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Ten Questions with...

DAVID CROSS

David Cross started learning violin at primary school at the age of nine. His father was a church and cinema organist and played piano in dance bands.

Between 1972-1974 he was a member of King Crimson and is featured on the classic albums 'Larks Tongue In Aspic' and 'Starless And Bible Black'. With Crimson, he toured UK, Europe, USA & Canada.

After his time with King Crimson, David Cross released several solo albums and has worked in the theatre both musically and as an actor. His latest album is called 'Closer Than Skin' and is a return to progressive rock stylings distinguished by his superb violin playing.

1. What are you currently up to?

You can check out my activities at david-cross.com - I'm working on finalising two 'chamber rock albums' and preparing a new solo show for performances in Japan and Greece.

2. Tell us about how you got involved with King Crimson and what are you particularly proud of during that period?

The formation of King Crimson is well documented elsewhere. I'm very proud of all the work I did with KC and I've been looking at some tracks to incorporate into my upcoming solo shows - Larks' Tongues lays out the field for a great part of our initial approach to music making in KC.

3. Any rock and roll stories from the 1970-1974 period that you can recall?

Sorry, that's like trying to remember jokes - most of us can't do it...

4. Why did you leave King Crimson and what have you done since?

It was time for a change. I've been playing, writing and producing music, education, acting, writing plays, Master's degree, having a family and a life.

5. Tell us how the new album developed, when did you start writing and recording the material?

Mick Paul and I conceived the 'Closer Than Skin' album as a set of well-crafted rock songs which we hoped would define a David Cross Band style. Indeed, for some while the album was titled 'Book of Songs'.

For the sake of consistency we thought that it was important to have one lyricist for the whole project. I had always enjoyed Richard Palmer-James' writing and thought the kind of images he generates were particularly suited to our music. I also felt that our shared King Crimson background would bring an interesting twist to the project.

In practice, Mick and I worked on the music initially and sent ideas to Richard who then suggested lyrics.

6. What about the other band members...how did you meet them?

Mick and Paul I have been working with for some time but Lloyd was someone new to me whom they had both worked with.

7. What are your own favourite tracks on the album?

Only Falling and Awful Love.

8. Who was/is/are the biggest influences on the music you play?

Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, Blues, Beatles - anything beginning with B.

9. What have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your own career to date?

Playing wise, I'm very excited by everything I've done in the last year - Closer than Skin, live performances on my own and with the new band and solo recording (Navigator) as well as my duet album 'Unbounded' recorded with Japanese pianist/singer Naomi Maki.

10. Anything on your i-Pod at the moment that we should know about?

I donít actually enjoy listening to music of any kind. I may get attracted by the sound of something but then my brain kicks in and I start paying full attention to it. I am not a consumer. I usually only listen to a CD once. I check out whether there are any big new ideas (there usually arenít) and then I move on.

11. Message for your fans?

Thank you for your loyalty, your patience and your sense of humour.


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Interview © 2005 David Randall
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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