It appears as though prog powerhouse Steve Wilson is still stuck in 2018, the cult musician has weighed in on the state of rock music — sharing barbed words about beloved Led Zeppelin cosplayers Greta Van Fleet.
The Porcupine Tree legend recently sat down for a lengthy conversation with Under The Radar Mag, in promotion for his latest solo album The Future Bites.
During the interview, Wilson mused that he finds guitar “a bit boring” and that music as we know it is entrenched in the electronic world.
“I am a bit bored of the guitar right now. But I think there’s a broader thing here, which is we live in the electronic world now. All the sound we hear on a daily basis around us is electronic,” he shared.
“My kids, they don’t hear guitars unless they actually go and specifically listen to a guitar song. Everything around them from the sounds that their iPad makes, to the sound coming from the TV, to the doorbell chimes.
“What place does the guitar or the bass or the drums have in the world like that? Well, increasingly less and less. I like the idea that music continues to evolve and continues to upset old people like me because it’s gone in a direction that is not as familiar to us.”
Steve Wilson went on to share his two cents about the future of rock music, proclaiming that he believes the genre to be dead.
“I think the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll music, rock music, classic rock music that prevailed for about 50 years – from the 1950s through to the end of the 20th century – is going the same way that jazz music went,” he explained.
“Because jazz music was the popular mainstream music of the first half of the 20th century. And classic rock and rock music was the popular mainstream music of the second half of the 20th century.
“I believe the music of the first half of the 21st century ultimately is going to come down to the sound of urban music, electronic music, R&B music – or at least music that has a strong electronic element to it.
“I’ve increasingly felt myself bored by guitar. I feel like I’ve kind of exhausted the possibilities, at least that I’m capable of exploring, on that instrument.”
Wilson went on to use the cult, albeit critically panned, Greta Van Fleet as an example of the decaying state of rock.
“And when a band like Greta Van Fleet is the best that the new wave of rock bands has to offer, you know it’s dead. And I say that with the caveat that I’m sure there is some really great guitar music out there. But my point is this: It’s not in the mainstream.”
He continued, “Music moves on, it evolves. And that means that the musical vocabulary, the musical palette also dies and is reborn in different ways. And I think the reality is that the guitar is going to become a bit like a saxophone or the trumpet before it.
“It’s going to be something that is still passionately pursued by some people. But it will be a niche kind of thing. And there’s always casualties along the way. And I might be one of those casualties, you know, but I have to accept that.”
This isn’t the first time Steve Wilson has expressed his ire towards Greta Van Fleet, during an appearance on My Rock podcast back in 2019 he slammed the act as “abysmal.”
“You know that terrible band Greta Van Fleet? I think they’re absolutely abysmal. I think they’re terrible. I think it’s a joke,” he said at the time.
“But they’re an example of a band, because they’re pretty young boys, they look like a boy band, they play this really piss-poor, third-rate impersonation of Led Zeppelin.”