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Q&A: Steven Wilson

Prog’s man of the moment on isolation, frustration, dashed aspirations and the desire to create an enduring musical legacy.

Steven Wilson has been one of rock’s most prolific and diverse artists for more than 20 years now, making music under a bewildering variety of guises. His longest-serving band, prog favourites Porcupine Tree, seemed poised to reap the rewards of their gradually growing stardom when their tenth album, The Incident, hit the US Top 60 in 2009. Wilson, declaring himself bored, chose that moment to focus on his solo career.

That reached similar heights with 2014’s acclaimed The Raven That Refused To Sing. In recent years he’s also been employed by several of his heroes, including Robert Fripp and Ian Anderson, to remix some of their classic albums. 

Wilson’s latest album, Hand. Cannot. Erase., released in February, takes another unexpected twist. It’s inspired by Dreams Of A Life, the 2011 documentary about Joyce Carol Vincent, a young Londoner whose corpse lay undiscovered in her flat for almost four years. Wilson’s concept album examines a similarly lonely character. 

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is released on February 27 on Kscope.

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