Between the summer of 1995 and the winter of 2005, I wrote dozens of features and reviews for Keyboard magazine. I was even listed as a Contributing Editor for many years, and I balanced covering more high profile artists like Tori Amos and Type O Negative with indie bands such as Collide and Black Tape For A Blue Girl (which I believe was my very first feature). Prog rock stalwarts Porcupine Tree fell in the middle being a major label group with a substantial cult following. They entered a heavier rock phase with In Absentia in 2002 which continued with their eighth studio album Deadwing in 2005. I recall visiting frontman Steven Wilson one afternoon as he mastered part of this latter release.
For this story on P-Tree in Keyboard, I interviewed keyboardist Richard Barbieri (pictured below, at left). Not only had he been a member of the group for over two decades, but he spent seven years with David Sylvian in pioneering pop group Japan starting in 1975. He had also just released his first solo album called Things Buried, so we had plenty to talk about. This Keyboard feature arrived 16 years ago this month, and it would be my final feature for them. (By this point, I was shifting a lot more into writing about film, television, and theater.)
I fondly recall my earlier years when more of my assignments fell in the print magazine domain, when issues had larger page counts, and when you could more easily write about artists who were not very mainstream or, on the internet side, clickbait fodder. Good times. Enjoy!