In the course of his 30-year musical career, the British songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has constantly developed and tried out new things. His problem: part of his audience meets him with growing incomprehension. Yet the versatile musician has always remained himself, even if instruments and sounds have changed again and again. In the eclipsed interview he explains why he has no desire to live up to expectations
He'll do it again: Steven Wilson will reinvent himself again and present his listeners with new tasks. "The Future Bites", the title of the upcoming album, sounds at first clearly more electronic than all his works before. But things are not that simple. It's not electronic music. When asked what his listeners can expect, the Englishman answers comprehensively: "It's certainly a challenge. It's a conceptual and experimental work. If you look at my last albums, they're a tribute to the past. 'Raven' was a tribute to the progressive era of the 70s. 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' served the trade of the great classic concept albums. 'To The Bone' went back to the intelligent pop music of the 80s. But the new album is meant to exist only in the here and now. I wanted to break away from classic rock. On 'The Future Bites' I worked more with electronics, less with guitars. The album is certainly more direct than any of my previous recordings. It's very melodic and modern.
Tim Bowness, singer of the artpop duo No-Man, whose other creative half is known as Steven Wilson, expects that their new album "Love You To Bits" could cause controversy: "One of the most interesting things about it is that I can't at all estimate how the reactions to it will be," admits the Brit and adds: "I hope, however, that it will be perceived as a work that is as accessible as it is ambitious and one of the most courageous and extraordinary No-Man albums. Hopefully people will give him a chance and hear it as a whole. Where it leads and how it ends cannot be determined from the first five minutes."
"Home Invasion: In Concert At The Royal Albert Hall" is the title of the latest live recording by Steven Wilson. The allusion to his album "Hand. Cannot. Erase" makes it clear that he is not primarily interested in documenting the tour cycle of the current album "To The Bone". Rather, the active musician shows where he stands artistically in 2018. Also Bollywood dancers play a role here..
eclipsed: During the "To The Bone" tour you were three times at the Royal Albert Hall (RAH). Why did you choose the last show for the DVD?
Steven Wilson: Filming concerts is very expensive, so we only recorded the last one. We also filmed the soundcheck and the rehearsals. This resulted in many of the close-ups, because the actual show took place behind a transparent screen, which complicated close-ups. The finished film is a mixture of recordings from the concert and those we made during the day without an audience.
He's been keeping his private life under lock and key for years. Because Steven Wilson emphasises that his home is a refuge when it comes to tea with soy milk. Nevertheless, he invited eclipsed here. To a place where he could switch off, but also work in peace. What shouldn't be a problem on the estate, forty minutes by car north of Heathrow, should also not be a problem: a renovated farmhouse from the 16th century, with a huge garden, which his Japanese girlfriend takes care of, a pavilion and a winter garden with a panoramic view into the greenery.
For the exclusive interview with eclipsed, Steven Wilson comes to the offices of his new management in London's Fulham district. Not only the management is new, Wilson is also under contract to a record company - the major label Caroline. More than two years have passed since the release of his last record "Hand. Cannot. Erase." A time when the world kept spinning and Wilson gained new insights. Insights that have also been reflected in "To The Bone". Polite and detailed as ever, he answers. His typical self-irony flashes up again and again, for example when the manager points out that the talk time is up: "No problem, we're already on the last question. But maybe I still need 20 minutes to answer them."
eclipsed: Two songs of the new album deal with the topic of terrorism. Two days ago in Manchester was the attack at the concert of Ariana Grande. What are you thinking?
Not all musicians can put their art into words. This also applies to Aviv Geffen, who receives at the Cologne Hilton, but prefers to play with his mobile phone rather than concentrate on the conversation. He suffers from a discreet self-overestimation and sometimes has less to say than one would expect from a man of his reputation. After all, he is not only a musician, actor and TV celebrity, but also the mouthpiece of the political left in Israel, critic of the radical Orthodox like the Netanyahu government and a good friend with all kinds of rock celebrities. In the end, however, a revealing conversation was relaxed.
eclipsed: The last two Blackfield albums were rather solo albums from you, where Steven supported you only moderately because of other obligations. Now it seems to be a real cooperation again. What's the matter with you?
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.