The long-awaited sixth installment of the Marillion reissue series presents the album that many fans consider the band's best work: "Fugazi". However, this masterpiece, released in 1984, was also characterized by its less dynamic, clanking-cold sound, which was somewhat corrected by the remaster in the 1990s, but still did not sound appropriate to the strong songs. This has now been corrected in stunning fashion. Reason enough to talk to both frontman Fish and guitarist Steve Rothery about "Fugazi"
We meet a slightly late, but immediately usual talkative Fish in the Zoom interview in his living room. He was still at the hairdresser, says the Scotsman, but he then gets started right away, a coffee cup in one hand, a cigarette in the other, but still gesticulating wildly.
eclipsed: "Fugazi" was the last Marillion album of the Fish era that hadn't gotten a remix yet. So you saved the best for last. At least many fans think that "Fugazi" is your masterpiece.
Fish: Nonsense! I would immediately disagree with that. The follow-up "Misplaced Childhood" was a much better album, but especially "Clutching At Straws", which is really our best record. "Fugazi" is already very good, but there are also the one or other song that didn't turn out so well. Sometimes it was just the wrong ideas that were realized
eclipsed: For example?
Fish: Just take "She Chameleon", that's actually a pretty good, disturbing song in gothic garb. That evocative keyboard, that was pretty original at the time, very dark and haunting. And then the song is ruined, not necessarily ruined, but considerably weakened by this bouncy keyboard solo in the middle. Suddenly, the atmosphere is gone. And "Emerald Lies" shows the main problem of the band, namely that Marillion composed only single fragments most of the time and then strung them together. On this song you can hear that even more clearly than usual. But of course, the other pieces are quite successful. Who wrote stuff like "Assassinating" or "Punch And Judy" back in the day. Or like "Incubus"?
eclipsed: Was this way of composing especially in relation to "Fugazi" a big problem for you, also because you didn't have so much time? You were constantly on tour ..
Fish: There are two different aspects to that. On the one hand, I always wanted to encourage the band to write real, structured songs. That only succeeded on "Clutching At Straws". "Sugar Mice", for example, is a really well-composed song. But that was just their way of working, and it still is. That's okay for the band, they're happy with it, but it wasn't and isn't my thing. On the other hand, there was the stress factor, although it has to be said that we were always interrupted by the many gigs, but we were already in the studio a lot. However, I had many lyrics ready beforehand, I could draw from my repertoire, but then the music was missing. Well, there were other kinds of distraction ..