Interview: Trey Gunn (King Crimson, John Paul Jones, Puscifer, Quodia)

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HIT CHANNEL EXCLSUIVE INTERIVEW: 6 September 2011. We had the great luck to talk with a very talented and busy musician, Trey Gunn. Trey is an excellent Warr Guitar and Chapman Stick player. He was a member of King Crimson from 1994 to 2003.He has also recorded with John Paul Jones, Puscifer, Robert Fripp and David Sylvian. His recent projects are Quodia, TU, KTU, UKZ and he has done many solo albums too. Read below the interesting things he told us:


You’re a tremendous busy musician. Are you doing any recordings this period?

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I have just finished a recording with Swedish drummer Morgan Agren and improvising guitarist Henry Kaiser. The disc is called “Invisible Rays” and will be out in November.


You have a very frequent collaboration with Pat Pastelotto. What is like to give numerous live shows with such a legendary drummer?

Well, Pat and I have been playing together for close to 20 years. We have done many projects together and will continue to play together as much as we can. Pat and I have a very spontaneous musical relationship. Meaning that we can play together over anything!


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Υou released “Modulator” album with Marco Minnermann in drums. Are you satisfied with its result? How you did that album with Marco and not with Pat?

Pat and Marco are completely different kinds of drummers. “Modulator” was done with Marco because Marco approached me with the idea. At first I said “No, I don’t want to try to make an entire record to your 51 minute drum solo. That sounds insane!” And it was insane. It took me two years. But I did finally finish it and I think it is great.


Quodia is a very ambitious project. Were you influenced for that project by new age artists like Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre?

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No, Quodia is not influenced by these artists. In fact, Quodia is not really influenced by any musicians at all. It draws more on how films are made, or storytelling and literature works, rather than music. With a story you draw in a different part of a person or an audience. Our aims with Quodia was to use all the different languages that can be present in a performance: musical, sound design, film, animation, acting, narration, text on the screen and so on. Rather than have all of these elements overlapping, we choose to let one take the center stage for a moment while the other either stay silent or just be supportive. For example, a strong musical moment may have nothing on the video screen. Or a strong part of the story may have no music happening with it. We like to give every element its chance to be the focus. It makes for a better journey.


You recorded in John Paul Jones’ “Zooma” and Nick Beggs told me that you were about to record for “The Thunderthief” but you were busy with King Crimson. Do you feel privileged for working with a so great musician and person?

John Paul Jones is the great unsung hero of Led Zeppelin. He was, perhaps, a stronger driving force of the music that the other characters. I was very honored to get to play with him and spend time with him. He is immensely talented in musical areas that most people don’t know about.


Do you think the period you were in King Crimson was the most important period of your career? How difficult was Robert Fripp as a collaborator and as a person?

Well, that is hard for me to say. I think one of the best recordings I ever made was with David Sylvian and Fripp (“Damage”, live at the Royal Albert Hall), prior to be involved with Crimson. Of course King Crimson is quite famous and “The Power to Believe” era Crimson was terrifyingly amazing on stage.  But, at the end of the day, I only played with King Crimson for 10 years. It has been only a fraction of my musical life.


You have worked with many artists.  Is there anyone you’d like to play with and hasn’t happened yet?

Bjork. Mars Volta. Tinariwen (Tuareg nomad band).


How it happened to record for Puscifer’s “V is for Vagina”? Did you understand Maynard James Keenan’s humour?

It happened just like most projects: Maynard asked me. Yes, I got his humor right away!


Who would you say influenced you the most in your life?

My son.


How it started your love for Aikido? Are you practising regularely?

It came partly from wanting some martial arts practice that I could do with my son. But also I was looking for something to help me with my wrists which were getting damaged from playing so much.


Have you ever been to Greece? Send a message to Greek fans.

I have only ever spent two days in Athens. So, no, it doesn’t feel like I have ever been to Greece. But I would love to go there. The SEA!!!!


A huge “THANK YOU” to Trey Gunn.

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