By Connor Beach
English guitarist and songwriter Steven Wilson has built a reputation over the course of a more than 30-year career as one of the most prolific artists in the progressive rock genre.
Wilson started the band Porcupine Tree in 1987, and continued to develop a cult following until the band disbanded 2010. He earned critical acclaim with Porcupine Tree, including two Grammy Award nominations, but has generally stayed away from mainstream music.
As a solo artist, Wilson has released five studio albums. Most recently, he released “To the Bone” in August 2017, and is scheduled to perform at The Paramount in Huntington next week as part of his 2018 international “To the Bone” tour.
Wilson said one of the underlying influences behind the albums was to “do something different.”
“I wanted to do a record that was- in a way- reminiscent of the records I grew up with in the ‘80s… very sophisticated, but very accessible pop music,” Wilson said. “I wanted to take that philosophy that we can create something with a strong pop sensibility, but also keep everything that is unique about what I do intact.”
Technological advances over the years have allowed Wilson to create an “ambitious” live show that reflects his music. His current live show features holograms, LCD screens and quadraphonic sound.
“Now it’s much more how as I always imaged it to be in spectacle terms,” Wilson said.
Although each live show has a certain pattern , Wilson said every venue and audience has a different dynamic.
“There’s always a different vibe, and there’s a lot of improvisation too,” Wilson said. “There’s always something that’s fresh and different depending on the kind of show and audience.”
At 51 years old, Wilson said he still enjoys performing live, but “it’s the other 21 hours of every day that’s quite draining” while on tour.
“Sometimes it’s tough, but you know what it’s the three hours on stage every night that makes it worth it,” Wilson said.
Wilson has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. He said he has already begun working on his next album and hopes to have it ready sometime in 2020.
Wilson is scheduled to take the stage at The Paramount at 8 p.m., Dec. 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the show range from $39.50-$84.50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.