Do you think superhuman chops are a requisite for progressive music?
"No, not at all. I think if you are going to play fast things then obviously you need some amount of technique. I don’t think we play any fast songs really."
"If you are going to swap time signatures quite a lot, which we do in Porcupine Tree, then you need to have a handle on those time signatures. When I was a kid I couldn’t even play in 3/4 without getting lost. It’s probably my fear of getting lost in odd time signatures that made me want to study them."
"When you start playing in 5/4 you play the most simple parts, like Take Five - you play a pattern of 3 and a pattern of 2 and you keep hitting a crash cymbal every ‘1’ to keep confirming that you are still in 5. It takes some time and confidence to start thinking, ‘Alright, I want to be as free and comfortable in 5/4 as I am in 4/4.’ You just need to practise it."
"I used to have a little Roland TB-303 Bass Line, it was this little silver box and you could program bass lines into it. So I’d program bass lines in odd times and it would loop continuously so I could play for hours just in 7. After 30 minutes, it’s not feeling that odd. It’s just we’ve listened and practised so much in 4/4 that when it comes to 7, suddenly it’s a big challenge."