Of course, I asked Pete the same question about Steve Hacket.
Recording with Steve Hackett was for me a great Honour. I had been a huge fan for years. I remember being nervous, and probably didn't play very well. It all came about because Ian was friends with Steve from being in the Hackett band. Ian was asked to do the session and I was probably asked because I was his partner in crime. I do remember having to catch a train to Devon in the late afternoon to be with Fiona and the Kids on holiday, so I was probably trying to hurry the session along. (not very cool in retrospect) Oh well we all make mistakes.
Steve probably remembers me as the nervous little guy who couldn't wait to leave.
How does recording with Transatlantic differ from recording with Marillion?
With Transatlantic recording is a fast furious roller coaster ride of pure adrenalin. a constant fight against the clock to record the best music in the fastest time possible. It completely drains me, I'm sure we should be in the Guinness Book Of Records.
With Marillion we give ourselves the time to listen back and change things and get really picky about parts even change whole songs after they have been recorded if we decide they are wrong.
Would you say there is any difference between recording one 30-minute epic, or recording five five-minute songs?
Yes you get more breaks with the shorter songs. I think the difference is mostly in the arrangement of the 30 minute epic, so it flows as a piece and as an arranged bass part (in my case). Long songs have practical problems, i.e. How much to record in one go, trying to keep drum skins the same tension so the sounds don't change and also strings get dull (old) so when to change them. there are usually natural places where music changes or even stops where these things can be looked at.
You'll find on the lots of prog albums dramatic changes in drum and bass sounds, some are on purpose some are not, and some are just lucky mistakes, where someone has just lent on a fader or turned knob by accident and not noticed.
Mixing long songs is the hardest part about them I think.
All photos © Jeroen Bos