Music Features

Steve Hackett (Genesis) Interview

We are going to take a little time out from hustle and bustle of new releases which threaten to overwhelm even the most stolid of nervous systems, and talk about some old-school Genesis.  This isn't the Invisible Touch/I Can't Dance variety you may be more familiar with and love/disdain depending on your temperament and/or your hipster quotient, but the musically adventurous, dare I say Progressive incarnation of the band that spanned the early to mid 70s and was enormously popular before punk came along and told people they weren't allowed to like it.  Something about pretentiousness and playing their instruments too well, etc, etc.  I love the Sex Pistols as much as anybody, but I'm here to tell Mr. Rotten that we are throwing out the precocious baby with the pretentious bathwater.  Bands like Yes, King Crimson and Genesis were broadening the musical vocabulary of rock and they weren't snipping their balls off in the process.  There's something to be said for involving and inventive music on its own terms, especially in an age more and more dominated by pure rhythm.  

Steve Hackett was the guitarist for Genesis in it's most creative period, when Peter Gabriel was on the mic and Phil Collins was still displaying his considerable talent as a drummer.  Steve pioneered many guitar techniques that proved highly influential, including classical finger picking, increased sustain and finger-tapping, and guitarists from Brian May to Eddie Van Halen have been vocal about their debts to him.  His work with the band and the music they created still endures and as a result he has decided to re-record much of his favorite material in new versions with other musicians on an album called Genesis Revisited II, (Volume I came out in the 90s) and has been taking this music out on the road to appreciative crowds in England and, soon, the US too.  We talked about his influences, his time with Genesis and his reasons for coming back to this music after so long.

This interview and others are also available on the High and Low Podcast