Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Casey Crescenzo interview

Picture of The Dear Hunter — At Last.fm Studios


Casey, you seem to have a thing for creating series’, and in the midst of your Acts releases, you put out 36 songs with The Color Spectrum… Do you feel more freedom to create as much music as you can? Why the shift?

I think I look at my primary goal as being a songwriter and producer, and performing is the afterthought to that creativity to try and show people the music who may not have elected to listen to The Dear Hunter outside of a show. The act of making an album, a body of work, something that takes time and hard work, sleepless nights and a bit of dementia - that is the most rewarding aspect for me. Giving myself a goal that is beyond the normal scope of a standard record might be me subconsciously forcing myself to spend more time in the studio.

As far as the reasoning behind stepping to the side of the Acts, I never want to force something, and at the point I was at emotionally and creatively, I couldn't give the right amount of heart to Act IV that I had been able to give to the past 3 Acts. For a moment I kicked around a few other ideas, and then it hit me that I was at a perfect point in time to complete the Color Spectrum project - which I wasn't even sure I would ever finish. Once I dipped my toe in to the writing process, it all happened so naturally that I decided to complete the project, instead of releasing one EP at a time.

With the expansive nature of The Color Spectrum you had the opportunity to work with a variety of producers and fellow musicians, some of which were friends of yours. Was it gratifying to be able to work with so many of your contemporaries?

It definitely was amazing to share the studio with some of my closest friends, as well as artists and producers that I really respect and admire. Everyone on The Color Spectrum brought an incredible amount of personality that I would have been unable to achieve on my own - and with a project with a goal of being as expansive as possible, it was important to bring different perspectives and timbres into the mix.

After writing, producing, and engineering the Act records on my own, it was also amazing to share that work with others who could allow me, at times, to focus more on a performanc e- instead of having my head wrapped around everything at once.

The act of creating music and performing it live is obviously a big payoff for your hard work, but how satisfying is it to see this project receiving such a positive response?

It has been absolutely wonderful to see the response. I had absolutely no idea what the response would be - even though there are trace elements of a lot of previous TDH songs, there is a great deal of music that is new and different for me, and having never shown those styles to an audience I had no idea what the response would be. I think more than anything, the actual act of finishing the project, and doing it in what I genuinely feel is to the best of my abilities, was the most satisfying thing.

Quite a bit of travel was involved with the recording process of The Color Spectrum, how did that affect you when recording in the respective studios? Any crazy travel stories?

The best thing about traveling was that it presented a lack of control from the sound of the records. The recordings took on a very organic feeling, and the differences in tonality were natural.

As far as travel stories, I don't really have any. My wife and our dog drove across the country to start the recordings. On the way we made stops at various homes to do some acoustic performances… but beyond that, I was really just in work mode and I only came up for air when the project was finished. It’s a bit of a blur.

The Dear Hunter has built quite an impressive song catalog, one which is comparable to a band that has been around twice as long as TDH… How daunting is it to narrow it down for a set list?

It is extremely hard to make up a set list. I think at this point it is impossible to make everyone happy, and someone always asks why we didn't play song "X.” In the future, I think I am going to have people vote on the set list, and just use that as the roadmap for the show.

On the flip side of that, Boston will be getting the privilege of witnessing the entire Color Spectrum from start to finish, how much preparation are you guys putting in before diving into all 36 songs?

Right now we have about a month and a half of rehearsal time set aside. It is going to be overwhelming for a while - but I think I have been lucky enough to surround myself with amazing musicians, so I am confident in our abilities, and excited for the night…though I could see myself collapsing during the final song.

TDH is winding things down on the Beautiful Things Tour with Anthony Green, how was it touring with such a great friend?

Anthony is an incredible human being, and having the opportunity to spend some quality time with him has been really amazing. The shows have been wonderful, the days off have been amazing, and we all have a great time together. I wish it could happen again…right after the tour ends.

You also recently recorded a version of Green’s “Get Yours While You Can,” what was the motivation behind that?

Originally the plan was for us to cover each other's songs, but as time faded away and we got closer to the tour, Anthony's ability to track anything evaporated. For a second I figured I wouldn't do the cover, but then I thought it would just be fun to finish - and one night I tracked the guitars and vocals, and mixed it the next morning. I sent it off to my manager just to show him and see what he thought - at that point there was no plan to put it online…but after Anthony heard it and dug it, we decided to share it.

Congratulations on your guys first time playing Coachella! With such diverse, big names on the bill, do you guys feel any pressure to push the boundaries of a normal The Dear Hunter show?

I think we always feel the need to improve our set and grow as a band - this is definitely a great opportunity for us, but I think we always want to be the best version of ourselves, so we will continue that for Coachella and beyond.

Casey, you’re reuniting with your former band The Receiving End of Sirens after a few year break, tell us a bit about how that came to happen.

In reality it isn't that long of a story. We all keep in touch and talk about playing music together. Andrew is one of my managers, and Brendan runs the company that handles my digital marketing, so we are all close.

In a strange way, whatever state you consider the band TREOS to be in, I have somehow managed to become a member again - which is a really wonderful thing. For a while I would ask 'you guys want me to play?' and they would respond 'of course'…then I just stopped asking, and realized that whatever we do in the future, its the 6 of us taking any opportunity where we can all align our time together and play some great music.

With such a busy TDH tour schedule, and how heavily anticipated the TREOS’ reunion is, what kind of schedules could we expect for the upcoming year?

After the string of dates with Anthony in June, I am going to focus on a new album. I have been away from home a lot more than normal in the last year, and I have been away from the studio for what seems like a lifetime. I can't wait to get back to writing and recording.

When can The Dear Hunter fans start getting excited for Acts IV, V, VI to start being recorded? Released?

To be honest, I don't know. I don't think Act IV will be the next project, but in all honesty I can't say until I’m sitting at a piano.

A bit of info about his involvement with TREOS and what is next after the 2nd leg of the Anthony Green tour. It sounds like he may be doing something different from the Acts again. Although he has said about the Acts, how he wants to put Acts IV, V and VI out all at once, in a boxed set. And put them to bed.

Will I be attending The Color Spectrum show in Boston? I have a ticket, but my ability to travel there to see it is still up in the air.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kevin Gilbert's Giraffe studio discs, BACK IN PRINT!


Giraffe - The Power Of Suggestion
Available for the first time in more than 15 years the first Giraffe CD The Power of Suggestion. This seminal work propelled Kevin into the spotlight and on to win the Yamaha Song Vision contest.

This CD contains early versions of some of the material on TSOTT and Thud. This version is the entire CD as it was originally released. The CD has been meticulously re-mastered from the original analog tapes. That and advances in CD technology have made this version much better sounding than the original. It is a must have for all KG fans.

One interesting note: The Power of Suggestion was the first independent CD ever released.

The Last Thing On Your Mind
In Every Line
This Warm Night
Image Maker
Because Of You
Everything We Are
New Patriots
Can’t Make This love Go Away
The World Just Gets Smaller
Power Reprise
Because Of You – 11th Hr. Mix

Giraffe - The View From Here

Available for the first time in more than 30 years Giraffe’s second CD The View From Here. This version is the entire CD as it was originally released.

This CD contains early versions of some of the material on TSOTT and Thud. The CD has been meticulously re-mastered from the original analog tapes. That and advances in CD technology have made this version much better sounding than the original. It is a must have for all KG fans.

One interesting note: Many of the original The View From Here CDs would not play making a playable version an even rarer commodity.

From Here To There
All Fall Down
The Way Back Home
Waiting For The Rain
Holding On with Both Hands
I Will Survive
Air Dance
Welcome Home

Even though I own the now out-of-print Giraffe compilation, which included most of both records, I still have always wanted copies of these. And to be technical, here's what these 2 discs include, that the compilation did not.

The Last Thing On Your Mind
Everything We Are
Can't Make This Love Go Away
Because Of You – 11th Hr. Mix
Waiting for the Rain
I Will Survive

So, 6 tracks I don't own yet. I'm sure I have mp3's though, but it'll be nice to have better mastered versions. Maybe Thud and more unreleased compilations will come soon as well?

-oh and by the way, I'm pretty sure the Estate meant to have that say "Available for the first time in more than 20 Years" (not 30, since 30 years ago was 1982, and Giraffe hadn't even formed at that point :p).

The River Empires - Five Circles (Free MP3 Download)

2/27/12 7:48PM

brief update on Facebook

Last week a brand new song was posted for free in case you haven't heard. A viable date for the new album will be announced in the next couple weeks! As well as some updates regarding the series...

So, it appears the next record, (titled presumably) Mars/Brighton II ,should be released relatively soon. And information about the Series Cellar Door.

I am of course incredibly curious about this, maybe more so about the Series. I'm going to stand by my belief that if the Series ends up anywhere beyond an ONLINE SERIES, likely Animated, I will be rather surprised if not shocked. I would LOVE for it to find its way onto any network. IFC, AMC, SYFY, FOX, or even G4, which was the network The Dear Hunter appeared on Attack of the Show.

But to expect it to happen? I guess I don't want to anticipate something too big.

And as far as Mars Brighton II, it immediately becomes my most anticipated record this year. Past Ne Obliviscaris, Ramona Falls, The Reign of Kindo, Mew and others. But based on that, I'm almost leaning toward expecting it to not be as good as those albums nor Epilogue. That way if it is, I don't have to put pressure on it and myself for it to be so good.

But given how great Epilogue is/was, by default, this becomes the biggest record on my radar now.

The new song "Five Circles" by the way, is totally sublime.

no I haven't heard it yet as I'm working OT at work right now. The title sounds familiar, as I think they may have played it live at that show that was shared last Summer.

Anyway, just gave them a modest tip. Seeing this is rather encouraging.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

maudlin of the Well compact discs

2AM (CST) on Thursday March 1st. Only 300. I'll be there, maybe even set my alarm. I NEED those.


Fair to Midland live DVD/Tour dates

This was just sent in the newsletter. I'll probably pre-order the DVD. The Arrows & Anchors double vinyl? sadly, no. But I would understand why others will.

Their tour isn't coming here, but after 11 shows in 5 years, I'll probably be okay. Cool they are going down under and supporting Dead Letter Circus as DLC did for them last December.

We couldn't be more thrilled to announce another round of tour dates including an East Coast US run and our very first Australian tour. On top of that we are about done editing video and mixing audio for our live concert DVD Live From The Machine Shop. Below you will find a new trailer and a link to our special pre-sale packages. Make sure to pick up yours now. That's not all... we are also making double vinyl for Arrows & Anchors! Order yours now as we are just making a few hundred copies total.

Friday, March 2 @ Jake's Sports Cafe in Lubbock, TX - ALL AGES 
Saturday, March 3 @ The Cotton Gin (Texas Independence Festival) in Maxwell, TX 
US EAST COAST HEADLINE TOUR w/ Dead Letter Circus and Lionize
CLICK HERE FOR SPECIAL VIP PRE-ORDER NOW. Regular pre-orders will start on Monday, Feb 27.
April 5 @ The Parish at House of Blues in New Orleans, LA 
April 6 @ TBA 
April 7 @ TBA 
April 9 @ The Pit in Jacksonville, FL 
April 10 @ Masquerade in Atlanta, GA 
April 11 @ Ground Zero in Spartanburg, SC 
April 12 @ Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC 
April 14 @ Empire in Springfield, VA 
April 15 @ The Note in West Chester, PA 
April 16 @ The Studio at Webster Hall in New York City, NY 
April 17 @ Middle East Downstairs in Boston, MA 
April 18 @ Les Foufounes Electriques in Montreal, QC 
April 19 @ Wreck Room in Toronto, ON 
April 21 @ Club Diesel in Pittsburgh, PA 
April 22 @ Agora Theatre in Cleveland, OH 
April 24 @ The Golden Gnome in South Bend, IN 
April 25 @ The Vernon Club in Louisville, KY 
April 26 @ Newby's in Memphis, TN 
April 27 @ Clicks Live in Tyler, TX 
April 28 @ Schotzi's in College Station, TX 

Tickets on sale 27/02/12 - Also performing will be Twelve Foot Ninja
Thursday 10th May 2012 @ Prince of Wales (41 Stephen Street, Bunbury, WA) 
Friday 11th May 2012 @ Metropolis (58 South Terrace, Fremantle, WA) 
Saturday 12th May 2012 @ The Capitol (393 Murray Street, Perth, WA) 
Wednesday 16th May 2012 @ CSU (Charles Sturt University - Boorooma Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2012)Tickets: CSU student sales only. 
Thursday 17th May 2012 @ Ferntree Gully Hotel (1130 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully, VIC) 
Friday 18th May 2012 @ The HIFI (125 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC) 
Saturday 19th May 2012 @ The Gov (59 Port Road, Adelaide, SA) 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 @ The Patch (Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow (Wollongong), NSW) 
Thursday 24th May 2012 @ Zierholz @ UC (Building 1, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT 2617) 
Friday 25th May 2012 @ The HIFI (Building 220, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park, Sydney, NSW) 
Saturday 26th May 2012 @ The Entrance Leagues Club (3 Bay Village Rd, The Entrance, NSW) 
Sunday 27th May 2012 @ The Cambridge (789 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW) 
Wednesday 30th May 2012 @ The Hoey Moey (90 Ocean Parade, Coffs Harbour, NSW) 
Thursday 31st May 2012 @ Hotel Great Northern (35-43 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW) 
Friday 1st June 2012 @ The Spotted Cow (296 Ruthven Street , Toowoomba, QLD) 
Saturday 2nd June 2012 @ The HIFI (125 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane, QLD) 
Thursday 7th June 2012 @ Brothers Leagues Club (99/105 Anderson Street, Manunda, Cairns, QLD) 
Friday 8th June 2012 @ The Venue (719 Flinders Street , Townsville, QLD) 
Saturday 9th June 2012 @ Magnums (366 Shute Harbour Road, Airlee Beach, QLD) 
Sunday 10th June 2012 @ Kings Beach Tavern (43 Burgess Street , Caloundra, QLD)

Pre-Sales are available now for our DVD we shot in Flint, MI at the Machine Shop on the 17th of December. It looks amazing!!! You can grab your own copy on Facebook or the website so go check it out. We also made a limited press of 250 Arrows & Anchors albums on Double-Vinyl so check that out too. 

British Theatre - British Theatre (2012)

2/25/12 10:35AM


EP Cover Art

1. ID Parade On Ice 05:06
2. Gold Bruise 04:37
3. Little Death #3 (6th Gen Degrade) 04:05

released 25 February 2012

This sounds pretty sweet. I have no idea if this is just what they are putting out, or an EP/preview for a full-length. I guess it's the #1 release on Bandcamp today for what it's worth.

1/24/12 2:30PM

A couple of more samples/videos

Corpse from BritishTheatre on Vimeo.

Schizo from BritishTheatre on Vimeo.

1/12/12 11:42AM

This is the new project from "The Gambler" and I believe Mike Vennart (with some others?) formerly of Oceansize. Among the non-Oceansize projects, this may be the one to pay attention to the most. At least for 2012, as their Self-Titled debut album is expected to be released this year.

Some Videos there, which may or may not have Embed codes (they're not from Youtube or Vimeo obviously). When I have time, I'll try and look.
facebook post

Hello lovers. You can check my new project with Gambler out here.... www.britishtheatremusic.com .... We hope you're safe and well. Stay tuned for further updates.

British Theatre on twitter

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Kimbra interview

The US release of Vows it sounds like will drop this Summer in the US. With some extra tracks/a different track listing. Some include The Mars Volta's drummer Deanoni Parks in fact.

The article mentions her opening for Foster the People this Summer. The date of course in Minneapolis (I'm assuming it's the only date) is on June 22nd, when I'll be in Chicago, lol.

Murphy's Fucking Law. O well, paying the outrageous Target Center price for tickets would seem a bit of waste since I couldn't give two shits about Foster the People, especially paying $50 or even $100 or more just to see Kimbra play for 30 minutes.

Still, murphy's law, like The Dear Hunter show the day after in St Paul which I will miss. Marillion is a priority, as the last time I saw them, I'd never heard of Kimbra nor The Dear Hunter.

Brice Plays Drums - Man the Animal Cannon (2012)

I saw them at The Cabooze last evening and here's some of the footage:

Video streaming by Ustream

The "info" section on their Facebook page adds this about this new album:

Tentatively, BPD will be releasing their new album "Man the Animal Cannon" in May of 2012. It will feature 3 songs totalling 45 minutes, a new keyboardist, and notably jazzier and theatrical overtones.

And having seen them play it all last night, the jazz element is more evident in this new music, compared to their debut release I Laugh at Your Greener Pastures.

I got to speak with Michael Higgins, their singer/guitarist, about it after the show and it sounds like it'll be finished soon. May as that says, is the projection for when it could be released. Stylistically, it features vocal harmonies and is more jazzy, as their new keyboardist Bobby, brings that influence among other things to the band. But it also sounds in some ways like their debut record in that it's sort of a suite, or rather, the compositions are all size-able, yet do connect. 3 songs? and around 45 minutes.

Pretty excited to hear it. They may launch a Kickstarter campaign, but it should be available for free to stream, just as I Laugh at Your Greener Pastures is here.

One of my favorite bands prog or otherwise, from Minnesota.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kevin Gilbert - Suit Fugue (Isolated Vocal Mix)

I've always wantedn to hear those lines/vocals isolated and then understand even better how/why they were layered together how they were. Given I'm at work, I'll have to wait until later.

I'd go for this for other songs, namely a Call Florence Pow track "Intro (live)" where they overdub a bunch of glaring comments about CFP being "the greatest rock band in the history of the world." That one, if I spent enough time at, I probably could transcribe. Suit Fugue? doubtful, but at least there are the lyrics online (on Kevin's site namely)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


2/22/12 7:32PM

perspective video shoot for the song "When We Were Young"

2/21/12 6;06AM

Sucré on Facebook

I heard about this project the other day in speaking with Daniel from Canon Blue. A touring member/performer of his band Canon Blue, Jeremy Larson is part of this project along with Mutemath drummer Darren King and Darren's wife Stacy Dupree-King who sings for the band Eisley.

I just read a bit about it, namely Jeremy's background with string arrangements and what not and I got rather intrigued. Of course I'm a fan of Darren King's being a Mutemath fan as well. Although this sounds a lot different than MM.

On paper at least, it sounds more in the vein something Brooke Waggoner might do, but I'm sure that'll be totally off once I get to hear it beyond this initial single that can be streamed below.

The debut full-length I guess is coming out on April 10th, I recall reading in 1 of the articles linked on their Facebook page. But there still is no listed title? There wasn't at least as of a few weeks ago.

I guess once there is, and more of that good stuff comes out, it'll be shared in here of course. In the mean time, this is a project I am rather intrigued by. And I'll fully admit to thinking Eisley is kind of overrated/a band I don't follow why some (the dreamtheaterforums.org namely) make out to be a lot better than they are (I feel Warpaint are VASTLY better, who have become popular, but not on that forum for some reason).

But if somehow I get into Eisley as a result of becoming a fan of this, so be it. I can now claim to be a fan of the Besnard Lakes anyway, a band who I rightfully admit, have taken many verbal shots at. Sometimes, a band can be that more effective in winning you over if you initially think they suck, lol.

My Latest Novel - Good Bees, Strong Hives (2012)

This is a band I first came across in Alternative Press "100 Bands You Need to Know" issue, I want to say in 2007. They were compared to Anathallo and from Scotland. And that comparison actually I don't find bad, or inaccurate. But they made a terrific 2nd LP in 2009 titled Deaths and Entrances. So much so, I really was surprised how much I enjoyed, and found myself going back to it..

They use strings well, vocal harmonies, etc Nice melodies and use of dynamics. Chamber instrumentation, like a lot of groups of recent years. Although it could be said they were around before many of them.

But we'll see how they follow up Deaths and Entrances soon when this thing drops, which based on some comments, could be the 1st half of 2012.

Wikipedia says:

My Latest Novel are currently working on their as yet untitled third album featuring songs with working titles such as "What's the Secret Eugene?", "This Afternoon I Died", "Good Bees/Strong Hives" and "The Weather Song".


Marillion's name in an American TV commercial

this goes directly to the :13 second mark. look at the Wall. Who would have thought? someone involved must be a fan and looking forward to their tour this Summer.

Meshuggah - Koloss (2012)

2/22/12 12:58AM
new song "Do Not Look Down" (Nuclear Blast disabled the Embed, fuckers)

and this new song "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion"

 kinda "meh" towards it to be honest. "Do Not Look Down" I'm digging much more.

1/28/12 12:38PM
A Q&A with Jens Kidman (vocalist) Thomas Haake (drummer) via Facebook and in a live chat. 45 Minute Video

1/17/12 4:42PM
Album title is as edited "Koloss" or "Colossus" (which I think sounds better, but that's the German word for it).

b-mouth link

01 – I Am Colossus
02 – The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance
03 – Do Not Look Down
04 – Behind The Sun
05 – The Hurt That Finds You First
06 – Marrow
07 – Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
08 – Swarm
09 – Demiurge
10 – The Last Vigil


When Meshuggah released a brief message last week announcing the release date of their new album, I don’t think anyone even stopped to think that the album’s title might be hidden within:

After a long time of deep soul searching and intense wrecking of the psyches, the new album is finally done. Soon you will meet this colossus that will pulverize your being. Welcome to the other side on March 27.

But then came an email from stealthy MetalSucks informant Ashley Lee linking to a page in Nuclear Blast’s German webstore showing an album by the name “Koloss” — “Colossus” in German – set for release on March 23rd (releasing an album on Friday in Europe and the following Tuesday in the U.S. is still par for the course these days despite many record labels’ willful ignorance of the existence of the Internet). Here’s the English translation of the text on the NB Germany page:

Exclusively at NUCLEAR BLAST mailorder! The limited edition ”colossus” digipakincluding bonus DVD MESHUGGAH plus the magic cube! Limited to 500 bundles!

1/5/12 8:40AM

Not that I'm a huge fan or anything, but given this album is supposed to be a departure from their proto-djent sound, and more thrash oriented, I'm more curious about this album than I typically would be.

March 27th. More to add in due time.

Mutemath w/ Canon Blue @ First Ave (2/18/12)

Mutemath is a band who I have now seen live 6 times. And unlike even some of my favorite and best live bands, they still have yet to perform an even so-so show. Every concert I've seen from them has had this great energy. The group drumming especially, as I've said about them and the other A-list live bands in recent years, really could show all the so-called "jam bands" actually how to "Jam" without the jams going on way past their welcome.

So this 6th concert of theirs on Saturday night, included those jams, and actually a LOT MORE.

A lot more I say, because for a band who have done so much with their live shows, this show still included more things that were unexpected, which I wasn't sure they could/would do.

those were things such as beginning the show, marching from the back of the crowd up to the stage.

-Paul Meany crowd surfing on a LIGHTED UP mattress that was pushed/moved by the full-size crowd, while he he was doing his vocals, along with confetti being sprayed into the air ala The Polyphonic Spree or Sigur Ros

-Darren King playing at least 1 snare/kickdrum into, on top of the crowd. While sporting a bow tie, which was sort of Mayer Hawthorne-esque and fitting, given a Couple at the show were just married and not changed since their ceremony

Playing the entire new record Odd Soul live. Here's a setlist I found online, which I'm assuming is the same.

Odd Soul
Blood Pressure
Tell Your Heart Heads Up
Sun Ray
Plan B
Walking Paranoia
One More
Stall Out
In No Time
All Or Nothing
Break the Same


So it was probably a bit longer than any of the 5 previous Mutemath shows I've seen, being around 2 hours in 15 minutes (assuming the band began at 7:45PM like they said they would on twitter/facebook, in order to avoid the curfew problems of the 2 previous shows).

Despite a few sound issues early on (on 1 track, I'm thinking Spotlight perhaps?) the crowd even assisted in singing/humming the vocals and guitar melody at 1 point. And what seems almost predictable at 1st Ave among other venues, the frequent intermittent BRIGHT WHITE LIGHTS, which I failed to have shades to assist my avoiding. The issue I have with those lights, was slightly annoying, but didn't detract from the show much. Although I guess my beef with them at 1st Ave and other places (Station 4, Varsity namely) is probably better due for another entry/soapbox altogether.

Overall though, this was definitely better than their last (1st?) show at First Ave in 2009 (which wasn't a bad show itself) and one of the best shows I've seen from them and in 2012 thus far. They're just never boring, frequently engaging, and always seem to keep your attention. And the Odd Soul stuff works great live. The funky/groovy stuff especially. I think I've come up a little bit on that record in that it may be their best. It's certainly close, and seeing it in its entirety live, enhances it to me, as that can often happen. Darren King alone is pretty mind blowing to watch. He's so remarkably tight on his fills. He has a tiny kit, but he gets such a FAT sound out of his snare, and has those lightning quick fills. He's almost like Keith Moon in that sense. He's maybe even more notice-able on Odd Soul, than their other records.

As far as Canon Blue, even as short a set as they had (about 35 minutes?), they were also impressive playing a handful of tunes off their great new album Rumspringa which I picked up on Vinyl. I liked, how like Mutemath, they get their whole band it seemed, involved in the percussion. One of the members of their band is Jeremy Larson, and in speaking with Daniel James (who now I understand, is more or less Canon Blue), Jeremy is involved with Darren King of Mutemath and Stacy Dupree-King from Eisley in the new project Sucré.

But Jeremy Larson, I guess is classically trained, and has a great background with composition/arranging strings and other chamber/baroque featured instrumentation. Which honestly, if Sucré is even half as good as I think it may be, I am going to want to check out his previous music. It wouldn't surprise me if he had something to do with some of the extra instrumentation with Rumspringa.

I.e., could he be in the class of a Casey Crescenzo, Jessy Ribordy or even Brooke Waggoner? if he is, I'm rather curious.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oedipus - Vicious Little Smile (2012)

2/21/12 7:50PM

Greetings Fans, we're very happy for you to be hearing from us today, we've got a very important announcement to bring you! :)


It is our very distinct pleasure to announce that our forthcoming new album Vicious Little Smile, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

Vicious Little Smile is our first full length studio release since 2007's Covetous, and our debut album released under our new record label THC Music/Rocket Science. We are very proud of this album, which features some very special guests including Phil Collen (Def Leppard/Manraze), and feel like it contains some of our best material to date. We hope that you get as much pleasure listening to it as we had making it!

1 Lizzy 3:02
2 Kiss on the Fist 3:16
3 Tres Las 3:31
4 Burn It Down 3:25
5 Liar 5:54
6 Cheat 3:50
7 Final Machine 4:22
8 Gimme a Chance 3:52
9 Every Piece of You 3:38
10 Tied Together 4:02
11 Perfect Strangers 3:34
12 Moonlight 16:27

Stream "Kiss on the Fist"

Amazon Pre-Orders:

1/4/12 12:58AM

The two press releases from their site (and mailing list) are below about this upcoming record.. It comes out digitally on january 24th in Poland, then March 13th in the States and other places. I'm not clear about if the March release will be digital or on CD or even Vinyl.

For those who've never checked this band out, they released a new EP in 2011 titled Holding Out for More which is pretty good, although more pure power-pop, unlike their more experimental/prog-rock influenced debut record from 2005 Humbility.

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a great holiday and are getting off to a great start in 2012. As we kick off what is going to be a great year, we are very pleased to announce that on March 13th, 2012 we will be releasing our first full length release since 2005's Humbility entitled Vicious Little Smile!
Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates coming soon including tour dates, new music videos, and exclusive sneak peeks of Vicious Little Smile, but in the meantime WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO for a preview of our next single "Kiss on the Fist":

We are very excited to bring you all a very special announcement to kick off 2012. Following the release of two new singles this January we will be dropping our brand new digital LP Vicious Little Smile on January 24th, 2012!

Starting January 10th, 2012 we will release our brand new single “Kiss on the Fist”, followed by another new single “Liar” on January 17th, 2012, before the digital release of Vicious LIttle Smile, our brand new, full length 9 song LP!

We hope you enjoy, and look forward to hearing from you in the new year! Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates coming soon, but in the meantime watch the promo video for a preview of our next single “Kiss on the Fist”:

Annuals - Solsbury Hill (live)

Go to 1:17 into the video.

Quality of the recording leaves a bit to desire. The band I guess are planning on-recording/have recorded a version of this song by Peter Gabriel. And hearing this live, I'm rather curious what it may sound like. The GROUP DRUMMING that I love Annuals live shows for, I sincerely hope is part of the arrangement they recorded, as it is there.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Enchant are back!

Ted Leonard is the new singer for Spock's Beard, but that apparently won't impact his ability to write and record the upcoming Enchant album. Cool beans!, as it's been 9 long years since 2003's Tug of War

Facebook announcement

and here it is : It's official! Enchant is making a new album! 

Contracts have just been signed with Inside Out Music and Century Media for a new Enchant album to be released later this year or early 2013 at the latest. The band is very excited and is currently working on new music as we speak! The band starts recording all new material within the upcoming months, so check back here for updates and progress reports on what will be Enchant's ninth album! There's also talk of video footage of the making of the new album, so keep your eyes and ears open for a behind-the-scenes look into the band's recording process.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Falling Up - The Machine De Ella Project/Midnight On Earthship/Hours (2013)

2/19/13 5:10PM



It's definitely bittersweet but we're excited to have all the music up for The Machine De Ella Project! How do you think it went?

Also, If you've been waiting for the whole thing to be released, now is your time! machinedeellaproject.com :)

So the whole thing is finally out/released as a fully official release date of February 19th, 2013. I plan to now go over both albums and the Hours Audiobook with any luck in the next few days (or weeks) and hopefully add more to this. Officially both of these albums are 2013, thus will likely be included in the 2013 Countdown

Also, now having finished this, Jessy likely will be focusing his time on along with promoting this, The River Empires. Perhaps that big announcement will come in the next few months (or even weeks?)..wishful thinking anyway


1 The Contact 3:59
2 The Climb 6:10
3 Finn Hatches a Plan 5:37
4 The Rest Will Soon Follow 4:59
5 Aeva and the Waving World 6:01
6 On Growing Things 6:04
7 Intro to the Radio Room 5:47
8 The Outsider 5:20
9 Blue Ruins 5:09
10 Transmission 5:36
11 Prillicians 4:49
12 In Echoes Forever 4:31

Midnight On Earthship

1 Sky Circles 4:02
2 Home        3:23
3 Bruise 3:54
4 Greying Morning 4:44
5 Who You Are 4:53
6 Down Here 3:44
7 Summer Song 5:24
8 Rooftops 3:54
9 Voices 6:04
10 Tomorrows 6:01

The Artwork for Midnight on Earthship hopefully will come soon as well.

12/4/12 2:00PM
Been finally getting around to checking these out. The songs/music specifically today. It's odd how the Midnight on Earthship songs are basically Jessy only at a piano (yet still released under the Falling Up name), yet the Hours songs sound more in the vein of the traditional Falling Up sound. Maybe there's a reason for that? At any case, once all of them have been released, I believe at the end of the year, or early in 2013, I'll have to post a lot of details.

10/9/12 6:10AM


this is cool. The Jessy Ribordy Audio Novel The Hours series ties in. I just "preordered" and received the 1st 2 tracks "Sky Circles" and "Home."

10/8/12 7:30PM Over the last few months, Falling Up's been posting about the new release/project I guess. I wish I had known earlier, but I guess given I did not, and it's (hopefully) supposed to come out in just a few hours, it's nice to not have to wait and try and remember to check in on it.

Although, I really hope the progress of  the next The River Empires isn't impacted by it, but I'm sort of getting the sense Falling Up moves at a different speed and priority. Falling Up is like Jessy's Dream Theater or Adrenaline Mob, and The River Empires is like his Transatlantic or Flying Colors.

But we'll see, maybe both this and the new TRE will still get released this Fall. But in terms of just this, I'm curious about it, especially how ambitious Jessy sounds describing it. It may be sort of an interactive thing with music and something to read ala Michael Nesmith's The Prison

These are the posts from Facebook over the last few months:

For those that missed it earlier, we'll be launching our new venture "The Machine De Ella Project" next Tuesday Oct. 9th.

So get your ears ready, lots of new music and even an audiobook will be involved. It's definitely going to be our most ambitious work to date.


Announcement: Hey guys today was supposed to be the day that we released 'The Machine De Ella Project' to the world. Unfortunately we hit a few snags in the project and are still wrapping up some of the minor details. 

But there's good news! Our new release date is going to be next Tuesday aka October 9th! So sorry about the delay but we want to make sure everything is perfect before launch. 

Thanks for your patience!!


Less than a month away from launching the Machine De Ella Project. #BlueberryLips


Machine De Ella Project will begin October 1st. It's an experimental new type of a project that will include brand new music. We think you guys and gals will love it! For fans of old school falling up and new.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Margot & the Nuclear So & So's - Rot Gut, Domestic (2012)

1 Disease Tobacco Free
2 Books About Trains
3 Shannon
4 Prozac Rock
5 Journalist Falls In Love With Deathrow Inmate #16
6 Frank Left
7 Fisher of Men
8 Arvydas Sabonis
9 Coonskin Cap
10 Ludlow Junk Hustle
11 Devil
12 Christ

This new album is being released on March 20th. I recall they had a Kickstarter campaign that helped the making/releasing of it. I probably posted something about that a few months ago, along with the rehash about this band. But to reiterate briefly, I will definitely listen to this album, but I don't expect much. It largely goes back to the dramatic lineup changes they made in 2009. And their last record Buzzard very much reflected that. The horns, strings, and even keys are not around really anymore.

But, maybe this will end up surprising me. I guess if it ends up in the vein of Buzzard, I'm not sure how much more of a shark jump they can make. I'll likely look at them much like I look at Murder By Death now, although in their MBD's case, they didn't really change band members, just sound/songwriting approach.

Here's a video for the 1st single "Prozac Rock" stoner-ish, and not chamber-ish sadly.

Here's an interview that may give more insight about this record and the state of the band now. I haven't read it yet, but perhaps once I get to, some things about the band will be more clear. Even just what the departed members, like Andy and Chris Fry are doing now.

Music Family Tree's interview part 1
Music Family Tree's interview part 2

Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming of the True [Deluxe Edition] Spot

Oh my gawd. I suspect the girl in this clip is not actually a hardcore fan (if at all), but she does a good enough job acting as one. Although her use of the word "killer" almost seems a little obsessive or unreal.

But still, this is rather funny/unexpected. A woman in a bikini obsessing over my 2nd favorite album of all-time. Who came up with the idea? lol.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jazzkamikaze - The Return of JazzKamikaze (2012)

2/14/12 8:48AM

Good to see where they are at. The "late February" projection seems realistic.

Here's the deal... Album is currently being uploaded for itunes and such. Expect 10-14 days until it is downloadable. LP are being printed, more info on how to acquire these items when we get info from our record company. If you are Copenhagen based, så kan du købe den fysiske CD i JazzCup fra idag!

In the meantime we will keep you warm by offering you another track for your listening pleasure.

Go stream "Volcano"

2/10/12 9:28AMNew track "Kole"

Obviously this album didn't get released on February 1st, but at least it should be soon as they mentioned copies were being pressed and printed recently.

New track from our new album, The Return of JazzKamikaze. Coming late February 2012 on CD, LP and downloads.

1/22/12 3:41PM

1. Resurrection
2. Mitsuhirato
3. Future Blaster
4. Blues for J.H.
5. Volcano
6. Organic Anthem
7. Kole
8. Copenhagen Hipster
9. Agent Cooper
10. Afrique
11. Lamai
12. Xelerator Prelude
13. Xelerator
14. Karaboudjan
15. Celestial
16. In Universal Circumference (CD Bonus Track)
17. Chloroform (CD Bonus Track)
18. Volcano ’08 (CD Bonus Track)

1/19/12 9:25AM

Their new album drops on February 1st! (CD and digital)

The title, unless otherwise noted, is still that.

1/19/12 9:25AMedit: "New album is called: The Return of JazzKamikaze"

facebook announcement

Facebook Video with music

as I've posted many times in the past, this band are great. if you like Mew, The Reign of Kindo or some others, they very well could be worth your time. They should still have Supersonic Revolutions streaming on their homepage.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spawn of Possession - Incurso (2012)

2/13/12 11:22PM
You can stream another new track "Bodiless Sleeper" here

Guitar World continue to be anal about allowing Embeds on their Soundcloud page, lol. As far as the song, more jaw-droppingly technical work there.

1/17/12 4:10PM

New song "Where Angels Go Demons Follow"


SPAWN OF POSSESSION - Where Angels Go Demons Follow by RelapseRecords

yah. Me likey.

1/9/12 8:42AM

Pre-order is up on their bandcamp page. Sucker drops on March 13th, 2012.

1. Abodement
2. Where Angels Go Demons Follow
3. Bodiless Sleeper
4. The Evangelist
5. Servitude of Souls
6. Deus Avertat
7. Spiritual Deception
8. No Light Spared
9. Apparition

12/2/11 4:17PM


Swedish tech-death assassins SPAWN OF POSSESSION have completed work on their third full-length album, "Incurso", for a spring release via Relapse Records. The CD, which will contain nine tracks plus an instrumental intro, was recorded at Pama Studios in Kristianopel, Sweden with engineer Magnus "Mankan" Sedenberg.

According to a press release, "devastating riffs, jaw-dropping time-signatures and improbably complex songwriting coalesce to create an opus of next-level death metal on 'Incurso', which the band promises to be their most supreme work to date, and more devastating than ever."

yee-ah boi!

The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet (2012)

2/13/12 8:43PM

the whole track "The Malkin Jewel"..this is definitely different, but it intrigues me in a lot of ways.
below: Track Times have been added from http://www.themarsvolta.com/discography

2/9/12 2:12PM

early review:

"My hatred of prog rock and it's mushroom munching, Hobbit-loving fans"

I'd love to force this writer, Rory O'Keeffe, to attend Nearfest, just out of spite, with comments like that..That write-up, while intriguing, reeks of the attittude hordes of snobs (and Hipsters) who pine for the return of At the Drive-In.

"The best American Rock Band to come out of the second half of the 1990s"  ? well, not really.

They were good and can be applauded for ambition, but there are other bands that at least formed and recorded their earliest music then that I still would take easily over AtDI. How about dredg, for one.

30 second preview of "The Malkin Jewel" below. The new single, which drops next Tuesday, February 14th.

The Malkin Jewel (Snippet) by The Mars Volta

1/17/12 2:05PM
Track List/cover art and link with more info here

1 The Whip Hand 4:49
2 Aegis 5:11
3 Dyslexicon 4:22
4 Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound 6:43
5 The Malkin Jewel 4:44
6 Lapochka 4:16
7 In Absentia 7:26
8 Imago 3:58
9 Molochwalker 3:33
10 Trinkets Pale of Moon 4:25
11 Vedamalady 3:54
12 Noctourniquet 5:39
13 Zed and Two Naughts 5:36

V/A classifier
V/A labelV/A genreV/A tributeLanguagesEnglishEnglishCatalog NoReissue?Not a reissueNot a reissue

"While Noctourniquet was, in typical Mars Volta fashion, written by Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and produced by Rodriguez-Lopez, the 13-track album explores musical territories previously uncharted in the duo's 20 or so years of creating music together. The spectrum of musical and emotional textures conceived and created by Rodriguez-Lopez ranges from the opening bombast of "The Whip Hand" to the menacing crawl of "The Malkin Jewel" punctuated throughout by hypnotic melodies and borderline electro-ambient washes, most notably in the epic "In Absentia." The bold diversity of the new material combined with Rodriguez-Lopez's most confident and refined performances to date make Noctourniquet an early contender for this year's most challenging and rewarding listen."

1/12/12 6:15PM


album title "Noctourniquet"
1/9/12 1:00AM
This may be the cover art by Sonny Kay, but the source doesn't really hold a ton of confidence.

1/7/12 4:08PM

Rock Zone twitter post

In Absentia, nuevo disco de The Mars Volta para el 27 de marzo.

I just saw some info their new album comes out on March 27th. There is no confirmed Title although it may start with an "A." Despite how that twitter post reads, the title is not in fact "In Absentia" but 1 of the songs is titled.


There is a song on the new volta that goes by the name in absentia but it is not the record title…I am afraid that is not the title of latest volta record. we will announce it soon. it really is just around the corner.

I guess it (or another track, "Zed and Two Naughts" perhaps) is going to be included on the soundtrack to the new video game MLB12 though.

some of the songs people are speculating:

The Malking Jewel
The Whip Hand
Zed And Two Naughts
In Absentia
Trinkets Pale Of Moon
Mountains of Avarice (or something similar)
Lurking About In A Cold Sweat (this may be an older title for In Absentia, not sure)

What happened with their record label situation, etc I haven't read about yet, but there was/is a facebook campaign to let them release this album, an album that has been done and ready to be released for awhile, but did not come out in 2011 due to label issues.

"Kids these Days"

The level of ignorance is both baffling yet unsurprising
Who is Paul McCartney?
Who is Bon Iver?
Who is Whitney Houston?

Dream Theater at the 2012 Grammys

Awkward interview, and of course it didn't air even on the E! Network's Red Carpet coverage. That was rather funny when the woman interviewing them asked who they were looking forward to seeing tonight, lol. I'm sure she had never even heard of Dream Theater until 5 minutes before that interview. And her reaction to a...whoa..a 9-minute song? NO WAY! lol thanks

Dave Grohl: I guess I don't have anything against him as a person, but I still think the Foo Fighters are very overrated.

  Brief story with Dave Grohl saying "I FEEL BAD FOR DREAM THEATER"

Will Dream Theater ever get nominated again? I'm gonna guess no, but perhaps their odds are better now than in any years in the past. I do feel slightly bad for Portnoy, even though he's probably been over it a zillion times in his head, and now that it's over, he's probably a bit relieved.

I also can't help but think of Kevin Gilbert and the other Tuesday Music Club Members who appeared at the Grammy's in 1995 when their music won on Sheryl Crow's debut record Tuesday Night Music Club. I wonder if the camera showed Kevin and others when Crow went up to accept the award. They had to get mentioned of course. I might pay money if someone had a video copy of that Grammy Awards just to see it. I've always wanted to. But were Dream Theater shown in the crowd anywhere? I didn't see them, but go figure.

Steven Wilson interview

This is a nice, in-depth interview with Steven Wilson, done by a writer named Anil Prasad who I know has been interviewed by Used Bin Radio. Not that everything he mentions is a high priority of mine (No-Man, Bass Communion and even Blackfield recently, but I'm sure people who may find this blog might be interested.

It is interesting to note how his next solo record won't be coming until 2013. So for the Porcupine Tree/SW fanboys, it's the new live record, Storm Corrosion, remixes of Thick as a Brick/TAAB2 and his lesser role with Blackfield in 2012.

I do wonder why nobody ever asks him about the Deadwing movie. That may be *dead* no pun intended, until some financial opportunity arises.

Steven Wilson’s second solo album Grace for Drowning reflects a restless, uncompromising creative spirit. Best known as the leader of prog-rockers Porcupine Tree, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist has created an epic tour de force. The album is informed by ‘70s progressive rock and jazz traditions, filtered through an expansive musical worldview that incorporates a vast array of other genres. Ambient, folk, pop, metal, and classical are just a few of the other influences that abound. The album’s all-star cast of contributors also speaks volumes about the manifold forms explored. Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, Theo Travis, and Jordan Rudess all bring their signature, diverse approaches to the table.

Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt are also about to release Storm Corrosion, a collaboration that will surprise longtime fans of both musicians. While their perceived shared common ground is progressive metal, the album offers a collection of minimalist, hypnotic, acid-folk-inspired songs, occasionally infused with wild and unexpected percussive and dark rock detours.

In addition, the ever-prolific Wilson also has a forthcoming live album and DVD from No-Man, his longstanding duo with singer-songwriter Tim Bowness. Titled Love and Endings, it offers fresh takes and even reinventions of No-Man tracks from across its career, as well as “Beaten by Love,” a previously-unreleased song dating back to the formative days of the act. Another current Wilson release is his ambient alter-ego Bass Communion’s Cenotaph. The record takes Bass Communion in a new direction by combining its drone-based approach with pulsing rhythms. Wilson also continues his work as a sought-after surround sound remixer, which has seen him transform classic albums by Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Caravan into immersive audio experiences.

Wilson is about to hit the road for the second leg of the Grace for Drowning tour. Accompanying him for the ride is a group of celebrated instrumentalists, including saxophonist Theo Travis, keyboardist Adam Holzman, drummer Marco Minnemann, bassist Nick Beggs, and guitarist Niko Tsonev.

Describe the creative process behind Grace for Drowning.

I approached it the way I approach all my records, which is I demo everything fairly elaborately. The difference this time is that I allowed a lot more space for accidents. Normally, when I wrote for Porcupine Tree or my first solo album, I made the arrangements quite tight. If I couldn’t think of something to do or nothing interesting was happening when I was in the studio writing music, I’d move on to the next idea. It was as simple as that. With Grace for Drowning, I took a different approach. I said to myself “Look, you know what? Let’s let this riff, bass line, drum pattern, or whatever it is just run for two or three minutes. I’m not going to worry about it getting boring, because I’m going to bring in some great musicians and let them blow.” And that’s exactly what I did. For example, on “Raider,” there are a few places in that song where there are long passages of vamping that have Theo Travis playing long flute and sax solos. Of course, I didn’t have those solos when I was working on the composition. I disciplined myself to not plan out the structures too much and allow for things to happen during the recording process. That brought forward the spirit of improvisation and jazz into the music, as well as the spiritual qualities. The soloists had the opportunity to express themselves without the restrictions of tight arrangements in which they might be told “You have eight bars here to say what you want to say.” For this album, as far as I was concerned, if they wanted to play over 54 bars or even 100 bars, they could. I wasn’t going to cut them off.

Elaborate on what spirituality means to you.

In this context, spirituality means something that comes directly from the heart or soul without any kind of intellectual process getting in the way. When you bring in a jazz musician or any soloist used to improvisation, ideally you say “I want you to say something here. Speak in the voice of your instrument and tell us a story.” By their nature, jazz musicians don’t intellectualize what they play beforehand, and for me, that’s what makes their contributions more spiritual. That’s what I love most about jazz. It’s almost like there’s no barrier in place between you and the voice of the instrument or performer. That’s something that’s been lacking for me in a lot of my work over the last 10 years. I didn’t really go there previously because it’s not something I’m good at. I’m not a great improviser. I’m more of an architect. I like to plan things out and structure them, and then put them together. With Grace for Drowning, I was moving into the next phase of my creativity, which is a balance between me as a producer, editor or architect, and being able to draw on musicians that are more spiritual in how they approach music.

I suppose as a catch-all, you could say “spiritual” just means “done for the right reasons.” What I mean by that is there is no attempt on this album to fit the music into a specific market or genre, or appeal to the existing base, managers or record companies. I’m not suggesting I’ve ever done that, because I’m pretty much incapable of doing that. [laughs] I think I have a willful streak in me in that whatever I do, I have to do it in a way that ultimately pleases me. So, being spiritual in that sense is a need to get in touch with my own soul to fulfill my own creative needs.

The music industry is full of people that are clearly not being fulfilled by their work. They do things for reasons that are perhaps different from when they started or when they first fell in love with the whole creative process. There are plenty of people doing it for the same reason as when they fell in love with music—I’m not suggesting I’m unique in that respect. But the industry all too often crushes people into thinking they have to make music to please other people. That situation is the antithesis of spiritual music. The bottom line is spirituality means something that touches you and can touch other people as well. It’s the idea that art is a kind of mirror. You create something in a very selfish way and then when you release it into the world, it becomes a mirror. If other people see themselves reflected back in what you’re doing, then there is a sense of touching people. Touching people means making people understand that they’re not alone in feeling the emotions they’re feeling. In that sense, spiritual music is about making people feel they are part of a collective consciousness. None of the things we feel in this world are unique to us, no matter how bad or good they may feel.

Provide some insight into where you’re going with your third solo album in progress.

The third album represents the first time I’ve written a solo album for a specific group of musicians. The first and second albums were made very much as solo albums with “solo” underlined. I wasn’t writing with a particular group of musicians in mind. I would write the music and then think “Maybe I can get this person to play on it. Maybe we have a flute player or an orchestra.” This time around, I’m writing for my wonderful live group. The music I wrote for Grace for Drowning took on a completely different life with these musicians playing it live. No matter how pleased you are with what you do in the studio, no matter how definitive you think those recordings and performances are, a great group of musicians can prove you wrong time and time again. And they did prove me wrong, every night. There was something special and new in the way they played the songs. One of the curses of going out and touring is you wish in a way you could record the songs now, knowing what you know about how these guys play them. So, for the next album I’m writing for those guys. It’s going to be a tighter record than Grace for Drowning. It’s going to be a bit less spacious, a bit more up, and arguably a bit more progressive. It’ll pick up more on the progressive jazz crossover tendencies of Grace for Drowning and go further in that direction.

What’s the timeline for the next solo album?

It’s not going to be until next year. I’m in no rush because there’s a lot of promotion still to be done forGrace for Drowning in terms of getting the record to people who haven’t discovered it. We’ll be touring it for the next six months at least. We’re also going to film a Blu-Ray DVD on the next tour to document the current repertoire and lineup. I’m writing with recording in mind for late summer or autumn, with a view to releasing the album in Spring 2013. So, it’s still a long way off. I’m a great believer that when you feel inspired, you should take advantage of the opportunity. I know some people think I’m an endless supply of music, but I’m not. I go through periods when I have nothing coming out and nothing to say. Right now, I feel inspired, so I’m striking while the iron is hot.

Tell me what you go through when you hit one of those challenging periods.

I get into periods when I think everything I come up with is something I’ve already done. I think that’s the main obstacle as you get older and you have more work behind you. There can be a sense that there is less for you to do in the future that you haven’t already done. That’s stating the obvious. I’m not someone who wants to repeat himself. No matter how good the music is in terms of quality, execution or composition, if it’s not something fresh or new, it’s kind of boring to me. I think that’s the fear I have: that I’ll get to the studio one day and think “Well, there’s nothing left to say. There’s nothing left I want to do.” And that does happen, but it happens for relatively short periods of time. It’s never been something that’s prevailed for more than a few weeks or months at the worst.

I’m able to solve these problems in two ways. First, I’ll go out and find new people to work with. One of the reasons I feel so inspired right at this point in time is because I love how the guys in my band play and what they can do. The second way is to just go and listen to music. I think people underrate the importance of listening. I’m very much a believer that lots of the artists we consider to be past their peak stop surprising us because they actually stop listening and being inspired by music. That usually happens when people have families. A lot of musicians produce fantastic work in their 20s that’s incredibly creative and prolific. By the time they get to 30, they get married and have kids. Suddenly, the music starts to get more predictable. I think that’s because they become focused on other things and the music becomes a job as opposed to being a vocation. That’s never happened to me. I don’t have a family. I’m not interested in having a family. Some people might think that’s very tragic and sad. I don’t. It’s not for me. I’m still very much actively involved in discovering new music. I love discovering new music and I find that feeds back directly into my own work. That also holds true for books and film.

You surprised people by taking out first-rate production and a group of A-list players on your first solo tour. Describe the risks and rewards of that approach.

The obvious risk is financial. I lost a lot of money on the first tour, but I knew I was going to lose a lot of money. And I’m going to lose a lot more money on the next tour as well. In a sense, that’s the least of my considerations, although I have to be a little bit careful. I’m not a bottomless pit of money. The other risk is an artistic one—the sense that it could have been an artistic disaster. It’s one thing to go out and get top musicians and hire a fantastic sound system, projectors, and have films made, but it wasn’t until the very first show that I realized it was actually going to work. That’s when I learned it was going to be the sum of its parts and perhaps greater than the sum. I initially wondered “What if it doesn’t come together?” But I could not see the point of going out and doing a solo tour under any other terms.

There would be no point in going out and doing a solo tour without bringing to it the same level of ambition I brought to the solo albums. The albums aren’t stripped down “Steven Wilson with his piano and acoustic guitar” efforts. I guess some people would have expected me to do a singer-songwriter solo album, but obviously they aren’t that. I think it would have been equally easy for me to go out and undertake a tour with a similar approach to Peter Hammill—you know, go out and with a piano and acoustic guitar and play a few Porcupine Tree songs, a few Blackfield songs, and some solo songs. That’s not for me. I wanted to go out and do something which would eclipse everything I had done before, including Porcupine Tree. In a way, I wanted to compensate for the fact that there was a sense out there that this was merely a side project of some kind, when it wasn’t. I knew it wasn’t from the beginning. I knew the solo career was going to arguably be the most important thing I would ever do. It took me almost 20 years before I felt ready to do it. I learned so much in those 20 years from doing various projects, some of which were solo works. Bass Communion is a solo project. Porcupine Tree was a solo project when I started. It became a band later on. In a sense, it took me 20 years to go out and say “This is a solo project and I’m going to do it under my own name. I’m going to bring in every single aspect of my musical personality under one umbrella, into one project.” When the time came to do the tour, the last thing I wanted was to go out with anything less than 100 percent commitment to the presentation, production, musicians, and overall quality of the shows. And it worked really well. It worked better than anyone could have expected it to, including myself. That’s why I’m carrying through to the next tour and beyond.

How are you able to sustain losing money from tour to tour?

I just announced a live CD from the first tour called Catalogue/Preserve/Amass, which is an attempt to get back some of the money I lost on it and also to finance the upcoming tour. So, the answer is I put my money where my mouth is. I’ve made some good money over the last couple of years doing the remix work and through Porcupine Tree. The last Porcupine Tree album cycle did very well for us. Now, I’m putting that money back into something I really want to spend money on. I didn’t get into the music business to make money. I got into it because I fell in love with the romantic notion of doing something remarkable and magical. I still feel that way. When I was a kid, I spent all my pocket money on albums. When I was a bit older, I spent it on duplicating tapes and sending them out to record companies and magazines in the hopes that something would happen. I’m still in that position, though the stakes are higher and there’s more money involved. I’m still in the situation in which the money I earn is being put back into something I love.

The simple answer to your question is that merchandise and live CD sales are going to help. I do believe the project will reach a point at which it’ll begin to break even, which is exactly what happened with Porcupine Tree. We toured for about five years losing money left, right and center. It wasn’t until the second Deadwing tour that we looked at the books and realized we actually broke even. That was a momentous day. I guess people might not believe that, but it’s true. We were losing colossal amounts of money. If we hadn’t been signed to Lava/Atlantic, we never would have been able to do it. Finally, we got to the point where people had gone away from the shows excited and came back with their friends the next time. I think the same will happen with the solo career.

Selling deluxe editions has also helped finance your work in a significant way. Describe how that model works.

Those really help. God knows I’ve spoken enough about the negative aspects of the Internet, but of course there is a massive positive side as well, particularly for people like myself who do rely on being able to interact with and go directly to the fan base. One of the things we did with Porcupine Tree that I have also done with my solo records is do these deluxe editions. They are very expensive to make, I’ve got to tell you. It’s not like I’m just selling these at high prices for the sake of it. However, if you can sell 3,000-4,000 of those directly to fans mail order, without any record company or distributor in between taking their cut, you can effectively finance projects that way. Marillion has been doing this since the late ‘90s. They get 10,000 fans to buy their album in advance, directly, and then they finance the whole thing. That’s a fantastic way to use the Internet to speak to fans and sustain a career which then doesn’t have to compromise artistically. I think you see more and more artists now doing that, and as they do, the music becomes more and more pure. The artists are no longer compromising for the sake of mass appeal. They become able to rely on a smaller, more dedicated group of fans who appreciate what they do. The special editions really appeal to that kind of fan. I speak as a fan myself. I love it when the artists I admire do deluxe editions, because you feel like you’re going out and buying a beautiful painting or print—something really special you can cherish. It’s a piece of art, rather than a piece of software. That’s a reason I think vinyl has come back. People have realized the difference between a CD and a piece of vinyl in a beautiful deluxe gatefold sleeve is the difference between a piece of software and a piece of art. I think the special editions are the zenith of that approach.

What can people expect from the forthcoming leg of the Grace for Drowning tour?

This is a spectacle. It’s a very visual show. The band is fantastic. Top-class musicians. They’re amazing. There are a number of visuals involved. There are multiple screens, new films, props, and even costumes, dare I say it. There’s also a quadraphonic sound system. There’s no support band. When you come into the auditorium, there is already something happening. The idea is that I want the whole show to be immersive from the moment you walk in to the moment you walk out. There are things happening the moment you walk in. And there are things happening after the show. These things aren’t part of the show, but are part of the overall audio-video experience.

You totally defied expectations with Storm Corrosion. It’s a minimalist, spacious album unlike anything you’ve done before. Tell me what you sought to achieve when making it.

I’ve absolutely no idea what we were going for. We literally walked into a studio and started to make music. We didn’t think about what we wanted to do. We didn’t intellectualize it at all. It was effortless. It wasn’t self-conscious. No decisions were made about what direction to go in. The album began to have a feeling of shape and style all on its own. All I can say is it was a direct product of a couple of things. Number one, when Mikael and I get together, there is obviously an expectation that we will do a particular kind of record. In this case, there was an expectation that we would make a progressive metal album. We’re both bloody-minded enough to know that if that’s the expectation, then we’re going to do the opposite. Secondly, There was a feeling that we were collaborating on something new. There was no precedent because it was a brand new project. This was our first album and we could set the tone any way we like. There was no Storm Corrosion album before this one and that was totally liberating.

There was also the sense that we could explore our more esoteric tastes in music. In Mikael’s case, that might be bands like Comus. In my case, that might be people like Scott Walker, Talk Talk and Steve Reich. We meet on a lot of those things anyway. It’s also very encouraging to be in the room with somebody with whom you feel you can suggest anything without them laughing you down or saying “You can’t do that. That’s ridiculous.” It was quite the contrary. We egged each other on. The more ridiculous, avant-garde or willfully obscure the idea, the more the other person would encourage the other. That’s a wonderfully creative situation to be in. It’s not something I have a lot. I have it with Tim Bowness in No-Man and I have it with Mikael in Storm Corrosion.

You mentioned the Comus influence. There’s a distinct acid-folk element to the Storm Corrosion album. Tell me why that direction appeals to you.

We both like that stuff very much. It’s a tradition that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years to the earliest folk songs. They were incredibly dark, depressing things. There’s the tradition of murder ballads—traditional folk songs like “The Unquiet Grave” or “Long Lankin” which are basically about death and people being haunted by the ghosts of their loved ones or people they murdered. This stuff is much darker than most contemporary music would consider to be dark. It’s much more about deeply-rooted fears, paranoias and superstitions at a time when life expectancy was very short. The songs reflected a fear of mortality, the specter of death, the grim reaper, ghosts, haunting, and the afterlife. I’ve always loved ghost stories. I’m talking about traditional ghost stories like The Monkey’s Paw and Whistle and I’ll Come to You. Those seem very ancient in a way in how to look at primal fears of death, mortality and haunting. I think you hear that in the music of bands like Comus and Scott Walker. A lot of the music on Storm Corrosion was made after we watched movies that you would put in a similar category as those stories. So, I think you’re right, there is that flavor that goes through the album.

Do you find yourself often confronting these sorts of fears yourself?

Who doesn’t? I believe the curse of the human race is the knowledge of death. It’s why many people are unhappy a lot of the time. We are aware of our own impending death. No-one has managed to prove to me satisfactorily that animals are also aware of death. I think human beings are unique in that we are aware of our own mortality and it casts an incredible shadow over our whole existence. If we’re not happy, we measure our unhappiness against the fact that we have a finite amount of time on Earth in order to be happy. I would say that’s why we invented the myth of religion and God—to try and come to terms with the fact that we are mortal. We invented this whole kind of mythology and fairy tales about the afterlife and God. It’s all designed to make ourselves feel better and provide comfort. Now, that’s not the only thing we’ve done in order to get comfort. Alcohol, drugs, and one could even argue culture itself, are all things done to distract form being reminded about our own mortality. The irony with art is that a lot of it does the opposite. It reminds us exactly of our own mortality. I love that. It’s what draws me to lots of music—the whole spirituality thing, and sense of mortality, and that sense of the tragedy that is the gift of life. The gift of life is a wonderful thing, but it’s also a tragic thing. Life is but a blip. It’s just a moment, really. You have 80 years or so, maybe less, maybe more, to try and make some kind of sense of this random gift of life—this strange, cruel blip in time that is your life, your ego and your consciousness. Many years ago, I wrote an album called Signify for Porcupine Tree. The whole idea was to look at the ways we try to create some significance for our own life. So, even in my 20s, I was obsessed with that—the idea of making some kind of mark.

Are you an atheist?

Yes. I guess I am in some ways your archetypal atheist. I think the whole myth of religion is absolutely absurd. I say this with the caveat that I understand it brings happiness to people who would otherwise be unhappy. There is comfort in it for people who would otherwise be tortured by their own existence and all that stuff. I appreciate those reasons and arguments, but at the end of the day, I’m afraid it’s just a silly fairy tale that mankind has dreamed up because of our fear of death. It’s as simple as that. It seems so obvious to me that’s why we created this myth. Religion, lest we forget, is a relatively new thing. You can go back as far as the Stone Age to see that man has always worshiped something, such as the sun. But the contemporary idea of religion has been around for less than 2,000 years. I’m speaking as someone that grew up with the idea that if you’re going to be religious, you’re gong to be Christian. Well, the Bible was written 200-300 years after the events it supposedly depicts. That’s certainly true for the New Testament and The Gospels. People were employed by politicians and leaders of the church to write it and that says it all to me. I’ve done a lot of reading and research about religion, because it’s something that fascinates me. What fascinates me is the compulsion or need for many to believe in this nonsense. A great deal of us seem to have this need to fall back on this crutch of faith and belief. People say to me “Well, it’s all a matter of faith. You don’t need proof.” Well, faith for me in that sense becomes a synonym for believing a lie and that’s no explanation at all.

Are you considering a Storm Corrosion tour?

No. It would be tough to pull off. It might be the kind of thing that works in seated theaters, maybe, together with a string quartet. It’s one of those things we’re not thinking about. We’re not looking beyond the release of this album. Mikael and I are both out on tour with our own things for most of the rest of the year anyway. If there was going to be a tour, it would be something we would look at much, much later on. We’d want to gauge the reaction to the album first and cross that bridge when we came to it.

No-Man’s Love and Endings, a new live album and DVD, is about to be released. Why put out another live No-Man project so soon after 2009’sMixtaped?

It wasn’t something we gave a lot of thought to. Tim Bowness was very keen for us to get back together last October to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Burning Shed label and store. Originally, we were going to get together to do two or three songs, and it became more like seven or eight songs. On that night, we thought “We should record this because it’s a kind of one-off event.” We did and we had a great show. It was a very magical evening. When we listened back to the tapes, we thought they sounded great. We decided we should release it, perhaps as a download. Then we thought “No, it would be nice to do a physical product.” These things have a way of escalating naturally. So, what started out as two or three songs become a live album. I also think Tim was keen to make amends for Mixtaped,which he felt wasn’t his best performance. He had a cold. We fixed it up and it sounds fine, but I think there was a sense that this is the way we would have liked that performance to have gone. When you have pressure on a performance, it never lives up to the expectation. When there is no pressure, chances are it will exceed your expectations. On this particular live recording, things are much more relaxed and vibrant. It’s got much more flesh and bone to it. It feels more natural. I think Tim is particularly keen for this to be available as an alternative to Mixtaped.There’s no doubt that it’s a much better representation of the band.

What does the future hold for No-Man?

I don’t know. We have no plans at all, just like Porcupine Tree. That doesn’t mean anything, though. I think people read too much into statements like that. We have no plans, but I’m sure we will work together again. That’s all I can say.

You recently announced that you’re phasing out of Blackfield. Tell me about that decision.

That decision is the exception that proves the rule, because No-Man and Porcupine Tree are things I’m sure I will always come back to. Blackfield felt like something I wanted to step out of for a couple of reasons. Number one, Aviv Geffen is incredibly ambitious for the project and he has every right to be. But in order to do what he wants to do with Blackfield requires full-time commitment. For example, he wanted to make another record right now, which he’s doing. And he wants to go back out on tour. I said “There’s no way. I want to do my solo tour and get back with Porcupine Tree. Maybe in two or three years I can do that.” He said “Well no, that’s not fair.” And he’s quite right. I said “The best thing to do is I’ll help you make the record, but you need to put something in place so Blackfield can continue as a full-time concern without me holding you back.” I had to talk him into it. I believe it’s in his best interest. I certainly didn’t want to be in a position in which I felt guilty for holding him up. So, this was a conscious decision to step out of something in order to give Blackfield more of a chance of longevity and success.

In America and Europe, your involvement is what drew a lot of people to Blackfield. What should listeners understand about the band as it moves into its next chapter?

I think that was true to begin with. Time will tell how much that is true in the longer term. People have tended to overestimate my role in the music. For example, I had very little to do with the last Blackfield album. Aviv wrote all but one of the songs and I really just got involved during the recording and mixing process. We went out and toured it together, but really, it was Aviv’s record. I sang a bunch of the songs, which I’m not going to do this time, which is a major change. It would be a mistake for me to sing a lot of the songs on the record because then people would go out and see the tour and expect the singer who sang them in the studio to sing them live. This time, Aviv is getting a whole bunch of other people in, some of whom I think he’s planning to take on tour with him. Some great things are happening with the album. I think what people like about Blackfield, whether they realize it or not, is the sound of Aviv’s songs and his approach. They’ll realize that more when they hear the new record. It sounds very much like a quintessential Blackfield album. I have very little involvement with it.

You were just in the studio working on the forthcoming Blackfield album. What did you contribute to it?

I’m still helping Aviv. I’m doing a bunch of guitar parts. I sing one song on the record. I helped him arrange some of the backing vocals. I’m acting more in a consultant role. I suggested certain singers and discussed with him about who would be right for the album. I still feel quite protective about the legacy of Blackfield, so in that respect I’m still there. But I think it’s important for people to get used to the idea of Blackfield existing without my 100 percent participation. That’s the way it’s got to be without getting another Blackfield album for many years. I don’t think that’s fair to Aviv or fans of Blackfield.

The last Bass Communion album Cenotaph went into new territory by offering a pulse in addition to the drone. What motivated you to break from Bass Communion tradition on this one?

It just sounded good. [laughs] There’s always been a thing in my mind with Blackfield that says “There’s no point in making the same record twice.” Similarly, with Bass Communion, I looked for new ingredients for the latest album. The previous record Molotov and Haze was all about guitar and laptop. Pacific Codex was all based on recordings of gongs and metal structures. Cenotaph is all based on samples of old 78 rpm records. They’re mostly classical. I’ve processed, sampled and mutated them in various ways to create a very scratchy, ghostly feel. I tried to create the sense of music that’s beaming in from another age—something that sounds ancient, but at the same time modern. That’s why I’ve been drawn to these old 78 rpm records. I also experimented with the idea of the heartbeat. I’ve always loved what’s called intelligent techno music, which is very repetitive and hypnotic. I’m talking about people like Plastikman or Wolfgang Voigt. It’s minimal techno, but very intelligent minimal techno. It’s a musical approach I’ve never really explored myself, yet it’s one of the styles of music I love more than anything else. I’ve always loved the slightly ominous, brooding, heartbeat pulse that goes through a lot of dark techno music. In a way,Cenotaph is an attempt to combine the world of scratchy, low-fi Bass Communion drone music with an ominous, brooding heartbeat pulse. It didn’t work on all the tracks, but it worked on three of them. There’s one piece I left completely ambient.

Another recent surprise is the news that you’ve mixed Ian Anderson’s Thick as a Brick 2, the sequel to the famous Jethro Tull album. Describe your interest in participating in that project.

It was a natural development after having mixed the original Thick as a Brick album into surround, as well as doing a new stereo mix. While we were working on that for EMI, Ian said to me “I’ve writtenThick as a Brick 2.” I said “That’s interesting.” He told me about this very interesting concept of what would have happened to Gerald Bostock, the eight-year-old kid that supposedly wrote the lyrics, originally. He said it looks at what path his life would have taken. It sounded like a really interesting concept. But I’ll be perfectly honest, part of me also was very skeptical that he could pull it off. There’s always a danger in doing a sequel and it doesn’t just apply to music but to movies and books—it can never live up to the expectation if the original is an established classic, as Thick as a Brick is. I talked with Ian about it and said “If you’re going to do it, you have to do it with the original musical palette. You have to go back and use acoustic guitar, flutes, harpsichords, glockenspiels, and all the things that made the original special. You have to keep it a very organic record and almost go back to the spirit of 1972.” He seemed totally onboard with that and the record is good. I’m not going to say it’s as good as the original, but it’s a very strong piece of work and a credible attempt by one of the legends of ‘70s progressive music to recapture the zeitgeist and feeling of their greatest work.

We’re living in a time when a lot of bands are looking around and seeing that the climate has changed so much over the last 20 years. Many feel the right thing to do is perhaps go back and revisit what made their reputation. Yes famously did a return to that last year. For 20-30 years, classic progressive music was incredibly unpopular and unfashionable. I was talking to Steve Hackett about this. He feels for the first time that people actually appreciate the work he did in the ‘70s. He feels it’s only in the last three or four years that he’s begun to feel people value that work as his greatest achievement. For 30 years, he was told it was shit, that he was a dinosaur, and that the music was worthless and no-one was ever going to want to listen to that hippie stuff again. I cannot underestimate how these guys were brainwashed. Robert Fripp and Ian Anderson feel the same. They were brainwashed by the media into thinking everything they did in the ‘70s was worthless junk. It’s almost like abused child syndrome. It took a great amount of reassurance for them to begin to believe that people love that stuff and that it’s the work that their reputation will ultimately rest on.

I experienced that with Robert when we worked on the remix of King Crimson’s Lizard. He said “Why do you want to do this Steven? No-one likes the record. Everyone hates it, including me.” I said “I’m going to change people’s minds.” I’m so proud to say that happened. One of the greatest moments of my life is when that album was reissued and received astonishing reviews. David Fricke in Rolling Stone said “Lizard is revealed to be the greatest King Crimson album of all.” Mojo gave it five out of five stars. Robert was astonished. And I was vindicated because I really believed all those records that had been ignored and sidelined for years, mainly by the media, but also by fans, were really coming of age. In a sense, they were so far ahead of their time, and now is their time. They sound extraordinary. This is really key for me.

Going back to Thick as a Brick 2, now is the time for Ian to go back and do this project. He never would have considered this in a million years even five years ago, and that goes to show you how the mood and climate has changed towards this music. So, finally people like Ian, Robert and Steve feel “You know what? People do really love that work. They really appreciate it. That was my best work and my most creative period. I can still do that music and people still want to hear it.” There’s now an incredible sense of enthusiasm with regards to Thick as a Brick 2. People have told me they haven’t seen Ian this enthusiastic about a new record for a very, very long time.

Is it accurate to say these remix projects are personal missions to get the world to reevaluate albums that are dear to you?

I think so. It depends on the records—some more than others. For instance, Lizard was the King Crimson album always hidden in the closet. There was a sense that one of the reasons it wasn’t so highly regarded is because the mix was quite clustered. There was definitely work to be done in terms of sonic improvement and transforming it into something more presentable. But you honestly couldn’t say that for the first King Crimson album In The Court of the Crimson King. Everyone loves that record. They always have. It’s an amazing album. It wasn’t like I needed to go back and rework that record, but in the process of doing it, Robert and I felt there were improvements to be made in terms of the stereo mix, so we made them. Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is another one that’s considered a masterpiece, but was sonically a very poor-sounding record. So, some didn’t rate it as highly as they should have. What we did with Aqualung was really make that record gleam in a way it never gleamed before. I think a lot of people, including myself, have come around to thinking that the album Is a lot better than they even gave it credit for previously. So, there is certainly something very gratifying about being able to polish what was already a diamond and making it shine in a way it never has before.

What’s your take on streaming services likeSpotify, Rdio and Rhapsody in terms of listener experience?

There’s nothing that can make them acceptable in my terms. For me, the whole romance of listening to music is tied into what I consider the art of listening. It’s a relationship with a physical piece—the album art, the record sleeve, putting the record on the turntable or putting the CD in the CD player. It’s about a very tactile relationship with the music and a physical manifestation of music. I realize I’m very old-fashioned and I can’t help it because of the generation I come from. Spotify and the rest of the streaming services will never appeal to me. Streaming is a very ugly, unromantic, unmagical, utilitarian way of listening to music. However, I’m also someone that makes music, and one of the things about making music is if you believe in your music, you want it to reach as many people as possible. For me, making music isn’t about making money. It’s not about being a star. But it’s a natural extension of the ego to want lots of people to hear it. That’s why when I was a kid, I’d give out demo tapes. Now, you put yourself on social media sites and try to get people to come and hear it.

I would rather people listen to my music on Spotify or steal it from download or blog sites than not hear it at all. But I would also rather have them buy the album and have a relationship with a physical piece. Realistically, that’s not going to happen. In most cases, particularly with the younger generation, people are not of that mindset. They don’t understand that physical product thing. They don’t get it because it’s not something they have any nostalgic attachment to. They’ve been born into a generation in which music is something you get for free or if you pay to download it, you get it from iTunes, or through subscription services like Spotify. So, now we have this kind of global jukebox going on and it’s very ugly to me. I’m 44 years old. I grew up at the tail end of the vinyl era and love collecting. I love physical products and the idea of music presented as art. So, those are my feelings about streaming. It’s ugly, but it’s here to stay. Unfortunately, it’s going to be one of the major ways to reach people with your music. So, in that sense I have to embrace it.

There’s a lot of controversy about the minimal per-stream royalty rates artists get from streaming services. How do you feel about the issue?

Yes, it’s pathetic. The amount of money these streaming services pay is a crime. But that’s for managers and record companies to worry about. I’m a musician. I suppose the more musicians that stand up against them the better. My manager Andy Leff has been very vocal about it. I didn’t know what Spotify was until very recently. That’s how little interest I have in that whole universe. I would never pay to download an album. I would never go to iTunes to buy an album. I have no interest. I understand that the streaming situation is an issue and I know there are various initiatives designed to try and change it. How they remunerate artists is something that will probably have to change. At the moment, the magnitude of royalties paid are pitiful. They’re an insult. But you know what? It’s a step up from Napster, isn’t it?

Porcupine Tree has emerged as a distinct influence on a new generation of bands. What’s your perspective on hearing the band’s sound reflected so far and wide?

There’s a label imprint called K-Scope, which is a part of Snapper. They signed a bunch of bands that are of a sound and style, and I guess that style is something you would say Porcupine Tree is the blueprint for. It’s obviously drawing its roots from ‘70s progressive music, but filtered through everything from Radiohead to Sigur Rós to minimalist music to trip-hop. I suppose we were one of the first bands to experiment with being unashamedly in the tradition of ‘70s progressive rock filtered through contemporary influences, as well as nu metal and death metal. I guess it has almost become almost a new sound of its own.

I don’t listen to a lot of that music. I’ve never listened to music that sounds like mine. It’s funny. People quite often come up to me and say something like—and I’m paraphrasing—“Steven, here’s my CD. Please listen to my demos. You’re going to love it. It sounds just like Porcupine Tree.” What I’m thinking in my head is “Well then, I’m not going to like it. Why would I want to listen to a third-rate copy of Porcupine Tree?” I don’t actually say it out loud. But in a way, that’s the biggest turn off and the thing that would be least interesting to me. But some people think you want to listen to music that sounds like your own. While that’s not something hugely of interest, at the same time it’s flattering from an ego point of view. It’s nice to be able to look around and see there are bands citing Porcupine Tree as an influence and perhaps imitating some of what you’ve done. So, I’m kind of ambivalent about it. I’m trying to move away from that kind of archetypal sound in my solo work. I feel I want to do something different from that. I suppose it’s that fear of stagnating. I’m much more interested in creating and exploring a new sound.