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This week’s featured artist is Steven Wilson! Born November 3rd 1967, he is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, most closely associated with the progressive rock genre. Currently a solo artist, he became known as the founder, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and songwriter of the band Porcupine Tree, as well as being a member of several other bands, including No-Man, Bass Communion, Storm Corrosion, and Blackfield. Both him and Porcupine Tree are frequently referred to as “The most famous artist you’ve never heard of” due to their cult status and lack of mainstream success. 

Porcupine Tree’s early sound evoked a style of psychedelic rock comparable to that of Pink Floyd. Upon signing with Kscope record label in the late 1990s, the band approached a more mainstream alternative rock sound. By the early 2000s, the band had signed to a major record label and shifted their sound again, this time in a more progressive metal direction. After the tour in support of their tenth studio album, The Incident, released in 2009 and their biggest commercial success to date, the band became inactive as Wilson committed himself to his solo work and other members began working on their own separate projects. In 2018, after years of indetermination, Wilson ruled out a possible reformation.

As a solo artist, he has released five studio albums and one EP, with his sixth solo album entitled The Future Bites scheduled to release January 29th 2020. His albums The Raven That Refused to Sing and Hand Cannot Erase were met with critical acclaim. 

For live shows, Wilson plays barefoot. His habit goes back to his early childhood, where he has said, “I always had a problem wearing shoes and I’ve always gone around with bare feet”. He has said that another factor in performing barefoot is the advantage it gives in operating his diverse guitar pedals. He has most frequently played PRS Guitars, and recently adopted using a Fender Telecaster for a new sound direction on his album To The Bone. 

Check below for a tab and live performance of his song The Sound of Muzak recorded at The Royal Albert Hall for his live album Home Invasion, which was originally released on the Porcupine Tree album In Absentia!

Have you heard of Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree? Which are your favourite songs? Do you prefer Steven’s solo work, or Porcupine Tree? We’ve returned to in-home lessons and are continuing video conference lessons if you want to learn about the ongoing history of music with a professional!

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