THE IN­TRO

Prog - - Contents -

We’ve got a stu­dio re­port from The Pineap­ple Thief, plus all the lat­est news from Spock’s Beard, Dar­ryl Way, Amor­phis, Lu­natic Soul, Donna Zed, Blan­ket, The Z and more…

Bri­tish prog­gers col­lab­o­rate with Por­cu­pine Tree’s Gavin Har­ri­son on their 12th stu­dio al­bum, due out on Ks­cope this sum­mer.

The Pineap­ple Thief, along with re­cent ad­di­tions Gavin Har­ri­son (King Crim­son, Por­cu­pine Tree) and Dar­ran Charles (God­sticks), are near­ing com­ple­tion on the fol­low-up to 2016’s Your Wilder­ness. It’s set to be called Dis­so­lu­tion and main­man Bruce Soord says he’s de­lighted with the ex­pe­ri­ence of col­lab­o­rat­ing with Har­ri­son on the song­writ­ing.

He tells Prog, “With Your Wilder­ness, the songs were all ready, so Gavin was pretty much a ses­sion guy. Our re­la­tion­ship de­vel­oped on the two tours we did to­gether, so this time it was very much a col­lab­o­ra­tion from day one.

“The re­la­tion­ship I have with Gavin cre­atively has had a huge im­pact. We jammed the songs from the start, which has given the al­bum an ex­cit­ing di­rec­tion. It’s al­most like Your Wilder­ness was a blue­print.”

Har­ri­son says of the process, “Bruce might start some­thing on acous­tic gui­tar and send it over in a very rough fash­ion. He’d en­cour­age me to chop the ar­range­ment into what­ever I thought might be bet­ter. I think I’ve got a pretty good ear for ar­rang­ing; I might write a dif­fer­ent mid­dle or sug­gest a dif­fer­ent sec­tion – maybe just drums with­out any­thing else on – that

I think could work.”

Soord re­calls, “The worst bit of start­ing an al­bum is the start, be­cause you know what a long hideous jour­ney it is.”

He came up with a “lit­tle idea” that be­came first track Shed A Light – “maybe a verse and a cho­rus with no vo­cals, and Gavin took it, chopped it around, jammed out some drum sec­tions and it was, ‘Wow!’ When you have a part­ner­ship like that it’s al­most a chain re­ac­tion.”

Work­ing songti­tles also in­clude Try As I Might, Un­cov­er­ing Your Tracks, and Not Nam­ing Any Names. Says Soord, “The al­bum is broadly about the break­down of so­cial fab­ric, and how the won­der­ful new things we have in our lives, like Face­book, have done the op­po­site to what they set out to do. Dis­so­lu­tion is not a so­lu­tion, and it’s a dis­solv­ing.”

Soord ac­cepts the con­cept is “pretty neg­a­tive,” and adds, “The things I’ve wit­nessed have had such an aw­ful out­come. There’s al­ways light; it’s never a uniquely neg­a­tive and dark record, but it doesn’t paint a nice pic­ture.”

Har­ri­son notes, “It’s not so lit­eral in the lyrics; it’s got some am­bi­gu­ity. They’re a bit cryptic, as with so many songs that I like. Apart from Earth, Wind And Fire, most peo­ple don’t write uplift­ing songs – with Por­cu­pine

Tree, the dark, sad songs were the most pop­u­lar. Peo­ple like wal­low­ing in strife and trou­ble!”

Both of them select the 11-minute White Mist as the flag­ship mo­ment. “It’s al­most three songs in one,” Har­ri­son says. “It en­cap­su­lates the way we all seem to have clicked to­gether.”

TPT’s up­com­ing UK tour, which sees them play­ing their big­gest show at Lon­don’s O2 Shep­herd’s Bush Em­pire on Oc­to­ber 6, will show­case the new unity be­tween Soord, Har­ri­son, Charles, bassist Jon Sykes and key­boardist Steve Kitch.

“We were all pulling in the same di­rec­tion,” the drum­mer says. “We’d do it over What­sApp, with a thread go­ing for each song, but so far there have been no con­fronta­tional dis­agree­ments.”

Asked whether Har­ri­son and Charles are now full-time mem­bers, Soord con­firms, “Gavin’s com­pletely in­volved. We work around his sched­ule with King Crim­son and that seems to work. Dar­ran’s con­trib­uted loads of great gui­tar work and al­though it’s not some­thing we ever dis­cussed, this is just how it all set­tled in.”

For the full list of The Pineap­ple Thief’s live shows and more, visit their of­fi­cial web­site at www.pineap­plethief.com. MK

BRUCE SOORD PUTS THE FIN­ISH­ING TOUCHES TO DIS­SO­LU­TION. “This time it was very much a col­lab­o­ra­tion from day one.” FIVE HEADS ARE BET­TER THAN THREE! GAVIN HAR­RI­SON (FAR LEFT) HAS NOW OF­FI­CIALLY JOINED THE PINEAP­PLE THIEF.

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