go home.  It would be great to do more shows with that particular line up. But there is nothing definite as yet.

ASKIAN: CelestialWays says: Hi Ian, I'm a Foreigner and a new King Crimson fan, many of us remember you with Foreigner and even when you had only a little participation there I always remember you with the band, "Starrider" will always be one of my favorites, you recorded great flute parts on the studio version and on several live versions, well, I won't ask about M.Jones, but what is your relationship with Lou?

IanMcDonald: Well, my relationship with Lou is very good. In fact, he was kind enough to give me a vocal on my new album. He sounds great on that! I must say that my involvement or participation in Foreigner might be a little larger than you may seem to perceive. I had quite a bit to do with arrangements and production that you may not be aware of.  But thank you for noticing my flute playing. I had a great time in Foreigner and I'm glad you appreciate the group.

ASKIAN: dayat says: Probably a stupid question :-) but what instrument do you find most comfy with to play?

IanMcDonald: It's not a stupid question. But it's hard to answer, because I enjoy playing whatever I happen to be playing at the time. I very much enjoy the wind instruments. I feel that I can be more expressive on these instruments. But I do enjoy playing piano and guitar. Because they're polytonal and therefore much more useful for writing, etc. And more physical in a way as well as rhythmic. So in short I tend to use the single note instruments for more lyrical work, and the other instruments for more chordal work although there is crossover between the two.

ASKIAN: DanKirkd says: Is there a plan for a tour? Who would the musicians be this time?

IanMcDonald: Nothing has been formally planned. But I don't know if you're aware of the players on Drivers Eyes, but Steve Holly on drums and Kenny Aaronson on bass would definitely be there.  As far as GE Smith and some of the other players, I'm not sure. It depends on their availability. And, of course, with so many well known vocalists, it might be a little tricky to take everyone on the road. ;-)  But if I can figure that one out, I'll let you know!

ASKIAN: Rajaz says: Ian, what would you say was your main input on the "Court" album? Did you get enough credit?

IanMcDonald: Well, we didn't specifically credit ourselves with anything in particular but I had a great deal to do with the production. We all contributed to that album. I think that during that album I began to realize my aptitude towards production. It's hard for me to state my contribution compared to anyone else in the band. I think anyone can hear the part that I played. But I must again stress that it was a group effort. And I'm not counting percentages of who contributed what.  We all gave 100%.

ASKIAN: dougm_phi725 says: why is it that you never did a follow up album w/Michael Giles?

IanMcDonald: It was never 'our intention' to be a permanent group. There's still maybe a follow up.  After the release of the first McDonald and Giles album, I think I needed to do other things. But Mike and I reunited recently for a track on my album, and I will be playing on some tracks of his that he is recording! So in a sense there is a kind of a follow up going on right now.

ASKIAN: DanKirkd says: Ian, how did you and Steve Hackett first hook up? What is it about your musical relationship that you think makes it work so well?

IanMcDonald: I, in fact, met Steve before he even hooked up with Genesis. And although we didn't work together until fairly recently we've always been good friends. I'm glad you think we work well together. And we are still developing that working relationship.

The tokyo Tapes came about with John Wetton suggesting to Steve that he ask me if I would like to participate. And, of course, I was more than happy to do that. It was great to at last have the opportunity to play with such a good guitarist as Steve.

ASKIAN: WotanCCC says: To what do you attribute the break up of the original Crimso? It seemed like such a quick rise and demise.

IanMcDonald: Well, there were a number of reasons. I take full responsibility. I think what it comes down to is that I wasn't really emotionally mature enough at the time to really be able to handle what was going on. It was becoming quite overwhelming without me quite realizing it. And so one day I just made a rather impetuous decision. In hindsight, it might have been better to have not been hasty,
but I can't do much about that now. I must say it was really good for me when a couple of years ago
the band was reunited at least, if not musically, but physically for the release of the Epitaph box. That was a wonderful opportunity for the five of us to be in the same room at the same time after goodness knows how many years! And also having new material released on the Epitaph box.  It was almost like having a second album from the first group.

ASKIAN: veldhuid says: do you have an offical web page?

IanMcDonald: Not yet, this is something I need to do. I don't even have an official computer yet! But I will take care of this as soon as I can.

ASKIAN: CelestialWays says: <What's the meaning of your new album to you, why was important to you to release this album?>

IanMcDonald: I've always wanted to be recognized as an artist in my own right. Not that I've a tremendous amount of ego involved in the album,  because to me the album itself and the music come first.

WotanCCC: Folks, we're having a little technical difficulty. Ian just got the boot. But he's trying to get back on right now. I hope you are enjoying this time with Ian. The transcript of this event will be posted within a few days on the @Music discussion boards on Talk City http://www.talkcity.com/atmusic   and on the Artist Shop web site http://www.artist-shop.com

WotanCCC: ****

WotanCCC: . For more information on Ian McDonald,  King Crimson and "Drivers Eyes"  go to;  http://www.artist-shop.com

WotanCCC: ****

WotanCCC: In fact I highly recommend the artist shop for lovers of quality music. An excellent place to find music that you probably won't find in your local CD store, or other retail music sites on the web.

WotanCCC: and Ian has returned. Welcome back Ian.

IanMcDonald: Thanks, it's nice to be back. It's been a while. Hmmm Deja Vu? I missed you.

WotanCCC: Yeah, it seems that way doesn't it?

IanMcDonald: Was there another question I missed?

WotanCCC: Must be our karma. I've been tap dancing so I've forgotten where we were. How about a new question?

ASKIAN: Rajaz says: What progressive rock groups do you listen and like nowdays?

WotanCCC: Thanks Rajaz!  Good timing.
WotanCCC: B-{)}

IanMcDonald: At the risk of alienating my listeners, I've never really listened to so called 'progressive' music. I've always listened to a lot of classical music and jazz, but in terms of rock music, at the time of the so called progressive movement I think I was more interested in groups such as The Beatles and Cream, etc., and writers such as Neil Young and music of this ilk. I've never particularly, believe it or not, identified with the 'progressive rock' scene.

Although I have come to accept that King Crimson is seen as part of that genre, we were just making music that we felt we wanted to at the time, and we were fortunate enough to come along at a time when groups such as ours were given creative freedom in the studio. Thanks to the Beatles! And Sgt. Pepper! So I know there are a number of excellent bands in the progressive style,  but I do think that sometimes these progressive groups might even limit themselves to a somewhat formulaic mode of composition.

To me progressive means including different influences and expanding the basic rock combination of drums, guitar, bass, etc. When one tries to play in a particular style with lyrics that tend to have a medieval atmosphere to them, I think it might be a little bit regressive rather than progressive if anything. But having said that, I do think that there are many terrific players that are dedicated to the progressive movement. And I applaud anyone who tries to do things a little differently. Or to make music that has their own identity.

WotanCCC: Is there anything else you would like to mention before we conclude today?

IanMcDonald: I've probably mentioned it too many times already. But I hope that as many of your listeners as possible enjoy the Drivers Eyes album. I've put a lot into it and I'm very proud of it. I look forward to your listener's comments next time we speak. Thank you once again for giving me this opportunity to talk to your audience. It's been a lot of fun.

WotanCCC: Very cool. That sounds good. Maybe we'll get the karma thing together next time too.
WotanCCC: B-{)}Looks like our time is up. I'd like to thank everyone for joining us tonight.

WotanCCC: Ian, we appreciate your taking the time to come and chat with us. We all hope youšll come back to Talk City again soon!

WotanCCC: . For more information on Ian McDonald, his solo CD Drivers Eyes, King Crimson or The Steve Hackett Band go to;  http://www.artist-shop.com

IanMcDonald: It would be my pleasure, thank you very much.

WotanCCC: 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 Ian McDonald.

IanMcDonald: And thanks for all the questions.

WotanCCC: Don't forget to drop by the Artist Shop and explore all of their musical offerings.

WotanCCC: . http://www.artist-shop.com

WotanCCC: Thanks Ian, thanks Gary. And thanks to you folks for coming. Night everyone.


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