A Few Words With...Pete Trewavas

Interview and photos by John A. Wilcox

Pete Trewavas is a busy lad, having divided his time between Marillion, Transatlantic, and Kino. When not playing bass in all three outfits, there are rumors that he actually sleeps once or twice a month! I talked to the amiable Mr Trewavas just days before the Transatlantic 2010 tour was announced, so that's why it's not confirmed below! Take a peek in as Pete and I discuss Marillion's latest release Less Is More, and much more...

PS: People want to know! - Is Kino permanently knocked on the head, or just dormant?

PT: Kino is not dormant as you put it, but both John Beck, John Mitchell and myself have been very busy over the last couple of years. It is unfortunate that when I had some time to spend on Kino they were doing the It Bites album which was a great thing and now I am tied up again with Marillion and the new Transatlantic album. Be patient, we will return.

PS: What was the first bass you ever bought and why did you buy it?

PT: Oh I remember it well It was a really cheap bass my parents bought for me it had no name and was vaguely shaped like a Fender Strat for some reason.

PS: It's been over 26 years since Script For A Jester's Tear came out. With all the changes and twists and turns the band has gone through musically in that span of time, what has remained unchanged within Marillion?

PT: The love of being creative and the chemistry between us is what Marillion has always and is still about.

PS: With a few decades under the belt since Fish & the band parted ways, has everyone made peace with each other in the intervening years and able to, say, have a nice dinner together?

PT: Oh yeah. We get on well when we meet up. We have had dinner together and he often comes to shows when we play Scotland.

PS: Less Is More is the latest Marillion album. After Marbles, Somewhere Else, & Happiness Is The Road all coming out in relatively short order, why did the band decide that an acoustic album should be the next project?

PT: Well, it was a good way of having a break from the treadmill and getting some time off from writing. Particularly for Steve H. Although we did do some extensive rewriting of the old material we chose for Less Is More, we did have the songs as a starting point to guide us so we could just have fun with the music.

PS: The acoustic versions on Less Is More bring a different slant to each song. Let's discuss a few. We'll start with Wrapped Up In Time. What were the band able to find within it that wasn't on the Happiness Is The Road version?

PT: I think this version is smoky and older sounding and for that reason is put in a bygone age.

PS: Hard As Love is a very interesting choice as the original is an out-and-out rocker. Why was this chosen for the acoustic treatment?

PT: We just wanted to see what would happen. Both Steve H and myself had the same idea of keeping the vocal melody and rewriting the chords underneath. I also added the middle eight change to a chorus melody which works really well.

PS: Go! opens the album. What drew the band to it? What was in Go! looking to get out?

PT: Go! was not an obvious choice but having decided to use all these different instruments like glockenspiel, xylophone, hammered dulcimer, and dulcitone. It was really spare and was much more intermittant.

PS: The Space is the oldest tune of the bunch. Was it a conscious decision to leave the pre-H stuff alone?

PT: I don't think so, not from my point of view. I don't think anyone had any pre H songs on their lists.

PS: Looking at the set lists for the latest tour, the band has chosen quite a wide range of material. What was the deciding factor for what did or didn't make the cut? Were there any songs that just didn't work acoustically?

PT: Yeah funnily enough Fantastic Place and Train both were kicked out for not being special or different enough. Although we are still working on Train. And we tried Fantastic Place again the other day but, although it works on paper it doesn't sound great and that is what counts.

PS: Why was 2009 the right time for Transatlantic to record again? Who started the ball rolling again?

PT: I got an email from Neal so I imagine it was him as he had written a piece called The Whirlwind. That started the ball rolling although the end result is very different from his original demo, with sections added from myself, Mike and Roine once we got in the room.

PS: Was Neal Morse's religious zeal ever an issue in terms of lyrical content, or did it just never come up?

PT: It was never a problem for me and when it came up on this album everyone was cool with it being a major lyrical influence.

PS: In what way do you feel The Whirlwind differs from what the band was doing on SMPTe and Bridge Across Forever?

PT: I think we had a bit more fun in the live room. On SMPTe we were being introduced to each other and I had never worked in a studio that way for a major record. On Bridge we had become good friends and were starting to really work well. Now on Whirlwind we are old friends who can get together to have some fun with the creative process. It was very live and very real.

PS: Recording with 3 guys who can be very busy players, how do you keep a balance between holding down a beat and wanting to have your voice heard without overwhelming the listeners' ears?

PT: I think this is where experience comes in. You rely on you instincts and intuition to guide you and just feel when things are right or wrong.

PS: Will we see Marillion or Transatlantic or both play live in the USA in 2010?

PT: We are always working on bringing Marillion to the USA, but it is not an easy market for us. Transatlantic also are working on touring in the spring of 2010 and that should include some US dates.

PS: Has writing begun yet for the next Marillion album?

PT: Not yet officially, but we all are creative people and creative people never really stop doing that. It's like trying to stop breathing. You just wake up with ideas and have to develop them or at least play what was in your head on an instrument of some sort.

PS: Please tell me 6 CDs you always enjoy listening to.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
Radiohead - OK Computer
Paul Simon - Still Crazy After All These Years
James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim
Blur - Park Life
Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink


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