Porcupine Tree live guitarist Randy McStine hits back at fan complaints

Porcupine Tree
(Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns/GettyImages)

Porcupine Tree live guitarist Randy McStine has hit back at fans, calling them "pathetic" and "shameful", following a barrage of complaints in the wake of the news that bassist Nate Navarro was forced to return home from the band's current run of outdoor dates throughout Europe due to "a serious family crisis."

Porcupine Tree initially announced, when breaking the news about Navarro; "Rest assured that all our Summer shows will go ahead as planned! Through the magic of technology Nate’s bass will continue to be heard at the shows even if you can’t see him. We hope this won’t spoil your enjoyment of the PT live experience.

Social media was immediately filled with messages from disgruntled fans decrying the band's decision, some going so far as to make personal comments against Navarro, which have proved too much for his fellow bandmate, who says of Navarro "From the moment I met Nate in April 2022, I recognised he was one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with. Without a hint of ego, it was clear he was someone extremely dedicated to his craft and his family."

Continuing on his Facebook post McStine states: "Now, sadly, there are far too many people with the audacity to question individual or collective decisions at this moment, and furthermore, feel this is an opportunity to air selfish, personal grievances (or ignorant conspiracies) as an attack on the band and its members. Pathetic. Shameful. I am not surprised by this, as signs of our societal sickness and decline are on display 24/7. I'm sort of wasting my time with this paragraph. However, the depth of this plummet into the abyss is alarming, especially when you find yourself or your friends to be a target."

Porcupine Tree play Manchester's Castlefield Bowl on June 29, with French proggers Magma as support.

In a recent press conference following the band's appearance at Hellfest in France, as reported by the website Blabbermouth, both Steven Wilson and Richard Barbieri refused to call time on Porcupine Tree working on more music whilst announcing a new live album from the band is in the pipeline.

"It would be silly to say that we are never gonna make another album, because you don't know," says keyboard player Barbieri. "We don't know what's gonna happen in two years' time, three years' time. We do have a live album that's coming out at the end of this year. And that sounds really good. So it's quite exciting."

"The simple answer is we don't know," adds Wilson. "And it's kind of reflected in the title of the album [Closure/Continuation] that we made last year. So this whole idea of closure-slash-continuation. We're kind of leaving our options open.

"We never officially said the band had stopped back in 2010; we just went off and did other things. Personally, I've never seen the need for that kind of dramatic gesture: 'It's done.'

"So, I think we leave the door open. I personally would love to think we will record again. Whether we tour again, I don't know, 'cause we're all getting a bit old for that — at least I feel that way anyway."

Steven Wilson will release his latest solo album, The Harmony Codex, later this year.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.