“It is the synthesis of our universal rock”

“It is the synthesis of our universal rock”
“It is the synthesis of our universal rock”

The Porcupine Tree returns to bear fruit after 12 years. Many have passed since the release of “The Incident” which seemed to have marked the swan song for the British band. Instead, here they are again, Steven Wilson and company, with their eleventh album, entitled “Closure / Continuation”, due out tomorrow. In conjunction with the publication, the documentary “Porcupine Tree – Il Return” will also be broadcast on Sky Arte. We talk about it together with Wilson himself and keyboardist, Richard Barbieri (ex-Japan).

Wilson, can we say that this record is a bit of a synthesis of your story?
«Yes, it embodies the quintessence of Porcupine Tree, a free group of musicians who love progressive rock but also electronics, industrial, metal, ambient. In short, it has the typical DNA of the group ».

It was a surprise to see you together again. Is it a “one shot” project or a prelude to other new works by the band?
“We never actually broke up. We stood still for 12 years because each of us dedicated himself to other solo and parallel projects. Now we just had the right songs for a Porcupine Tree record. It can happen again in the future ».

Your songs have often had dystopian narrative cues. Has the pandemic affected the texts even more?
«A lot of“ dystopian ”things have happened in recent years. I am thinking of the election of Donald Trump, of Brexit, of course the pandemic, but also of this absurd war. Yes, our songs reflect these years of bewilderment, but they don’t have a common thread, having been composed in ten years. In short, it’s not a concept album ».

However, there is a song that opens up to hope: the single “Of The New Day”.
“It’s a song of rebirth, emerging from the darkness. It sounds almost simple, a typical Porcupine Tree-style ballad. All this until you notice that the length of the bars changes constantly, from the traditional 4/4 to 3/4, from 5/4 to 6/4, 11/4, so the track never has a defined rhythm ».

In Italy you always have a lot of fans. You will do just one date, however, in Milan on 24 October at the Mediolanum Forum in Assago. What concert will it be?
«We will propose the album in full or almost, plus some other tracks from our past production, certainly a piece from“ Stupid Dream ”and one from“ Lightbulb Sun ”. There won’t be a particular visual system, we think people want to see us, not our avatars ».

Finally, a question for Barbieri: how has the sound of his keyboard evolved from Japan to today?
«My approach has never changed, if anything it was the musical context that changed. Anyway, Japan was a dynamic, open group, just like Porcupine Tree: it wasn’t difficult for me to adapt to the new composition process ».

Last updated: Thursday 23 June 2022, 07:57


The article is in Italian

Tags: synthesis universal rock

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