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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
cheechonaleash
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Steve Wilson interview in Revolver Mag

Porcupine Tree
England’s prog princes return with a concept album for – and about – the A.D.D. generation


“It’s Ironic that when attention spans are getting shorter, records are getting longer and longer,” says Porcupine Tree mastermind Steven Wilson. “It’s almost like music is measured by the yard now.” In reaction to this trend toward long-windedness (embodied most notably by bands like the Mars Volta and Tool), Porcupine Tree kept their latest, Fear of a Blank Planet (Atlantic), to a tidy 51 minutes – despite the fact that more than half of the album’s six tracks are over seven minutes long, and its sprawling centerpiece, “Anesthetize,” is nearly 18. Featuring guest shots from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, Fear captures the renowned English prog wizards (including pianist Richard Barbieri, bassist Colin Edwin, and drummer Gavin Harrison) at their most limber and conceptually relevant.

Revolver Was there any specific incident that informed the lyrical themes on Fear of a Blank Planet?
Steven Wilson There were many things that coalesced at the same time, but the main thing was reading the last Bret Easton Ellis Book [2006's] Lunar Park. The central thing is a father's relationship with his son, who is very much the role model for the character in Fear of a Blank Planet - this kind of terminally bored kid, anywhere between 10 and 15 years old, who spends all his daylight hours in his bedroom with the curtains closed, playing on his PlayStation, listening to his iPod, texting his friends on his cell phone, looking at hardcore pornography on the Internet, downloading music, films, news, violence... He's also on prescription drugs. Parents these days seem to deal with their kids' problems not by sitting down and talking to them but by sending them to the doctor and getting them prescription drugs - which is kind of tragic, really.

Is there a message you're trying to get across?
You know, I'm a great believer that rock musicians and pop stars should never try and give people a message. I'm definitely one of those people who believe that music and art should be a kind of mirror - it shouldn't be something that preaches at you. In that respect, I feel like I've got a lot more in common with, say, Thom Yorke, than I have with Bono, who wants to tell people how they should think, how they should vote, how they should lead their lives. I've always found that really patronizing.

The title is a reference to Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet. Were you a fan?
Yeah, I was. That first generation of hip-hop artists was very important to me and the people I was growing up with. There was a real sense back then that the big issue for most young people was race relations. The Rodney King incident was a little later, in the early Nineties, but I remember when I grew up there were a lot of Rock Against Racism shows, Public Enemy and De La Soul were coming out, there were movies like Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing - and that kind of stuff seemed to address the issues that young people were thinking about. Now they don't seem to be thinking about anything - except themselves.

Was it your intention to combine really long songs into a relatively short album, or did it just turn out that way?
It was and it wasn't. I don't set out to write long pieces of music, but at the same time, I don't stop them if they keep growing. With this album, I just wanted to make a really intense piece of music - which is also a reason why the record as a whole is comparatively short. I get really tired of CDs that are filled to the max with 80 minutes of music. As much as I love bands like the Mars Volta and Tool, I can't listen to their albums all the way through in one go. For me, the classic records - [the Beach Boys'] Pet sounds, [the Beatles'] Revolver, Nick Drake's Pink Moon, [Pink Floyd's] Dark Side of the Moon - they're all in that 40-minute pocket. And there's definitely a lesson to be learned there.

J. BENNETT
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Either Steven has been getting asked the same questions over and over (which is highly likely) or he ponders these things in private a while. I'm not totally serious, but I've read enough Wilson interviews to make me think that he must a. be one of the most eloquent speakers in rock music or b. he thinks out answers to potential questions (even if it's through introspection that we all do anyway)
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
Kenneth R.
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It doesn't seem so eloquent to me. The standard is just lowered these days.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
FUBAR
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Is Steve Wilson gay?

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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
BurningSky
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It doesn't seem so eloquent to me. The standard is just lowered these days.
I'm sure if you were interviewed you'd speak as though you were writing a paper on the topic.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i think it's a nice short interview. i celebrate how he likes public enemy and the albums he mentions at the end.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
Arjen W.
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Quote:
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I'm sure if you were interviewed you'd speak as though you were writing a paper on the topic.
I'm sure if you placed an interview in your magazine you'd write down every stutter and 'ehh' down on paper. And who knows, maybe it was a written interview? And yeah, he probably heard the questions 100 times before.

Anyway, it doesn't matter.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice reading... and I most definitely agree with him when it comes down to preachy lyrics
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Old May 30th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
Kenneth R.
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I'm sure if you were interviewed you'd speak as though you were writing a paper on the topic.
Anyone who reads more than the average idiot american has an adequate vocabulary to pull from.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are, however, vast differences between written and spoken vocabularies. Somewhere in the bracket of only 40% of your total vocabulary is used in speech, I believe.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That's probably true. I'm a writer, but you'd never realize that just by listening to me speak. Or by reading my forum posts, for that matter. People tend to let syntax and eloquence slide in conversational settings
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 03:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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good read, cheers.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Anyone who reads more than the average idiot american has an adequate vocabulary to pull from.
I think you mean american idiot... :greenday: loflzzzzz
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