Steven Wilson / Religion, the raven that refused, Porcupine Tree, new visions … and a band named SAGA

Steven Wilson (by) Rowehl on

After telling Steven Wilson that some parts of the first song of his new album reminded me of SAGA he admitted that he never heard about this Canadian band which has been huge in Germany … and immediately he found out the reason why he hasn’t heard about them yet by using his smart phone … the band Saga has never been successful in the UK but obviously he was that surprised by not knowing them that he dedicated 5 minutes of his show in Cologne talking to the audience and his musicians about SAGA.

Anyway … after this short trip into music history we dedicated our interview to the new Steven Wilson album „The raven that refused to sing“, religion, the British attitude, sunny places, Porcupine Tree and his plans for making the music for a movie.

Interview: Dennis Rowehl / Photo: Rowehl Steven, amazing new album. Great stuff! Well, you released so many albums with your projects and Porcupine Tree … where do you get all these inspirations for writing that many songs?

Steven Wilson: Well, the inspirations for the current album came from the tour with this band. I’ve never written a solo album for a particular group of musicians before, so I toured with this band and there was a special chemistry between the whole band and I was inspired by these guys that I have written the album for this band. So the inspirations came from this band. While touring … do you write new material for another album?

S.W.: Normally not but this time I did and we went into the studio right after the tour to make this new album. I had so much fun on stage playing with these guys that I got the new music in my mind … so this time the whole process was really fast. Are there any plan for a new Porcupine Tree album? Maybe next year?

S.W.: Not yet. How long are you going to be on tour?

S.W.: I guess the whole year … we’ll play some festivals like Southside and Hurricane and next September to November we’ll continue our tour … … and then it’s gonna be time for vacation?

S.W.: Yes, I guess so. What do you prefer … do you worship the sun or do you like cold places for vacation … for skying?

S.W.: I like sunny places, I used to live in Israel, in Tel Aviv … this is one of my favourite cities … I like the sun, Mexico, Italy … and I like the people in these aras … So, this is definitely a contrast to the UK …

S.W.: Yeah, absolutely. You know, British people are like the German people, controlled .. in Israel and South America people are more crazy … … but England created lots of trends, especially in music … Punk, New Wave, Heavy Metal … so, people from the UK are also kinda crazy?

S.W.: Well, the British like the uniqueness. American people like to conform and they produce products for an existing market … the British musically want to be innovative, unique and different … sometimes it doesn’t work but sometimes a special new sound is born, so lots of important music comes from the UK. Yeah, the British are very innovative … … in music … yes, but not in producing cars etc. (laughing)

S.W.: (laughing) Yes, we’re not good in industry but in creative stuff! We’ve got good film producers … Christopher Nolan, Monty Python … Are you religious?

S.W.: NO! If you’re looking for an example of pure evil on earth … look to religion, it’s the worst influence … are you religious? No, not really.

S.W.: Good, okay (laughing). (laughing)

S.W.: Well, for me music can be religion .. positive religion, it’s a code of living which gives you a certain set of rules, a moral code … and hope that you feel better. You know, organized religion with a political structure is dangerous … people who are telling you how to think and believe in some fantasy, it’s absurd! And very, very dangerous. In well educated countries religion is not that dominant and becomes less important, the USA is the big exception, religion dominates the politics, the economics, the culture … I don’t understand this … it’s rediculous and absurd! (…) How do you spend your days while touring?

S.W.: I read lots of books, watch music and I walk a lot … yesterday we had a day off and I found a record store and bought lots of albums on vinyl. Great stuff! What’s your biggest ambition for the future?

S.W.: I’d like to be involved in a movie by making the soundtrack, I’d like to work with the director on a movie with a great script to create all sounds and songs, this is my number 1 unfullfilled ambitions. Would you also like to act?

S.W.: Mmhh … I don’t know … maybe … What kind of movie?

S.W.: Well, something twisted, something really fucked up like David Lynch stuff, dark stuff … so, no Hollywood movie. I like this independant movies, there are more important for me! Steven, so your life will not be boring at all! Thank you very much!

S.W.: Thank you, Dennis.