I can remember that icy and wet Saturday in late February, 1982 as my friends and I made our way into the city on our usual Saturday record trek - that was the routine. Meet at the ferry; walk up Broadway to Prince Street and
He denies being the man who murdered love, but he is one of the men who served as a member of XTC. That’s right, he’s Andy Partridge, and this upstanding musical legend was kind enough to take on the daunting task of answering the questions of the Popdose readership…questions which, it must be said, ranged from the obscure to the ridiculous and hit virtually every spot in-between. Mr. Partridge was a gem throughout the conversation, however, and endured them all with great aplomb, never failing to come back with a witty retort.
(“You bastard” still counts as witty, right?)
Join us now as we enter into the Popdose Interview with the one and only Andy Partridge…
Porcupine Tree has been, for well on a decade now, a cult favorite trying to simply be a favorite, but there has been a problem in making that happen. That problem is the box lead member Steven Wilson refuses to be put in. The band started as a home studio project, a solo affair that leaned heavily on psychedelia, hence the trippy group name. The project would soon be fleshed out into a full group comprising Wilson, bassist Colin Edwin, drummer Chris Maitland (to be followed later on by Gavin Harrison), and former Japan synth player Richard Barbieri. With the expanded group ethic, Wilson found the proper tools to stretch out in progressive rock, pop, and even the current metal sound. That metal sound has, unfairly, caused some to blanch at the group’s Tool-like complexity and weight, which are mixed with Wilson’s harmonious, classic rock vocals.
And so it goes that radio programmers who need clear-cut lines of demarcation don’t know where to stick Porcupine Tree. For the most part it’s a cop-out, especially with their two most pop-centric releases, Stupid Dream (1999) and Lightbulb Sun (2000). While some songs do go off into eight-minutes-or-more fantasia, the majority on both releases are solid examples of pop songcraft, little marvels of production and eminently worthy of obsession. Amsterdam label Tonefloat knows very well about such obsession — they’ve been releasing Wilson’s music on high-quality vinyl for years, not just the recent Porcupine Tree album Fear of a Blank Planet (2007) but also his ambient forays as Bass Communion and his duo with vocalist Tim Bowness called No-Man. It’s a treat for fans of the band to finally have a vinyl version of Lightbulb Sun in their sweaty mitts. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, though.