based prog-rockers Fish On Friday follow their critically acclaimed
2013 Airborne CD with the 2014 release of Godspeed.
Once again at the helm is group vocalist / producer Frank Van
Bogaert and keyboardist William Beckers. Those who havent
heard Fish On Friday yet will be in for a treat as their latest album
maintains a lush sonic landscape from start to finish that makes the
most of the fine compositions featured here. For the release of Godspeed,
the group once again features guitarist Marty Townsend, bass
ace Nick Beggs and the drumming of Marcus Weymaere.
Also on Godspeed are several guest musicians, including the
sound of flutist Theo Travis. The album is again superbly packaged
with stunning graphics and full lyrics sheet. The CD starts off with
the ten minute title track, which serves as a suite of sorts with
plenty of melodic hooks and hair trigger time signatures. Frank has
cited 1970s prog bands like YES and Alan Parsons Project as big influences
but theres also other influences here such as Tears For Fears
and The Buggles and, true to form, theres plenty of eclectic
prog-rock sounds on Godspeed. Music fans will completely enjoy
the 21st century prog-rock sound of Fish On Friday. www.FishOnFriday.be
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Fish On Friday
After the success of your last album Airborne what was the
approach for Godspeed on the new Fish On Friday CD? Is there
a more relentless approach, a new musical urgency that you intend
William Beckers: In fact there was not a different kind of strategy
planned in the production of the Godspeed album compared to
Airborne. I think the biggest change, so yes there is a slight
change, was that we agreed to work on a few longer tracks, more epic
like. So this deviates from our classic trademark of 5 to 6 minutes
mwe3: Tell us about the title track Godspeed. Is
there a message in there with the scintillating lyrics? At 10+ minutes
its kind of a suite of sorts right? Marty adds in some great
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Godspeed is the opening epic and
sets a bit the pace and style of the album. Every song tells its own
story. Godspeed is in fact a story about a quite successful
guy who , at a certain moment, loses everything he had. His career,
he realizes he has made a lot of mistakes during his
life and feels theres no chance of getting back on track. So
he decides to take his life in a car crash. If theres a message
in this, it has to be the higher you climb to further you fall.
Is track two, Just A Nightmare kind of a sign of these
times? That track is very keyboard dominated. Is that William on the
closing piano parts? Tell us about the vocal backups on that track.
Cool sax lines too. What backup singers do your include on Godspeed?
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Just A Nightmare is all about
feeling closed in in society. Never finding a moment of
rest, never feeling secured. The feeling youre always being
a kind of paranoia feeling but we give it a twist saying
that its just a nightmare, so you can wake up and so there is
WILLIAM BECKERS: The sax solo in this song was played by Henri
Ylen, a Belgian sax player. This song was recorded before we met Theo
Travis, who played all other saxes and wind instruments on the album.
As for the backing vocals, these are about the same people who guested
on our first two albums Shoot The Moon and Airborne. And
of course Nick Beggs does backing vocals. His high falsetto like voice
blends beautifully with Franks deeper colored voice.
mwe3: She Colors The Rainbow is another love song.
But the girl is left in a coma, so is this an anti-love song?
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: No, in fact this isnt even a love
song, the lyrics are based on a real story inspired by someone who
has gone through a lot of pain. His wife went into coma after a severe
accident. She is kept alive by machines. He visits her every day,
talks to her and never gives up hoping she will one day wake up. To
ease his own pain he is imagining that she is living in a fairy tale
world where she has no worries and feels no pain. So yes, in fact
I have to correct myself, this is definitely a love song
a very sad one.
Calling Planet Home is a great near instrumental rocker
with lyrics that plea for the earth? Theres some great flute
and guitar sounds there too from Theo Travis. How did you meet up
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: On this track we wanted flute solos. As Theo
plays with Nick in Steven Wilsons band, the choice was obvious.
WILLIAM BECKERS: Nick introduced us backstage to Theo after
a Steven Wilson gig in Belgium. We had a nice evening and got along
fine. He liked our music so he was keen on guest starring on the Godspeed
mwe3: Is Ghost Song a seance song, contacting a
dead lover from the past? I like your lyrical juxtaposition of the
moving clouds and love lorn lyrics. Again, The flutes add an ethereal
edge that then switches to sax in the same song.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Ghost Song is probably the most
intimate song on the album. It is of course about someone, a loved
one, who left this world and the one who gets left behind and grieves.
Its about the disbelief that one can have when someone is really
gone. It feels so strange living alone in the house and in the beginning
it all feels dark and cloudy. But the clouds will always move somehow
and the sun will break through. Meaning... you need to look for the
beauty of life, its always there behind the clouds, you just
owe it to the ones who left you .
Radio speaks of a better time. Is that the time you grew
up in the late 70s? Like Steve Howe says, "bravo the 70s"
I like the Buggles reference in the lyrics. I guess if you can remember
1978 / 79 then youre getting on in years!
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: I even sing in this song I was
born in 1962, thus giving away my age. Indeed in the '70s
and '80s radio was so much more important to us youngsters than it
is now to todays generation.
BECKERS: Back then radio was, apart from record stores, the only
way to discover new music. Stations in that heyday really dared playing
music that was not conforming to what we already knew. They made us
discover exciting new stuff. Nowadays radio has become a joke...everything
they play sounds the same. Music is made to format because radio doesnt
take risks anymore. So if you wanna get played, better make music
like radio wants it to sound...its the wrong way round.
Frank Van Bogaert: Thats why radio has become very boring
nowadays. Back in the days, DJs had the liberty to play the
records they liked and discovered themselves. Now all DJs have
to follow playlists and on these playlists youll only find music
thats been put there by pluggers. A Plugger has
become a new profession in the radio business, no plugger no airplay
for your band. In a nutshell, no money, no play. Although there are
still exceptions. Im mainly talking about mainstream radio of
Sanctuary is another extended track on Sanctuary with
a wide scope and expansive lyrics. What is the sanctuary now? Its
like taking a last stand in life? Theres more room there for
Marty Townsend to stretch out with some guitar solos which is nice!
Is Marty still living in Belgium?
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Marty is still living in Belgium, we wont
allow him to go back to the U.S. No, he likes it over here. He came
here, together with his wife, who is a teacher for NATO, about 20
years ago for a stay of no more than 2 years. Seriously, they have
built their lives over here.
WILLIAM BECKERS: Marty is one of the best guitar players in Belgium.
The good thing about his playing is that he is more kind of a blues
guitarist than a prog rock guitarist. This makes Fish on Friday sound
very different to other prog bands. A bit like David Gilmour, when
he joined Pink Floyd he was also a blues player you know.
mwe3: Stay is a cool kind of 21st century love
song with near alien lyrics. Again, the track hits its stride and
Marty rips another cool solo there.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Stay is more a kind of a despair
song, a cry for attention, about people who are almost down in the
gutter and desperately are seeking some tenderness and love in a harsh
world that has no place for them. Strange how a lot of listeners think
this is a love song. I guess thats the beauty about the lyrics
of this song, one can interpret it in different ways.
BECKERS: And yes that guitar solo in the bridge, again Marty at
mwe3: Is Dont Love Me To Death the flip side
to Stay. Love gone awry can be devastating.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Yes, love can be devastating. This one is more
about stalking kind of Every breath you take, Ill be watching
you story. I have got to mention the great guitar riffs and
a beautiful moog solo on this one.
mwe3: Tick Tock is a hoot. The monotony of life
or something more serious? Great beat, one of the great b-side tracks
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: In fact, this is about Alzheimers disease.
Not a funny thing if it happens to people you love.
WILLIAM BECKERS: Yes, true... I have to add that Frank mostly
sings about deeper and serious things in life but he always sings
it in a way that sounds joyful. This is also one of the most important
trademarks of the Fish On Friday sound. At first listen it all sounds
joyful, but if you really take time to listen to and understand the
lyrics, well they give you a lot to think over.
mwe3: My Dog closes out the CD. I think that is
a first for a progressive rock album.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Oh yes, we sure took a risk there. Risking
that every prog fan would dislike this song. Because its simple,
only piano and acoustic guitar and the lyrics. They are indeed about
my dog, its just funny and meant to end the album on a light
WILLIAM BECKERS: But dont mistake... its not that
simple, it sounds simple but in fact the chords are not that easy
at all. Anyway, it turns out this song is really being liked by everyone
and in a recent review in UKs Classic Rock magazine, the song
even got praised.
So the new album is being handled by Esoteric Records? How did you
arrange to work with them? Its such a vast company now but I
would think youre in good company there.
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Yes, we were excited when we were offered
a record deal with them. Its indeed a big label, belonging to
the Cherry Red record company, which is in business for more than
30 years already. Theyve got worldwide distribution and were
in good company with bands like Squackett (Chris Squire-Steve Hackett),
Lifesigns, Todd Rundgren, Vangelis and many other legends.
WILLIAM BECKERS: Its Nick Beggs who introduced us to
them. He sent them some demo tracks and once they heard them things
got on a rollercoaster, they wanted us to sign right away.
mwe3: Whats next for Fish On Friday? Do you have your
sights on the next project? Any other developments on the musical
front for 2015?
FRANK VAN BOGAERT: We take things as they come you know, we
work very hard on Fish On Friday and are now starting to compose songs
for our fourth album. I have to admit were enjoying the Godspeed
album getting such great response and even better sales than we were
used to with our previous two albums, Shoot the Moon and Airborne.
WILLIAM BECKERS: Because of the success of Godspeed, stock
of those two previous albums is now completely sold out and both are
being reprinted. Just follow us on Facebook to stay updated with the