As any Marillion fan knows, Steve Rothery is the band’s founding guitarist and sole original member, going all the way back to their Silmarillion days. He is the understated showman whose quiet mastery on stage will elicit a groundswell of emotion from heartiest souls as he closes his eyes, tilts his head back, and fills the room his melodic, soulful solos and searing riffs.
As any progressive rock fan will attest, he is simply one of the best guitar players in the business and has been dubbed so by the Prog Magazine Readers' Poll several times.
Rothery has described his own style on the guitar as a mix of Andrew Latimer, Steve Hackett, and David Gilmour. He has also cited Joni Mitchell as an influence, especially her use of open tunings, which he believed created a very harmonically rich sound. He has cited "A Case of You" as one of the songs that had the biggest influence on him.
"I was also really influenced by George Harrison - the lesson there being to play just what’s right for the song. "When I was growing up, I was always drawn to players who had an atmospheric and emotional quality to their sound... I think the guitar has the power to communicate emotionally more than any other instrument, and you’re short-changing yourself if you focus on technique at the cost of emotion. You have to listen with your heart, as well as your ears."
Besides his nearly 20 studio releases with Marillion, Steve has recorded two albums, “Carnival of Souls” (1996) and “Ostara” (2009) with Hannah Stobart as The Wishing Tree. He released his first solo, instrumental album “The Ghosts of Pripyat” in 2014, as well as two preceding live albums in 2013 and 2014. Rothery has guested with Jadis, Enchant, Arena, Edison’s Children, John Wesley, Dave Kerzner, Rick Armstrong, and Steve Hackett just to name a few. He has been invited to perform at some incredible places and times, notably during a total solar eclipse at the European Space Agency’s La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
In addition to being an accomplished guitarist, Rothery is also an avid photographer. His first book of photographs and stories from the early Marillion years, “Postcards from the Road, Volume 1”, was published in 2016.
Rumor has it that Steve is hard at work creating Marillion’s 20th studio album, his 2nd solo album “Revontulet”, and “Postcards from the Road, Volume 2”.