Marillion's album "Script For A Jester's Tear" opened a new chapter in music history in 1983: The first longplayer of the group around the charismatic singer Fish put progressive rock, which had already been declared dead at that time, back on the musical map in the form of the Neoprog. On the occasion of the re-release as an extensive box set, the former Marillion frontman took the time for an interview.
The career of Derek William Dick alias Fish is on the home stretch. After over 40 years in the music business, almost eight of them with his former band Marillion and 32 as a solo artist, he will - at least that's the plan - retire musically at the end of 2021 at the age of 62. Before that, he will go on a farewell tour with his album "Weltschmerz", which will be released this year and will last until 2021. He spoke to eclipsed about his view today of that first musical milestone that once set his career in motion
eclipsed: How much were you involved in this re-release of "Script" as a box set?
Fish: Not too much. All the band members of that time were contacted to make their contribution. Nevertheless, I think the result is really good: It sounds fresh and maybe it hides one or two weaknesses that the album had in the original.
eclipsed: When was the last time you heard "Script" before the re-release? Do you think that the album passed the test of time?
Fish: I hadn't heard it for a long time, and that's not easy for me to judge either, because as a person directly involved I can't really be objective. However, there are maybe only one or two stupid songs on the album, the rest is surprisingly good. Okay, I think the album is not timeless, you can hear that it was made in the early 80s, in that sense it sounds outdated, but that doesn't mean it's bad.
eclipsed: What kind of feeling is it for a singer to be confronted with an album that was recorded almost four decades ago?
Fish: When I heard the album again, I was almost shocked at first how much my voice had changed. There was a lot of singing in high pitches that I couldn't even reach today due to my age. On the other hand I sing better in lower pitches today. That was already a problem in the final phase of Marillion. I didn't know at that time that the musicians could simply tune their instruments a half or whole tone lower and then they would match my voice again. As for "Script": If I had had a vocal coach back then, he would have advised me to sing in a completely different way, because the way I sang back then, that will ruin your voice in the long run. But in 1982/83 none of us thought about something like that. I was also physically very different in my 20s. That has only partly something to do with the person and the singer that I am now.