Steve, what made you decide that this was the time to do a solo album??
After I'd played the Plovdiv international guitar festival last October I realised that it was the right time. Marillion keeps me very busy but Pete Trewavas was away touring with Transatlantic for the first few months of this year which gave me the time I needed to record the backing tracks and finish off the writing.
Why did you decide to release a live album, "Live In Rome", prior to your first solo album, "The Ghosts of Pripyat"? Usually it's the other way around.?
I had an offer to play a few concerts in Italy for our Italian fan club. We recorded and filmed the first night in Rome (only the second time my band had played together) with the idea of using a few clips on Youtube. When Thomas from the Inside Out label saw the video he loved it and wanted to release it. It means there's a label promoting me and as I'm releasing the studio album direct to the fans this made a lot of sense.
You mention on "Live In Rome" that it was easier to write without a vocalist, but isn't it still quite a challenge to convey the imagery with just instruments?
I love film soundtracks especially Paris, Texas by Ry Cooder and Blade Runner by Vangelis and I did some music for a PBS documentary a couple of years ago that won an Emmy. In some ways it's a lot easier.
Have you been writing this material for a while or is it all new?
Steve: I've had a few of the ideas for a couple of years but some of it was co-written with the other guitarist Dave Foster over the course of a couple of afternoons. Dave is a great friend of mine and we share a musical vocabulary.
Was any of the music considered for a Marillion song?
What is your favorite song off of "The Ghosts of Pripyat" and why?
Steve: The Old Man of the Sea is a favourite to play live and the studio version contains a solo by myself then Steve Hackett then Steven Wilson which should get a lot of people excited! There's a free download of the track Morpheus which also features Steve Hackett at
https://steverothery.bandcamp.com/track/morpheus-2 it's also on Youtube at
How did you choose which Marillion songs to cover during live performances?
I chose the ones which suited the voice of the singers we were using. When I tour in October and November I have Martin Jakubski from Stillmarillion joining me in the encores to sing some of the older songs like Incubus, Fugazi, Chelsea Monday and Cinderella Search.
What are your touring plans for the album?
Steve: I'm touring Europe in October and November but I have offers for Japan, Australia, South America and Mexico for next year. All the tour dates are on the website at www.steverothery.com
Thanks for answering my questions, Steve!