‘I could listen to Led Zeppelin just for the drums’: Tony Banks on how John Bonham influenced Genesis

Share this:

Genesis’ 1980s-era transition from producer David Hentschel — who oversaw four studio albums beginning with 1976’s A Trick of the Tail — had to do with an abiding passion for the thunderous drum sound of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.

“We went up to and including (1980’s) Duke with him, then we decided we just wanted to get more size out of everything,” keyboardist Tony Banks says in a newly posted video. “I was always a massive fan, as I think we all were at various times, of John Bonham’s sound. Just loved that sound. I could listen to Led Zeppelin just for the drums; I don’t really care about the rest of it. It’s just a great sound, in particular in those days when not everybody was doing it. We wanted that live sound.”

With Hentschel, however, they could never quite replicate it. Then Phil Collins met Hugh Padgham, while working on ex-frontman Peter Gabriel’s third album away from Genesis. The producer/engineer would help shape Collins’ own solo sound, and then have a huge impact on Genesis into the ’80s.

“He worked with us on Abacab,,” Banks says, “and we managed to get that big drum sound.”

The transformation helped convince Banks of the importance of bringing outside voices into the recording process — though he still thinks that a producer or engineer’s biggest impact comes through on specific elements like drums.

“The rest of the sounds, to some extent, we could take care of ourselves,” Banks adds. “With keyboards, you define it yourself a bit. (Bassist/guitarist) Mike (Rutherford) always does the same thing with the guitar: He starts off with a guitar that sounded pretty good, and then he goes through 25 other guitar sounds. and then after a couple of days comes back to the original guitar sound. (Laughs.) That’s not fair at all!”

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00122RQ8E” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B003ZZAXFO” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000P46P82″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000002I8D” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B002GU5V24″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close