We are living in troubled times. Brexit, Trump, terrorism and racism are threatening to tear our world apart – and, inevitably, that is reflected in some of the music our favourite prog artists are producing.

Steve Hackett has sounded the Night Siren. Roger Waters has asked Is This The Life We Really Want? And The Tangent have warned that we may be going A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road.

As The Tangent release their ninth studio album, The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery, TPA’s Kevan Furbank talks to the band’s creative force Andy Tillison about why he’s one of those taking up the challenge to put politics back into prog.

The new album, The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery, certainly nails your political colours to the mast and contains some pretty controversial and possibly divisive material. What made you decide to get into political commentary mode this time round and did you have any qualms about how some of your fans would react? After all, 51.89% of Tangent listeners may well have voted for Brexit!

I’ll start by saying that way more than 51.89 percent of Tangent listeners are not, were not, never have been British and therefore will not have had any reason to vote in the referendum in the first place because they live in what we charmingly refer to in the U.K. as the “Rest Of The World”!

All my bands for which I have written since 1979 have had a social commentary implicit in the lyrics. This can be anything from observations on the way ex-servicemen are treated, poverty and exploitation, the 1980s miners strike, the ship breakers of Bangladesh, corporate corruption and a whole raft more… over 40 topics noted by one of our fans since The Tangent started to trade under that name in 2003.

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