First, a big THANK YOU to all for reading my blog posts “My introduction to Porcupine Tree Part I and Part II” (if you havent read them, click here for Part I and here for Part II). A lot of people have read and commented on it (mostly via Facebook), and there were some people asking me for my personal story/opinion about Steven Wilson‘s solo music… So here it is!
This album (EP, actually) is named 4 ½ because it is an ‘interim release’ between Steven Wilson’s fourth album Hand.Cannot.Erase and his upcoming fifth studio album. It contains songs that didn’t make it on the Hand.Cannot.Erase album which was released in 2015, plus a song that was meant for the album The Raven That Refused To Sing. A lot of members who were involved with Wilson’s solo band over the years are contributing on the album; Adam Holzman (keyboards/piano), Nick Beggs (bass/chapman stick), Guthrie Govan (guitars), Dave Kilminster (guitars), Craig Blundell (drums & percussion), Marco Minnemann (drums & percussion), Chad Wackerman (drums & percussion), and Theo Travis (flute/saxophone). It’s 37 minutes long, it could almost go for a full album.
The Mute Gods started as a (semi) solo project by Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, Lifesigns). He provides the lead vocals and plays several instruments like bass guitar, Chapman Stick, guitar and additional keyboards. Nick is accompanied by Roger King (Steve Hackett) on keyboards, additional guitars, backing vocals and Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats) on drums, percussion and additional guitars. Guest drummers on the album are Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train, Spock’s Beard) and Gary O’Toole (Steve Hackett).
I never had the chance to see drummer Marco Minnemann and guitarist Guthrie Govan perform with The Aristocrats, although I’ve seen them perform live as members of Steven Wilson’s solo band. I was also very curious how bassist Bryan Beller would play and sound like because this would be the first time I would see him live. I had the honour to interview all members of the band right before their gig, you can listen to the interview here.