The changing man: Has Steven Wilson ditched prog for pop?
Despite his claim that his new album is more pop than prog, Steven Wilson has long struggled to break into the mainstream. But why? We join Wilson to discuss his place in modern music
Steven Wilson would like you to know something. He wants you to know that his new album, To The Bone, is a pop record. Now, to someone unschooled in prog, it doesn’t sound much like a pop album, in the contemporary sense – it sounds like an artful modern rock album with some pop touches. It sounds not unproggy a lot of the time, to be honest, but those who fly the prog banner need to be warned.
“I know pop is a very pejorative term,” Wilson says, sitting in the conservatory of his Hertfordshire home, looking Dorian Gray-ishly youthful for a 49-year-old. “Particularly when you’re talking with the prog audience. Pop is the sort of word they run screaming from. But I think of pop in the sense that Kate Bush is pop. Or The Beatles are pop. Or ABBA are pop. I’m not talking about the modern, very conservative pop scene; I’m talking about pop in the broad sense.”