In the mid- to late '70s, there was no one better than ABBA at writing and producing great pop.
I get really frustrated - actually, it almost makes me angry - when I see, sometimes, magazines will publish a musician's playlist. They'll go and they'll ask, I don't know, somebody from Aerosmith or whoever, Coldplay, to list their five favourite albums. And it's always the same stuff!
We are living in dystopia, in a world that is dominated by technology and disconnect, alienation, loneliness, and dysfunction.
You will hear ambient in our music. You will hear trip-hop.
I've put out records over the years, whether it's with Blackfield or No-Man or Bass Communion or Porcupine Tree, that are pop records, ambient records, metal records, singer-songwriter records.
I think there is something about the Internet which gives people almost an opportunity to role play and to create a facade, an image. I see that as quite a dangerous development because I think what we call social networking, Twitter, Facebook, etc., is actually quite antisocial.
Owning vinyl is like having a beautiful painting hanging in your living room. It's something you can hold, pore over the lyrics, and immerse yourself in the art work.
One of the beauties about going solo was being able to start from scratch and say, 'What do I really want? What kind of band do I really want? What kind of live show do I really want to stage?' Without any of the baggage of being something with history.
The one thing I do believe is, if you make the songs about the human aspects of things, you've got a much better chance of having the music transcend the times. If you make them very political and very topical, it's going to date very quickly.
I grew up listening to bands like the Cure, Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance - these are the bands that I actually grew up with, and I always had these things in my taste, too. And I always loved industrial music as well: I listened to Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Cabaret Voltaire. And shoegaze bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.
Ultimately, I'd like to create a body of work where every album has its own personality and a reason to exist within the catalog, not just 'more of the same.'
Every time the mainstream media talk about progressive rock, they wheel out a clip of Rick Wakeman in a cape. For me, it's one of the most ambitious forms of music. The problem is that when it doesn't work, you end up with Emerson, Lake and Palmer doing symphonies with 60-piece orchestras and revolving pianos, which I think is ridiculous as well.
When it comes to being in a band or going solo, one is collaborative, and one is not. But generally speaking, when going solo, I am the boss. People can contribute ideas, but I am the boss. When collaborating, you make compromises and look for a common ground.
When I was younger, I worked for several years composing music for commercials, but I was very happy to give that up. I didn't really like it, it was a way of financing my bands.
I think having artwork, lyrics, credits and such like are things that people really value. It's hard work to come up with something like that, but I think it's worth it.
I wanted people to say that our music sounds like Porcupine Tree, not that it sounds like King Crimson.
When I was growing up, I was always looking for the most willfully uncommercial music: Whether it was Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa or King Crimson, that's what attracted me.
It's something I've recognized in the careers of those people who have been inspiring to me over the years - Neil Young, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and Prince. These are all people who constantly redefined themselves, and had to deal with the difficulty of trying to take their audience with them when they did that.
I grew up listening to a lot of very smart pop records by artists like Kate Bush, Talk Talk, Peter Gabriel, Prince, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, The The.
I loved disco music, and I still count Donna Summer as one of my favorites of all time.