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Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson was once known as the front man of Porcupine Tree, but he has outgrown this status now. Last year his most recent and accessible album 'To The Bone' was released, the tour proved to be successful and managed to get the AFAS Live in Amsterdam completely packed. The concert in the Royal Albert Hall seemed a suitable time to film a live DVD, so the third evening(!) was chosen and the recordings were released under the name 'Home Invasion'. An amazing product that received a great, and well deserved, review from me. I thought it would be a good time to talk to the man, apparently mister Wilson felt the same as I was able to speak with him for almost an hour, about the live DVD, his recent success, and the modern music business. Pics by Hajo Mueller

By: Leon | Archive under prog / sympho metal

I’ve been checking out the home invasion DVD for the last few weeks, and I have to say that I really like it. I was wondering when did you decide that it was time for another live recording because I think you did one in 2012 called ‘Get All You Deserve’, but what made you go for this one now?
Honestly, if it was up to me, I’d probably never do. It was management and eagle rock who came a long and said they wanted to film a show. Honestly, I'll explain to you why I say that, it's a lot of work and a lot of pressure to make a live concert film. It puts an extra kind of stress on the show that you film, you're much more conscience of the camera's being there, it affects your performance, and also I don't think it's possible really to capture the feeling of being a part of a live experience. The show I've created is very visual, there are lots of elements in the show, the screens, the holograms, and just not to mention the feeling of being in the room with 3500-400 people, it's very hard to replicate that experience for home cinema viewing. The subject has always come up and I’ve resisted for a long time because I thought, if you want to see the show, come to show! Now of course that's easy to say and there are some people who will never be able to see a show, there's a few countries where I don't, or cannot, go to. So, I understand that there's always that sort of justification for making a home viewing experience. You know, I grew up in the eighties and concert films were very rare then, you didn't have that thing that you have now where you can go on YouTube and you can see your favorite bands live from wherever, last night probably. It just didn't exist in the eighties, concert films were really an unusual thing, they were a big deal and sometimes when someone made a concert film they would get a cinema release. I think in a way that's nice because it kept a lot of the mystery, you would listen to the studio records and you might have a live album but you still wouldn't have the visual equivalent. So the only way you could really see what the band looked like, and how they performed on stage, was if you'd go to a show which was quite unusual, I think that was great. There was a real mystery about going to see bands live that I listened to for years and I would still have very little idea about how they looked when they were actually playing the music live. So, yeah, I'm a bit old-fashioned in that respect, I'm not a fan of this thing where you make a live concert film every year. So, I've made two in the space of seven years.

I totally get where you're coming from, a real-live performance can never be replaced by a disc. But I can honestly say that I think in your case you did phenomenal job, especially with a venue such as the Royal Albert hall.
Yeah, and I think that was a factor. It pretty much is my favorite venue in the world, it's my home-town, it's a magical place, it's a place where I've been to see many bands over the years and it's always a wonderful experience. So the opportunity to film at the Royal Albert hall, and it was also part of a three night run as well, so there was a little bit less pressure than there might have been if there was just a single, one-shot, chance, but we had three nights to get used to the feeling of the venue, so it's a little bit less pressure. And I think the Eagle Rock guys have made the film as cinematic as possible, so it's not just the straightforward filming of the show, they’re trying to make it almost feel like filmic experience. In a way to compensate for the fact that it's not the same as being in that room.

That makes sense. I was at your concert in Amsterdam and I have to say that, when I take that experience and take the one from the DVD, it's definitely a little bit different, but I really felt I was there again, watching the show again for the first time. I think many fans will be happy with this.
I hope so.

I’m pretty sure they will. I wanted to ask you, you had Ninet Tayeb singing on the DVD, unfortunately she couldn't be there in Amsterdam, and I was wondering how you started working with her to begin with.
So Ninet is someone I've known for about ten years and there was a time around 2006-2007 when I was actually briefly living in Israel, as I was working on another Blackfield album, and right about that that time, Ninet became a celebrity overnight because she won the Israeli equivalent of X-factor or The Voice, that kind of TV show, I'm sure you have it in Holland too. She won it and, since it was the first one, she became a massive overnight celebrity, with paparazzi outside her house, so I was aware of her and I was aware that she was an extraordinary singer. But she was like eighteen at the time, just very young, she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do. I met her because I was living in Tel Aviv, the music scene in Tel Aviv is, as you can imagine, quite a small group of people, so I met her a few times in bars and hanging out, and she's a lovely person and I just kept in touch with her over the years. Gradually she matured into this really incredible singer and performer, and someone who was much more interested in rock music than pop music, which is obviously where she started out. And when I was looking for someone to sing the song ‘Routine’ from my previous record ‘Hand Cannot Erase’, which was written from a perspective of a female character, Ninet was one of the people I thought of. I had about four or five people do demos for me, Ninet was one of the people, and her version was the one that completely blew me away. I had the hair standing up on the back of my spine. So she ended up doing that song, and I thought it would be great if she could come and sing this live with me, so she did a few shows on that tour, and she did a few shows on the ' To The Bone' cycle, but she's very busy with her own career so I'm very lucky when I can get her to come along and sing. She's a wonderful person, I love, and she's become a very good friend.

I think that on the DVD you can really see her being a passionate singer, I really enjoyed that, and she's sang on two of your albums now. Do you think that you'll reconnect with her on future albums as well, or will you decide based on the song you write?
I'm sure. I mean, it does depend on the song obviously, on 'To The Bone' I ended up saying to myself 'this time I want to write songs specifically with her voice in mind' so I wrote two, I wrote 'Blank Tapes' and 'Pariah' as duets specifically with her voice in mind, knowing what she could do. So that was certainly a case of writing for her voice. The new album I’m working on now doesn’t have anything specifically for her yet, it's one of those things that if I came up with the right song I would be very, very, happy to work with Ninet again. As I said, she's a very close friend now, she's an incredible performer.

I was actually wondering about your writing process in general, do you plan for what's next or do you start writing and then you say ‘this part of my solo album’ or ‘this is for No-Man’, how do you do that?
To be honest, if I write these days, on my own, then I'm writing for my own records. If it’s for no-man I usually write in collaboration with Tim Bowness, the singer in that group, if it's for Blackfield I would usually write in collaboration with Aviv Geffen, with Storm Corrosion I would be writing with Mikael Åkerfeldt, so if I'm writing on my own then it's, potentially at least, for one of my records. You know, the answer to it is a bit of both really, I don't have a clear idea when I start a new record, what kind of record I want to make usually, but I know that I want to make something different to the previous records. That's really my number one priority, I need to make something different. For example on this new record that I'm working on right now, I'm very early in the process, it's really a process of going to the studio, trying to do something different, producing a lot of what you might call failures, not because they were bad but because they sounded too much like something that could've been on 'To The Bone', or could've been on ' Hands Cannot Erase', and so in that case I would put them aside and say 'no that's not good enough'. I need something that excites me and feels fresh, and feels new, and feels like it will be an evolution. I've got a few songs now which I feel that’s true of, but that is very much a trial and error process for me. One of the hardest things when you've had a career as long as mine is to try to surprise yourself with what you're doing. Because if it's very easy to get stuck into a pattern of falling back to your own cliché’s, the same chords, the same lyrical subjects, the same musical vocabular, the same sounds, and I do my absolutely best to avoid that syndrome. I want every record in my catalogue to stand alone as being something different to every other record in that catalogue. And that's really hard to do, I think there are only a few artists who've really managed to pull that off over a whole career. People like Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Kate Bush, and David Bowie, famously changing his style with every album, it's really hard to do. But I think those are the kind of artists I aspire to be in a way, where every record has its own purpose in this body of work and it's not just more of the same. Most artists get to a point in their career where they're just producing variations of what they've already done, which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that, I call that AC/DC syndrome (laughs). I love AC/DC, but every record they make basically is a very small variation of the same musical vocabulary, which is fine but that's not for me. So it's really, really hard. It's making a task for yourself to almost reinvent your career with a new musical personality every album. I'm going through that process now with the new record.

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I saw on Twitter today that you are about to release new music with No-Man, is there something you can share about this already?
Well, I wouldn't say we're about to. I did a piece on the fact that I co-produced the new Tim Bowness solo record, which is obviously my partner in No-Man and I just mentioned at the end that we have been working on a new No-Man record, but I've got to tell you that I've been working on that record for about seven years. So, it's one of those things that when we manage to get together, we do a little more work on it. Having said that I'm reasonably optimistic that that's going to come out sometime next year because we're very close now.

That sounds very promising, I think the last No-Man Album was released about ten years ago.
I think you're right. It's amazing how time passes like that, it doesn't seem like it but yeah, so that's how long we've been working on this follow-up.

I'm looking forward to it already, although a solo album will definitely be on the top of my wish list as well.
I think it's unlikely that my next record will be released next year, I think mine will be like 2020. Because I'm just starting to write now, I want to spend most of next year writing and developing ideas. But yeah, hopefully the following year.

About your, I guess I can say, recent success, it feels like ‘To The Bone’ has been your most successful album so far, perhaps your most accessible as well and I'm wondering how this for you. Is this something you've actively noticed?
Yeah, it's definitely my most successful work, commercially but also in terms of the amount of mainstream coverage the album has received is completely new to me. To have things like the Jools Holland show, Q Magazine, and The Guardian do features on me, and that's just in the UK, it was pretty much a similar story across Europe! Like French mainstream TV and radio, all of these things picking up on it. It was great but you also have to factor in the other side of the coin which is that the music industry is in massive decline, so particularly if you're a rock musician. I think that if you make R&B music or Urban music, there's still very much a mainstream pop industry, but I think that if you play rock music, even if something like ' To The Bone' had a bit more of a pop accessibility, it's still coming from the traditional rock music. It's really, really tough, it almost feels like you take three steps forward and then you take two steps back, little advances. And the audience is bigger and broader than it's ever been, and I love that. Going back to the point I was making about changing direction with each album, the consequence of that is that the audience now is very, very, eclectic, and I love that. You know I look out in the audience and I see young kids with Radiohead t-shirts, I see metal fans, I see old hippies, and I see women, about thirty percent of my audience now is women which is amazing, because you know when Porcupine Tree were playing it was one hundred percent men. And now, it's much more equal between genders and that's great, who doesn't want' girls in their audience? (laughs). So, it's been really great to see the audience broadening out in terms of the demographic and the kind of people that come to the shows, and the record has done really well, but let's not forget that the industry is definitely still a very, very, tough place right now. And it's not getting any easier, it's getting harder and harder with every record to get that kind of interest

We actually have a singer in the Netherlands, Floor Jansen, who sings for Nightwish, which is a huge band, but she's not known at all here. She could walk down the streets and nobody would recognize her, so I definitely hear your concern for rock music. But what can we do to improve that, how can we make rock more known? Probably if you would give it more mainstream coverage you would have more people enjoying it, I know several people that I've ‘converted’ to rock music, so what can we do?
I think one of the problems is that rock music, for decades, has gone in a cycle where it would basically reinvent itself and reach the mainstream audience, for a new generation. But the last time I can seriously remember that happening was probably around the mid-nineties. In the early nineties you had the grunge movement, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, those kinds of bands put rock very much back in the mainstream again. And then again in the mid-nineties we had the whole brit-pop movement with bands like Oasis, Blur, who put rock music back in the mainstream culture. But I have to say that since the turn of the millennium, rock music in many ways hasn't really reinvented itself for a new generation and that’s what it's all about. You have to reach the younger generation. I'm aware that there's still some great metal music around, there's still some great rock music around, but a lot of it is what I call ‘on the periphery’, it's more extreme, it's more experimental, it appeals to a more underground cult audience. Now, there's a band at the moment in America called Greta van Fleet, who are massive in America. They're a bunch of kids and they sounds like Led Zeppelin. That's a problem. When the new generation of rock musicians basically sound like a karaoke kindergarten version of a classic rock band, no one is going to take that seriously. They get out one big record, kids are going to like it for about a year, but then they're going to discover Led Zeppelin and then they're going to realize that there's no point listening to this band. And that's a problem! When Rock music has become a kind of parody of itself, no one is going to take it seriously. And that's why Urban music is going from strain to strain, because it's constantly reinventing itself. I don't like a lot of it, obviously, it's not my kind of thing, but I recognize that there's a lot of invention, a lot of new ideas in Urban music. It doesn't seem to be happening in rock music. And I think that's why the media, particularly in the USA and the UK, have largely turned their back on covering rock music. And when they do, it turns to be more legacy bands they write about, so they'll put The Beatles' ‘White Album’ reissue on the front cover of their magazine, they'll put Jimi Hendrix on the front cover, but they won't put a new rock artist on the front cover of the magazine because they know that if they do, it won't sell. This is a problem. I think you need a young band who've got new ideas and a fresh approach to rock music, and sometimes it only takes one band. In 1991 it was Nirvana that changed things overnight, one song, one band. I like to think that that could still happen again, and rock music would flood the mainstream again, but it's been a long time. It's been sixteen, seventeen, years now since anything looked like it might happen. I'm too old to be part of that now, (laughs), I have my niche, I have my market. I still work hard to try and reach as many people as I can with my music but I'm not going to be the person who's going to change things now, that needs to be a young generation.

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Do you think that maybe you're too influenced by great, older, artists, such as The Beatles or Abba?
I hope not, nobody comes from nowhere. There's nothing wrong with being influenced, I mean god knows Led Zeppelin ripped off Chicago blues and The Beatles ripped off American rock 'n roll, it's not like it's anything new to be influenced. I don't think that there's anything wrong with being inspired by, or influenced by, the point is that you have to develop your own musical vocabulary, your own musical language, and when I hear that particular band I've mentioned before (Greta van Fleet) it just sounds like they've taken their entire style, note for note, from another band. That's a problem. I mean there's nothing wrong with having influences, you should mix them up and you should filter them through your own personality, sometimes that takes time. When I started out I wore my influences a lot more on my sleeve than I do now, but I like to think that when people here my music now, they might recognize some influences here and there, but the point is that when you step back and when you listen to the overall sound that I have, hopefully it's one that is recognizably mine and mine alone. And having been doing this for twenty-five or thirty years now, I really hope that's true. And that's something that can take time. You know, who knows Greta van Fleet will develop their own sound, given time.

I get where you're coming from, I actually saw a clip of their music mixed with Led Zeppelin's music, where the listener had to guess which was which, it was quite uncanny. I really like Led Zeppelin, but it was hard for me to hear which was which. For that reason I personally don't really like their music, but they're having such a huge success everywhere. It's a bit silly.
Yeah, they're having huge success because they remind people of something they love already, and they're young, good looking, kids doing it. We've seen this before in history, this happens sometimes but for any degree of longevity that's a problem, we'll see. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

Now that we're talking about modern music business anyway, I was wondering about your opinion on music streaming services such as Spotify. It's been fascinating, some people are against these services and others are calling it a blessing, as music is so much more accessible. I was wondering how you feel about this.
I think in many respects Spotify is a negative development in music, but in other respects it's one of those things where you cannot change the progress of technology and the progress of civilization. There's no question, it's here to say and it is the way that most people, especially people under thirty-five, now listen to music. So, if you're not on Spotify, you can forget about appealing to anyone under the age of thirty-five, basically. However, to me it's an ugly way to experience music. Music has become content, it's no longer art. It's now content for software platforms, that's really an ugly thought, isn't it? The idea that you can have all of the music you want for 10 pounds a month, or whatever, sounds great but it reduces music to the level of content. The idea of releasing music as a piece of art is completely gone, the sense of occasion on releasing a new set of songs, you've worked on for two or three years, putting it in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with lyrics, or however you might want to present it, that has now become a niche thing for the people who still care about presentation. It's great that there are still a lot of people out there that do, but to the vast majority music is something that appears as part of your software, as content. It's ugly. For me it also about listening to albums as a musical journey, it's about listening to an album from beginning to end, it's about the way the record is sequenced, the artist has really thought about the flow of the record, the musical journey they want to take you on. When it comes to Spotify you get to the playlist mentality, you just take the one or two songs you like on that album and you put them onto your own playlist, you never really get the context. I think of my records as musical journeys, a cinema for the ears. I want you to sit down and listen to them from beginning to end and tell you a story. And it's tough to get that philosophy across through streaming. Having said all that, I have embraced it, I have Spotify, I have to because I want to appeal to a younger audience. I want people to hear my music and there is something about it that is appealing, being able to go and listen to music and then maybe decide later if you want to buy the record as a physical piece. I do that. On YouTube as well, of course. But to me, overall, there is no question that it has devalued music somewhat, which is unfortunate but there's no way back now.

It feels as if music has become much cheaper this way, you're working on an album for years, you're making a beautiful piece of art, and then you can stream it millions of times for a small amount of money.
Well, the whole financial thing is completely different issue again, but then a lot of people go and complain and say 'oh my song's been streamed three million times now and I only made fifty dollars'. Well, that's not so different from getting played on the radio, it can be heard by a million people and you’d only get forty pounds for a play on BBC Radio 1, for example. So, to me, it's not so different to that, but even leaving aside the financial side of things, compounded with the problem of streaming is the problem that there are more people making music now in the world than at any other time in history. There are more people with home studios who are able to produce their own music, whether it's electronic, metal, or jazz, there's no doubt that there's more music in the world than at any other time in history. And everyone of those people is competing for the same listeners, so now we have a problem where we have proliferation of music and we have Spotify where people are able to make their music available instantly. So, to me it seems like the real jewels, the real quality music, is harder to find, because you almost drown. You're a music journalist, you must know what I'm talking about in terms of the amount of albums that are being released now. Every week hundreds of albums are being released every week, and it's accelerating all the time! So many of them are very generic, you know just another hip-hop album, just another metal album, and it's very hard nowadays to pick out the jewels from this constant noise of music that we're surrounded by. There's no wonder that music has lost quite a lot of its magic and value.

I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you, but now that you mention it, absolutely. When I look at most of the albums I get, to write a piece about, most of them are quite generic and I’ll forget about them the day after finishing the piece. It's a sad thing.
Yeah, it seems to me that there's less strong personality in music, perhaps, then there was when I was growing up. I think part of it is that it's much easier now to emulate the past, because the past is so easily available to us. You know Greta van Fleet, I don't want to talk about them too much, (laughs), but they're a great example in the sense that they're obviously a bunch of kids who've just grown-up obsessed with Led Zeppelin. Of course, the whole thing is that it's very easy now to access the past online, isn't it, we can go on YouTube now and we can hear the whole history of music, almost instantly it's available to us. When I was fifteen, in the mid-eighties, it was actually quite hard to hear music of the past, I had to save up my pocket money and buy records at my local record shop, and I could only afford to buy one or two ever month if I was lucky. So the past was something that became available to me very gradually as I was growing up, I would hear one Black Sabbath album and then two years later I managed to hear another one, and then I'd hear a Beatles record and I would borrow a Pink Floyd record from my friends big brother. Gradually the past became available to me at the same time I was hearing all the current music. But nowadays kids can just go online and it's all there, and I think the problem with that is that there's this lure that draws people back to the past and start imitating it. It's very easy to imitate other bands when you can hear it. So, I think music has become more generic in that respect.

Very unfortunate indeed, but I don't think there's a solution for it.
Something will pop-up, something will happen. I think so, probably when you're least expecting it. But in the meantime, there's still some great music out there, I don't want to give the idea that I'm being very cynical about music, there's still some fantastic music out there. So, in some respects, people like yourself, the journalists, still have the responsibility to bring the quality stuff to the forefront, and you just hope that people are just paying attention.

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What do you think are modern artists that are making great music today?
Funny enough, yesterday I did my top albums for this year on my website and there was some great music released this year, hardly anything of it was rock music. I loved the Low record, I thought that was an extraordinary record, I loved Autechre’s recent electronic album, and I really like the John Hopkins record, the Nils Frahm record, but these are all people who work in the electronic, soundtrack, or classical music. I don't think that I had a single record in my list this year which would be in the traditional rock music. I think I'm someone that's lost interest in that world and am looking more towards the worlds of electronic music, soundtracks, and classical music. But there's certainly some great music.

And what about artists who are part of the Top 40 lists nowadays, is there anything in there that you think is good? You know, the Adele's or Ed Sheeran's of this world.
It doesn't appeal to me, I like things a little bit more twisted, (laughs), a bit more experimental. But you know what, there was one song I really did love this year by the French artist Christine And The Queens, a song called ‘Girlfriend’, and it was very much an homage to Michael Jackson but it was pure pop. I absolutely loved that single. I really liked the Childish Gambino song, 'This Is America', with that amazing video. You know he's a very mainstream artist, so I think there are still some interesting things going on in the pop mainstream, but they are rare.

It really sounds like you listen to a lot of genres of music, I hear pop, classical, electronic, and rock and metal as a part of your past. That's quite interesting as usually you see people going into very specific genres, you have the metalheads, the hip-hop heads, etc.
I've always thought that was very boring, you know when I was young I was aware that there were these kind of music tribes. There were kids that just listened to The Jam and some kids who just listened to metal music. I was lucky, I grew up with my parents listening to very diverse music, they listened to pop, but also to Frank Sinatra, jazz, classical, and rock music. My father had 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Tubular Bells' , and my mom had Donna Summer records and Abba's 'Greatest Hits', and I used to hear all this stuff. I thought it was all amazing. The electronic music, the pop music, the rock music, the intellectual, conceptual, rock music, it was all amazing to me. I've never really got out of the frame of mind where music is either magical or not, it appeals to you or it doesn't. Very often, generic is the music that's the least interesting to me. For example people think of me as somebody who makes progressive rock, I get given a lot of progressive rock CD's, demo's, albums, and people say to me 'you'll love this, it's progressive rock' and I always say 'well, to be honest, I don't really like progressive rock very much, if it's something new or innovative I might like it, but if it's just generic progressive rock, honestly it's the last thing I would listen to'. It's the same with generic metal, generic jazz, generic hip-hop. Generic is boring. Something exciting, different, that's quirky, that's got some little twists to it, some strong personality to it that makes it something different. Then I might like it. But this idea of genre, I think is a problem for me and it always has been since I was a kid. I'll tell you a story, there was this one young kid when I played in Turkey this summer, and I was playing this song called 'Permanating', which is pure pop, much of the audience love it every night, they will get to dance. But this one kid in the front row he was wearing this metal T-shirt, one of those T-shirts with the black metal bands where you can't actually read the name of the band, (laughs), you know the ones I'm talking about. Anyway, when we played 'Permanating', he turned his back on me, standing right in front of me, and stood that way until that song was finished and then he turned around again. I find that extraordinary, I find it absolutely extraordinary that you have these parameters outside of which music is almost insulting to you, I just find that mind-blowing (laughing), 'that's not metal, I can't listen to it. I can't even allow myself to be seen to be listening to it'. I mean, I find that mentality to be just mind-blowing and I think it all goes back to my parents bringing me up to like all sorts of music. I think it's baffling that anyone just turned their backs towards you during that song. I mean.... It's amazing, that's a really extreme response. You know, just something that doesn’t appeal to you personally is fine, but it's almost insulting to him. That was extraordinary to me, I don't understand that, and I guess I never will.

Do you think there's a part of it that's like genre elitism? You know, people who might think that their music is better than yours and that people don't want to be associated with anything else?
Yeah there's musical snobbery, but really, don't we all grow out of that when we're seventeen, eighteen? Maybe when I was seventeen or eighteen I went around school saying, 'I listen to Miles Davis and Pink Floyd, I don't listen to the Jam, that's just pop music'. When I was seventeen or eighteen. But really, when you get into your twenties, thirties, fortes, fifties, do you still have those silly musical snobberies? There's only a brief window in which you're allowed to be a musical snob and that's when you're a teenager, after that grow up and get over it.

I couldn't agree more. Now, I wanted to ask you about your other career because I don't think everyone knows this about you. You’ve actually remixed a lot of albums for great bands such as Yes, Marillion, Jethro Tull, Rush, etc. It's amazing and I was wondering how this all started.
The very short answer to that question is that I started to do surround sound mixes with my own records, around 2007 I got a Grammy nomination for my mix, I believe it was for 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' , and because of that nomination I started to get some invitations to mix other artists music into surround. The first major catalogue I did was King Crimson, which was very well received, and basically one door opened to another. Then I got an invitation from Jethro Tull and a lot of artists from that similar kind of pull, what you would call the classic seventies, for the lack of a better word, progressive bands. So, I did King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Yes, and then gradually it has begun to open out to more diverse music like Chicago, Roxy Music, and Simple Minds, the only criteria that I really have is that I have to really love the music. I always feel like when I'm genuinely a fan of the music then I feel like I can do it justice when I approach the remix process. A lot of people ask me what the point is of remixing, well the point ultimately is to create to surround sound mix, the 5.1 mix, because hardly any of these albums have ever been mixed into a surround form. They've had stereo for years, but to hear some of these records opened out into surround is amazing. So that was the main motivation to do the remixing in the first place, but as a byproduct of that a lot of the artists have also started to release my stereo remix, where I try to be very faithful to the original mix. There I'm just looking for a little bit more clarity, definition, tone in the music, now working with digital tools. And the digital tools now are amazing, there was a time when digital sounded not so good compared to the analogue sound, but nowadays digital tools are so good, and are really competing with the best analogue can produce. So, working with these very high-resolution files in the digital domain, trying to get a bit more clarity from the original multi-track fades, trying to give people a different perspective of things they've been listening to for years. I don't want people to go like 'that's not the record I remember' or 'he's chanced it, that's not the way I want to hear it’. So, I try to be very faithful to the original vision, but just to bring something new out of the sound. And I have to say that most of the ones that I've done have been pretty well received and it's been a lot of fun working with these artists.

I think it's very interesting that you're a great musician and songwriter, but also a great remixer. That's just fascinating. Let me just finish up with a very short question, as I know we are running out of time, what's next on your agenda?
The 'To The Bone' tour is still going, which is great. It's a testament to how successful the album has been. I go up to the beginning of March and then that will be it for the 'To The Bone' touring cycle, and then I go back to writing. I've written about half of a new record, I need to go back and finish the other half and be in the studio in the summer. After that... holiday, (laughs). A bit of down time.

A very well deserved holiday I imagine. I want to thank you very much for your time speaking to me, it's been a pleasure and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your tour and the progression on the writing on your next album.
Fantastic, thank you. I've enjoyed speaking to you very much, have great day.

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