Is Steve Hackett’s new Wolflight album cover for real?: ‘I felt pretty nervous at first’

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You could be forgiven for having seen the just-released cover for Steve Hackett’s forthcoming album Wolflight and wondering if the former Genesis guitarist was photoshopped in. After all, those are like, wolves and stuff.

Turns out, the photograph is very much real — with only the insertion of a darkened sky and moon done later, Hackett says. Seems on a day off while on tour with his Genesis Revisited show in Italy last summer, Steve Hackett and his wife Jo visited a pair of photographer friends. Maurizio and Angela took them into the hills outside of Rome, where an acquaintance rears wolves.

“I felt pretty nervous at first when on entering a large grassy area we were confronted by several full-sized wolves,” Hackett admits, “but the owner reassured me that because they saw him as the alpha male and he was clearly fine with us, I would not be harmed. Apparently, it would not have been so safe if he had not been there!”

Slowly, but surely, Steve Hackett says he gained the animals’ trust — to the point where he was eventually able to approach their tiny offspring. “Amazingly, the wolves didn’t feel threatened when I picked up a cub and started to play with them,” he says. “In fact, I had the feeling they were proud that I was so charmed by their little brood. It was even possible to feed the wolves without them biting my hand.”

The cover shot was taken at some nearby ruins, with a quartet of his new friends. “It was an extraordinary day which I’ll always remember,” Hackett adds. “My respect for those wolves and the joy of being invited into their world will remain with me forever.”

Wolflight, Steve Hackett’s first album of original solo music since 2011’s Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, is due March 30, 2015 via InsideOut Music. Hackett has issued a collaborative album with Chris Squire, dubbed Squackett, and issued Genesis Revisited II in the meantime. A tour in support of Wolflight will follow this year.

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