The Company Scotland Interview, subject: Yin/Yang.
Q: Is that 'album' or 'albums'?
Fish: Albums - both of them, Yin & Yang, in a simultaneous release. I didn't want to go with a double album, as you run into all sorts of problems, because the price you put on a double album means that it puts people off, you know ? And the whole purpose of these albums is to try and expose my writing and my career, exactly what I do, to a far wider spread of people than I've been able to do in the last few years. It's difficult, unless you've got the benefit of a hit single and album, to expose yourself to that huge quantity of people that would never buy your albums unless there was some piece of bait - and these albums are just crawling with hooks and bait. It's just a case of trying to entice people that perhaps were into Kayleigh and Lavender, or people that know Big Wedge and maybe another of the solo singles, maybe Internal Exile or something and who'll go, 'Oh yeah, I'll buy it!' .
I think the albums are going to retail at something like the GBP 10 - GBP 12 mark, which means that they are not exactly cheap but, then again, they're not in the full expensive bracket. And we're going to be putting so much behind them - I mean, we're trying to raise finance from the distribution people round about at the moment and trying to do deals to pull the money in, to set the whole thing up. But it's working pretty well. I was talking to somebody yesterday, and saying that it's as if we've come off the lip of the trough and gone down, and we've been running about in the muck - but now we're sort of crawling up the other side and we can see the light, although a major negative thing coming along could knock us back in there again. But, with the way things are going, we can see the rungs - there is a plan. It's the usual story - we just need a couple of breaks. But they're very realistic breaks.
I've got to do Yin & Yang - I've got to follow them through. If I don't follow these albums through, then it could be one of those ones where I say, 'Biggest regret of my life', because it's the best chance that I've had to completely resurrect my career around the back of the Marillion material, around the back of the re-interpretations and around the back of the fact that it's 75 minutes of music on each CD - I mean, we're trying to keep it as interesting as possible, in that what I didn't want to do was just put out original recordings, because I felt that's a bit too much to ask the fans. It would never have worked, you know, just saying, 'Oh yeah, it's another CD with a different arrangement of song titles', so that's why we've elected to re-record 14 out of the 26, which I think is a phenomenal amount. And, on top of that, you've got the new version of Internal Exile, or the version of Internal from '89, so you're talking about 15 out of the 26. There's also the fact that, for the same price as a single album, the fans are getting 75 minutes plus of music, which is the equivalent of a double album in Thieving Magpie days.
Let's say, with the way everything's going, I am really looking at trying to break or establish myself in new territories, and to really rock places like Italy, France, and Scandinavia, where the sales should be a lot higher than they are, but where they've never actually managed to get into something and keep it going. And we are doing all sorts of stuff to promote it - I mean, I am definitely approaching MTV, for an 'Unplugged' set, because we're saying, 'Look, you've got to give me something!'
Q: You mentioned the 'Unplugged' format - is that what you are going to go for on the Yin & Yang tour?
Fish: The entire next tour is going to be a semi-acoustic tour. It's still going to be put out as another acoustic tour, though we're going to take the electrics out with us. I mean, with most of the interpretations that we're putting the acoustic instruments in, we're really enjoying playing them, and we're getting better vibes off them that way than with the full rigs.
Q: Are all the songs on Yin & Yang going to be possible for the tour? Any chance of hearing Institution Waltz live?
Fish: Anything! Institution has actually turned into quite a nice little piece.
Q: I saw a copy of the Haunters bootleg in the studio - was that to help remind you of what the song sounded like?
Fish: Yeah, but we're putting a lot of, like, very psychedelic type effects on it - it's interesting. Lucky has turned out really well, as has Kayleigh, which was, I think, one of my biggest worries, because you're 'tampering with diamonds'.
Q: So will the version of Kayleigh on the Yin album be an acoustic one?
Fish: No - we've done the electric version, but it's a semi-acoustic one, like a cross between the acoustic one that we're doing and the old one, which means that it's pretty up-tempo and not as jazzy.
Interview January 1995