‘I don’t have time in my life to do that': Steven Wilson on his departures from Blackfield, Porcupine Tree

As Steven Wilson begins a 17-date North American tour, one that will feature a half-dozen in-store appearances, it’s increasingly clear where his passion lies: On solo projects like the recently released The Raven That Refused To Sing.

Wilson has been, over the years, a model of complex efficiency — simultaneously operating under his own name while making important contributions to concurrent projects like Porcupine Tree and Blackfield. He tells us, in an SER exclusive, that he’s narrowing his focus these days.

“I don’t have time in my life to do that, and what I’m doing now,” Wilson tells us.

Wilson’s new tour, which began in Tampa on Tuesday, makes its way to Atlanta next. He’ll also host an in-store event tonight at Criminal Records, where copies of a new limited-edition 12-inch Raven picture disc will be available. The Record Store Day exclusive, issued on 180g vinyl, features special demo versions of “Luminol” and “The Watchmaker.”

From there, Wilson heads to Pennsylvania’s Keswick Theater, and then to Washington, D.C., Buffalo, N.Y., Canada and elsewhere. For more details on future Steven Wilson concerts and in-store appearances, go here: www.stevenwilsonhq.com.

Meanwhile, Blackfield — founded by Wilson in 2001 with Aviv Geffen — is at work on its fourth long-player, though Wilson is understandably taking a far smaller role.

“Blackfield has made a new record, though I’m not as involved with it as much as I once was — for reasons which are obvious and apparent,” Wilson tells us. “Aviv, my partner in Blackfield, wrote all of the songs on this new record, but I still helped him to produce and record the album, and I sung on a few songs. They have some other great guest singers that have come in and sang on some of the other songs, too. So, Blackfield is certainly moving forward. The last thing I want to be doing is holding other people back.”

Porcupine Tree, however, is a different issue — since he’s the confirmed frontman of the group, rather than part of a collaborative team. That band, he says, is now on an indefinite hiatus after the release of a live set in 2012.

“I think it’s slightly more complex with Porcupine Tree, which can’t really happen without me instigating it and being the main writer and director of that situation — so, that’s more problematic,” Wilson added. “I don’t have time in my life to do that, and what I’m doing now. So, I guess I have made the decision, right now, to concentrate on the solo career. But that’s not to say that the band has broken up or anything like that. It’s always conceivable that we could get back together in a year or five years, or 10 years. I really can’t say. There are no plans at the moment.”

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Eric M

    That’s a shame. Since In Absentia, and even before, SW was pioneering the new prog genre mainly with PT, his solo career and with his side projects.

    As a writer and producer, he helped define what would be the new prog rock and contributed to detach it from the overheard 70’s influences from which I personnaly am completely fed up. With The Incident and Grace for Drowning, Wilson brought the genre even further…

    And then, his remixing work for King Crimson and Jethro since 2008 began transforming a 21st century ground breaking artist into a 70’s cover groupie, resulting in The Raven, in which he attempts to remake, in his way, music that already existed 40 years ago by others… He stopped being the creator of a unique genre, to now be a simple follower except now, he has the chance of having a millions+ fanbase, thanks to his PT project.

    For the classic prog lovers, Raven is a masterpiece. For those, like me, who liked SW mostly because he was so refreshing and was doing something that never existed before, Raven marks the end of a great ride, that was exciting while it lasted.

    Thank you SW for the good times, whish you a lot of fun reliving the 70’s…