Steve Rothery Addresses Van Halen’s Influence On Marillion’s ‘Brave’


Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery recently appeared in an interview with Classic Album Review and revealed that Van Halen influenced the band’s album entitled ‘Brave.’

In the ’80s, Marillion became a prominent figure as it was considered a bridge between punk rock and classic progressive rock genres. The band gained a considerable reputation by being the most commercially successful neo-progressive rock band of that period.

The third studio album, ‘Misplaced,’ released in 1985, was a concept album that earned them notable achievements by becoming number one on UK charts immediately after its release. It included the group’s two successful songs, ‘Kayleigh’ and ‘Lavender.’

The band’s triumphant appearance on the music scene continued with the 1989 record entitled ‘Seasons End.’ It received positive reviews from music critics and reached number seven on the UK Albums chart. The seventh album ‘Brave‘ was the group’s other essential record. It became ten on the UK Albums chart and had an important place by combining progressive symphonic and classic rock elements.

Many impactful names, such as Pink Floyd and Neil Peart, influenced the group. As Steve Rothery revealed in a recent conversation, Van Halen was another inspirational name for them. When asked whether they were influenced by the grunge movement while creating the ‘Brave’ album, Rothery said they subconsciously did and that the idea belonged to Steve Hogarth.

After Hogarth took inspiration from a radio broadcast, the other members put other contributions to create the entire album. The guitarist pointed out that Van Halen influenced them, especially on the guitar parts of this album as it had before in their 1994 song ‘Paper Lies.’

When asked if grunge music inspired the ‘Brave’ album, Steve Rothery responded:

“I don’t know, possibly subconsciously. Steve came up with a concept based on this radio broadcast he’d heard when he was down in the bath about the girl on the bridge. John Helmer had already written a lyric called ‘Runaway Girl,’ and the concept slowly came together.

Some of the guitar stuff, I don’t know, this is just me, but I can hear almost like a Van Halen influence like him in ‘Paper Lies’ is the way that the chordal approach that I’m using obviously very different lyrically and the end result. I suppose there’s maybe a little more edge and rock back in certain sections. It was the first album we wrote together, the five of us.”

You can watch the interview and listen to the album below.