Michael Giles (born Michael Rex Giles, 1 March 1942, Waterlooville, Hampshire) is an English drummer, best known as a co-founder of King Crimson in 1969. Prior to the formation of King Crimson, he also co-founded the short-lived Giles, Giles & Fripp with his brother, Peter, and Robert Fripp the previous year.
Giles' technique is complex and polyrhythmic, owing heavily to the jazz tradition, but grounding it in an aggressive rock context. Giles orchestrated much of the compositional structure of the first Crimson album In the Court of the Crimson King, and his ability to weave challenging yet seamless tempo changes and subtle melodic deviations into a piece is not only evident in the compositions, but also in his highly elaborate and skilled drumming.
Giles left King Crimson in December 1969, though he played as a session musician on the band's second album, In The Wake of Poseidon. He joined Ian McDonald to record an album called McDonald and Giles, which was much lighter in style than King Crimson, but just as challenging musically. Giles then worked as a session musician for the duration of the 1970s, working with many popular artists including Leo Sayer, Steve Winwood, and Yvonne Elliman. A solo album, Progress, was recorded at his home studio in 1978, but wasn't released until 2003. He continues to work as a session musician; most recently he contributed to Ian McDonald's 1999 solo album Driver's Eyes.
In 2002, he co-founded the 21st Century Schizoid Band, a group composed mostly of former King Crimson members but that also included his son-in-law Jakko Jakszyk (ex-Level 42). However, after one tour, he tired of live work and passed the drum stool over to Ian Wallace, another former Crimson drummer, who died in February 2007.
In late 2008, a new venture was announced, Michael Giles' MAD Band, with Ad Chivers and Dan Pennie. A release and live shows were planned for 2009.