Tony Levin believes the current incarnation of King Crimson is delivering "truly progressive prog rock."
The bassist and multi-instrumentalist describes the band’s eighth lineup as “radical” and heaped praise on mainman Robert Fripp’s vision for the group.
He’d suspended his career as a live performer in 2009 after a legal battle with a former record label spiralled out of control. But it was finally resolved in 2013 – and Fripp announced he’d formed a new Crimson lineup featuring drummers Gavin Harrison, Bill Reiflin and Pat Mastelotto alongside Levin, saxophonist Mel Collins and Jakko Jakszyk on guitar. They recently completed a US tour.
Levin tells Something Else: “I am very impressed, yet again, with Robert’s musical vision. Some of his ideas for this lineup seemed like they’d be tough to translate into a successful show. But, as has happened before, I found that having faith in his vision of what King Crimson is paid off with music that’s not like the last lineup and a show that’s a bit radical in ways — truly ‘progressive’ progressive rock.”
He says of Collins’ contribution: “Mel’s feel gives flavour to the pieces. He’s a musical wildcard, doing different things on different nights, so that inspires me to follow him, and you get sections that are completely different night to night. I’d never played in Crimson with a sax, and to me it made it a completely different band.”
Levin can’t say for sure whether the band will record and release new music, but says he remains “hopeful.”