Q&A med Steve Hogarth i Marillion
Marillion har ett nytt album ute, "Sounds that can´t be made", och då det inte fanns tid för en telefonintervju, fick jag istället plita ner några frågor via mail till sångaren Steve Hogarth.
Personligen tycker jag att skriftligen svara på frågor skulle kräva mer tid än att svara över telefon, men vi är alla olika i vår herres hage.
I ett eller annat svar tycker jag mig se en skvätt sarkasm från herr Hogarth, men det får man ta. Jag är kanske inte helt up to date med att konserternas setlists publiceras på deras hemsida exempelvis.
How did you go about writing songs for the new Marillion album?
The band jams live in our studio while I sit behind a keyboard with my laptop open, surfing the words I have written. Sometimes these words are years old. Sometimes I wrote them yesterday. I try to find words which seem right with the music the band is making in the moment and I sing them, letting the melodies find themselves. More often than not, the jams don’t come to anything or are rejected as uninteresting or derivative of someone else or something we already recorded. Occasionally, a happy accident happens. Everything is recorded and played back later to be judged. The good accidents then become the building blocks of the songs.
Is the writing process always the same?
Steve Hogarth: Yes.We keep saying we’ll change the process because it’s very time consuming, but we never do.
How many songs were recorded? Were there leftovers?
Steve Hogarth: There was one song left over. It was called “Mr Cooltrip”.
When songs turn into really long ones, what is it that makes them become that long? Is it something you´ll know right away or does it just happen?
Steve Hogarth: The lyric is often there before the music. Songs like Gaza and Montreal have a lot to say, so the musical arrangement eventually expands to give the words time to make a point.
Tell us a bit about the title. Where did it come from?
Steve Hogarth: Well, obviously, from the SONG “Sounds That Can’t Be Made”. The song concerns the transference of energy or love from one person to another wordlessly and without any obvious physical process. Faith and metaphysics.
When can we expect to see Marillion in Sweden?
Steve Hogarth: We played Stockholm and Göteborg in the summer. No future dates are set at the moment.
Any surprises in the setlist this time around?
Steve Hogarth: All setlists are published in the setlist archive at marillion.com. YOU can decide whether or not you are surprised. There are no Abba covers. (..although it has been known).
You seem to get along great with Fish. Could some kind of musical collaboration ever happen?
Steve Hogarth: I sang with him about 12 years ago in Geneva at a festival. It was just a live guest appearance. As for a creative recorded collaboration, I think it’s unlikely, but as they say, “never say never”.
How did you end up working with Barbieri? (Fantastic album btw!)
Steve Hogarth: Steve Wilson introduced me to Richard when I was working on my solo album “Ice Cream Genius”. (I forget the year – have you got Google?) He played synthesizer on ICG, we later toured together and became friends. I have enormous respect for his musical taste and programming brilliance, so when he called me to suggest a collaboration, I MADE time.
What was the biggest difference working on that album compared to Marillion?
Steve Hogarth: No jamming. Richard sent me “finished” instrumental arrangements – usually MP3’s by email. I flew them into Logic and married words with them. I would sometimes edit the stereo “backing track” into arrangements which might suit the lyric more. This created quite hard stops and starts in the music, which I enjoyed, so we kept those radical shifts in.
Can we expect more albums from Hogarth/Barbieri?
Steve Hogarth: I would very much like to make another album with Richard. I am very proud of “Not The Weapon But The Hand”.
Tell us about the artwork for that album!
The artwork is a series of photographs by the brilliant and lovely Luigi Colosanti Antonelli from Rome. Richard has used Luigi’s work for his own solo releases in the past. Luigi and I have also worked together before. We are good friends. The package was then assembled by graphic artist Bill Smith.
I had no idea you´re on the brilliant album "Infected" by The The. Tell us a bit about how that came about. Are you still in touch with Matt Johnson?
Steve Hogarth: I had worked with producer Warne Livesey and I got a phone call one day to ask if I would like to play some blues piano with The The. I had a copy of “Soul Mining” in my collection, so naturally I jumped at the chance. I was later approached by Matt to play piano on the “Mind Bomb” tour but, the way things worked out, I joined Marillion instead. I would have LOVED to do that tour, but you can’t be in two places at once, and – God knows I have tried. I’m not in touch with Matt at the moment but if he’s reading this and he fancies a soda, a piano solo or a backing vocal, I’d be delighted.
Any plans for a new solo album?
Steve Hogarth: There’s a desire.. but not a lot of time. I would need 6 months at least. We’ll see..
Any messages for the Swedish Marillion fans?
Steve Hogarth: Yes. Thank you very much to all who came to our shows this year. If you came to Goteborg then you chose us above Bruce Springsteen (who was across the park) which is very flattering. If you came to Stockholm then I am doubly grateful – my voice had completely gone and I could do little more than bark like a dog. You sang the songs for me and it turned out to be one of the best nights of the tour. Stockholm has been dear to my heart for many years.
God jul. Go easy on the glögg...