Steven Wilson: Album format will survive

Steven Wilson believes the album format will survive – and the success of his latest album Hand. Cannot. Erase. has fuelled his confidence.

It tells the story of a character who vanishes into the social gaps of modern society, based on the real-life experiences of Joyce Carol Vincent, whose body was found two years after she died in her London flat.

And its sales figures lead him to believe people want to immerse themselves in heavy concepts.

Wilson tells One On One With Mitch Lafon: “If you’d asked me five years ago I would have been more negative. I’m cautiously optimistic.

“The fact that this album has been by far the most successful of my career, while being the most concept-driven thing I’ve ever done, makes me think things aren’t that bad.”

He adds: “Every time there’s a big swing in a particular direction there’s always a swing back. What we’re seeing right now is a world of streaming, where there’s a juke-box mentality and you follow the links from one song to another.

“At the same time there are a lot of people who have revelled against that and they’re getting back into the art of album listening.”

His opinion is informed by talking to a wide range of people, including younger fans. He reports: “They’re completely embracing the idea of the album as an art form, as a story-telling device, and embracing the album as analogous with going to see a movie or reading a book.”

Wilson reflects: “I’m not naive enough to believe the album will ever be as culturally significant as it was in the 60s, 70s or even the 90s. But I do see a healthy swing back.”

Hand. Cannot. Erase. tour

Jun 26: Toronto Darnforth Music Hall, ON

Jun 27: Montreal Jazz Festival, QC

Jun 28: Montreal Jazz Festival, QC

Jun 29: Quebec City Imperial, QC

Jun 30: Gatineau Theatre du Casino du Lac-Leamy, QC

Jul 12: Bospop Festival, Netherlands

Jul 17: Guitare en Scene, France

Sep 15: Lisbon Meo Arena Sala Tejo, Portugal

Sep 16: Madrid La Riviera, Spain

Sep 17: Barcelona Barts Theatre, Spain

Sep 18: Toulouse Casino, France

Sep 20: Zurich Komplex, Switzerland

Sep 21: Cremona Teatro Ponchielli, Italy

Sep 22: Rome Auditorium Conciliazione, Italy

Sep 24: Fribourg Fri-son, Switzerland

Sep 25: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg

Sep 26: Lille Theatre Sebastopol, France

Sep 28: London Royal Albert Hall

Sep 29: London Royal Albert Hall

Jan 12: Stuttgart Liederhalle Hegel Saal, Germany

Jan 13: Munich Philharmonie, Germany

Jan 15: Bochum Jahrhundert Halle, Germany

Jan 16: Hamburg CCH1, Germany

Jan 18: Berlin Tempodrom, Germany

Jan 19: Frankfurt Alte Oper, Germany

Jan 20: Leipzig Haus Auensee, Germany

Jan 21: Hannover Swiss Life Halle, Germany

Jan 23: Brussela AB Hall, Belgium

Jan 25: Brighton Dome, UK

Jan 26: Bristol Colston Hall, UK

Jan 27: London Hammersmith Apollo, UK

Jan 29: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK

Jan 30: Newcastle City Hall, UK

Feb 01: Paris Palais de Congres, France

Feb 05: Copenhagen Koncerthuset, Denmark

Feb 07: Bergen USF Verftet, Norway

Feb 09: Stockholm Annexet, Sweden

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.