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Interviews : “I was definitely aware of a strong following building up in Australia”- An interview with Steven Wilson

By on July 31, 2018

Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson has come close to perfecting the art of memorable pop/ prog fare à la a post millennial Peter Gabriel. In many ways, his closest contemporary is the brilliant, Cavanagh brother’s vehicle, Anathema.

That Wilson’s music manages to find a home amongst the extreme metal collectives’ vinyl and cassette collection as often as it is found in the Spotify mix of a pop and contemporary music fan, is a significant accomplishment. In short, Wilson is many things, to a great many people… but he is well known universally as a magnificently accomplished songwriter and performer.

Bringing his eclectic show to Australia in November, attendees can anticipate comprehensive coverage of material from his ‘too many to mention’ projects and musical outlets.

“In terms of the songs I’m playing now obviously people will be expecting a lot of music from the To The Bone (’17) record. But let’s just say I’ve also gone a little bit deeper into my back catalogue of songs than perhaps I have ever done before, certainly as a solo artist. I’ve tended to avoid my back catalogue and this time around I’ve embraced it a little bit more. I think maybe there’s some fans that thought that (they were) never gonna get to hear songs from the Blackfield catalogue or the Porcupine Tree catalogue played by me and my band, they might be pleasantly surprised this time and I’ll say no more about it for now.”

Australia, as anyone who has traveled north of the equator or east of the international date line will attest, can feel a world away from just about everywhere else humans inhabit. However, we have been quick to adopt offshore musicians of all persuasions, encouraging tours, special releases and an endearing place in the psyche of an artist.

“… I think what happened is the following began to grow in a very organic word of mouth way, almost from the beginning. It meant that even as early as my second or third album I had some fans in Australia, I had some fans in India, I had some fans in Mexico, not enough maybe to go and play a show at that time, but it was kind of symptomatic of the fact that the following was growing almost internationally from the beginning in this very organic way.  Now I remember there being a lot of interest from Australia very early on, but of course being such a… remote country, it was one of the last places I actually ever managed to get out to play live, but by the time I did that, with Porcupine Tree, I think there was quite a substantial audience that had built… I was definitely aware of a strong following building up in Australia right from the very early days, which was very gratifying.”

Approaching his fourth decade as a recording artist, Wilson is circumspect regarding his travails as a performer and musician. Thinking back to when he started in the early eighties at the ripe age of 15, did he think that he’d be performing to adoring audiences and be credited with a comprehensive catalogue of work bearing his signature?

“I think if you’d said that to a 15 year old kid, listen, I don’t think it would’ve changed that 15 year old kids ambitions, I think I still would’ve wanted to do what I’ve done, but I would’ve probably been disappointed and shocked to find that the world I was going to make music in was not going to be the same world that the music that I had grown up listening to was made in, if that makes sense.”

Listen to the full conversation here.


Catch Steven Wilson on tour.

For complete tour and ticket information, visit David Roy Williams.

Thursday 8th November- Brisbane– Eatons Hill Hotel

Friday 9th November- Sydney– Enmore Theatre

Saturday 10th November- Melbourne– Palais Theatre

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith