Bill Rieflin

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Bill Rieflin
Robyn Hitchcock & Venus 3 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion June 8, 2009.jpg
Rieflin drumming with Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 in 2009
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Frederick Rieflin
Born(1960-09-30)September 30, 1960
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DiedMarch 24, 2020(2020-03-24) (aged 59)
Genres Industrial, experimental rock, alternative rock, heavy metal, progressive rock
Occupation(s)Multi-instrumentalist, producer
InstrumentsDrums, keyboards, guitar, bass
Associated acts Ministry, R.E.M., Sweet 75, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Pigface, Nine Inch Nails, King Crimson, Robbie Williams, Swans

William Frederick Rieflin (September 30, 1960 [1]  – March 24, 2020) was an American musician. Rieflin came to prominence in the 1990s mainly for his work as a drummer with groups (particularly in the industrial rock and industrial metal scenes) such as Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, Lard, KMFDM, Pigface, Swans, Chris Connelly, and Nine Inch Nails. He worked regularly with R.E.M. following the retirement of Bill Berry in 1997. He was a member of King Crimson from 2013 until his death in 2020.

Contents

Career

Rieflin was born on September 30, 1960 (some sources say September 29) [2] and began his professional career in his hometown of Seattle. In 1975, he was in The Telepaths, a band which played backup for a couple of live gigs by the pre-The Screamers band The Tupperwares. [3] He played drums for The Blackouts starting in 1979. His bandmates included Mike Davidson, Paul Barker, Roland Barker and Erich Werner. Eventually that band dissolved and Paul Barker joined the nascent Ministry. [4] His earliest collaboration with Al Jourgensen was on the second single by the Revolting Cocks, You Often Forget. [5]

Later, he participated in the creation of Ministry's album The Land of Rape and Honey , and was noted for his performance in the live video In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up (alongside fellow drummer Martin Atkins). [6] His work with Ministry and its side projects lasted through to the mid-nineties, though he noted that he was never credited as a member of Ministry proper, always as an "other" musician. Therefore, when he parted ways with the band during the Filth Pig sessions, he did not really quit since he was never an official member. [7]

Rieflin helped Atkins kick off Pigface, the industrial collective that would grow to incorporate hundreds of artists, formed a friendship with labelmate Chris Connelly and founded First World Music. [8] Like Connelly, Rieflin's work grew beyond his industrial roots. They have collaborated on several recordings; two in particular, The Ultimate Seaside Companion (as "The Bells") and Largo, showcase Rieflin's keyboard skills. [9]

Rieflin's solo debut, Birth of a Giant featured him singing in something other than a background role, and also featured Robert Fripp. [10] Improvisations from these sessions turned up later on the CD The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior, which was credited to Rieflin, Fripp and Trey Gunn. [11]

Rieflin appeared on all KMFDM records released from 1995 to 2003 as a drummer, programmer, vocalist and keyboardist. [12] He toured with the band as a bassist in 2002 in support of its comeback album, Attak and performed on the 2011 KMFDM album, WTF?! . [13] He also drummed for Scott McCaughey's band, The Minus 5, which occasionally included guitarist Peter Buck. [4] Eventually Buck offered Rieflin the opportunity to sit in with R.E.M., who were missing a permanent drummer since the 1997 departure of Bill Berry. [14] The band gave him the live drummer slot in its 2003 tour. [15] They later announced that Rieflin would fill the role indefinitely, though once again as a hired musician rather than as an official member. In recordings, Rieflin also contributed bouzouki, keyboards and guitars to the group, serving as an auxiliary member until R.E.M. disbanded in 2011. [14]

Rieflin formed an experimental ensemble under the name Slow Music in 2005 (including Fripp and Buck) in which he played synthesizers rather than drums. The group played a small handful of live dates in 2005 and 2006 and became inactive for several years. [14] He was also involved in a music collaboration project entitled The Humans, which consisted of him, Chris Wong, Fripp and Toyah Willcox. The band performed a series of live dates in Estonia in Autumn 2007 and 2009, and released their debut album We are the Humans in 2009. [4] Hector Zazou's 2010 album Corps Electriques featured Rieflin, as well as KatieJane Garside, Lone Kent and nu-jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær. [16]

Rieflin drumming behind R.E.M. on the band's final tour in 2008 R.E.M. in London, 2008-03-24 at Royal Albert Hall 12.jpg
Rieflin drumming behind R.E.M. on the band's final tour in 2008

Rieflin was a regular contributor to Swans ever since the 1995 album The Great Annihilator , [17] and played an array of instruments on all their studio recordings since the band reformed in 2010 and released My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky . [18] Rieflin is listed as an "honorary Swan" on the band's 2012 album The Seer . [19]

In 2012, Rieflin performed on drums for Robbie Williams's album Take the Crown . [20] Later that year he produced the single Crush Vaccine for Atomic Bride. [21]

In an online diary entry dated September 6, 2013, Robert Fripp announced a new lineup for King Crimson that included Rieflin as one of the band's three drummers. [22] A few days after the first full-length live release of the band with Rieflin on board (Live in Toronto 2015), Fripp announced Rieflin's decision to take a sabbatical from the band, effective March 6, 2016, "a decision supported by all the Crimson Brothers." [23] In early 2017, Fripp announced that Rieflin would be returning alongside his replacement, Jeremy Stacey. Due to Fripp's desire to stave off complacency after several years of touring, Rieflin "will be focusing on mellotron, keys and fairy dusting, rather than using drums as a main instrument" in the new Double Quartet configuration, [24] thus becoming the band's first full-time keyboardist ever. For the US Autumn 2017 tour dates in October–November, he was replaced on keyboards by the Seattle-based guitarist Chris Gibson. [25] He rejoined in 2018 before taking another indefinite sabbatical in 2019, he was replaced on keyboards by Soft Machine's sax player Theo Travis. [14] In 2020 Fripp made the decision of not replacing Rieflin, thus reverting King Crimson to a seven members band.

Personal life and death

Rieflin was married to painter Francesca Sundsten until her death in 2019. [26] Albums made by groups Rieflin has been part of have featured her artwork on their covers, such as Pigface's Gub , KMFDM's Nihil , Filthy Friends' Invitation and King Crimson's Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind . [27] Rieflin died on March 24, 2020 from cancer at the age of 59. [4]

Discography

Cells with thistle-colored daggers (Dagger-14-plain.png) indicate a live release

Name of release year, artist, release title and Rieflin's contribution
YearArtistTitleContributionRef.
1988 Ministry The Land of Rape and Honey Drums, programming, keyboards, guitar, background vocals [28]
1988 Revolting Cocks Live! You Goddamned Son of a Bitch Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums [29]
1989 Ministry The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste Drums, programming, background vocals [30]
1990 Revolting Cocks Beers, Steers, and Queers Drums, programming [31]
1990 Ministry In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums [32]
1990 Lard The Last Temptation of Reid Drums (two tracks) [33]
1990 1000 Homo DJs "Supernaut"Drums [34]
1990 KMFDM Naïve Drums (one track) [35]
1991 Pigface Gub Drums, guitar, bass, synthesizer, sounds [36]
1991 Pigface Lean Juicy Pork Interviewee [37]
1992 Ministry Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs Drums [38]
1992 Revolting Cocks Big Sexy Land Drums [39]
1992 Pigface Welcome to Mexico... Asshole Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums [40]
1993 Revolting Cocks Linger Ficken' Good Drums, organ, programming, production [41]
1995 Swans The Great Annihilator Drums, sounds, percussion, 12-string acoustic guitar, sequencing [42]
1995 KMFDM Nihil Drums (three tracks) [43]
1995 Michael Gira Drainland Rhythm programming, keyboards, electric bass guitar, samples, engineering, production, arrangement, studio provision [44]
1996 Ministry Filth Pig Drums (one track) [45]
1996 KMFDM Xtort Drums [46]
1996 Swans Soundtracks for the Blind Drums [47]
1997 Lard Pure Chewing Satisfaction Drums [48]
1997 KMFDM Symbols Drums, programming, percussion, photography, sequencing (three tracks) [49]
1999 Angels of Light New Mother Percussion, piano, bass guitar, organ, synthesizers, acoustic guitar, backing vocals [50]
1999 KMFDM Adios Programming (one track) [51]
1999 Nine Inch Nails The Fragile Drums (one track) [52]
1999Bill RieflinThe Repercussions of Angelic BehaviorDrums, mixing [53]
1999Bill RieflinBirth of a GiantDrums, bass, guitar, production, vocals [54]
2000 Lard 70's Rock Must Die Drums (one track) [55]
2001Bill Rieflin & Chris Connelly LargoKeyboards, mixing, piano, production, vocals [56]
2001 Land Road Movies Drums [57]
2002 KMFDM Attak Drums, bass, programming, synthesizers, percussion, guitar [58]
2003 KMFDM Sturm & Drang Tour 2002 Dagger-14-plain.pngBass [59]
2003 KMFDM WWIII Drums, vocals, loops (three tracks) [60]
2004 R.E.M. Around the Sun Drums, percussion [61]
2006 Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 Olé! Tarantula Choir, drums, percussion [62]
2007 Angels of Light We Are Him Drums, bass, guitar, organ, percussion, piano, synthesizers [63]
2007 R.E.M. R.E.M. Live Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums [64]
2008 R.E.M. Accelerate Drums [65]
2009 Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 Goodnight Oslo Drums, vocal harmony, vocals [66]
2009 The Humans We Are the Humans Drums, bass, synthesizers, organ, production [67]
2009 R.E.M. Live at the Olympia Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums [68]
2010 Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 Propellor Time Drums [69]
2010 Swans My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky Drums, piano, guitar, synthesizers, organ, vocals [70]
2011 R.E.M. Collapse into Now Drums, bouzouki, keyboards, guitar [71]
2011 KMFDM WTF?! Engineering, sounds (one track) [72]
2011 The Humans Sugar Rush Percussion, keyboards, bass, production [73]
2012 Swans The Seer Drums, piano, organ, guitar, percussion, synthesizers, bass, vocals [74]
2013 Taylor Swift "The Last Time"Drums [75]
2014 The Humans Strange Tales Drums, keyboards, guitar, bass, sounds, vocals, production [76]
2014 Swans To Be Kind Drums, percussion, synthesizers, piano, guitar, bass, keyboards [77]
2015 King Crimson Live at the Orpheum Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums, percussion, synthesizers, vocals [78]
2016 King Crimson Live in Toronto Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums, percussion, keyboards [79]
2016 Swans The Glowing Man Drums, piano, synthesizers, bass, guitar, vocals [80]
2016 King Crimson Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind Dagger-14-plain.pngDrums, keyboards [81]
2017 King Crimson Live in Chicago Dagger-14-plain.pngKeyboards [82]
2018 Lead into Gold The Sun Behind the SunDrums [83]
2018 King Crimson Meltdown: Live in Mexico City Dagger-14-plain.pngKeyboards, production [84]

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References

  1. "William Fredrick Rieflin II - Obituary". The Seattle Times . April 2–5, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
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  3. Reighley, Kurt (May 8, 2002), "The Screamers", Seattle Weekly, retrieved February 19, 2010
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  21. "The Humans… At Work & Play!". toyah.net. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
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  28. The Land of Rape and Honey (CD liner notes). Ministry. Sire Records. 1988. 9 25799-2. Retrieved July 30, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  33. The Last Temptation of Reid (CD liner notes). Lard. Alternative Tentacles. 1990. VIRUS 84CD.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  37. Lean Juicy Pork (CD liner notes). Pigface. Invisible Records. 1991. INV 012.CS1 maint: others (link)
  38. Psalm 60: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (CD liner notes). Ministry. Sire Records. 1992. 9 26727-2. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  39. Big Sexy Land (Vinyl liner notes). Revolting Cocks. Wax Trax! Records. 1992. WAX 017. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  40. Welcome to Mexico... Asshole (CD liner notes). Pigface. Devotion Records. 1992. DVN 3. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  41. Linger Ficken' Good (CD liner notes). Revolting Cocks. Sire Records. 1993. 9 45407-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  47. Soundtracks for the Blind (CD liner notes). Swans. Young God Records. 1996. YG01. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  48. Pure Chewing Satisfaction (CD liner notes). Lard. Alternative Tentacles. 1997. VIRUS 199.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  51. Adios (CD liner notes). KMFDM. Wax Trax! Records. 1999. TVT 7258-2. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  54. Birth of a Giant (CD liner notes). Bill Rieflin. First World Music. 1999. FWD 99.03. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  55. 70's Rock Must Die (CD liner notes). Lard. Alternative Tentacles. 2000. VIRUS 235.CS1 maint: others (link)
  56. Largo (CD liner notes). Bill Rieflin & Chris Connelly. First World Music. 2001. FWD 01.10. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  57. Road Movies (CD liner notes). Land. First World Music. 2001. FWD 01.09. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  58. Attak (CD liner notes). KMFDM. Metropolis Records. 2002. MET 235. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  59. Sturm & Drang Tour 2002 (CD liner notes). KMFDM. Metropolis Records. 2003. MET 270.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  61. Around the Sun (CD liner notes). R.E.M. Warner Bros. Records. 2004. 48894-2. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  65. Accelerate (CD liner notes). R.E.M. Warner Bros. Records. 2008. 418620-2. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  72. WTF?! (Digital liner notes). KMFDM. Metropolis Records. 2011. MET 708D. Retrieved July 31, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  73. Sugar Rush (CD liner notes). The Humans. 2011.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  84. Meltdown: Live in Mexico City (CD liner notes). King Crimson. Discipline Global Mobile. 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)