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Steve Thorne has just released the excellent album `Emotional Creatures Part 1' via GEP Music. If you enjoy thoughtful progressive music you will love this album. Part 2 is in the works as we speak...

1. What are you currently up to?

I am currently working on the roughs for the second album Emo Part 2.

2. Could you take us through the album `Emotional Creatures Part 1' and give some insight into the tracks please?

It is hard for me to explain the why's and how's of tracks individually. The album as a whole was lyrically inspired by observations of life and people around me and musically inspired by influences of music I have enjoyed throughout my life.

3. How did you get members of IQ, Tony Levin & Geoff Downes to appear on the album? Any guest musicians planned for the second volume?

I met the various members of IQ a few years ago, they are a great bunch of guys and good musicians who were generous with their help and time on this project.

As for Tony Levin... my producer Rob Aubrey has worked with the Californian Guitar Trio.... another bunch of amazingly talented guitarists who go out on tour with Tony Levin when he's available. We contacted Tony and sent roughs over to him and he was happy to take part in the project. I know he had a real hectic schedule at the time and what he did was fantastic.... he is a genuinely a real nice guy.

Geoff Downes was recording the new John Wetton album... "Icon" at Aubbit Studios... (Rob's studio) One evening we went out for a curry and got chatting... this led to a fantastic Hammond organ solo on the end of the track "Last Line"

I do have some guests in mind for Part 2... Geoff Downes, I am hoping that we can make time to do something, the California Guitar Trio.... I really wanted them to do something on Part 1 but they are a bunch of real hard working guys when it comes to going out and playing live so there just wasn't any time for them to fit it in.

I am really hoping that things work out for Part 2 there are a couple of others but I don't really want to say at this stage who.

4. You've recently played some gigs in support of Jadis. How did these shows go and what do you enjoy most about the live environment?

The support gigs were great, I enjoy the adrenaline of playing live.... it pushes you to stretch yourself more. The Jadis guys are good friends and great fun to be on tour with.

5. What made you first want to perform music and how has your solo music/career developed down the years?

I haven't always been a solo artist, I have had a couple of bands in the past, but working on my own gives me the freedom to experiment with different instruments and musicians without the restrictions of a set band line-up and the politics that go with it.

6. Have you seen an upswing in interest in all things progressive recently especially after the success of bands' like Muse, Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater? Any bands/albums released recently that you would recommend and why?

I think that progressive rock is being talked about more these days.... maybe it's because there are so many new bands out there that are producing really good music.

Porcupine Tree are a brilliant band, Deadwing and Stupid Dream are my favourite PT albums, tho they are all good. The thing that I like most about them is that they incorporate so many genres into their music in such a free-flowing way, this means they can't be pigeon-holed into any specific category and I really like that.

7. Have you ever been approached or considered joining a band or do you prefer to work in a solo environment?

I am hoping in the near future to pull together some great musicians to do some live dates, as I said before, I am reluctant to have a set line-up, I am very comfortable working on my own at the moment. I love the independence.

8. What have been the highlights and lowlights for you?

The highlights.... Meeting with Tony Levin at Real World studios was great, so was working with Nick D'Virgilio at Aubitt Studios and completing Emo Part 1. The lows? Not many... I guess the frustrations of the slow grind of pulling all the elements of Emo together.... the endless mixing etc. I am so happy with the final result tho, that those frustrations are faded memories now.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I like walking the dog and fishing . I have to say I don't get too much spare time as I am always writing new material or experimenting with music in the studio.

10. Message to your fans?

I would like to say thanks for the brilliant response I have had so far to Emo Part 1. It is very encouraging and re-assuring to hear that people really like it. It's made me feel really excited about Emo Part 2.

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Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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