"I’ve waved the flag in Metallica for Steven Wilson" – Rob Trujillo raves about Porcupine Tree's founder

Steven Wilson
(Image credit: SW Records)

“I’d been communicating with Nick Beggs about a film that we’re making about [Weather Report bassist] Jaco Pastorius [Jaco was released in 2014]. He told me he was working with Steven Wilson. I’d heard of Steven but I wasn’t familiar with his solo stuff. So he said they’d be in LA at the House Of Blues, and would I like to come? I came down absolutely not knowing what to expect and I came out of there a different person! It was really amazing and inspiring, and it touched a place in me creatively that was really powerful. 

"One of my friends is a drummer called Brooks Wackerman [from SoCal punks Bad Religion]. He’s a fan of Porcupine Tree. The second time I went to see Steven Wilson with my wife, right up in the nosebleed seats at Club Nokia, there’s this different drummer, not Marco. I’m like, ‘Wow, that guy looks like a Wackerman!’ And it was Brooks’s brother Chad! That show was on another level. I saw the video production, the animations… it was a huge moment for me. The collaboration with [animator] Jess Cope is really special. In a positive way I’m almost jealous – I wish we had a collaborator like that for Metallica. It sounds crazy, but I love that stuff, and I’m a big fan of Pink Floyd and they use that visual side really well. When I saw The Raven… live, I had tears in my eyes, it was so powerful. Steven certainly opened that door for me again. 

"Now every time Steven comes through LA, I’ll have to go. He’s like a new artist for me to discover, and I’m excited for Nick because even for him this is new territory, and he has a lot of freedom. Each guy in the band has a strong stage presence, and you can see them blossoming with every gig.

"I’ve waved the flag in Metallica for Steven Wilson. I think that when they see him live they’ll be impressed. Metallica is certainly open to trying new things – Lou Reed, Lang Lang… go back to the S&M album with the symphony orchestra, that was a huge step forward. There’s a lot of possibilities for our future. 

"To me Steven ranks with Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails or the Beach Boys; he’s capable of anything. I’m so happy that I found him!” 

This article originally appeared in Prog 45, April 2014.

Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.