Tony Levin Says He’s Not An Expert At Pink Floyd
Prolific session musician Tony Levin recently joined Mitch Lafon for an interview during which he admitted he is not an expert when it comes to Pink Floyd‘s music.
Known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin has played on over 500 albums since he started working as a session musician in the 1970s. His music catalog includes special sessions with John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, and other artists.
In addition to playing with essential names, Levin toured with many artists, such as Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Richie Sambora, James Taylor, Lawrence Gowan, and more. So, throughout his music career, Levin has worked with so many artists that it’s safe to say it was hard for him to keep track of each one of their musical directions.
In 1984, Pink Floyd members were all focused on their solo endeavors. They then met for dinner to discuss the band’s future, but Roger Waters believed it was already finished. He decided to leave the group in 1985. The following year, Pink Floyd began working on their first record without Waters, ‘A Momentary Lapse Of Reason,’ with Tony Levin’s bass playing.
In a recent interview with Mitch Lafon, Tony Levin revealed how he approached each artist he worked with in his career. He stated that he wants to listen to the music freshly in the studio when he starts working on it. Moreover, Levin also revealed that he didn’t listen to Genesis before working with Peter Gabriel, and he didn’t listen to Pink Floyd or King Crimson.
Tony Levin said he is not an expert on Pink Floyd’s music, and he didn’t hear their songs before working with them. According to the musician, there isn’t a certain way he follows as ‘Tony Levin’ persona while working on the projects, but he almost always listens to some demos before starting to work.
In the interview, Mitch Lafon asked Tony Levin the following:
“Do you approach all these projects from Stickman to Peter, Lou, Alice, and Larry Gowan all the same? You were in 2011, and you do what 2011 does, or do you research it, practice for it, and say, ‘Okay, we’re doing a Sambora record. I got to play this.’ How do you approach it?”
As a response, Tony Levin said:
“A good question. I don’t have that one thing you mentioned. ‘I’m Tony Levin.’ Probably you just don’t wake up and think, ‘Well, I’m me, and this is the way I got to be.’ Usually, I just want to go in and hear the music fresh. I think there have been a few times.
For instance, I didn’t listen to Genesis before I played Peter Gabriel’s music. I didn’t listen to King Crimson. I knew Robert Fripp and was recording on his exposure album. I still hadn’t heard King Crimson. Pink Floyd… I’m not an expert at Pink Floyd.
I had heard it some, but I actually listened to them a little bit before I went into that. But mostly for fun before I went into the session. So yeah, somehow a combination. No thinking about ‘I’m me, and I have to do this.’ But there are almost always demos you hear.”
You can watch the full interview below.