Steven Wilson, best known for his work leading prog-rock titans Porcupine Tree, has released as a beautiful animation for the title track from his new solo album "The Raven That Refused To Sing".
In an exclusive interview with Ultimate Guitar to be published this Friday, Steven told us the story behind the song and the wider album concepts.
The album tells classic ghost stories - "not in the modern sense but more in the sense of late 19th century, early 20th century victorian tradition of stories that almost come from the nursery." They deal with regret, loss and a fear of mortality - things that bear heavily on Steven as he works relentlessly to be productive with his time, and his life.
"I think we're either unconsciously or consciously aware all the time that time is tick-tick-ticking away," he says. "We know that one day we will cease to exist, and so this gave rise to the idea of the fireside ghost tale. These songs are based on its own idea or its own story."
Recorded with legendary Pink Floyd engineer Alan Parsons in LA, Steven acted as musical director with a dream lineup of musicians including guitarist Guthrie Govan. During the interview, Steven reveals that there were moments during the recording which moved him to tears.
"Some of the solos did really move me a lot. And that's the way it should be," he said of one particular solo by Guthrie which was recorded in one take. "I have extraordinary musicians in my band, and the solos can totally blow me away. Just in terms of the lyricism, the expression and the way they resonate with some of the subject matter, which can be quite sad."
Steven is currently rehearsing to tour through to the end of May before a run of festival appearances - and then to return to Europe and North America for another tour. "I'm pretty much expecting this whole solo album cycle will take me to the end of the year," he said.
See Steven Wilson's video for "The Raven That Refused To Sing", directed by Simon Cartwright and animation artist Jess Cope:
If you want to know what Steven plans to do after this album cycle, look out for our exclusive interview with him on Friday where he discusses working with Alan Parsons, mortality, and his biggest ambition: to score a movie soundtrack in Hollywood.
"The Raven That Refused To Sing" will be available from February 25. You can pre-order the limited-edition version at Burning Shed, which includes ghost stories written by Steven himself and all of the following across four discs:
CD1 - studio album
CD2 - 7 demo tracks (album tracks plus one unused idea, Clock Song)
DVD-V - HD stereo, plus two surround mixes
Blu-Ray - HD stereo, plus two surround mixes
Instrumental versions of the album tracks
Bonus track "Drive Home - lounge version"
Art Gallery (images by Hajo Mueller)
Photo Gallery (photographs by Lasse Hoile)