Marty Willson-Piper

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Marty Willson-Piper
Born 7 May 1958
Stockport,Greater Manchester,England
Genres Rock
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1980–present
Labels Um & Ah Records
Survival Records
Festival Records
Heyday Records
Associated acts The Church
All About Eve, Moat,Sweet Gum Tree

Marty Willson-Piper is a guitarist and was a long-time member of Australian independent rock band The Church. While he was not a founding member of the band (he joined in 1980 after seeing an early gig where they were performing as a three-piece), he was regarded as an integral member for many years.

Early life[edit]

Willson-Piper travelled around the world as a street performer, before he arrived in Australia in April 1980 aged 21.[citation needed]

The Church[edit]

Following his arrival in Australia, Willson-Piper soon joined The Church on guitar, vocals and bass guitar—alongside Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Nick Ward—in 1980.[1][2] Willson-Piper's sound was influenced by guitarists such as Tom Verlaine and Bill Nelson.[3]

Willson-Piper contributed to most of the Church's studio releases and was a member almost continuously, from 1980 to 2013. One exception is the 1997 album Pharmakoi: Distance Crunching Honchos with Echo Units, which only featured Kilbey, Koppes and drummer Tim Powles. Willson-Piper's last recording with the Church is the 2010 EP Deadman's Hand, released after the band's 2009 album Untitled #23.

Kilbey announced on the band's Facebook page that former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug replaced Willson-Piper, who Kilbey explained is "not available" for the recording of a new album, and subsequent touring, in 2014.[4] Entitled Further/Deeper, the Church's 25th album was released on 17 October 2014.[5]

Solo career and Noctorum[edit]

Willson-Piper has maintained a steady solo output since the mid-1980s, releasing six solo studio albums and three live solo albums to date. He released his newest solo album Nightjar in March 2009 on Second Motion Records.[citation needed]

Side projects and collaborations[edit]

Willson-Piper's side projects and collaborations include two stints as guitarist for UK rock group All About Eve, on their 1991 album Touched By Jesus, 1992's Ultraviolet, Fairy Night Lights 1 & 2, Live At The Union Chapel in 2001 as well as their Live In Bonn DVD. He is also included in the offshoot band Seeing Stars album.[citation needed] He played on several tracks on Tom Verlaine's 1990 album The Wonder, but is uncredited.

Appears on the single (Just like) Surf City with James Griffin and the Subterraneans in 1985.

He performs on Black In Sunshine (1988) and wrote Hidden Treasures (1990) for Swedish singer Ann Carlberger who is also Willson-Piper's ex-partner.

He has worked with David Gedge's Cinerama (on their first album 1998's Va Va Voom) and plays on seven tracks, and with Jules Shear (the songs on Shear's 1989 album The Third Party consist entirely of one acoustic guitar track, played by Willson-Piper, and one vocal track by Shear). Other artists with whom Willson-Piper has worked are Martin Rössel (with whom he ran a recording studio in Stockholm) and plays guitar on My Eyes (1988) as well as co-writing Spegel and Kiss The Moon (1989) and acoustic on Paradiset (1989) and Aimee Mann (The song "Could've Been Anyone" (Lyrics by Mann, Music by Mann, Jules Shear, Marty Willson-Piper) appears on Mann's first album, the 1993 Whatever. In 1999, Willson-Piper contributed electric guitar to the Paul Mauriat song 'Love Is Blue,' as recorded by Roxanne Fontana in New York City. The track was produced by former Rascals drummer Dino Danelli. Again, in 2000, Willson-Piper contributed to the Roxanne Fontana album Souvenirs d'Amour, engineered by Gordon Raphael; he contributed backing vocals to the track 'Dreaming She,' and 12-string acoustic guitar on Fontana's cover version of Ralph McTell's 'Michael in the Garden.'

Produced seven tracks on album Elvis, Halleluja and Hurrah (1998) for Håkan Ahlström as well as playing on five of them.

Co- produced 1987 album Blood Red Roses for band Bell Jar.

Co-writer of song Battersea for All About Eve's Julie Reagan side project Mice in 1996 as well as appearing on tracks Miss World and Dark Place.

Co-writer of song Knock Me Out for 4NonBlondes lead singer Linda Perry on her 1996 album In Flight.

Lead guitar on Scratch's 1996 song We Got Fooled Again and The Volares 1998 track Open Book.

Wrote and produced three tracks ( and plays on two) for Brix Smith's 1997 album Happy Unbirthday as well as co-writing and singing on most of the tracks on her 2007 LP Neurotica.

Produced Justin Clayton's 1999 album Limb and guests on track Shallow World.

For Swedish act Moderna Män, Willson - Piper produced, recorded and mixed their 2000 album Entré.

in 2004 Willson-Piper featured on the tracks Who Knew the World Would End and All Your Kingdom on the Edward Roger's album Sunday Fables and again in 2008 on Roger's follow up You Haven't Been Where I've Been on the tracks Graveyard Voices, What Happened To Manfred What Happened To Jane.

Solo guitar on Rob Dickenson's single Oceans (2005) and The Gronk's Touch the Sun (2008).

Wrote The Sensual Hour and Sticks And Stones in 1994 for The Infidels.

Guest appearance on Mehal's 2011 album Oranges And Seals on tracks Touch, We Come From Here and Hippy Tree.

In 2003 Willson-Piper recorded the song Motorcycle with Australian band Urban Folk Collective for their album Black Rabbit.

In 2005, Willson-Piper joined veteran Australian band The Saints to record an album Nothing Is Straight In My House as well as co- writing the track Passing Strange. Willson-Piper also joined the band for the following tour.

In 2006 Willson-Piper also performed on tracks Martha's Harbour and Circle on the White Rose Transmission album Bewitched And Bewildered.

Willson-Piper recorded the duet Beatles and Stones with Norwegian singer Marte Heggelund in 2008 for her album Treason.

He has released three albums with long-time friend Andy 'Dare' Mason (who has produced and played on many of Willson-Piper's solo releases) under the duo name "Noctorum".[citation needed]

2009 also saw Willson-Piper contribute a four page story entitled Keep On Truckin' for the book Hitchers Of Oz.

Willson-Piper also features in the 2010 book Rickenbacker 12 The Story Of The Guitars, The Music,The Great Players in a two page interview.

Willson-Piper is currently lead singer with Swedish band Moat,releasing a self titled debut album in October 2013. A track from this album entitled Try And Make Sense was used in the Swedish police television drama Arne Dahl in the final episode of series one titled Europa Blues.

In 2014 Willson-Piper was also part of French band Sweet Gum Tree recording the album The Snakes You Charm and the Wolves You Tame as well as joining the band for their subsequent tour.

He appeared with his own jam band Marty Willson- Piper's Acres Of Space at the 35th anniversary of Pet Sounds Record Store in Stockholm in November 2014.

He makes a guest appearance on Swedish progressive rock band Anekdoten's new album entitled Until All The Ghosts Are Gone released April 2015,and, is joining the band for a tour which will include a German music festival in July.

Willson-Piper is currently working on a new Moat album as well as rehearsing for live shows with Acres Of Space as of July 2015.



  • In Reflection – Um & Ah Records (UM-7) (1987)
  • Art Attack – Survival Records (462450.1) (1988)(Rykodisc CD 20042 includes 6 bonus tracks from In Reflection). Personnel include Ann Carlberger , Andy Mason, David Leone, Barton Price (from Australian band The Models), Martin Rossel.
  • RhymeFestival Records (L 30346) (1989) (Rykodisc CD RCD 10114). Personnel include Andy Mason and Christian Falk.
  • Spirit Level (1992) (Rykodisc CD 10197). Personnel include Sebastian Oberg, Andres Herneston, Ann Carlberger and others.
  • Hanging Out in Heaven – Heyday Records (HEY 046) (2000). No singles were released from this album.
  • Nightjar – Heyday Records (2008)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • She's King (1988). Tracks: Official release tracks: 'She's King' 3:37; 'Listen/Space' 5:00; 'Frightened Just Because of You' 2:54. (The first two tracks are as included on the Art Attack album; 'Frightened Just because of You' is here an alternate version). The USA-only Ryko Records RBD-0423 radio promo version of the e.p. featured 'She's King'; 'Too Round to Be Square'; and 'On the Tip of My Tongue' (which are all from Art Attack).
  • On the Tip of My Tongue (1988) (from Art Attack)
  • Questions Without Answers (1989) (from Rhyme)
  • Melancholy Girl (1989)(from Rhyme)
  • Luscious Ghost e.p. (1992). Tracks: 'Luscious Ghost' (5:05) (from Spirit level); 'In Circles' 3:34; Luscious Ghost (unfinished version) 4:52
  • I Can't Cry (1992) (from Spirit Level)
  • Pegasus e.p. (2008)(from Nightjar)

Live Recordings[edit]

  • Live at the Fine Line CafeHeyday Records (2000)Recorded live at The Fine Line Cafe, Minneapolis, Minnesota on 15 February 1990.

Tracks: St. Germain/Frightened Just Because of You/Water/Melody of the Rain/I Can't Cry/10,000 Miles/You Whisper/Questions Without Answers/Time Is Imaginary/To Where I Am Now/On The Tip Of My Tongue/Here Come the Tears.

  • Live At The Knitting Factory – Heyday Records (2000)

Tracks: I Know I Won't/She's King/You Whisper/Time Is Imaginary/St Germaine/The Air Between Us/Say/Evil Queen Of England/10,000 Miles/Spark

  • Live From The Other Side – Um & Ah Records (UM-22) (2004)Recorded live in 2003 at the Sandringham Hotel, Newtown, Sydney.

Seeing Stars[edit]

  • Seeing Stars (1997). This sole eponymous album is essentially by the band All About Eve, minus their vocalist Julianne Regan.


  • Sparks Lane (2004)
  • Offer the Light (2006)
  • Honey Mink Forever (2011)

The Saints[edit]

  • Nothing is Straight in My House (2005)
  • Other projects include:-
  • Moat – Moat ( 2013 )
  • Sweet Gum Tree – The Snakes You Charm and the Wolves You Tame (2014)


  1. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Marty Willson-Piper". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "The Church". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Robert Dean Lurie. No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and the Church. Portland, Ore.: Verse Chorus Press, 2009, p.153.
  4. ^ Lauren Ziegler (26 November 2013). "The Church's Steve Kilbey replaces Marty Willson-Piper with Powderfinger's Ian Haug". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Jonny Nail (14 October 2014). "Exclusive Stream: The Church 'Further/Deeper'". Rolling Stone Australia. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Official MySpace Site
  • [2] Second Motion Records
  • moat band official facebook