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Countdown magazine talks to Marty about In Reflection Print E-mail
Monday, 01 June 1987

Marty chats about his first solo album, and "going folk".


Countdown (Australia)
June 1987


Church Activities

There seems to be quite a bit of activity on the Church front lately. First was Steve Kilbey’s solo album and massive tome of poetry. then some solo acoustic gigs from guitarist Marty Willson-Piper. And now -- fanfare please -- comes In Reflection, Marty’s solo album, a collection of pieces recorded at home between August 1983 and May 1985.

And -- surprise surprise -- it is a Good Thing. Effortlessly recalling other good things (middle period Beatles, early Pink Floyd, Who, Velvets, a whole range of ‘70s English eccentrics), it makes a good case for Marty as More Than Just The Church’s Guitarist.

“Well, that’s because I am,” Marty laughs. “I’ve always written songs and played them; in fact, I sometimes play in England solo. I used to busk, too.”

Why do the songs end abruptly in May 1985?

“Basically that’s when I took over looking after the Church’s business affairs, and I haven’t had time to do any more. But I can see where there might be a sequel in the future.

“All this solo activity wasn’t planned to all coincide; on my part it happened because the Church were facing this void of inactivity and I needed something to do. That’s when the solo gigs started happening and I began to think about this record. But the Church haven’t broken up.

“I heard some very strange comments about the solo gigs -- ‘Oh, Marty goes folk’. I think those people missed the point. Just because it was me and an acoustic guitar, it was ‘Marty goes folk’. I went to see Ralph McTell -- he’s folk, I’m just playing solo.”

Is there any statement you’re trying to make with the LP, Marty?

“Not with the songs, but I hope the record itself makes people think. People have said ‘Oh, Marty’s stating the obvious again’, but I think it needs to be said -- the best records aren’t the ones that cost the most money. In fact, it’s often the other way around. Small is good!”

The record does contain one startling revelation -- for me, anyway, -- and that’s that Marty’s name is Willson-Piper, not the usually misspelt one “L” version.

“If I had one wish, it would be that people could spell my name right. Still, it could be worse. I once worked in England as a door to door salesman and this lady told me her name was Stanley-Cholmondely-Forbes. That’s when I began to think I had it easy. . .”


Transcribed by Mike Fulmer

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