Steve Hackett’s celebrated return to his time with Genesis, both on a hit album and tour, has brought him closer than ever to classic prog-rock songs from the 1970s — but not to his old bandmates.
Last year, Hackett issued Genesis Revisited II, a double album of lovingly redone tracks from his time with Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel, but says he hasn’t spoken to any of the musicians who helped create songs like “The Musical Box,” “Ripples” and “Afterglow.”
Instead, the project featured guests like Steven Wilson, John Wetton, Neal Morse, Jakko Jakszyk and Steve Rothery. The only former member of Genesis to participate on the tour that has followed is Ray Wilson, a member in the 1990s — well after Hackett’s 1971-77 stint in the group.
“I haven’t heard any feedback so far from the Genesis guys,” Hackett tells Dave J in Hollywood. “But obviously the fact that it’s done so well, and the fact that it was in the charts in England — it was outselling huge acts like Coldplay, at one point — obviously they’ll be aware of it. I imagine they’re chaffed and miffed, in equal measure. Chaffed that they wrote this stuff with me at that time, because there’s no point trying to argue with your past, and maybe miffed that they hadn’t thought of it themselves.”
The guitarist last performed with his old band in 1982; he hasn’t joined Genesis in the studio since 1999 — though that was only for a one-song session. By then Hackett had already issued his first album-length return to Genesis’ music.
“I’ve always said I would rejoin them if the band ever wanted to reconvene with me, but frankly I got tired of waiting,” Hackett adds. “It’s phenomenally difficult to try to negotiate anything with Genesis … We’ve spoke about it, but it’s unlikely to ever really come off.”
Genesis began with Gabriel, original guitarist Anthony Phillips, Banks and Rutherford, a lineup that lasted from 1967-70. Hackett and Collins then joined in 1971, as Phillips left. Gabriel departed in 1975, and Hackett followed in ’77. Collins originally quit in 1996. Wilson replaced him, and sang with Genesis through 1999.