Friday, March 1, 2019

6 Questions with Pat Mastelotto from O.R.K., King Crimson, etc.

Pat Mastelotto has had quite a long and illustrious career: he had a few hits in the eighties as the drummer for Mr. Mister, played with XTC on their Oranges and Lemons album, and has been with King Crimson since 1994 through all their different incarnations: the Double Trio, the 2000 Quartet, various ProjeKct fraKctals, and he is currently the stage right drummer in their present three-drummer, eight-headed beast incarnation. I'm not even mentioning hundreds of sessions and collaborations in every genre imaginable, and as you'll see from the answer on the last question, the man is showing no sign of slowing down. We caught up with him in the middle of a European tour with neo-prog band O.R.K. who is touring behind their awesome new album Ramagehead (you can check our review HERE) so we really appreciate him taking the time to answer our questions in the middle of such a busy schedule. Without further ado, here are our 6 questions with Pat Mastelotto:

Electric Eye: How was O.R.K. formed? How does each member contribute to the composition?

Pat MastelottoIn August 2014 I received an email from LEF, whom I had interacted with on a few long distance projects available on Rare Noise records, one of them called Saga was opera performance involving horses. This time LEF was suggesting O.R.K. with Colin who I knew but had never played with and Carmelo whom I didn’t  know at that time. I think Jellyfish was in those first emails. When I revived this email I had just arrived to hotel near Woodstock to start the first King Crimson shows. I told LEF: "Sorry, I won’t have time for this" and suggested some other drummers. He replied that they would wait. 

We each insert our musical choices thru our own instruments and by comments, suggestions and reflection to the others. LEF and Colin handle most of the lyrics and themes.  

Electric Eye: You have briefly tasted pop stardom in the eighties when your band Mr. Mister scored a couple of radio hits. What are some of your fondest memories from that era?

Pat MastelottoMany. But certainly playing Kyrie on the Grammies or AMA (I can't recall which) when Stevie Wonder stood in the audience  to clap and sing during the accapella section.  Wow!

Electric Eye: It’s been thirty years since you played on XTC’s Oranges & Lemons LP. How did that association come about?

Pat MastelottoThrough producer Paul Fox, I’m forever grateful for Paul’s faith and trust to have given me the opportunity. 

Electric Eye: You’ve been in King Crimson and some of it offshoot ProjeKcts for over a quarter of a century now. What is the most challenging thing about being part of such a monster? What is the most frustrating? What is the most rewarding?

Pat MastelottoWell there are many answers to those monster questions, and one of them would be doing  interviews: challenging frustrating and rewarding.

Electric Eye: You are famous for mixing acoustic percussions and electronic “traps & buttons” in your rig. Are you very into technology? Do you sometimes have to refrain yourself from using too much?

Pat MastelottoYes, that’s my normal Modus Operandi, to try and use all the colors in my paint box. ... (I am) into technology but as time marches on I do feel like it’s all passing me by... I might’ve been a cutting edge drummer in the 8'0s or 90's but I don’t think it applies at all anymore, heck I’m a two finger typist :-) 

However I’ve just been doing remodelling at home and moved my studio  and resurrected and reassembled a big assortment of beat boxes like i would have used back during  the ProjeKcts and Y2Crim laboratory. I do have to exercise restraint when necessary. 

Electric Eye: You are very busy with KC, O.R.K. Stick Men and other projects. What are the next 12 months looking like for you work-wise? Any plans to work with Trey Gunn again in the near future?

Pat MastelottoCurrently with O.R.K. untill end of March then short break to do some recording and prepare for the King Crimson rehearsals that are in England starting  Easter. Then short break to do a couple more outside sessions and digest the new Crimson material before Crimson resume rehearsals at the end of May in Leipzig to start the 50 year anniversary tour. 

That leg of the tour  includes some amazing venues like (the) Royal Albert Hall, the Verona amphitheater, a three day festival in the Spanish Pyrenées mountains,  Piazza Grande in Palmanova and will finish Perugia Italy near the end of July… 

Then I go home for a few days to do laundry and mow the yard before we start a Stick Men tour on the East Coast playing  New York , New Jersey , Cleveland , buffalo etc. (those dates will be announced in the next couple weeks)... then Stick Men are immediately joined by Adrian Belew Power Trio and we do the “Three of a Perfect Pair Music Camp” near WOODSTOCK. This is a wonderful celebration of music when 100+ campers join us and we spend five days interacting jamming, talking, rehearsing, leading up to a big show at the historic Bearsville Theatre In Woodstock on August 12th, which happens to be the 50 year anniversary of the original Woodstock! This show will be open to the public. 

The next day I’ll stop by my home in Texas to do laundry and feed the pets en route to Mexico City where King Crimson will resume, starting with about 5 nights in Mexico City, (...) Guadalajara back up to Los Angeles, San Francisco over to Denver to the East Coast etc., (and) by October will be heading south to Brazil to play Sao Paulo and also the Rock in Rio Festival (my first time), then on down to Argentina and then up and over to Chile for the final gig in mid October. 

Then there’s about a week break to go home before we start our Stick Men European tour that goes until thanksgiving. 

Then another quick pitstop at home to do more laundry followed by a two and a half week O.R.K. tour in Europe (from November 27th to December 14th).


Thanks again to Pat for making himself available for this email interview. Check out our previous Pat-related entries here:

And make sure you catch Pat on tour at one of the following dates:

With O.R.K.:

March 1st: Zoetermeer, Netherlands - Borderij
March 2nd: Hamburg, Germany - Grosse Freiheit 36
March 3rd: Copenhagen, Denmark - Store Vega
March 5th: Stockholm, Sweden - Halen
March 6th: Osla, Norway - Rockefeller
March 8th: Iserhagen/Hannover, Germany - Blues Garage
March 10th: Cologne, Germany - Yard Club
March 12th: Munich, Germany - Backstage
March 13th: Budapest, Hungary - Durer
March 14th: Nove Mesto nad Vahom - Slovakia
March 15th: Berlin, Germany - Music & Frieden
March 17th: Paris, France - Petit Bain
March 19th: London, United Kingdom - Borderline
March 20th: Newcastle, United Kingdom - O2 Academy
March 21st: Glasgow, United Kingdom - St Luke's
March 22nd: Manchester, United Kingdom - O2 The Ritz
March 23rd: Birmingham, United Kingdom - O2 The Institute 2
March 24th: Bristol, United Kingdom - SWX

With King Crimson:

June 10th: Leipzig, Germany - Haus Auensee
June 12th: Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
June 13th: Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
June 15th: Stuttgart, Germany - Liederhalle
June 16th: Stuttgart, Germany - Liederhalle
June 18th: London, United Kingdom - Royal Albert Hall
June 19th: London, United Kingdom - Royal Albert Hall
June 20th: London, United Kingdom - Royal Albert Hall
June 22nd: Nijmegen, Netherlands - Vereeniging
June 23rd: Nijmegen, Netherlands - Vereeniging
June 26th: Warsaw, Poland - Teatr Roma
June 27th: Warsaw, Poland - Teatr Roma
June 29th: Berlin, Germany - Zitadelle
July 2nd - Lyon, France - Théatres Romains de Fourvières
July 4th - Basel, Switzerland - Romisches Theater Augusta Raurica
July 6th - Palmanova, Italy - Piazza Grande
July 8th - Verona, Italy - Arena di Verona
July 10th - Torino, Italy - Stupinigi Sonic Park
July 12th - Escalarre, Spain - Doctor Music Festival
July 13th - Escalarre, Spain - Doctor Music Festival
July 14th - Escalarre, Spain - Doctor Music Festival
July 18th - Perugia, Italy - Arena Santa Giuliana
August 23rd: México, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan
August 24th: México, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan
August 26th: Guadalajara, Mexico - Teatro Diana
August 27th: Guadalajara, Mexico - Teatro Diana
August 29th: México, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan
August 30th: México, Mexico - Teatro Metropolitan
September 3rd: Los Angeles, CA, United States - Greek Theatre
September 5th: Oakland,CA, United States - Fox Theater
September 6th: Oakland,CA, United States - Fox Theater
September 8th: Denver, CO, United States - Paramount Theater
September 10th: Chicago, IL, United States - Auditorium Theater
September 12th: Washington, DC, United States - Warner Theatre
September 14th: Toronto, Canada - Budweiser Stage
September 17th: Montreal, Canada - St Denis Theatre
September 19th: Boston, MA, United States - Boch Center Wang Theatre
September 21st: New York, NY, United States: Radio City Music Hall
September 23d: Philadelphia, PA, United States - The Met Philadelphia
September 25th: Northfield, OH, United States - Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
September 27th: Nashville, TN, United States - Ryman Auditorium
September 29th: Atlanta, GA, United States - Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
October 6th: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Sunset Stage Rock In Rio

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