So the question is whether or not I should be excited or worried… To be totally frank I’m not the biggest Porcupine Tree fan and I really have strong distaste for Dream Theater, so the only guy in the band that I really seem to enjoy consistently is Akerfeldt. But, this could be really good because they’re all great at what they do. Or, it could be really, really bad. In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, Steve Wilson just said in an interview that was posted on the 3rd of May from Chordstruck Magazine that he’s started writing with Akerfeldt and Portnoy.

If he’s not touring with Porcupine Tree, he’s off working on solo material, producing other bands or doing one of his side projects like Blackfield, Bass Communion and No-Man. Recently, Wilson has collaborated with Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater.

“I started writing with Mikael [Akerfeldt] last month, finally. It’s still in the very early days. We wrote about 15 minutes of music last month in my studio near London and we’re very excited about it. I think people are going to be very surprised by the direction. If they’re expecting some kind of death-metal-progressive rock, they’re going to be surprised [because] it’s not like that, Wilson continues.

So, is this good? Bad? Are we worried? Happy? I really, really don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve decided to call the project Ã…WP (pronounced OHWP for you English speakers out there.. but add a little bit more w like in the word “row” as in “row, row, row your boat”.) because it sounds like a fun made up word. It’s fun to say. You’ll impress your friends with your knowledgeness and it’ll be generally awesome. It also kinda sounds like the sound an alien in a cartoon would make when it owped along. Ã…wp. Ã…wp. Ã…wp. … *cough*

What I can say is this: usually, supergroups are bad (though Barren Earth certainly kicks a lot of ass). They’re just not consistent. There are too many strong wills pulling in every direction. I could maybe see something working between Wilson and Akerfeldt because of their history together, but Portnoy? I dunno. He seems like the odd man out in that group and the one who’ll make it suck (this might be part of my anti-Dream Theater bias). However, anyone who gets word of this in one direction or another should let me know so I can keep the fans updated. And worried.

  • I must agree with your distaste for Dream Theater. I have never like them very much at all and the thought of someone as amazing as Mikael Ã…kerfeldt playing with Mike Portnoy, not to say that he isn’t good, makes me rather leery. Dream Theater has always been one of those bands that personified “over playing” and I’m not sure that that will change simply by placing a member in a different environment. I guess I’ll reserve judgment, but my hopes are not very high for this project, even with Mikael Ã…kerfeldt in the mix.

  • Just for your information, Portnoy will not join them at the composing stage of the album, and it has been said many times that he’s not exactly part of the project. I spoke to Steven Wilson like a year ago and that’s what he told me, and with Portnoy not saying anything on his forums I guess it is very unlikely that he will influence the album in any way.

    That said, I’m a huge fan of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and Opeth, but I think Wilson + Ã…kerfeldt are the real deal and I’m sure whoever they choose it will be allright with the project. If both of them agree in doing something “uncommon”, I’m for it. Actually, I think Ã…kerfeldt is the most inventive composer of the pair (though Wilson is better as songwriter), so I’d prefer him to be the driving force here.

    We’ll see in the end, but don’t trust them to have an album finished by 2011: like 3 years ago I read on a magazine another interview where Ã…kerfeldt said that he and SW had been at his house for a week or so and they already had 10 minutes of music. This may be the definitive chance, but it wouldn’t be hard for them to park the project yet again for 2-3 more years – I definitely hope this doesn’t happen!

    By the way, Ã…kerfeldt wants to do a solo album, and I guess this will delay him doing it. After this collaboration with Wilson, I suppose his main interest will be recording, releasing and touring with Opeth, which should take him from 2 to 3 years. I wonder how a solo album from this guy will sound…it will probably upset a lot of metalheads, which is always something great!

  • bradamante

    I’m really looking forward to what Wilson and Akerfeld produce together and I refuse to believe that it can go wrong… I will simply try to forget that Portnoy also is mentioned in the project
    on a side note: and all this years I thought there is something wrong with me because I couldn’t stand Dream Theater ;))

  • Adam

    I’m a fan of all three bands, so I’m curious to hear what they come up with. Akerfeldt and Wilson are better songwriters than Portnoy, true (when he writes lyrics for DT, they can be a little immature. Kevin Moore, and even Petrucci’s lyrics are better), so I hope they will handle the musical side of things. Portnoy’s a great drummer, so I hope he sticks to that (and not his death growls, which he has recently started putting on DT albums)