Greetings to all and a happy Autumn. Once again I find myself wondering where the year went?! 'Must be an age thing, or perhaps time really IS speeding up. Hmm..
Anyway.. we've been starting to hear murmurs from the faithful wondering just WHEN the next studio album is likely to appear. There's also a quieter murmur that Marillion are splitting up! I guess that if you're impatiently waiting for our next recorded work you could be forgiven for wondering how it's going and where we have gone! So here's the truth..
We all went off to Portugal in the Spring to spend a couple of weeks jamming and to kick-start the creative process which would lead to an album of new songs. During this period it became apparent to us that we weren't really ready to put together our best ever piece of work.
Sure, interesting things were coming out of the jams which, with work, could have been gathered together and consolidated into some interesting new music, but at some point in the process the five of us realized that the juice wasn't flowing. We could either power on through it and make an album that we weren't really ready to create, or take a little time out to recharge our spirit.
Personally, I needed a little more time to think. As the lyricist, after so many albums I felt I had already said all I want to say. I feel my lyrics have been and should be true things - words which reflect my innermost feelings.
However this means I must dig something from the core of myself whilst avoiding the observations and philosophies I have already explored in the past. Nobody wants to hear me repeating myself for the rest of my musical life. I think this is also true of the music.
So, to cut a long story short, we decided to chill-out of the writing and concentrate on the live shows which have been dotted across 2010.
Mike Hunter has been working his socks off mixing soundtracks and surround-soundtracks for our live DVD's "Out Of Season" "Montreal" and the forthcoming "Cadogan Hall" show, so he hasn't had 2 minutes to rub together either.
Over the last few weeks we have resumed - working in two's and three's at the studio - jamming and trying new ideas which have come to us during the time "off" and I'm pleased to say that I can feel good things emerging now. We have decided to continue the process without stressing over the clock with the intention of making our next album when we feel we're ready and not until.
Next month we'll tour in Germany with Deep Purple. In the meantime, Steve, Pete and I will pop to France for the Web France's Los Trios anniversary show on Oct 23, and I will play a solo show in Dublin on Nov 6. So, as you can see, we haven't exactly been "on holiday" this year!
I guess 2010 has been a year of rock music after last year's acoustic experiment. I have enjoyed both. It's great to be in a band which has the freedom (for which we must thank you) to visit so many different areas of music and to be free of the burden of self-consciousness of "the market", "the demographic" and "the desperate struggle for the HIT" which ties so many professional musicians into a creative rut. We're very fortunate to be able to approach our art with such purity-of-aim and lack of compromise. It's a luxury and, although we insist on it, we don't take it for granted.
So how's it going?.. It's going well. The five of us are enjoying each other's company - both personally and creatively - and everyone's relaxed and looking forward to the immediate as well as the distant future. I imagine the next album will emerge during 2011, but we're not at the stage yet where we can promise.
I know it will be something to be really proud of, because we won't release anything less.
If you're coming to Lyon, we'll see you next week! If not, well, marillion.com will let you know where we are both collectively and individually. I might see you in Dublin, or Germany, or Haarlem, Zoetemeer, or Milan, or Liverpool, or London. Phew.. Are you SURE we haven't split up?...
..or, to put it another way, Love means never having to say "Where's the new f***ing album gone then?!"