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15 December, 2004

Deadwing not left wing

Since it was confirmed that the forthcoming (retail edition: 21 March, 2005; special edition: earlier, by pre-order) Porcupine Tree album will be entitled 'Deadwing', and that it seems the probable cover image will be an eagle with a broken wing (its right), there has been bizarre speculation that the album will be an attack on the US political right wing i.e. the Republican party and Bush presidency.

There is absolutely no reason to believe this.  In interviews dating back at least a year, Steven Wilson (SW) has said the content will be material associated with a film he'd like to make/collaborate on, with the stated theme of a ghost story.  The track titles of the album have been well-known since June (see the 'news' page at and suggest no apparent political references.

Without wishing to appear rude, this presumption seems to display considerable self-obsession on the part of some Americans. Why would a British songwriter, in a British band, producing music aimed at a global audience (okay, primarily European/N.American, but not primarily US, anyway), dedicate an album to commentary on a foreign regime? If there are multiple possible interpretations of an album title, why choose an improbable one?

I suppose people like to think the world revolves around them. The USA is indeed a dominant participant in global affairs, but not that dominant. For SW to "jump on a US-bashing bandwagon" (which confuses criticism of Bush with criticism of the USA as a whole, but that's a different topic) would imply he, or any other Brit, cares enough to invest that sort of time, effort and creative energy on the government of a nation thousands of miles away.


Besides, I would have thought he would show the left wing broken if he wanted to make a political comment. The right wing in the US is very strong.

Posted by Jon at December 15, 2004 05:10 PM

i hope "deadwing" isnt a political comment. and i have to agree that the left wing of US politics is the broken one. i dont, however think that this will be a political album. SW hasnt shown any aspirations to political commentary. another thing: what makes you all so sure hes a left-winger? how do you know he isnt a republican...?

Posted by sam at December 30, 2004 04:34 PM

I obviously don't speak for SW, but I'd suggest he's neither Republican nor Democrat. That's precisely the point of my posting: he's from the UK, where the political divisions of a nation thousands of miles away are of limited relevance, even limited interest.

Posted by NRT at December 30, 2004 11:10 PM


The cover will not be the Eagle. No clue what it is.

Posted by Jan Earhart at January 25, 2005 02:16 PM

Thanks, Jan (Hi!). That's good news. The image at SWHQ ('News' page) looks much more promising!

Posted by NRT at January 25, 2005 03:04 PM
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