RICHARD BARBIERI on PORCUPINE TREE’s Future: “It’s Unlikely that Anything is Going to Happen”

Richard Barbieri

Keyboardist, composer and producer Richard Barbieri recently talked with Anil Prasad from Innerviews. In the interview, the musician talks about his most recent studio album Planets + Persona, Porcupine Tree, Japan, his collaboration with other musicians, streaming and more.

About Porcupine Tree‘s possible reunion, Barbieri said: “The subject of Porcupine Tree is dead in the water or on hiatus. It seems to me unlikely that anything is going to happen, because there has been nothing recently to suggest that. It’s Steven Wilson’s call. I think he’s blown hot and cold with it in the press at various times. It can’t happen without him, but to be honest even if it was suggested some time in the future, who knows what everyone’s circumstances or feelings about it would be?

On his achievements with the band, he commented: “We built up an audience from word of mouth. We were an impressive live band from the beginning despite the limitations of playing horrible clubs. We played at the Bottom Line in New York City with half a PA working and no lights to speak of. But the main A&R guy from Lava/Atlantic Records was there and we still put on a great performance to more or less seal the deal.

Read: PORCUPINE TREE Albums From Worst to Best by Prog Sphere

Barbieri considers In Absentia and Fear of a Blank Planet to be Porcupine Tree‘s finest moments. He went on saying: “I look back at ‘In Absentia‘ and ‘Fear of a Blank Planet‘ as great achievements and quite influential works. I hear their influence in quite a few bands now. Performance-wise, the ‘Anesthetize‘ DVD shows us at our peak I would say.

On the creative influences he had on the band, Barbieri said: “I think I brought an original and sometimes abstract element to the band’s sound and combined with Gavin‘s playing on the recent albums, it set us apart from other bands in the supposed genre they call prog. I’d like to think I played a big part in the shift between dynamics in Porcupine Tree’s material and the multi-layered textures and atmospheres. I liked the challenge of finding sonic touches to complement Steven‘s lyrics. I was also involved in interacting with the drums using percussive synth parts and sequencers.

You can read the full interview with Richard Barbieri here. His new album Planets + Persona is out now via Kscope; order it here.

Planets + Persona

Cover photo by Ben Meadows

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