Steven Wilson Says Porcupine Tree Were Once Forced To Become Grunge

Zehra Kabak

Following the release of ‘Economies of Scale,’ the first single from his upcoming album, ‘The Harmony Codex,’ Steven Wilson joined a chat with NME, touching on the early years of Porcupine Tree. Asked if he ever played ‘the industry game,’ he said:

“I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it. Early on in Porcupine Tree, we were signed to Atlantic in America. We were pressured to try to write a grunge radio anthem. I did it, but I felt so dirty. The audience saw through it, too.”

Delving more into his involvement in the industry’s dynamics, the singer went on:

“It’s one thing to be able to do it; it’s another to convince your audience. I’ve never gone back there, but I’m happy to do whatever I need to promote an album: talk about it, do in-stores, edit songs down for radio.”

He referred to the audience’s approach to his music:

“I’m in the enviable position of having a fanbase who almost expect me to do the unexpected. If they feel I’m trying to make concessions to the music industry, they spot it a mile off and rightly pick me up on it.”

During the interview, Wilson also mentioned the mix of progressive rock, spiritual jazz, and electronica elements in the new album, which aimed to surprise his listeners. He said his fans were used to getting surprised at this point and explained:

“Part of this record is confidence from having done this for a long time now, which means I can think: ‘No, f**k it, I can put a 10-minute ambient piece on the same record as an acoustic song and an electronic pop song.’ It’s good to embrace that.”

The second single from the upcoming record will be an 11-minute track called ‘Impossible Tightrope,’ coming out next week. More songs will follow it in the upcoming weeks until the full album’s release on September 29.

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