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Tony Levin

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Tony Levin from 2017


It's been a year or so since we last did an interview with you. What's new in the world of Tony Levin?

Things are much the same for me. Crimson has a busy touring schedule each year, which is great. And with Stick Men, we look at the gaps in Crimson's tours and book our own tours then. When there's a little time for some Levin Brothers touring, I try to get that in too.
MSJ: What can you tell us about the new live King Crimson album?
I don't know what makes some shows very special, but I did feel that that night, in Chicago, the chemistry was right, and it was a great show. So I was happy to see that management chose it for a release. Don't know much more about it. I've been busy just trying to get my parts and playing right for the live shows -- have not gone and listened to any of the releases!
MSJ: What other projects do you have in the works?
Levin Brothers (a jazz group) will tour in January on the East Coast and Japan. Stick Men will do the Cruise to the Edge in Februaryand then tour Europe in March. Then quite a bit of touring later in the year, including Crimson starting in June.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?

Short term - When off tour, I'm composing music to accompany the photos I took of the stars on a recent trip to northern Chile. Then when there's time, I plan to release a series of my musician photographs. And I'm way overdue for a solo album. Been too busy for either, and busy is good! But they're wanting to get completed.


What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

As usual, I don't have as much time to listen as I'd like. On the drive to New Hampshire (where I am today) I took some of my Russian CDs of Olga Arefieva - a very cool artist I had the chance to play with on one of my trips to Moscow. So that's my recent listening.


Have you read any good books lately?

Many: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Neil Degrasse Tyson), Leonardo da Vinci (Isaacson), The Jazz of Physics (Alexander), re-read the His Dark Materials series (Philip Pullman), and some Boris Akunin mysteries, The Midnight Line (Lee Child - who I must admit, I always read).

MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?
Lots of pedals interest me. I'm not home to go through them to make a list, but there's great stuff being done with effect pedals, and as a bassist I suppose I'll forever be hunting for the perfect fuzz-tone. (I think I use four different ones in the Crimson shows.)

Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Hope all the readers have a wonderful, peace filled year, with lots of good new music to listen to.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at
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