[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]412-interview-header[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”PART TWO” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

Read part one of the interview here.

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”4 ½ is released 22nd January on K-Scope. The album title signals that Steven regards this release as a “half album” rather than a proper follow-up to its four predecessors, since it rounds up previously unreleased songs and disparate orphans from sessions from the previous 2 albums and unites them as a family. But though 4 ½ doesn’t follow an intentional design, there’s something serendipitous about how the final construct holds together musically as well as thematically. Compositions such as “Year of the Plague,” “Sunday Rain Sets In,” and “Vermillioncore” are unmistakably Steven Wilson in sound even as they showcase sides of his musical personality that feel wholly new. As half albums go, this is sterling stuff.

Steven recently spoke about the album to provide an in-depth guide to each of these songs.” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%20Condensed%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_custom_heading text=”SUNDAY RAIN SETS IN” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_column_text]There’s a delicious tension between the dangerous undercurrent hinted at by a quietly strummed electric guitar and the seductive beauty of Holzman’s recurring piano motif. When the foreshadowed violence finally arrives as a crescendo of instruments, it’s still shocking and unexpected. The piece was originally intended as a scene setter in Hand.Cannot.Erase., but one could just as easily imagine it as the soundtrack to a midnight scene in a spy thriller.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Stephen Humphries: Tell me about the timeline of the recording of this instrumental, because it features Chad Wackerman—who played drums in your tour band during the latter part of The Raven tour—on it.” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]IMG_4499 (Medium)Steven Wilson: The very first piece I wrote for Hand.Cannot.Erase. was a long piece of music, which ultimately fragmented into several other pieces. I don’t remember too much about it, but I can tell you that it started off as what is now the beginning of “Three Years Older.” And, at some point, before it got to what is now the song part of “Three Years Older,” it dropped into “Sunday Rain Sets In.” It was another piece that I put aside and thought, “That’s going to be a part of my movie soundtrack.”

Chad did the drums during the same session as “Happy Returns.” I didn’t progress any further than that until this album project came up. Then I rescued it. I’m very proud of it. What I love is that it has that kind of ’60s spy theme feel to it with that tremolo guitar, almost a John Barry sort of vibe to it. In the context of an album like Hand.Cannot.Erase., it may just have slowed it down too much. But in the context of this record, which is a much shorter record anyway and doesn’t have the big conceptual conceit of Hand.Cannot.Erase., it works beautifully.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”I’m intrigued by the title—what sort of feel do Sundays typically have for you?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]They have no meaning to me, because I’m a musician! Every day is a working day. Sunday is the same as Tuesday is the same as Wednesday. You have to think of it more in terms of my character, living in her tiny apartment block in a council estate, looking down at the city through a veil of gray, English rain. That snapshot runs through the whole album really.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_custom_heading text=”VERMILLIONCORE” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_column_text]Written in late 2013 and completed in June 2015. Craig Blundell lays down a whomping groove beneath the rattle and thrum of a bass guitar. Holzman darts in and out of the mix with organ stabs. When Beggs rudely interrupts the proceedings with an impertinent Stick solo, it triggers an angry outburst of guitar. Don’t bother looking up the title in a dictionary—it’s an invented word. “Vermillioncore” sounds like the name of a previously undiscovered element that would slot into the heavy metals section of the Periodic Table.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”What can you tell me about Craig’s drums sounds on this track?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]This will probably strike horror into the hearts of some of my fans, as this is like SW plays drum ’n’ bass in a way! But it’s drum ’n’ bass played by a real rock band on real instruments. That’s where Craig comes from. So I wanted to write something for Craig where we could explore this with electronic drums combined with acoustic drums. At the end of the day, it’s a big, bold, vibrant rock instrumental. But the rhythmic elements are coming from electronic music, like the repetitive bass line that has almost a dub sound with a sub, bottom-heavy bass sound, with very crisp, tight, technical drum ’n’ bass drums. It’s quite different for me.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Nick Beggs gets a solo on the Chapman Stick on this one. Did you write this for the Stick?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]I played bass on the track and I presented it to the band. Nick said to me, with great magnanimity, “Well, your bass is great. Why do you want me to do it again? But can I have a go at doing something for it on the Stick?” I couldn’t really imagine what he could do, but he played this track of bizarre, fuzzed up, atonal improvisation all the way through the track. I said, “We can’t have it all the way through the track, but I think it’s going to be a real highlight for the track if we just make it a 16 bar, period.” I don’t know if people would even necessarily recognize it as a Stick. They might think it was a guitar solo.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_custom_heading text=”DON’T HATE ME” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed” el_width=”80″][vc_column_text]Originally the centerpiece of the Porcupine Tree album Stupid Dream, this 2015 interpretation alternates between Wilson on verses and Ninet Tayeb on the chorus. Holzman showcases a nimble, playful touch on Fender Rhodes keyboard during the instrumental midsection. Theo Travis’s saxophone playing has a relaxed lean to it even as it follows the contours of his solo on the original. The slower pace of this version gives it an even more meditative feel. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”This is the second Porcupine Tree track you’ve revisited and re-recorded this year. What inspired you to revisit these songs?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]People talk about the songs as being Porcupine Tree songs. But in my head they’re just my songs. I wrote them and Porcupine Tree recorded them. I’m not for one minute suggesting that the members of Porcupine Tree didn’t stamp their identity on those songs and make those versions definitive in their own way, but they still exist outside of that as my songs.

As a solo artist, I was very bloody-minded about not playing anything that was associated with Porcupine Tree to start with. On the first Grace for Drowning tour, we did nothing except for material from Insurgentes and Grace for Drowning. The tour we did for Raven, I began to open it out a little bit and we did “Radioactive Toy,” which anyway was a track from one of the “solo” PT albums. This time, I feel confident enough now that people understand that the solo career is here to stay and it’s not a side project. With that acknowledgment to myself, I feel more relaxed and more willing to refer back to some of that material that I wrote in the past that was originally recorded by Porcupine Tree. Even though people have a very strong sense of what is a Porcupine Tree song and what is a solo song, in my own mind I don’t necessarily have the same distinction.

Listen, I’m not stupid and I know the minute that this track comes out, there’s going to be a whole bunch of people saying, “It’s not as good as the Porcupine Tree version. He shouldn’t try and re-record Porcupine Tree songs.” To which, I reply, they are not Porcupine Tree songs, they’re my songs. Most of what is on the Porcupine Tree version was already there in my demo, so in a way this new version is really referring back to the Steven Wilson demo, not the Porcupine Tree version.

“Don’t Hate Me” is, ultimately, one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. We taking it a bit slower because when I listened back to the original version, I thought to myself, “Ooh, I made that a bit fast. It should have been a bit slower, a bit more lonely.” We doing it in a different way. I have Ninet duetting with me.

I feel more comfortable now starting to play more of my back catalog as part of my live shows. It’s no coincidence that both “Lazarus” and “Don’t Hate Me” are based on live recordings. Conceptually, “Don’t Hate Me” fits so beautifully into the Hand.Cannot.Erase. vibe. This idea of living in the heart of the city and a sense of isolation and loneliness. This something about this album that all the songs from all these different eras seem to cohere and work very beautifully together.
[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Like the original, Theo once again plays the saxophone solo. What was your brief to Theo on how to approach this version?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]It’s funny, we listened to the old solo. It’s a fantastic solo. It’s one of the solos where you listen to it and you think that it’s almost like it had been written. It wasn’t—the original solo was improvised. The starting point was to stick to the original solo as a starting point and see where it goes. Believe me, Theo went a lot further out than that! We even got as far as trying something almost like a John Coltrane “sheets of sound” approach. But, at the end of the day, there is something so perfect about that solo that I didn’t want to stray too far away from it, and anyway I think Theo plays it in a more mature way now. The tempo is a bit slower and it feels a little more relaxed. It’s always easy working with Theo because he is always willing to try different things, but this was one aspect that I didn’t want to change from the original.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Ninet sings the chorus on this track. You’ve found a great vocal foil for yourself. How much is she going to be touring with you next year and do you foresee an expanded role for her voice on some of your other songs?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]She’s going to do about 11 or 12 shows with me in January. I would love to expand her role, but haven’t started thinking about that. Obviously, straightaway we have “Routine” and “Don’t Hate Me” that she can sing. There are other bits that she sang as background vocals on Hand.Cannot.Erase., like she sang bits of “Ancestral.” So I’d like to give her more time to showcase what she can do. She’s amazing and she’s perfect for my music.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Finally, what role will 4 ½ play in the setlists for the 2016 tour?” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23e0e0e0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Playfair%20Display%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]We’re already doing “My Book of Regrets,” and “Don’t Hate Me,” so we are definitely going to continue playing those. I think we’ll have a go at “Happiness III” and “Vermillioncore.” So on the next tour we are going to be doing at least 60-to-70% of this record.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey” style=”dashed”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading text=”READ MORE NEWSLETTER EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:28|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”19275″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” css=”.vc_custom_1449889876769{margin-bottom: 2px !important;}” link=”http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/steven-wilsons-label-to-release-fovea-hex-ep/”][vc_custom_heading text=”STEVEN WILSON’s LABEL TO RELEASE FOVEA HEX EP” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”19271″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full” css=”.vc_custom_1449889927083{margin-bottom: 2px !important;}” link=”http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/an-update-on-steven-wilsons-remix-work/”][vc_custom_heading text=”BACK CATALOG ALBUM OF THE MONTH: BASS COMMUNION’S GHOSTS ON MAGNETIC TAPE” font_container=”tag:h5|font_size:22|text_align:left|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]