King Crimson, a rock band with a cult following, returns to Atlanta for two nights at Center Stage, Oct. 23 and 24. The band, which includes frontman and founder Robert Fripp, features three drummers, and Pat Mastelotto, a King Crimson veteran, is among them.
Mastelotto grew up in California and was playing with bands in Lake Tahoe during high school. He says he came to the drums after doing poorly on the French Horn. The band teacher told him he had big hands and directed him to percussion. He moved to Los Angeles and became part of the recording industry there. He worked with many bands as a studio musician, and says he was lucky to arrive just ahead of the ubiquitous drum machine.
Part of what draws Mastelotto to King Crimson is the double quartet approach, which puts three drummers in front of the band. An ensemble of eight master musicians comes together to play music that spans the bands 48-year history. Mastelotto says that with eight musicians in the band there is no need for overdubbing machines. Every set is different, according to Mastelotto.
When not on the road Mastelotto lives in Austin, TX. where he records and produces albums. He says that a lot of modern music is “art by committee” with the role of the producer being equivalent to that of the songwriter. He tours with other bands, but always around the King Crimson tour schedule.
Franklin Abbott’s album of music and poetry, Don’t Go Back To Sleep, is out now.