Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice recently spoke to MARILLION’s keyboardist Mark Kelly as the band is set to launch their new album With Friends From The Orchestra. The album is has nine classic tracks re-recorded with the string quartet, which will be released November 29 2019 on Earmusic.
Kelly spoke about the making of the new album, if there would be any possibility or co-touring Fish as a double bill and the next set of Marillion re-releases remixes.
Watch the interview below.
When asked about the making of the new album
“I’ll go back a couple of years to 2017, we played a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London which is a beautiful venue well known for classical music. So we had the idea of having an orchestra or a six piece four string players join us on stage and it went down so well we said let’s try and do this again. Because it was just a one-off we then said okay maybe we could do a tour and then we said why don’t we quickly record an album of some songs with them. So then about a year ago we went off to studio but then as it always happens with Marillion it turned into like a three or four month project and we ended up making it almost an 80 minute album. We used a selection of songs from from an old career, really the ones that we thought would work best with these extra players. The album is supposed to accompany the tour you go to see a show and you buy a souvenir from the show.”
When asked if the band would ever consider re-recording the Fish era songs with Steve Hogarth on vocals
“Yeah it’s possible you know these things are all possible, I think there would be some resistance to that from people that love the old Fish songs, the way Fish sang them. Re-recording them effectively I think some people might object to that and understandably.”
When asked about the reissues of the bands older albums in 5.1
“We’re going through the process at the moment of remixing all the old albums and doing 5.1 mixes and that’s been quite interesting and fun. We’ve just literally finished doing the remixing ‘A Script for a Jesters Tear’ and I think the remix makes it sound nice, it’s a really improvement. Also there’s a documentary that’s going to accompany the album, which tells the story of the very early days of the band from the people that were there including some ex-members. I haven’t watched it yet it’s literally being edited at the moment. The guy that’s doing it has said that it’s turned into a real labor of love and it really tells the story well. There’s a lot of great information there that people won’t know, so I think that would be one that people will like to see it’s gonna be probably released around January 2020.”
When asked if there are any unreleased music from the early days
“Yes when were recording Script album we played three shows at the Marquee Club. One of the nights has actually been mixed and released as part of a box set maybe 10 years ago but there’s one night which was the the second night of that those three nights has never been heard before and now it’s mixed and it sounds really good . I think it’s a huge improvement on the one that was released previously. ”
When asked what it was like to support Rush in the early 80’s
” When we first opened for Rush at Radio City Music Hall in 84 the audience hated us and it was five nights and every night was terrible we had people heckling us. About a year later we get a phone call from our agent saying Rush wants you to open for them on their upcoming Power Windows tour. And we said Really? They said yes Rush really liked you. We said okay we’ll do it but we’re gonna play Misplaced Childhood the entire album from start to finish so that people can’t boo us between songs and that was the reason why we played the whole album as the album was one continuous piece of music.. It was actually really good and in fact in Canada we we we we picked up over an entire audience. ”
When asked about Marillion being compared to Genesis in the early days
“I think all bands when they start off everyone is influenced and borrows more of less from other artists, some more than others. We did have a bit of a Genesis sound it wasn’t intentional this is the really fun thing I actually wasn’t even at Genesis fan when I joined Marillion. It’s one of those things you just end up getting compared to other people and especially when you when you started out nobody knows what you sound like the natural somebody said oh yeah they sound a bit like Genesis. But over time hopefully you develop your own sound and you go your own way and as you know we don’t sound anything like Genesis these days it’s just a few moments really you know in our music that sounded a lot like Genesis.”
When asked if they Marillion would ever consider co-touring with Fish’s Band and doing a sort of Marillion fest
” I’m not sure it’s what people would want, that would be a tricky one. I mean over the years we had various talks with Fish about doing a tour together and it was one point when we asked him and he said no and then he asked us and we said no, not because we thought it was a terrible idea or he thought it was a terrible idea just time wasn’t right and now I think the times has pasted. We all get along, we do see each other from time to time, I think it’s probably not likely to happen at any point in the future.”
When asked about the time frame for a new studio album
“We are working on another album, we decided that we would set aside next year to make the album. We are doing only one thing next year apart from writing and recording which is Cruise to the Edge, which is in March and that’s it. Next year will be devoted to getting the next album recorded, we will have it early 2021 that’s the plan.”