|Birth name||Steven John Wilson|
3 November 1967 |
Kingston upon Thames, London, England
|Origin||Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, mellotron, hammered dulcimer, flute, banjo, sampler, organ, autoharp, programming|
|Labels||Kscope, Caroline International|
|Associated acts||Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Storm Corrosion, Blackfield, Bass Communion, Incredible Expanding Mindfuck, Opeth, King Crimson, Yes, Steve Hackett, Jethro Tull (band), Anathema|
|Website||Steven Wilson Headquarters|
Steven John Wilson (born 3 November 1967) is an English musician and record producer, most associated with the progressive rock genre. Currently a solo artist, he became known as the founder, lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the band Porcupine Tree, as well as being a member of several other bands. He has also worked with artists such as Opeth, King Crimson, Pendulum, Jethro Tull, XTC, Yes, Marillion, Tears for Fears, Roxy Music, and Anathema.
Wilson is a self-taught producer, audio engineer, guitar and keyboard player, playing other instruments as needed, including bass guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer and flute. Despite being mainly associated with prog music, his influences and work have encompassed diverse genres such as psychedelia, pop, extreme metal, electronic, and jazz, among others, shifting his musical direction through his albums. His concerts incorporate quadraphonic sound and elaborate visuals.
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Wilson has made music prolifically and earned critical acclaim. His honours include four nominations for the Grammy Awards, twice with Porcupine Tree, with his collaborative band Storm Corrosion and as a soloist on one occasion. In 2015, he received three awards at the London Progressive Music Awards for his services to the world of progressive rock music and crowned "the king of prog rock". Nevertheless, his work has largely stayed away from mainstream music, being described by publications such as The Daily Telegraph as "the most successful British artist you’ve never heard of."
- 1 Biography
- 2 Musical projects
- 3 Solo career
- 4 Performance style
- 5 Influence
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards and honours
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Born in Kingston upon Thames, London, Wilson was raised from age six in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, where he discovered his interest in music around the age of eight. According to Wilson, his life was changed one Christmas when his parents bought presents for each other in the form of LPs. His father and mother received Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and Donna Summer's Love to Love You Baby, respectively. It was Wilson's affinity for these albums that helped craft his guitar and songwriting abilities.
Both LPs would influence his future song writing. He says "in retrospect I can see how they are almost entirely responsible for the direction that my music has taken ever since". His interest in Pink Floyd led him towards experimental/psychedelic conceptual progressive rock (as exemplified by Porcupine Tree and Blackfield), and Donna Summer's trance-inflected grooves inspired the initial musical approach of No-Man (Wilson's long-running collaboration with fellow musician and vocalist Tim Bowness), although the band would later develop a more meditative and experimental Talk Talk-esque approach.
As a child, Steven was forced to learn the guitar, but he did not enjoy it; his parents eventually stopped paying for lessons. However, when he was eleven, he found a nylon string classical guitar from his attic and started to experiment with it; in his own words, "scraping microphones across the strings, feeding the resulting sound into overloaded reel to reel tape recorders and producing a primitive form of multi-track recording by bouncing between two cassette machines". A year later, his father, who was an electronic engineer, built him his first multi-track tape machine and a vocoder so he could begin experimenting with the possibilities of studio recording.
One of Wilson's earliest musical projects was the psychedelic duo Altamont (featuring a 15-year-old Wilson working with synth/electronics player Simon Vockings). Their one and only cassette album, Prayer for the Soul, featured lyrics by English psychedelic scenester Alan Duffy, whose work Wilson would later use for two Porcupine Tree songs: "This Long Silence" and "It Will Rain for a Million Years". Around the same time that Wilson was part of Altamont, he was also in a progressive rock band called Karma, which played live around Hertfordshire and recorded two cassette albums, The Joke's On You (1983) and The Last Man To Laugh (1985). These contained early versions of "Small Fish", "Nine Cats" and "The Joke's On You", which were subsequently resurrected as Porcupine Tree songs.
Wilson went on to join the New Wave/AOR band Pride of Passion as keyboard player, replacing former Marillion keyboard player Brian Jelliman (another former Marillion member, Diz Minnitt, also played in the band). Pride of Passion would later change their name to Blazing Apostles and alter their lineup and approach, finally coming to an end in 1987.
Up to this point Wilson's diverse musical experiments had contained avant-garde and industrial recordings, psychedelia and progressive rock. He was, however, also becoming more interested in songwriting and pop music, something that would manifest itself in his next developments.
In 1986, Wilson launched the two projects that would make his name. The first of these was initially called "No Man Is An Island (Except The Isle Of Man)", although it would later be renamed "No-Man." This began life as a solo Wilson instrumental project blending progressive rock with synth pop, subsequently moving towards art-pop when singer/lyricist Tim Bowness joined the project the following year. The second project was "Porcupine Tree", which was originally intended to be a full-on pastiche of psychedelic rock (inspired by the similar Dukes of Stratosphear project by XTC) carried out for the mutual entertainment of Wilson and his childhood friend Malcolm Stocks.
Over the next three years, the projects would evolve in parallel. Of his two efforts, No Man Is An Island (Except The Isle Of Man) was the first to release a commercial single (1989's "The Girl From Missouri", on Plastic Head Records), while Porcupine Tree built an increasing underground reputation via the release of a series of cassette-only releases via The Freak Emporium (the mail-order wing of British psychedelic label Delerium Records).
By 1990, No Man Is An Island (Except The Isle Of Man) had fully evolved into No-Man and was a voice/violin/multi-instrument trio which had incorporated dance beats into its art-pop sound. The second No-Man single – a crooned cover of the Donovan song "Colours" arranged in a dub-loop style anticipating trip hop - won the Single of the Week award in Melody Maker and gained the band a recording contract with the high-profile independent label One Little Indian (at the time, famous for The Shamen and Björk). Their debut One Little Indian single, "Days In The Trees", won the same Single of the Week award the following year. The single also briefly charted and, although sales were not outstanding, Wilson had now gained credibility in the record industry (as well as enough finance to fit out his home studio with the equipment he would need to advance his music). By this time, he also released the official, Porcupine Tree debut album, On the Sunday of Life... (which compiled the best material from the underground tapes).
No-Man's debut full-length release – a compilation of EP tracks called Lovesighs – An Entertainment – followed in 1992, as did Porcupine Tree's infamous LSD-themed maxi-single "Voyage 34" which made the NME indie chart for six weeks. No-Man also toured England with a six-piece band including three ex-members of the glam-pop band Japan – Mick Karn, Steve Jansen and (most significantly) keyboardist Richard Barbieri. 1993 saw Wilson consolidating his initial success with albums from both Porcupine Tree (Up the Downstair) and No-Man (Loveblows And Lovecries – A Confession). At the end of 1993, Porcupine Tree was launched as a four-piece live band featuring Wilson, Barbieri, bass player Colin Edwin and former No-Man live drummer Chris Maitland.
Wilson then began to alternate between Porcupine Tree and No-Man releases. Although No-Man retired from live performance in 1994 (and would not return to the stage until 2006), the band continued to release a steady stream of albums featuring guests such as Barbieri, Steve Jansen, Robert Fripp, Theo Travis and Pat Mastelotto, and has maintained a healthy cult following as well as continued critical acclaim. Porcupine Tree, meanwhile, toured frequently and passed through various overt phases of different musical stylings (including psychedelia, progressive rock, modern guitar rock and heavy metal) while retaining the core of Wilson's sonic imagination and songwriting. By the mid-2000s Porcupine Tree had become a well known rock band with albums on major labels such as Atlantic and Roadrunner. Also by this time, Wilson had become in-demand as a producer and was being cited as an influence by various up-and-coming musicians.
During the late 1990s Wilson's love of experimental, drone and ambient music led to a series of new projects, notably Bass Communion and Incredible Expanding Mindfuck (also known as IEM). He also began to release a series of CD singles under his own name.
Having established himself as a producer, Wilson was invited to produce other artists, notably the Norwegian artist Anja Garbarek and Swedish progressive-metal band Opeth. Though he claims to enjoy production more than anything else, with the demands of his own projects, he has mostly restricted himself to mixing for other artists in the last few years.
Wilson has become known for his 5.1 surround sound mixes: the 2007 Porcupine Tree album Fear of a Blank Planet was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Mix For Surround Sound" category. It was also voted #3 album of the year by Sound And Vision. Wilson has worked on several other surround sound projects, including remixing the Jethro Tull and King Crimson back catalogues.
Wilson has written reviews for the Mexican edition of the Rolling Stone magazine. They are all translated into Spanish. Two reviews have been published so far: one for Radiohead's In Rainbows and another for Murcof's 2007 work, Cosmos. He also has contributed to UK magazine Classic Rock as an occasional reviewer and to US magazine Electronic Musician. Wilson wrote the foreword for 2010 book Mean Deviation.
Wilson produced and contributed backing vocals, guitar and keyboards for Opeth on the albums Blackwater Park, Deliverance, and Damnation, also contributing lyrics for one song (Death Whispered a Lullaby) in Damnation. In addition to this, he has collaborated on many projects with Belgian experimental musician Dirk Serries of Vidna Obmana and Fear Falls Burning, most notably on their collaboration project Continuum which has so far produced two albums. Wilson is also featured on a Fovea Hex EP Allure (Part 3 of the "Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent" trilogy of EP's) on bass guitar. This EP was released in April 2007 through Die-Stadt Musik.
He has also worked with OSI, Marillion, JBK, Orphaned Land, Paatos, Theo Travis, Yoko Ono, Fish, Cipher and Anja Garbarek performing songwriting duties as well as performing musically. Wilson is featured on the Pendulum album Immersion, with his vocals featuring on "The Fountain". He made a guest appearance on Dream Theater's 2007 album, Systematic Chaos on the song "Repentance", as one of several musical guests recorded apologizing to important people in their lives for wrongdoings in the past.
Wilson did an interview with German musician and composer Klaus Schulze. Schulze was an important figure of the Krautrock movement. This interview is featured as bonus material in Schulze's Live DVD, Rheingold.
The Anathema album, We're Here Because We're Here, was mixed by Wilson in a period beginning January 2010 and he is thanked in the album liner notes, and two songs of Distant Satellites. A current ongoing project for Wilson is remixing the back catalogue of King Crimson from 1969–84 into MLP (Meridian Lossless Packaging) 5.1 and new stereo mixes, as well as remixing the back catalogue of Jethro Tull, he also did the remix for In the Land of Grey and Pink by Canterbury scene band Caravan. The first three new editions were issued in October 2009, with more emerging in batches over the coming years. Steven Wilson is responsible for the 5.1 and new stereo mixes, remixing of the XTC 1992 album, Nonsuch in 2013 and the Gentle Giant 1974 albums The Power and the Glory and Octopus in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Porcupine Tree started out as a duo of Wilson and his school friend Malcolm Stocks (with Wilson providing the majority of the instrumentation and Stocks contributing mostly ideas, additional vocals and experimental guitar sounds). Wilson began experimenting by recording music in his home until he had the hunch it could become someway marketable. The material was subsequently compiled into three demo tapes (Tarquin's Seaweed Farm, Love, Death & Mussolini and The Nostalgia Factory). For the first tape, he even wrote an inlay introduction to an obscure (imaginary) band called "The Porcupine Tree", suggesting the band met in the early '70s at a rock festival, and they had been in and out of prison many times. The booklet also contained information about band's obscure members like Sir Tarquin Underspoon and Timothy Tadpole-Jones, and crew members like Linton Samuel Dawson (if put into initials forming LSD). Wilson: "It was a bit of fun. But of course like anything that starts as a joke, people started to take it all seriously!". When Wilson signed to Delerium label, he selected what he considered the best tracks from these early tapes. All those songs were mastered and made up Porcupine Tree's first official studio album, On the Sunday of Life....
Quickly after, Wilson would release the single "Voyage 34", a thirty-minute long piece that could be described as a mixture of ambient, trance and psychedelia. This was done partly as an attempt to produce the longest single yet released, which it was until it was later exceeded by The Orb's "Blue Room." With non-existent radio play "Voyage 34" still managed to enter the NME indie chart for six weeks and became an underground chill-out classic.
The second full-length album, Up the Downstair (though Wilson considers it the first 'proper' PT album since it was made as such and not simply compiled), was released in 1993 and had a very good reception, praised by Melody Maker as "a psychedelic masterpiece... one of the albums of the year". This was the first album to include ex-Japan member, keyboardist Richard Barbieri and Australian-born bassist Colin Edwin. About the end of the year, Porcupine Tree became a full band for the first time with the inclusion of Chris Maitland on drums.
Wilson continued exploring the ambient and trance grounds and issued The Sky Moves Sideways. It also entered the NME, Melody Maker, and Music Week charts and many fans started hailing them as the Pink Floyd of the nineties, something Wilson would reject: "I can't help that. It's true that during the period of 'The Sky Moves Sideways', I had done a little too much of it in the sense of satisfying, in a way, the fans of Pink Floyd who were listening to us because that group doesn't make albums anymore. Moreover, I regret it."
The band's fourth work, Signify, included the first full-band compositions and performance, which resulted in less use of drum machines and a more full-band sound. It can be considered a departure from its predecessors for a more song-oriented style. After the release of the live album Coma Divine concluded their deal with Delerium in 1997, the band moved to Snapper and issued two poppier albums, Stupid Dream in 1999 and Lightbulb Sun in 2000.
Two years would pass until their seventh studio album, and in the meantime the band switched labels again, this time signing to the major label Lava. Drummer Chris Maitland was also replaced by Gavin Harrison. In Absentia was released in 2002, featuring a heavier sound than all the group's previous works. It charted in many European countries and remains one of the top-selling Porcupine Tree albums to date. The 2004 special edition was also their first record to be released in 5.1 Surround Sound, winning the "Best Made-For-Surround Title" award from the Surround Music Awards 2004 shortly afterwards.
In 2005, Porcupine Tree released Deadwing, a record inspired by a film script written by Steven Wilson and his friend Mike Bennion. This became the first Porcupine Tree album to chart on the Billboard 200, entering at #132. The album won Classic Rock magazine's "album of the year" award and its surround version received the "Best Made-For-Surround Title" once again.
Wilson started writing Porcupine Tree's next album in early 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel, alongside work on the second album for his side-project Blackfield. Writing sessions finished in London, UK, in June 2006. In August of the same year the band released their first live DVD, titled Arriving Somewhere..., and started a tour between September and November to promote it; the first half of each show was made up of all-new material. When the tour concluded the band went into the studio and finished recording and mastering the album. In early January 2007, the band revealed the album title was going to be Fear of a Blank Planet (a deliberate reference to Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet) and the concept was influenced by the Bret Easton Ellis novel Lunar Park. The album hit the shops on 16 April 2007 in Europe and 24 April in USA. The lyrics revolve around common 21st Century issues such as technology alienation, teen violence, prescription drugs, attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder.
Fear of a Blank Planet resulted in the most successful album to date in terms of market and sales, and also received the most favourable reviews of the band's whole career. It entered the Billboard 200 at #59, and charted in almost all European countries, peaking at #31 in the UK. It was nominated for a US Grammy, and won several polls as the best album of the year (e.g. Classic Rock magazine, Aardshock, The Netherlands). In July 2007 the Nil Recurring EP was released, containing material that had been left off the album.
At a European show in August 2008, Wilson said that Porcupine Tree was beginning work on material for their next album with an eye toward a release in 2009. This album was later revealed to be titled The Incident. The Incident is a double CD set containing "The Incident", a 55-minute "song cycle", on the first disc and 4 shorter songs on the second. It has received significant attention and media coverage and the band achieved their highest chart positions to date, reaching 5 in The Netherlands, 9 in Germany, 23 in the UK and 25 on the Billboard 200 in the USA. The subsequent tour of the US and Europe highlighted a large increase in the band's following, with many shows sold out. The single from The Incident, "Time Flies" was available as a free download from iTunes for one week in October 2009.
No-Man is Wilson's long-term collaboration with singer and songwriter Tim Bowness. Influenced by everything from ambient music to hip-hop, their early singles and albums were a mixture of dance beats and lush orchestrations. However, after a few years the duo started to create more textural and experimental music. Beginning with Flowermouth in 1994, they have worked with a very wide palette of sounds, and many guest musicians, blending balladry with both acoustic and electronic sounds. No-Man was the first Wilson project to achieve any degree of success, signing with UK independent label One Little Indian (the label of Björk, The Shamen and Skunk Anansie among others).
In 1996 came the first in a series of albums by I.E.M. (The Incredible Expanding Mindfuck, a name which had also been considered for Porcupine Tree in its infancy), dedicated to exploring Wilson's love of krautrock and experimental rock music. Initially Wilson had planned for the project to be anonymous, but then label Delerium Records published a song on their Pick N Mix compilation with the composition credited to "Steven Wilson" and so attempts to pass off the project in this way were abandoned. The project released 2 more albums Arcadia Son, and IEM Have Come For Your Children, in 2001. A box set of 4 CDs, consisting of everything Wilson recorded under the name - billed as "an homage and a final farewell to I.E.M." - was released in June 2010.
In 1998 Wilson launched Bass Communion, a project dedicated to recordings in an ambient, drone, and/or electronic vein. So far there have been several full length Bass Communion CDs, vinyl LPs, and singles, many of them issued in handmade or limited editions.
In 2001 Wilson met and began to collaborate with Israeli rock musician Aviv Geffen, with whom he created the band Blackfield. Since then the duo have released three acclaimed albums of what they refer to as "melodic and melancholic rock." The albums spawned several singles, notably "Blackfield," "Pain" and "Once." A live DVD from a show in New York was released in 2007. A third album titled "Welcome to my DNA" came in March 2011. Later that year Wilson decided to take a secondary role in the band, feeling that with so much of his time and attention devoted to his solo career, there was not enough left for him to properly fill the role of co-leader of Blackfield as well. He still contributed to the band's fourth album in 2013 as singer and producer. Wilson left the band after a short European tour in February 2014  and a final date in New York City on 1 May 2014, due to his increasingly tight schedule with his solo career and upcoming projects. However, in June 2015  and June 2016, Wilson was seen in recording sessions with Geffen and Alan Parsons. In August 2016, Blackfield announced that their new album, Blackfield V, would mark the return of Wilson to the band in "full partnership".
In March 2010 Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt, the front man of Opeth, decided to work on a new project as a collaboration under the name of Storm Corrosion. The self-titled album was released in May 2012 on Roadrunner Records. It has been described as being "the final part in the odd trilogy of records completed by (Opeth's) Heritage and Steven Wilson's second solo album Grace for Drowning." Åkerfeldt and Wilson did no shows in support of the album, and while the two have expressed interest in working together again, they are not currently writing another album for Storm Corrosion.
The Kscope years (2008-2016)
During 2003–10 Wilson released a series of six two-track CD singles under his own name, each one featuring a cover version and an original Steven Wilson song (or in one case a Wilson arrangement of a traditional song). It featured songs by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, Swedish pop group ABBA, UK rock band The Cure, Scottish songwriter Momus, Prince, and Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan.
Separate from the Cover Versions series, Wilson has also contributed a cover version of the Cardiacs song "Stoneage Dinosaurs" to Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1 (a fundraising compilation album released in December 2010 to benefit the hospitalised Cardiacs leader Tim Smith, whom Wilson has cited as a major inspiration spiritually, if not necessarily in style).. The complete collection was released as an album in 2014.
In November 2008 Wilson released his first official solo album, Insurgentes, recorded all over the world between January–August, as a double CD plus a DVD-A (limited to 3,000 copies) and a 4 x 10 inch vinyl version (limited to 1,000 copies), both with hardback book featuring the images of acclaimed and longtime collaborator Danish photographer Lasse Hoile. A standard retail CD version (also including the 5.1 DVD-A) was released on 9 March 2009.
Lasse Hoile's full-length feature version of the film based on the recording of the album was premiered at the CPH:DOX international film festival in Copenhagen in November 2009. The film will also be screened at film festivals in Sweden, Germany, Mexico, USA, and Canada. The film is described as part documentary/part surreal road movie. Lasse also directed a video for the song Harmony Korine from the Insurgentes album - the video was a homage to some of Steven and Lasse's favourite European art house films, and has been nominated for "Best Cinematography Award" and "Best Music Video Award" at the prestigious International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage.
Grace for Drowning
Wilson's second album, Grace For Drowning, was released in September 2011 in CD, vinyl and Blu-ray formats. It is a double album, with the individual parts named Deform to Form a Star and Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye. He also announced his first solo tour, in Europe and North America, to promote his solo albums. The tour took place in October and November 2011 and contained songs from both Insurgentes and Grace for Drowning. A live Album/DVD/Blu-ray recorded in Mexico titled Get All You Deserve was released on 25 September 2012.
On 16 December 2011, Wilson announced on his Facebook page new European tour dates for the second leg of his Grace for Drowning tour, running in April and May 2012. South American dates were later added and announced on 21 February 2012, including Venezuela, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. He also won the "Guiding Light" title in "Progressive Music Awards" 2012.
The Raven That Refused to Sing
Wilson's third solo studio album, recorded with most of the members of the touring band for Grace for Drowning was released on 25 February 2013. Alan Parsons engineered the sessions in Los Angeles. The album reached the top 30 in the UK, and number 3 in the German album charts. In October 2012, Wilson announced via his website the first leg of the supporting tour, consisting of 18 shows across Europe and 17 shows across North America between March–May 2013. For these shows, Chad Wackerman (best known for his work with Frank Zappa) replaced Marco Minnemann on drums due to conflicting schedules. The second leg of the tour from October–November 2013 covered Australia and Europe, and included a sold out show at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The song "The Raven That Refused to Sing" was featured in the trailer for the 2014 film Pompeii. The album finished top of several end of year polls, including UK Prog magazine (critics and readers polls), German magazine Eclipsed (critics and readers polls), and was voted album of the year at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards. On 13 July 2015 "The Prog Report" ranked "Raven" as #2 on their Top Prog Albums of the last 25 years (1990-2015). Hand. Cannot. Erase. was also included at #15.
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Wilson's fourth solo album, Hand. Cannot. Erase., was released on 27 February 2015. It was inspired by a documentary about Joyce Carol Vincent, a young British woman who lay dead in her apartment for nearly three years before being discovered. Hand. Cannot. Erase. received critical acclaim from music critics. The Guardian rated the album five stars and called it "a smart, soulful and immersive work of art". Eclipsed magazine described the album as "one more shining jewel in the discography of Steven Wilson. Modern, disturbing, brilliant!” and Metal Hammer awarded Hand. Cannot. Erase. 6/7 and described it as “another masterpiece”. U.S. website FDRMX rated the album 4.8/5 and stated "Hand. Cannot. Erase. grabs your full attention from the beginning to the very final note, and that’s the sign of a great album". The supporting tour spans from March to June 2015 and consists of 31 shows in Europe and a total of 34 shows in North and South America. In September, two special shows took place at Royal Albert Hall in London. Due to upcoming The Aristocrats tour, for the American shows Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann were replaced by Dave Kilminster and Craig Blundell, respectively.
The Caroline years (2017-present)
To the Bone
On 12 December 2016, Wilson began recording his fifth solo studio album with engineer Paul Stacey in London. With the departure of most of the members of his solo band from prior album, Wilson will handle most of the guitar on the album, with Craig Blundell and Jeremy Stacey both contributing drums. Ninet Tayeb will also have a bigger role than she did on Hand. Cannot. Erase. Andy Partridge of XTC revealed that he co-wrote two songs for the album. On 5 January 2017, Wilson posted a teaser clip of himself and Ninet Tayeb recording a new song titled "Pariah". In April 2017, Wilson announced that he had switched record labels for the release, with the album scheduled to be released on Caroline International. Wilson also mentioned that harmonica player Mark Feltham is going to be playing on the next record and released a clip of him contributing to a song titled "To the Bone". Slovak musician David Kollar from Komara (a band with Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson) is also participating in the new album. According to the group's Facebook page, the guitarist will feature on three song of the new record.
On 9 May 2017, the album was officially unveiled as To The Bone and given a release date of 18 August 2017. Wilson also revealed the album's first single 'Pariah' and details of a major 2018 UK/Europe tour.
For live shows, Wilson plays barefooted. This particular custom goes back to his early childhood, where he remembers, "I always had a problem wearing shoes and I've always gone around with bare feet". He also adds that another factor on performing barefoot is the advantage it gives in operating his diverse guitar pedals.
"I’ve stepped on nails, screws, drawing pins, stubbed my toe, I’ve come off stage with blood just coming out… I mean, I’ve had it all mate, but to be honest, nothing's going to stop me."
In addition to his legacy with Porcupine Tree, some artists have cited Wilson directly as an influence, including Steffen Kummerer of Obscura, Caligula's Horse, Tor Oddmund Suhrke of Leprous, Jonathan Carpenter of The Contortionist, Bilocate, Alex Vynogradoff of Kauan, and Kenneth Wilson of Abigail's Ghost.
In addition, other artists have been quoted expressing admiration for his solo work, including Alex Lifeson, Steve Howe, Robert Trujillo, Adrian Belew, Jordan Rudess, Mike Portnoy, Rob Swire, Seven Lions, Demians (Nicolas Chapel), Jem Godfrey, Jim Matheos, Dan Briggs, Eraldo Bernocchi, and Chantel McGregor.
Wilson is a vegetarian and an atheist, fascinated by the subject of religion, and a strong critic of organised religion. However, he tries not to impose his views, but to express them through stories and characters. Wilson: "I think that is all you can do as an artist. Not preach to your audience but just reflect the world with all its flaws and joys". He does not smoke and does not use recreational drugs, except for an occasional drink. Wilson prefers to keep a low profile, following the example of stars like Radiohead, Pink Floyd, or Prince. Wilson is not interested in starting a family as he believes that it would obstruct his involvement in music. He currently lives in Hemel Hempstead, England.
He has kept the meaning of his band name, Porcupine Tree, a secret.
Wilson is a movie enthusiast and has cited the films as one of the influences behind some of his music.
- Solo albums
- Insurgentes (2008)
- Grace for Drowning (2011)
- The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) (2013)
- Hand. Cannot. Erase. (2015)
- To the Bone (2017)
Awards and honours
In 2016, Steven Wilson was named one of the 15 best progressive rock guitarists through the years by Guitar World magazine. He was also ranked the 7th best prog guitarist of 2016 by a MusicRadar readers' poll.
- Travis, Theo (2014). Twice Around The World: Steven Wilson Tour Blogs 2012-2013 (includes entries previously published on Travis' Facebook page, here re-edited self-published).
- Sharma, Amit (December 2, 2015). "Matt Berry: the 10 records that changed my life". musicradar.
- Zivitz, Jordan (18 June 2015). "Jazz fest: Steven Wilson — the complete conversation". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- McQueen, Gregg (20 May 2015). "The Sonic Sorcerer: An Interview with Steven Wilson". The Aquarian Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Humphries, Stephen (21 September 2010). "Outcast from the Mainstream: An Interview with Steven Wilson". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Singer Steven Wilson crowned prog rock king". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- "Steven Wilson reveals the stories behind his album To the Bone - track by track and interview" (video). The Daily Telegraph. 15 August 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- J Salmeron (26 October 2013). "Kill Your iPod: An Interview with Steven Wilson". ww.metalblast.net. Bremen, Germany (published 22 November 2013). Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "no-man". Retrieved 2010-04-05.[dead link]
- Rosen, Steven (2011-12-14). "Steven Wilson: 'Porcupine Tree Was Gonna Be A One-Off Thing'". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Archived from the original on 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- "Porcupine Tree". Free Williamsburg. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Barroso, Koldo (August 2006). "Interview - Diz Minnitt of Marillion". TheMarqueeClub.net. Archived from the original on 2006-12-24. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Collins, Graham (2014). "About HISTORY". Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "Porcupine Tree Biography". Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2007.
- "Guest Appearances - Steven Wilson Headquarters". Archived from the original on 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- "GRAMMY.com - 50th Annual GRAMMY Nominations List". 2007-12-06. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Top 10 DVDs and CDs of 2007". Sound and Vision. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "Ptree in Action, Crimson in Surround!". Archived from the original on 4 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- Häberle, Uwe; Ritcher, Claudia (13 November 2007). "No Fear of a Blank Planet" (PDF). Stuttgart: Voyage PT. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Articles by : steven wilson". www.emusician.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- "Steven Wilson's Facebook". 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- "VOIVOD, PORCUPINE TREE Members Contribute To 'Mean Deviation' Book". Blabbermouth.net. 17 August 2010. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Fortunato, John (2011-02-02). "Interview with Rob Swire from Pendulum: Swinging Towards Protracted ‘Immersion’". The Aquarian Weekly. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- MySpace.com - Klaus Schulze Rheingold DVD. Rheingold DVD's MySpace (2008-09-11). Retrieved on 2008-10-07.[dead link]
- Holmes, Mark (February 12, 2011). "Interview with Anathema". Metal-Discovery.com. Nottingham, UK. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- Savić, Nikola (May 31, 2014). "ANATHEMA: Orbiting Around Music". Prog Sphere. Archived from the original on 3 June 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
- Fricke, David (23 March 2010). "News". Dgmlive.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "Steven Wilson On Re-mixing King Crimson". Roadrunner Records. 2011-07-12. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Marchese, Joe (2013-06-24). "Steven Wilson Prepping Surround Mixes for Yes and XTC, More King Crimson On the Way". The Second Disc. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- "Gentle Giant – The Power and the Glory : SW remix (Blu-Ray/CD)". Stevenwilsonhq.com. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- "DPRP - Counting Out Time". Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Porcupine Tree's Digital Releases". Snapper Music. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "Porcupine Tree (Review/Interview)". Aural Innovations. July 1999. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Häberle, Uwe. "Steven Wilson -The Complete Discography (6th Edition), p. 111" (PDF). Retrieved November 2005. Check date values in:
- "Surround Expo 2005". 2005-12-15. Archived from the original on 14 December 2005. Retrieved 2005-12-15.
- "New Porcupine Tree Album in 2009". 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- "Porcupine Tree - Official Website". www.porcupinetree.com. 22 October 2009. Archived from the original on 19 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- "Porcupine Tree Interviews: Record Collector November 1996 Issue 207". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- Wilson, Steven. "Blackfield European tour remainder". StevenWilsonHQ. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- "Blackfield Concert Setlist at Best Buy Theater, New York on May 1, 2014". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "Blackfield - Timeline | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Blackfield - Timeline | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Steven Wilson confirms Blackfield V date". Prog. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Opeth/Porcupine Tree Project To Release Debut Early Next Year, Opeth NY Soundcheck Footage Available | Theprp.com – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". Theprp.com. 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Steven Wilson Talks Mikael Akerfeldt Collaboration - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Prasad, Anil (2012). "Steven Wilson - Art as a mirror". Innerviews. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- Phil, Philippe. "Storm Corrosion: Soul Mates". Radio Metal. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- "Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt Talks Pale Communion Album, Possibility of a Second Storm Corrosion Album". Blabbermouth.net. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Leader Of The Starry Skies - A Tribute To Tim Smith. Songbook 1 - Various Artists". Thegenepool.co.uk. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Kscope » Blog Archive » Steven Wilson, Insurgentes – now available to pre-order and download". Kscopemusic.com. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "MUSIC VIDEOS NOMINATIONS". Camerimage.pl. 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- "Steven Wilson Insurgentes Remix Competition". Kscopemusic.com. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "SW HQ News". Swhq.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "SW's Facebook entry". Facebook.com. 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Kscope (2011-11-08). "Steven Wilson – Grace for Drowning North American tour – three tracks recorded live in London now online". kscopemusic.com. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- "Kscope » Blog Archive » Steven Wilson – ‘Get All You Deserve’ concert film out now". Kscopemusic.com. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Steven Wilson Headquarters News". www.swhq.co.uk. 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012.
- Ewing, Jerry (5 September 2012). "Prog Awards – The Winners". Prog. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Thodoris (December 2011). "Interview:Steven Wilson (solo, Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, No-Man)". Hit Channel (published April 12, 2012). Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- "USA and Canada 2013 Tour Dates Announced –". Stevenwilsonhq.com. 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Chad Wackerman will replace Marco Minnemann on North/South American Tour –". Stevenwilsonhq.com. February 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Avin, Roie (July 13, 2015). "Top 50 Prog Albums 1990-2015". The Prog Report. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- "Steven Wilson Explains New Album's Concept and Inspiration, Shares Fresh Music in New Clip". Ultimate-Guitar.Com. February 11, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Lawson, Dom (2015-02-26). "Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. review – sonic and spiritual modernity". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- "Steven Wilson - Official Facebook Page". Facebook 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2015-02-22
- "Steven Wilson: ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase.’ Album Review". Ppcorn.com. FDRMX. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
- "Tour Dates." Steven Wilson HQ. Retrieved 2015-04-04
- "The band line up changes for the Americas tour." Steven Wilson official Facebook page. Retrieved 2015-04-04
- "Andy Partridge's Twitter". 12 December 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Steven Wilson - Recording sessions for the new album... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
- "Steven Wilson: What to Expect From My New Album". Ultimate Guitar Archive. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- Wilson, Steven (5 January 2017). "Recording vocals for new song ‘Pariah’ with Ninet Tayeb". stevenwilsonhq.com. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Steven Wilson - Timeline". Facebook. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
- Wilson, Steven (12 February 2017). "Recording harmonica for new song ‘To The Bone’ with Mark Feltham". stevenwilsonhq.com. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Komara's Facebook". 25 March 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Steven Wilson announces new album ‘To The Bone’, major 2018 tour and new track ‘Pariah’". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
- Rodrigues, Carlos; Felix, David (2005-05-12). "Interview: Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree)". www.rockeyez.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Jahlmar, Joakim (March 23, 2001). "Specials - Steve Wilson Interview". Borås, Sweden: Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Archived from the original on 4 May 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Hill, Mike (17 March 2011). "Obscura Frontman Loves Porcupine Tree, Hates David Hasselhoff". Noisecreep. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Morten Okkerholm; Robert Bergstein Larsen (29 October 2015). "Interview med Caligula’s Horse". www.rockzeit.dk. Copenhagen, Denmark (published 6 November 2015). Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Koran, Andrew (1 September 2015). "Interview: Leprous (Tor Oddmund Suhrke)". www.metalpaths.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- Lion, Brian (24 July 2012). "UTG INTERVIEW: The Contortionist". underthegunreview.net. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
[...] vocalists that influence me would be Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree [...]
- Bambas, Michael (10 August 2010). ".: QUICKIES :: Ramzi von Bilocate". MetalNews.de (in German). Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Sicktus (October 2012). "Bilocate". www.lordsofmetal.nl. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Andrei, Pruna (4 January 2016). "Music has no limits: an interview with Alex Vynogradoff (Kauan) about his new project, a noend of mine". MaximumRock.ro. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Batmaz, Murat (22 July 2007). "Abigail's Ghost Talk About Their Hot Debut Selling Insincerity". www.seaoftranquility.org. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
[...] The production on the other hand is very much inspired by the work of Steven Wilson and not limited to just his work with PT. I'm also a fan of Anja Garbarek and loved his work on Smiling and Waving.
- "Alex Lifeson Talks Hendrix, Zeppelin, and a Favorite Rush Solo". musicaficionado.com. Toronto, Canada. 2 March 2016. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
Steve is a guy whose work I greatly respect. I went to see him perform recently here in Toronto, and I’ve always loved his work with Porcupine Tree, and played on one of their albums. Last night was a performance of Steve’s solo work, and they were so good, and sounded so great! He has great, great musicians with him, and it was so inspiring to see. It gave me hope that there are still people that really care about how they put music together and what it means to really work hard to be the best musician you can be. A lot of that is lost today—pop music has taken over and it’s often more about the presentation than about the substance of the music or being a great musician. For me, Steve is one of the strongest artists out there today.
- Perlah, Jeff (1 June 2015). "Yes Guitarist Steve Howe Discusses Solo ‘Anthology’ And Prog-Rock Legacy, As Yes Summer Tour With Toto Approaches". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
[...] I love Steven Wilson's work -- I love it all, it's been very good, it's been fascinating, and sometimes I've been very close to it, and I do admire his determination to keep the balance and all the right instruments [...]
- "My Prog Hero: Rob Trujillo". Prog. April 2014.
I've waved the flag in Metallica for Steven Wilson. I think when they see him live they'll be impressed. [...] To me Steven ranks with Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails or The Beach Boys; he’s capable of anything.
- Prasad, Anil (2005). "The Bears - Collective prowl". Innerviews. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
Adrian Belew: [...] Steven Wilson has a real strong vision of what he wants to do and his music has a certain kind of power that’s really great. His voice is also very fetching. It’s unique and fits in very well with what he’s doing. [...]
- Kahn, Scott (June 2009). "Jordan Rudess: Modern Day Piano Virtuoso". MusicPlayers.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Julien (4 October 2000). "INTERVIEW STEVEN WILSON / MIKE PORTNOY". porcupinetree.free.fr. Archived from the original on 5 March 2001. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
[...] j'adore la production de Steve, notamment sur les derniers Porcupine Tree, et également sur les derniers albums de Fish. (I love the production of Steve, especially on the last Porcupine Tree, and also on the last Fish albums.)
- Machell, Ben (22 May 2010). "Pendulum’s frontman talks Top Gear and Twitter". The Times. Camden, London. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
Porcupine Tree. Have you heard of them? It's such a shame more people don't know them. They're a British band who have been around since the late Eighties. They're fronted by this guy called Steve Wilson and I'm convinced he's one of the best songwriters in the UK.
- "Seven Lions' Jeff Montalvo talks India tour, upcoming EP & Porcupine Tree" (video). RadioAndMusic.com. Mumbai, India. 27 November 2014. Event occurs at 2:44. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
[...] basically anything that Steven Wilson does from Porcupine Tree is epic.
- Roosjen, Edwin (23 August 2008). "DEMIANS". www.dprp.net. Tilburg, Netherlands: Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- Tordjman, Dan; Canepa, Florent (28 April 2016). "De retour en orbite". chromatique.net (in French) (published 29 May 2016). Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- DiVita, Joe (8 July 2016). "Fates Warning’s Jim Matheos Talks ‘Theories of Flight’ Album, Writing Process + Performing With Different Lineups". Loudwire. Archived from the original on 9 July 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
I certainly love his writing and admire everything he does [...] Certainly Steven Wilson is someone I’m a huge admirer of.
- Sigma; Diggler, Durf (11 February 2013). "THE MONOLITH INTERVIEWS: DAN BRIGGS OF BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME". www.themonolith.com. Chicago, United States. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
It comes out in a couple weeks, but I just got the new Steven Wilson album [The Raven That Refused to Sing (and other stories)] which is so good. I cannot get over it man, it’s like… even his last record, Grace For Drowning I liked a lot. You could listen to it and tell that it was a Steven Wilson record; it was a bit more out there than Porcupine Tree, but this one is something totally new and I think it’s great.
- Cook, Toby (22 August 2012). "'Yeah, Rock & Roll!': Metallic Taste Of Blood's Eraldo Bernocchi Interviewed". The Quietus. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
[...] For instance, Steven Wilson, he's one of the most incredible musicians that has surfaced in the last 20 years, I think.
- "Chantel McGregor Interview". Chadwick Media. 29 January 2016. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
[...] I’d also love to work with the progressive artist Steven Wilson, as he is probably my current favorite artist. I find his songwriting and production really interesting and his shows are fantastic with visual art and concept videos.
- Shaikh, Nabeela (3 February 2016). "Steven Wilson: ‘Being an Artist is All About Being Selfish’". Rolling Stone India. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Steven Wilson". www.dprp.net. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Progressive Rock Page. 21 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- Ray, Randy (11 March 2013). "Steven Wilson: Standing on the Branches of a Giant Tree". www.jambands.com. p. 4. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Elliott, Paul (December 2012). "Steven Wilson on chaos theory and rumours". Classic Rock Magazine (Heavy Load). No. 178. United Kingdom. p. 146.
- Jeff (19 November 2007). "Porcupine Tree interview (01/2008)". Metal Storm. Toulouse, France (published 1 January 2008). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- "Steven Wilson's Facebook". 4 August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- Guitar World Staff (1 September 2016). "15 of Prog-Rock's Best Guitarists Through the Years". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 2 September 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- "The 10 best prog guitarists in the world right now". MusicRadar. 27 December 2016. p. 4. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steven Wilson.|