Steven Wilson: Fear of a Blank Interview

Steven Wilson is one of our greatest musical heroes today. As the guitarist, lead vocalist, and principle songwriter for Porcupine Tree, he defines the sound and style of his increasingly popular progressive rock band. The simplest description of him (for those of you who haven’t yet immersed yourself in the band’s music) might be to say, “If David Gilmour had the urge to play a little metal now and then.” But of course for those of you already familiar with Wilson, you know there’s more – so much more.

A self-professed control-freak, Steven also engineers and produces music. Not just for Porcupine Tree, though. He has produced, mixed, and recorded other artists ranging from Opeth to Anja Garbarke to John Wesley, and has made guest contributions as a producer, mixer, or musician for artists ranging from Marillion to OSI (supergroup featuring Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy).

Wilson’s most significant role outside of Porcupine Tree, however, is the role he plays as co-lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer for the pop rock band, Blackfield. This band, partially co-fronted by Israeli singer Aviv Geffin and backed by some other great Israeli musicians, has the sonic character and style of Porcupine Tree, but songs are a little bit more commercially focused – you won’t find fifteen minute epics on a Blackfield album or monster double-kick drum breaks.

Don’t be misled by Wilson’s claims that Blackfield is his pop band while Porcupine Tree is his progressive band, though. When a master progressive rock songwriter pens a pop song, you know it’s going to be light years more interesting than generic radio fodder. [For a review of the latest Blackfield CD, see our June CD reviews.]

We had a chance to talk with Steven Wilson during the Fear of a Blank Planet tour about the latest Porcupine Tree CD, recording, performing, and more.

I never really intended for it to be anything more than a one-off kind of studio project

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