Why I love John Wetton, by Pallbearer's Joseph D Rowland

a portrait of john wetton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

He was such an emotive player. He played around with the rhythm so much and was a true master of being able to begin as hard as he could and then fall back to a lighter, pianissimo sort of dynamic. So much of the lyrics and tonality of King Crimson’s music was bitter cynicism and I think his playing imbued that too.

Now I have an all-white P Bass – that’s my John Wetton tribute. I thought it looked really badass and it might give me a little bit of his magic. I told the guy who makes my pickups to reference the three King Crimson records that he was on too.

Camel are another huge influence, Pink Floyd, Magma, Amon Düül… I saw Gong earlier this year which was absolutely mind-blowing as well, but I can’t honestly think of any other musician in the prog realm who played such a key role in as many bands as John Wetton did. He’s gone down in history as a really hardworking musician who always did incredible work.”

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Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.