"Another Trip Down Memory Lane" - In conversation with Mike Rutherford about the early days of Genesis - An extract from an interview conducted at Mike's home and recording studio on December 21, 1994. Interview by Alan Hewitt.
AH: First of all, Mike what are your feelings about the "From Genesis To Revelation" album now?
MR: I feel pretty good about it , actually, because recently I heard some of the old demos from that album and some that were never released, in connection with this box set project and it is a very sort of simple album; streamlined in a way and yet it wasn't trying to be clever.
AH: Do you still think that Jonathan King pushed you too much in one direction?
MR: I don't really think he pushed us all that much really. He made comments which he thought might be useful but what he gave us was a chance to make an album at the age of sixteen which, in those days, was rare. It seldom happened.
AH: You all brought in bits and pieces of songs. Which ones do you remember?
MR: There was one that was called "The Movement"... sorry... there was a song called "There Was A Movement", and then something else which became "The Movement".
AH: How long was that track?
MR: Tony and I had a meeting the other day and neither of us could remember how long it was! (laughter). There was a seventeen minute version of "Going Out To Get You" and that was another one that got transferred around in different formats. Between one week and another we used to change things around whereas now things are slower. In those days we would gig on a Monday or over the weekend and then Monday to Thursday we would work out different ideas to different songs.
AH: What are your memories of going on the road for the first time?
MR: The first gig was at Brunel University and we were facing the wrong way and were three deep! (laughter) because we weren't used to proper concert set ups. The Balme's dance was a party; a private party but Brunel was the first proper gig. Our first public performance if you like. It was hard with so many twelve strings to keep in tune and we used to tune them up in the gents toilets at the back of the pub!
AH: Did your first single, "The Silent Sun" end up with the B-side intended for it; because there are several stories about a different B-side...?
MR: Very often the tracks for B-sides weren't high up on our list of priorities. People would come up and make suggestions after shows and so on; but I can't really remember anything different.
AH: By the time of "Trespass" you and Anthony had created your own unique sound with the two twelve strings. How far do you think that influenced the writing of the album?
MR: I think quite a lot, because you can hear that twelve string sound on things like "Stagnation" and it was part of what we did, and having heard recently the re-mastered versions of those albums, I listened to "Stagnation" and I couldn't hear where Pete came in at all. And it was Ant and I with the twelve string sound over everyone else.
Those things were probably better live in terms of sound... We filled it up too much. On stage it was just one keyboard; two guitars and so on... And on record we overdubbed too much and there wasn't much space on those songs because we crammed too much into them.
AH: The album seems to have a lot of influences on it. What were the main influences, both lyrically and musically on you when you were writing for it?
MR: I think that from the formative years; what came through musically were The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. Lyrically I think it was science fiction books which I was reading at the time.
AH: What do you remember about the radio and TV sessions; Night Ride and Disco Two?
MR: Disco Two was very much like TV-AM these days; it was live tv and it wasn't very good; and I believe it has been lost and I am not too disappointed about that actually! I don't really remember that session; I always remember the one we did with Paul Samwell-Smith later on, and that one sounded good. They weren't much fun to do and in those days the BBC was still very much run by the Old Guard.
AH: When you got to the recording of the album, what were the main deciding factors on which tracks were actually put on to it?
MR: We just chose what we liked best of all really; the ones that went down best live and recorded those.
AH: What were your feelings when Ant decided to leave the band?
MR: I remember him telling me in the back of our transit van which Richard MacPhail was driving; and being very shocked actually. I think I was more shocked by that than by the actual news. I think the trouble was in those days you were so committed to the road, and it took so much out of you; get to the gig; rehearse; move the gear; all that routine. You were like a train which couldn't slow down and it wasn't possible to slow down and take stock of things and we were all so very driven in those days.
AH: Where and when was Ant's last gig with the band?
MR: It was at Hayward's Heath, because I remember thinking that this was going to last forever. We were breaking ground with Genesis; and I drove back with Pete... Pete and I in the car together, and we started to have a conversation and... "hang on a minute... maybe we should carry on..." - that's how it seemed.