Interviewer Jordan Sibberas for Music Injection
MI: Genesis have only ever been to Australia once in their history, and the fans are itching to have you over here with your upcoming tour, could you tell us a bit about how this tour came about?
SH: One of my mutual friends, David Williams, got in touch and told me that years ago he’d tried to get us over to Australia, but I ended up in court, in a pretty involved case. To cut to the chase though, I never heard about the offer [to tour Australia]. It makes me wonder how many other offers I never heard about! Currently, for the past ten years Jo, my very hard working wife, and I have been self-managed, which means I get to hear everything first hand, and we get to interact with agents and promoters ourselves. If Bob Geldoff phones up and asks us to do Live Aid we get to do it, whereas back in the day I didn’t get to because managers got in the way. I remember having dinner with Geldoff once and he said he’d tried to put [a spot on live aid] together for you, and I said had I known I would’ve pushed from my end as well. So there you are! These opportunities can slip through your fingers. What I’m trying to say is this trip to Australia is long overdue but I hope it won’t be the last time.
MI: Have you personally been to Australia?
SH: Never! It’s a huge adventure for me. My wife and I, when we’re not being a band, we like to go ‘Indiana Jones’ and travel about to all sorts of places.
MI: Between Genesis’ albums and your own impressive solo catalogue, can you tell us a bit about what you plan on playing without giving too much away?
SH: It’s mainly a Genesis show but there’ll be some stuff from my new album which has charted well in a number of territories. Within its first week it outsold its predecessor! It made an impact on the British, French, German and Italian charts rather well, and when I think of all the competition we had on the charts, it’s heart-warming! We’ve never been on the Italian charts, but we’ve been doing a lot of touring and it’s a busy time.
MI: For those of us in Australia who might be more familiar with the classic Genesis lineups but not with your solo project, could you tell us about the musicians you’ll be bringing over here?
SH: On keyboards, we’ve got Roger King, on a whole mess of instruments it’s Rob Townsend, such as brass, woodwinds and percussion, he’s very talented. On drums, it’s Gary O’Toole who also sings. On bass it’s Nick Beggs, who also sings. I sing myself, and we have Nad Sylvan singing the Genesis material. That’s the entire band. We’ve been working (Rob, Roger & Gary) for close to 17 years now, plus Nad for the past four or five years. Nick Beggs is sometimes with my band and sometimes with Steven Wilson’s band, and they’re an extraordinary team. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best bassists in the business, such as Chris Squire, and it all seemed to happen at once for me in the mid noughties, but unfortunately, I’ve lost great mates [such as Chris] in recent times.
MI: In the seventies, Genesis were on the front line of what became prog, and now in recent times you yourself have worked with modern prog artists such as Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt, in this space of time, you’ve seen the prog scene completely change, what has that been like?
SH: I think it evolved in… well, I can only state my own example. When I was 15, I was listening to blues and rock and roll music, this was in the 60s. I found it hugely inspiring in the guitar department, but at the same time, I had this private world of listening to rock music, and I thought that it was such a shame that these two very separate styles were not really able to come together, but in the late 60s it started to happen and I really wanted to get on board. Music was definitely starting to change and take on board these other forms, with a very pan-genre approach. This really inspired me to start writing music with Genesis. Some of it was good, some of it was completely crazed, but at that time that was okay because record companies were letting musicians do exactly what they wanted to do, so there was no interference. In the 80s this really changed and we became more accountable. They made it clear that they were looking for, and I quote, “a career song”. In the 70s, people were making albums as a journey or a continuum, but by the 80s, people made albums that were designed to be full of hit singles. The pressure was on to be accountable and [write hits]. I struggled a little in the 80s because I tended to fall foul of the politics. However, I did start a band in the 80s called GTR with Steve Howe. We did feel very accountable, the label had us on a short leash. I think the spirit of what we might’ve done was possibly lost as a result of the way the business of it worked at the time. But, it was just before the era where artists owned their own labels, and once I was fully subscribed to doing that I realised I was in an industry that was disqualifying everyone that was over 35. No matter what your talent was, you had to sort your own situation out. Now it’s all changed of course, there is no more monopoly via the record companies, but there are the two biggies [record labels], but if you decide to go your own way you can set up your own virtual record label and press, and you can play it your own way. You don’t have to play according to who’s in charge.
MI: any last words before we let you go?
SH: I’ve been very excited to come to Australia! It’s something I’ve always regretted not being able to do with Genesis.
STEVE HACKETT ‘’GENESIS REVISITED’’
Legendary Genesis guitarist’s first ever Australian tour.
Steve Hackett, as the powerhouse guitarist for inarguably one of the most important progressive rock bands ever, has been a guiding influence for musicians and guitarists for over 40 years.
Genesis, only ever made it to Australia once, in 1986 – years after Steve and singer Peter Gabriel left the band, so Steve is making it up to fans by bringing some Genesis magic to our shores. Genesis classics ‘’Dance On A Volcano’’ and ‘’Eleventh Earl Of Mar’’ have never been performed here, and Steve’ s incendiary guitar work on a magnum opus such as ‘’Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’’ will have jaws dropping.
In this special Australian only show, Steve will also perform a couple of songs from his forthcoming album, The Night Siren before whetting the appetite for a grand finale that will leave fans ecstatic. I’m thrilled to bring myGenesis Revisited tour to Australia & NZ.
‘’I’ll be playing there for the first time and I’m hugely looking forward to it! It’ll be great to meet fans and friends, and I know it’s an incredibly beautiful country. I’m bringing a special set, including big favourites like ‘’Supper’s Ready’’, ‘’The Musical Box’’ and ‘’Firth of Fifth’’ amongst many other stellar Genesis numbers and some solo. I can’t wait!’’
— Steve Hackett
Steve is renowned for his dazzling guitar playing but his world class band is equal to the task, presenting extraordinarily proficient performances, sensitive to the original recordings yet adding very clear nuances and personality to the music. It’s in no way an understatement to say that fans of exceptional music are in for the concert of a lifetime.
Media Quotes: ‘’I’d never seen Hackett live before, and was absolutely floored by his guitar pyrotechnics.Hackett’s two-and-a-half-hour performance had the very enthusiastic crowd roaring and giving numerous standing ovations.”
— Goldmine Magazine
“It has been a long time since I felt as exhilarated after a concert. I urge everyone with a slightly daring taste in music to experience this music live. It’s unlikely to leave you indifferent.”
— The Rocktologist
“By the time Steve Hackett and the band had reached minute 120 of the lengthy set and after the essential version of Los Endos, I heard a fan nearby say, “Well how do you follow that?” Fair comment mate”
— Classic Rock Magazine
“This was truly an incredible show filled with great musicians and timeless songs. For 2 and a half hours the audience was transported to another place and time and I was lucky enough to be one of those people. Don’t waste an opportunity to see this man and his band perform if they come to your city.”
— The Prog Report
“The music was mesmerising, the musicianship world class and I didn’t want it to end.”
Steve Hackett: Tour Dates:
Friday 28th July – AUCKLAND, Town Hall (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Wednesday 2nd August – BRISBANE, Tivoli (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Friday 4th August – SYDNEY, Enmore (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Saturday 5th August – MELBOURNE, Palais (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Pre-sale: Wednesday 28th March, 10am – 6pm Local Time
General Public On sale: Thursday 29th March 10am Local Time
Steve Hackett Biography
Steve Hackett has had a remarkable musical career and is renowned as one of the most innovative rock musicians of our time. Steve has released more than 30 solo albums as well as the seven albums he recorded with Genesis. In 2010, Steve was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. As lead guitarist with Genesis he was part of the classic Peter Gabriel era line up which produced acclaimed albums such as The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound (a favourite of John Lennon). Steve’s compositional prowess and extraordinary versatility in both his electric & acoustic guitar playing, is influenced by Rock, Jazz, World Music and Blues. With Genesis, Steve’s guitar playing produced some of their most memorable moments, from the sensitivity of his acoustic sound on Horizons and Blood on the Rooftops to the dramatic rock guitar solos of Firth of Fifth and Fountain of Salmacis.
Pushing musical boundaries into exciting new areas, Steve created sounds and techniques such as ‘tapping’, later developed by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, and leading directly to instruments such as the Chapman Stick. As well as a flourishing solo career throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Steve also joined Yes guitarist Steve Howe in the highly successful GTR. Steve also worked with renowned musicians such as Paul Carrick, Bonny Tyler, John Wetton and Brian May, who has credited Steve as an early influence.
Throughout the 2000’s Steve has created a succession of sophisticated albums, from the opaque atmospherics of Darktown to the colourful voyage through time and space of To Watch the Storms. 2009’s Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth was proclaimed by fans and reviewers alike as his best ever, and follow up album Beyond the Shrouded Horizon received an equally enthusiastic response. In 2012 Steve collaborated with Chris Squire of Yes on the “Squackett” album A Life Within a Day. Hackett’s latest albums Wolflight and the exciting new album The Night Siren both featured in the UK Top 40 and continue Steve’s trailblazing excursions through a myriad of musical styles and his optimistic world view. Genesis’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2010 stands as a testament to the enduring qualities of their music. Steve has always held a torch for the classic Genesis music and his Genesis Revisited 2013 Hammersmith Odeon show took out Event of the Year at the prestigious Progressive Music Awards. Steve is also the most recent recipient of the FIM Legend of Rock Award.Steve’s live electric gigs take his fans on an extraordinary journey drawn from a rich musical heritage. Perennial Genesis favourites such as the mighty Firth Of Fifth sit alongside solo classics, while more recent material demonstrates that Steve is an artist still very much at the top of his game. Supported by some of the best musicians on the planet, Steve’s unique guitar work remains the fulcrum on which this challenging and exhilarating show is balanced.