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The Moment PORCUPINE TREE's Keyboardist Knew The Band Was Dead

Exhausted and frustrated creatively, the band drifted into the background until this year.

Porcupine Tree 2022 (Photo by Alex Lake)
Porcupine Tree (Photo by Alex Lake)

When Porcupine Tree announced they'd be reforming in 2022 and releasing the very much-acclaimed LP Closure/Continuation, prog metal fans did backflips in rejoice. Around 2010, guitarist/vocalist Steven Wilson turned his focus to his solo career, mostly as a response to the negative environment within Porcupine Tree circa 2009, as 14 months of touring for their album The Incident splintered the band.

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In a new interview with Classic Rock, keyboardist Richard Barbieri said that prior to slipping into dormancy "It wasn't going well. The atmosphere wasn't great with the band. We'd been touring too long; we should have had a break much sooner." That led Wilson to shift his focus elsewhere, something he doesn't regret.

"It felt like I was being defined by Porcupine Tree, and yet it was always just this one facet of my musical personality," said Wilson. The Incident was the first album I think we made – and I know Richard agrees with me, and Gavin [Harrison, drummer], too – where we started to repeat ourselves in a not particularly creative way. We'd fallen into that pattern of giving people exactly the album they expected, and I've always found that to be a little bit of a red flag."

When news began to surface in interviews that Wilson was using material originally written for Porcupine Tree for his solo work, that is what sunk the band in the eyes of Barbieri.

"At that point, I thought: 'Well, it's dead in the water.' And reading the interviews as well, he was quite down on Porcupine Tree, because he wanted the focus to be on his solo career, naturally. So at that point I emotionally let it go. Completely forgot about it. Started making my solo albums, which I really got into."

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Fortunately Porcupine Tree released Closure/Continuation recently to rave reviews. An incredible in-studio live session can be seen here. It will give you a taste of what fans will be treated to this fall when Porcupine Tree embarks on a full-scale North American and European tour. Those dates can be found below.

9/10 – Toronto, ON @ Meridian Hall
9/12 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
9/14 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway
9/16 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
9/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met
9/18 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
9/20 – Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
9/23 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
9/25 – Denver, CO @ Bellco Theatre
9/28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
9/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
10/4 – Mexico City, MX @ Pepsi Center
10/7 – Santiago, CL @ Movistar Arena
10/21 – Berlin, DE @ Max Schmelinghalle
10/23 – Vienna, AT @ Gasometer
10/24 – Milan, IT @ Forum
10/27 – Stockholm, SE @ Globe
10/28 – Copenhagen, DK @ Falkoner Theatre
10/30 – Katowice, PL @ Spodek Hall
11/2 – Paris, FR @ Le Zenith
11/4 – Stuttgart, DE @ Porsche Arena
11/6 – Oberhausen, DE @ KP Arena
11/7 – Amsterdam, NL @ Ziggodome
11/9 – Zurich, CH @ Halle 662
11/11 – London, UK @ SSE Arena

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