Finally, I had some questions for all five to answer. Apart from Steve Rothery they all did.
What is your favourite Marillion song, past or present?
Mark - The Great Escape
H - Estonia / King / Beyond You / If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill
Pete - I've got too many to answer properly but here goes Easter, Estonia, This Strange Engine, Gazpacho, Go!, Quartz
Ian - I don't really have an all time favourite... Slàinte Mhath is always fun to play and also Easter... Both very well arranged pieces of music I think.
Is there any non-Marillion song you'd wish you'd have written yourself?
Mark - Always Look On The Bright Side of Life
H - Life On Mars (Bowie), Man Of The World (Fleetwood Mac), The Old Wild Men
Pete - My screen isn't big enough to list all the songs I can think of but Waterloo Sunset (Kinks), Who Are You (The Who), Won't Get Fooled Again, Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) and Hocus Pocus (Focus) spring to mind
Ian - Any global mega selling hit
Is there any Marillion song you wish you hadn't written, or recorded it in a different version?
Mark - Hope For The Future or House
H - Holidays In Eden & Interior Lulu could have been better versions
Pete - Built in Bastard Radar, should have been much stronger than it was, and would benefit from a live rework in my humble opinion. Unfortunately I feel it is a lost cause
Ian - How long is a piece of string?
At the time of recording everyone always try's their best, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I find its healthier to move on and not dwell on what could have been.
What was your favourite gig of the whole Anoraknophobia tour and why?
Mark - Amsterdam, it's nice to play to a large audience now and again
H - London Astoria. Amazing crowd vibe, (and to have that happen in London was a huge pleasant surprise) and the band played very well. I was (for once) almost entirely happy with my singing.
Pete - Astoria London was for me the pinnacle, coming back to London after having played it already, and changing the set for the show was a real buzz for us and the audience. We were playing well and felt invincible
Ian - er, it was Utrecht..no it wasn't it was Paris,..no,..Manchester,..Poland....London (Ian Mosley for president) I really enjoyed all of them
What is your favourite track to perform live?
Mark - Mad
H - King probably, although I love to sing so many of our songs live that it's very hard to single one song out. There are moments in This Strange Engine when I get chance to shut-up and listen and that's always more enjoyable.
Pete - Easter is a great song with passion exuding from band and audience
Ian - I don't have a particular favourite
Is there any track you'd wish to perform live, but for some reason never manage to incorporate in the set?
Mark - Not that I can think of
H - Icon and Live Forever
Pete - No
Ian - There are tracks from every album that I would love to perform White Russian, Script For A Jester's Tear, The Party, Market Square Heroes, the list is endless. No particular favourite.
Have you ever considered performing one or more songs from any of your side-projects during a Marillion gig? Like an H song, or an instrumental off one of Ian's projects?
Mark - We did discuss such an idea once, in fact we had a go at You Dinosaur Thing in rehearsals. Not everyone was into it to be honest.
H - On the This Strange Engine tour I really wanted to play You Dinosaur Thing and I was up for singing a Wishing Tree song to return the favour, but there was a bit of resistance among the troops, so-to-speak. I don't see why we couldn't incorporate a solo thing into a future tour show. But we're a democracy, so it's often hard to get five green lights.
Pete - I'd like to do a Transatlantic song but there just isn't enough time.
Seriously I think the audience have come along to see us as Marillion. For the same reason I don't favour backing musicians in bands either.
Ian - no
Is there anyone, dead or alive, you'd like to perform with?
Mark - John Lennon
H - Err.. outside Marillion hmm.. well apart from the mountain-high talent of the members of the H band, (with whom I've had the honour of performing already) I'd love to share a stage with Robert Plant, Jimmy Paige, Jeff Beck, Omar Hakim, Slim Gaillard, Ray Charles, Jacqueline Dupre, Neil Finn, Nigel Kennedy, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Kiri Tekanawa, Joni Mitchell, G.E. Smith, and the King (I'm talking about Jimi Hendrix - not Elvis) either separately or all together. Obviously, I would have loved to have had breakfast with John Lennon, and I'd love to get roaring drunk with David Bowie, but who wouldn't? Musically speaking, my fantasy would be to sing Man of the World accompanied by Peter Green, or Amelia accompanied by Joni and Jaco(Pastorius). I think I could contribute my own colours to those songs. There's quite a few killer singers I admire like Jeff Buckley, Peter Gabriel, Darryl Hall, Paul Buchanan, and Annie Lennox, but to put me on a stage with them.. well there'd be nothing I could add.. I'd only subtract.. and then I'd wish it hadn't happened.
Pete - Working with John Lennon would have been a great experience.
Ian - Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Thad Jones,Mel Lewis Big Band, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa (hot rats era) Early Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Tool, John Barry, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue.
Special thanks to Lucy Jordache for organising this interview and chasing the guys for the answers.
All photos © Jeroen Bos