'An extremely magical band': Steve Hackett previews his latest Genesis Revisited project

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Steve Hackett, in a newly posted video chat, takes fans inside a forthcoming tribute to his days as Genesis’ guitarist.

Genesis Revisited II, as the name implies, is Hackett’s second trip through his 1970s tenure with the legendary prog rock band, following Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited in 1996. The guitarist is quick to correct any early assumptions that he’ll simply be recreating those long-ago triumphs, however.

“All these years later,” Hackett says, “I thought it would be great to go back and revisit that with the technology of now, the experience that I have now as a player and producer, and try and recapture it — but do it as an enlargement.”

Hackett played guitar with Genesis from 1971-77, a period that began in the band’s Peter Gabriel-led era with Nursery Cryme and continued through the beginning of the Phil Collins era and Wind and Wuthering.

“I think that Genesis were an extremely magical band, full of great songwriters and great singers — visionaries, in a sense,” Hackett says. “It was fantastic working with the guys during the time of Peter Gabriel, who inducted me into the band all those years ago. I met him in 1970, and he said: ‘If you join us, you will be joining a songwriters’ collective. I think it was the broadest based band in the business. We did everything.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: We dig into five Genesis favorites, spanning both their early progressive efforts with Peter Gabriel and the subsequent, more pop-oriented period with Phil Collins.]

In keeping, Genesis Revisited II opens with a new take on “Chamber of 32 Doors,” a complex and layered track from 1974’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the magnum opus that served as Gabriel’s finale with Genesis.

“It’s a cross between rock, gospel, orchestral, country music — it’s all of those things,” Hackett says. “I think it depicts that hybrid that Genesis was — it marks the material out from anything that other bands had done.”

Hackett is joined on Genesis Revisited II by Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree; Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth; and John Wetton of King Crimson, UK and Asia; along with Simon Collins, Nik Kershaw, John Hackett and long-time collaborator Roger King, among others. The album is set for release in the UK, France and Greece on October 22, 2012 via InsideOut Music; then in America, Italy and Spain on October 23, and Australia and New Zealand on October 26.

The new project follows Hackett’s Genesis-themed concert, called “Past and Present,” held in May at the Islington Assembly Hall in London. Since, the guitarist has released the Squackett collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire called A Life Within a Day.

His post-Genesis solo career has not been confined to progressive rock, however, as Hackett has also recorded classical music and had success on the pop charts: He was a member of the supergroup GTR with Yes guitarist Steve Howe in the mid-1980s, Scoring a No. 14 hit with “When the Heart Rules the Mind.”

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Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Steve Hackett and Genesis. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: GUITARIST STEVE HACKETT, FORMERLY OF GENESIS: Hackett, who still nurtures a lasting affinity for classical music, has leapt headlong back into prog rock — putting the finishing touches on a collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, even as he begins work on an album that will reexamine his celebrated tenure as guitarist with Genesis. Hackett went in depth on the new project with Squire, the guitarist’s celebrated tenure with Genesis, and the sweeping impact of J.S. Bach on his playing style.

SQUACKETT – A LIFE WITHIN ONE DAY (2012): A sun-filled, surprisingly light-hearted experience, this collaboration between Yes’ Chris Squire and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame is a journey that’s both at peace with what came before, and yet somehow brand new in the way that it combines the sensibilities of both bands without getting bound up in their pasts.

GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE GENESIS, WELL, SUCKED: Here, we sort through the worst of the worst — and that’s all — from the Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Ray Wilson eras of this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. Certain things within Genesis’ established band narrative went by the wayside, though: We didn’t ding the early albums for their sometimes cloying sense of very-British whimsy, nor their later albums when they settled for by-the-numbers reproductions of Collins’ solo ballad style. We wanted to delve into things far more egregious than those run-of-the-mill annoyances … the times when they didn’t seem to have an invisible touch. Whatever that means.

ONE TRACK MIND: STEVE HACKETT ON “FIRTH OF FIFTH,” “WHEN THE HEART RULES THE MIND,” OTHERS: Hackett, who’s readying a new collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, talks about how joining Genesis spurred him to a series of memorable inventions on his instrument. And how one of these pioneering moments would one day help create a signature part of Eddie Van Halen’s high-flying solo sound. We also go inside the brief and stormy collaboration with Steve Howe in the mid-1980s called GTR, and Hackett’s genre-busting return to prog rock in 2009.

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