Jean-Christophe : Hello Steve! What an amazing year for you! For the very first time, you’re producing a “solo” album, “The Ghost of Pripyat” in September. What has changed? Can you tell us how did you decided to go this way, to become the front man instead of the brillant guitarist of the band?
Steve : It came about because I was asked to play at the International guitar festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria last year. I had to write some music to play so I got together with my good friend and fellow guitarist Dave Foster and we sketched out six ideas which have become the basis with the title track of my solo album. It's a great band of musicians I've got together to play the material as well and I've really enjoyed the experience. Talking to the audience was the most difficult thing to learn.
Jean-Christophe : More than the studio album, you’ve produced “Live in Plovdiv” in 2013, a first step for the Steve Rothery Band, a sort of warmup for the new tracks and the new band, and now it’s the time for “Live in Rome”, a 2 CD and DVD live including material from Marillion. Would you describe how was this gig, from the musicians’ point of view? How was it different from “Live in Plovdiv”?
Steve : By the time of the Live in Rome album I'd arranged the material better and we'd recorded the backing tracks for the studio album so it had more of a structure. From a musicians point of view I'd say that the Rome concert was probably the hardest audience of the three we played on that Italian tour. That audience definitely had to be convinced.
Jean-Christophe : For financing “The Ghost of Pripyat”, you’ve used a successful crowdfunding. Why did you choose this system?
Steve : It was so I could afford to record the album properly and Kickstarter's profile seemed the best of all the crowdfunding sites.
Jean-Christophe : It’s really amazing to see the two Steve (Rothery and Hackett, the Marillion and the Genesis ones) working together on the same album, you know, il looks like a prog fan amazing dream. I know that it’s not the first time, but this one, he works for you, so how did you get Steve Hackett involving in your project…
Steve : I've become good friends with Steve Hackett over the years. We often meet up for dinner sometimes with my other good friend Steven Wilson (who also appears on the album) and talk guitars and music. Steve asked me to play on "The Lamia" from the Genesis Revisited 2 album and I also played live with him a couple of times.
Jean-Christophe : You know what’s great too is to hear you talking about you and your music during the gig. I’ve seen you, so many times with Marillion, so concentrated on your guitar. It’s a great pleasure to discover you, strangely more relax, talking more with the crowd, telling what you fell inside. Of course, with SRB you’re the frontman, so you have to do so, but is it easier to speak freely of yourself here than in Marillion (do Steve and Pete talk too much 8-) )?
Steve : I've only ever spoken a couple of times onstage with Marillion as I don't have a microphone in front of me. I gave some masterclasses with my British Guitar Academy and that experience made speaking to an audience easier.
Jean-Christophe : It’s really nice to hear the sound of your guitar outside of Marillion, but how are you going to manage your time? I hope SRB will grow up more and more, so there’ll be more lives, and also Marillion, and all your friendly guest performances in some projects like Chasing Time or Ranest Rane for example. Marillion fans worried about that, so do I 8-)
Steve : Marillion is always my first priority. I do have offers to tour next year with the SRB in Australia, Japan, Mexico and South America. I'll do what I can without it getting in the way of us writing and recording the next Marillion album.
Jean-Christophe : To conclude, could you tell us, how is this “Ghost of Pripyat”? We’ll have to wait until September 22nd, such a long time for listening to it. So tell us please, are you happy of your work, does it sound as you hope it might, are there good or bad surprises? Have you used all the recorded tracks, can we expect bonus material later?
Steve : The album is sounding fantastic! I've been killing myself trying to finish it this week. I think people will be very pleasantly surprised. I've used most of the additional content for the special edition DVD which will also contain high resolution audio versions of the tracks along with a documentary and a couple of filmed performances from Real World studios . There will be a free download of Morpheus in the next few days from www.steverothery.com
Jean-Christophe : Thank’s a lot for your time, Steve.
Rédigé par Jean-Christophe le 24/08/2014