Onstage in 2015, Steve Rothery digs into his Blade RH4 Classic, at left, as singer Steve Hogarth takes flight and bassist Pete Trewavas holds steady. “We enjoy each other’s company,” says the guitarist. “If there’s any friction it’s soon forgotten.” Photo by Alison Toon

Armed with uncommon axes and amps, a raft of stompboxes, and mojo borrowed from his 6-string heroes, the veteran prog-rocker creates a world of vivid soundscapes on the band’s new crowd-funded album.

Very few bands make exciting music by the time they get to their 18th album. What generally separates nostalgia acts from innovators is the virility of their creative output. Prog-rockers Marillion still fall into the latter category, as their latest album, F.E.A.R., attests. They’ve long been recognized as pioneers both musically and entrepreneurially, but the secret to inspired longevity, according to guitarist Steve Rothery, is not necessarily Marillion’s individuality, but rather their chemistry.

“We are quite unique,” he humbly states. “Not only in the way that we write and fund our music, but also in the fact that there’s still this amazing creative spark between us. It’s something most bands have long since lost by this time.”

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