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Progressive Rock Interviews

Tuner

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Pat Mastelotto from 2007
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

How did Tuner come about and what can you tell us about the project?
It came about slowly, I met Markus several years ago, and eventually we started to pass music via the internet and as that started to heat up i invited him over to my place to record more. We have good chemistry and both enjoy recording. We were pleased with our first release Totem and quickly made a plan to start a 2nd CD, the recently released Pole. Pole is a big leap for us in terms of composition and production. We are once again pleased with the results and still enjoying working together so we are making plans to start another, possibly as soon as December or January. We have a very strong concept for the next record and if we pull it off I can die a happy and foe-filled man.
MSJ: What's going on with King Crimson these days?
Robert has made the call to start up again and, while nothing is fixed we are planning to begin rehearsals next year - a few weeks at a time and lead up to some residence gigs, no long tours, and at this point Robert doesn't want to play outside the USA. We will be a 5 piece and i think you know 4 of us. In fact I'm sure you know the 5th man too (an incredible drummer that i will be delighted to work with). I think you'll have to tune in to Robert's diary over at the DGM site and await the official announcement.
MSJ: I know artists are not crazy about having their music pigeon-holed, but how would you describe Tuner's sound?
dense in sort of a transparent way
MSJ: Who do you see as musical influences?
See? Mostly it's things I hear but seeing the Beatles was certainly life changing.
MSJ: Where did the name for the band come from?
Well it started with Tu, a duo project with Trey and that beget KTU (that's Trey and me plus daredevil accordion freak Kimmo Phojien). Then came Tunisia with therimen virtuoso Pamelsi Kurstin, and now a new project here in Texas called MPTU (with Mark Andes, Phil Brown and Malford Milligan - all legendary musicians (look them up).
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Working on the MPTU record right now, doing lots of MPTU gigs, then Tu have a gig in Seattle in mid September and go to europe for a couple shows early october, then Trey comes home with me and Kimmo joins us to finish the next KTU record (we started it about 6 months ago), then gigs with Tuner in estonia, then it looks like i will fill in for a short Europe tour with the Flower Kings,then back home in December to finish the MPTU record and Phil Brown's solo cd, and a few tracks i just did with the CGT, then start the next Tuner, another project with Tony Levin called "Stickmen," more with the CGT - plus all the other outside sessions.
MSJ: Are there musicians you'd like to play with in the future?
Just gobs and gobs - how about we start with King Crimson?
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?
Well sure, how many folks buy music when they can get it free? I think CDs are essentially nothing more than business cards to introduce your project and possibly get more work. Live music is where the real action is.
MSJ: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Party on, Garth.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
So much, the last thing i bought was Bright Eyes (for my daughter).
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
CGT last week, TOOL a few months ago (and not because they asked us to sit in but because we dig that crazy tooled sound, man).
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I've had plenty - how about adjusting a cymbal stand and having it pop out and bust a gash in my nose while i am on stage in front of about 20,000 people? Did I mention I was wearing all white that night. or the night the Rembrandts step off stage and get locked outside, in the snow, while the audience shouts for encores and we have to walk all the way back around and come in the front and by then the crowd had given up on us and was leaving.
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
T is for Tolerance.
 
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