March 6, 2024, 4 months ago

By Greg Prato

feature hard rock steven wilson


What truly is progressive music? Each month BraveWords will aim to dissect that answer with a thorough overview of the current musical climate that is the prog world. Old and new, borrowed and blue. A musical community without borders. So watch for a steady and spaced-out array of features, current news and a buyer's guide checklist to enhance the forward-thinking musical mind. So, welcome to BraveWords' monthly column appropriately titled, Between A Rock In A Prog Place. 

In this month's column, Steven Wilson – who recently issued his seventh studio album, The Harmony Codex – discusses why David Gilmour is his favorite guitar player of all-time, how he first discovered Pink Floyd, and what he dislikes about shred guitarists. 

"I grew up being brainwashed by my dad listening to Dark Side Of The Moon. So, I've never really got past David Gilmour – in the sense of him being the ultimate guitar player for me. Someone that plays in the service to the song, very much takes the melodic aspect of the song as the starting point for the solo, plays less notes. I've always said I'd much rather hear one note that breaks my heart than 20 notes that just go in one ear and out the other."

"I don't get the shredding thing – I simply don't understand it. I think one of the important things I've felt about music is if you make the analogy between conversation and music, they're both forms of communication. And I'm talking to you, and I'm talking to you very slowly and very clearly, and I'm making sure each of my words are articulated. And I'm trying to put expression into each of my words. The equivalent would be, I'd say 75% of what you're understanding from what I'm saying is in the way I'm saying it – not the choice of words."

"The equivalent of the shred thing in conversation would be if I gave you a barrage of all my words – a hundred words in ten seconds, without any expression, without any pauses, any intonation at all. You would understand very little of what I was trying to put across. You would understand the words, but you wouldn't understand the feeling, the emotion, the sentiment behind the words. And I feel that also with guitar playing, particularly."

"So, Gilmour is the ultimate – slowing things down, making sure every note counts, every note has the right feeling. Those solos on those records are just so beautifully crafted, so perfect. I think that was pretty much my 'year zero' from the point of view of understanding what you can do with guitar – hearing my dad play that record when I was seven or eight years old. So, he's my #1 and always has been, I think."


The electro-prog instrumental duo Zombi return this month with their latest album this month, Direct Inject, and will support the tour with US dates in April – while you can enjoy their new tune, “The Post-Atomic Horror,” below. New Jersey prog metallists Symphony X will be hitting the road in May and June with special guests Heathen, for which tickets can be obtained right here.

Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess has signed with InsideOutMusic for a new solo album for release later this year, while his full-time band is also hard at work on their next studio effort as well – their first with original drummer Mike Portnoy since 2009's Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Another veteran prog act, Big Big Train, return this month with their 15th studio effort overall, The Likes Of Us, the group's first with new singer Alberto Bravin, who has replaced the late David Longdon.

China-based prog quartet OU will be issuing their sophomore studio LP on April 26, 蘇醒 II: Frailty, which co-produced, mixed, and featuring Mr. Devin Townsend, while the video for the title track can be viewed/heard below. Symphonic metal vets Rhapsody Of Fire will be returning on May 31 with their latest release, Challenge The Wind, which is already available for pre-order

Anglo-Finnish progressive metallers Wheel will be launching their first-ever headlining tour of North America throughout May, with details and ticket purchase links available via the band's official site. Andorran extreme prog metal unit Persefone issued a new EP last month, Lingua Ignota: Part I, which is their first release with new vocalist, Daniel Rodríguez Flys, and can be purchased right on over here.


March 1
Big Big Train- The Likes Of Us
Bruce Dickinson- The Mandrake Project
Rik Emmett- Diamonds: The Best Of The Hard Rock Years 1990-1995 (expanded reissue)  
Rick Miller- One of the Many

March 15
Lucifer Was- En fix ferdig mann

March 18
Drifting Sun- Veil

March 22
Zombi- Direct Inject

March 29
Nektar- Recycled (remastered and expanded 5CD box)
Van Der Graaf Generator- Van Der Graaf Live (remastered 2CD set) 
Van Der Graaf Generator- Still Life (remastered vinyl release)  


To tie in with Steven Wilson praising David Gilmour as his favorite rock guitarist of all-time in this month's column, how about a performance of the Pink Floyd classic "Money" – which features one of his best-ever solos – by Gilmour and his solo band, from Pompeii in 2016?

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