STEVEN WILSON Doesn't Rule Out Another PORCUPINE TREE Reunion
October 10, 2023
In a new interview with The Prog Report, Steven Wilson reflected on PORCUPINE TREE's return in late 2021 after more than a decade of inactivity and the release of a new album, "Closure / Continuation", which was followed by a worldwide tour. For the trek, PORCUPINE TREE recruited bassist Nate Navarro to replace classic member Colin Edwin, who didn't participate in the reunion.
"I really enjoyed it," Wilson stated about PORCUPINE TREE's comeback (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "We really enjoyed it in a way that we probably never enjoyed it in the previous incarnation. I think there was a sense of it being, I wouldn't say without any sense of pressure, but there was a lot less pressure this time around. There was no pressure to try and make it into something it wasn't, because it was kind of a one-off thing."
He continued: "We had a great time touring together, and it was great to see so many people that probably never got the chance to see the band 15 years ago — a lot of young kids coming to the shows and whole families coming, dads bringing their sons and daughters to shows and stuff like that. And it was great to play that old music. It was great to play the newer music as well. It was great to be playing bigger venues than we ever played — certainly in Europe, we were playing arenas, which was amazing. It was great to give it — and this is, of course, assuming that it is a kind of ending, 'cause it may not be. I don't think we're ruling out another possible reunion somewhere in the future. But if this was the end, it felt like a much more pleasing way to end the story than I think had been left hanging in the air prior to that."
Last year, PORCUPINE TREE — Wilson, keyboardist Richard Barbieri and drummer Gavin Harrison — embarked on a wide-ranging world tour, the band's first since October 2010. The group was touring in support of its eleventh studio album, the aforementioned "Closure / Continuation", which came out in June 2022 via Music For Nations/Megaforce Records.
In June 2022, Wilson told Under The Radar that PORCUPINE TREE's most recent comeback is "not a reunion". He added: "I mean, firstly, we never broke up. And secondly, we've made a new record. For me, a reunion tour is when you get together having broken up and you basically go out and just play your greatest hits, for which is what THE POLICE did, for an audience that are basically nostalgic for what you used to be 30, 40 years before. We never broke up and we've been making this record for the last 10 years. In fact, pretty much since we were in the slipstream of the finishing of the previous tour. So is that a reunion? I don't think so. It's no different to TOOL coming back after 15 years with their next record. We've been quicker than that. [Laughs] We've been working on this record for a very long time in — this would be an understatement to say it — a fairly low-profile way, because nobody knew we were making the record at all. Everyone else assumed that the band didn't exist. I'd be the first to admit I added fuel to that because I would often tell people to forget PORCUPINE TREE and it's not coming back. Because I wanted people to focus on what I was doing at that given moment. But those were white lies because, actually, I knew we were working on this record and I knew eventually it would come out."
Asked if it's fair to say the "Closure / Continuation" album and tour is "probably a one-off", Wilson said: I suspect it will be the last time we'll tour. I think it's quite possible we might make another record. In fact, I was speaking with Richard about it. We were in Germany a couple of weeks ago doing promo in Berlin, and somebody asked me that question. I thought, Well, you know what? I think there's a way forward. A track like 'Walk The Plank' — which is one of the last tracks we did — which doesn't have any guitars on it at all, and kind of reflects the fact that I've moved more and more towards electronic music. I wondered about making a PORCUPINE TREE record where we just focused on keyboards, rather than guitars. It would have to be something different to justify doing it. But I suspect we probably wouldn't tour again. I think in my heart, I think this is probably the last round for sure."
One of the most forward-thinking, genre-defying rock bands of any era, PORCUPINE TREE was founded in 1987 by Wilson as an outlet for the experimental recordings he was making outside of his acclaimed post-rock duo NO-MAN. With the addition of Barbieri and Harrison, PORCUPINE TREE soon evolved into a proper band, releasing 10 studio albums between 1992 and 2009. Each new release saw PORCUPINE TREE exploring new musical ideas, their expansive music shifting from pastoral psychedelic rock and ambient electronic soundscapes to experimental pop and propulsive metal. Later releases like 2007's Grammy Award-nominated "Fear Of A Blank Planet" and 2009's "The Incident" — the band's biggest seller thus far, reaching the top 25 in both the U.S. and the U.K. — saw PORCUPINE TREE effortlessly melding distinctive genres to create a groundbreaking musical universe all their own.
As relentlessly creative on stage as they are in the studio, PORCUPINE TREE proved innovative live performers known for sonic innovation and inventive visual productions. In October 2010, the band entered a period of hiatus following a spectacular concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.
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