Michael Lello of Highway 81 Revisited has recently conducted an interview with guitarist and composer Steve Hackett about the possibility of a Genesis reunion, his audition for the band and bringing finger-tapping to the electric guitar. Few excerpts from the interview can be read below.
H81R: When you perform the old Genesis material, does it take you back to the days when you first recorded them?
SH: I think all the time I feel that music is a kind of time machine, and you become the age when you were hugely moved by listening to music that turned you on at the time. It’s also a kind of emotional calendar. If you’re listening to a Beatles tune of a certain time, you always remember the first time you heard that song. That’s the case for me. I’ll remember hearing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and being at a dance with very young guys listening to that in the early ’60s, and immediately you know what was going on: the fights that were breaking out, all that testosterone with young guys hanging out together, all at school and being beaten into submission. I think there was a lot to fight against at that time, but music does that of course. Watching Buffy Sainte-Marie on stage a couple years ago, watching her sing “Until It’s Time For You To Go,” something like that moves me hugely. I can be moved to tears by that, and I think that’s the effect of music that lasts. If it’s a real song and somebody sings it for you again, it might be three decades that have past, or four or even five, the ’60s are still hugely important to me, not to mention the 1950s of course, where I first started listening to music. The great things still sound great. Elvis singing “Hound Dog” still sounds great. Always will.
H81R: Can you tell us about your band lineup for this tour?
SH: Absolutely, sure. The guys in the band are Nick Beggs on the bass and 12-string. He used to be with Kajagoogoo but has worked with all kinds of people including John Paul Jones. Our singer is Nad Sylvan. Our keyboard player is Roger King. On drums it’s Gary O’Toole, and Rob Townsend on woodwind and brass and percussion and extra keyboard. That’s the band lineup for that coming tour.
H81R: Over the years, Peter has been the most reluctant to reunite with the old lineup, but in interviews, he seems to be more open to the idea lately. Do you think it’s possible?
SH: I don’t have a crystal ball. I’m seeing them all tomorrow, as it happens, but nobody has a crystal ball with this. There are many separate agendas, whereas we shared one common goal at one time, everyone knows that I’m up for it, but I’ll let you know after tomorrow. That’s not ostensibly why we’re all coming together. There’s always something else on the table. No one will be more surprised than me if that’s the result of us coming together. Maybe this guy can’t do it because he’s doing music for FIFA, and another guy is scoring music for a movie for Disney, and another guy’s got a tour. There’s a lot of things in the way. God, I think the last time we had a gig was nine years ago. Decades come and go, but I have to say that I doubt that there will be any complete reformation. I don’t think it’s likely to happen. I’ve always been up for it, it’s possible but highly improbable, but I’d like to be pleasantly surprised.
H81R: What is the meeting about?
SH: Well, there is something that’s on the cards, but I don’t want to be the one to spill the beans because the agenda may have entirely changed by tomorrow, so I think it might be unlikely to talk about it at this stage. But what it is not is a proposal for a live performance of the five guys. That is what it is not. I’m not allowed to say what it is at this stage because it could be very bad luck.
Read the full interview at Highway 81 Revisited.