What a surprise for Marillion fans: At the band's "Couch Convention" in October, keyboardist Mark Kelly presented his new side-project Marathon - with the video for the single "Amelia", which was recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. Indeed, the voice of singer Oliver M. Smith brings back pleasant memories of the former Genesis frontman. What's behind MARK KELLY'S MARATHON and the mysterious crashed plane on the cover of the debut album of the same name?
The musicians of Marillion have always been an active gang. Singer Steve Hogarth has released albums both solo and with Isildurs Bane and Richard Barbieri, and guitarist Steve Rothery has appeared with The Wishing Tree and more recently with his own band. Bassist Pete Trewavas, on the other hand, is successfully involved with three other bands - Transatlantic, Kino and Edison's Children. Mark Kelly, on the other hand, only helped out with DeeExpus between 2010 and 2012. So it was about time that the man, who contributes to the atmospherically dense Marillion sound with his keyboards, finally stepped into the spotlight with his own sounds.
eclipsed: Mark, what kept you from starting your own project for so long?
Mark Kelly: (laughs) I guess nobody believed that I would make a solo album anymore! To be honest I was never really keen on it. That only changed a few years ago. I'm not really good at working alone, so I always liked to jump on the band wagon of Marillions.
eclipsed: So how did Mark Kelly's marathon come about?
Kelly: A friend of mine, Guy Vickers, who had written lyrics, asked me a few years ago if I wanted to work with him. I then sent him material from my fund of unused Marillion music ideas. So the long tracks "Amelia" and "Twenty Fifty One" slowly took shape. Then I asked my nephew Conal Kelly if he could play some more instruments. In the studio of Marillion we made further recordings with guitarist Pete "Woody" Wood in summer 2019. But only the Corona-Lockdown gave us the time to finish everything
eclipsed: But these are not real Marillion compositions?
Kelly: No, they were all my keyboard sketches. Only one piece contained Steve Rothery's guitar playing, and that was used in the song "Puppets" and re-recorded by Steve ...