Two years ago Steven Wilson climbed the Prog-Olymp with his solo work "The Raven That Refused To Sing". The active Englishman has received exuberant criticism across the scene. Now he lays with "Hand. Cannot. Erase." A work as ambitious and complex as its predecessor. However, the bar is high. If and how Steven Wilson wants to overcome them and which direction he takes, he tells in a big interview.
eclipsed: Steven, would you agree with the following statement: You wanted to show the prog scene and all your critics with "The Raven" that you can always make a progressive rock album if you want to, a big one?
Steven Wilson: Partially. "The Raven" was a sign that I can make a classic progressive rock album and that I can do it better than anybody else. That sounds arrogant, but I think now that I've done that, I can't go on.
eclipsed: "Hand. Cannot. Erase." Sounds different, it's definitely not "The Raven Part 2"...
Wilson: Exactly. On the one hand the new album appears like a continuation of "The Raven". There are songs in the classical sense. There are several tracks that are longer than ten minutes, similar types of dynamics, similar structural elements. On the other hand, the idea now was to put the repertoire on a broader basis again. Influences from Electronic, Pop, Ambient, Death-Metal-Riffs, my whole musical personality. This album revolves around the now, the 21st century. Even the concept is anchored in the present. It's an album about the time we live in. This album requires a more modern sound.
eclipsed: Are you trying to find new forms of expression by looking into the past?
Wilson: No, not consciously. When you've been making music as long as I have, you've developed a personality. And that means that you will always do things where people will see things you've done before. I have certain lyrical themes, certain chord sequences and melodies to which I return from time to time. My musical character shines through again and again. I integrate things I love. Last year I wrote Perfect Life. Now I can hear how often I must have heard the last Boards-Of-Canada album back then. It is only natural that your input influences your output. During The Raven, I worked on the King Crimson albums. So my head was full of all the classic progressive rock heroes. This time I worked on XTC, Simple Minds and Tears For Fears. I heard Boards Of Canada and Aphex Twin. At the same time I also work on classical prog. It's all here. I hope this all sounds like me, too.