"In Conversation" - Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks talk to Alan Hewitt, Stuart Barnes and Richard Nagy about the latest Genesis releases, their solo projects and future plans. Interview conducted at The Farm Recording Studio on Friday 3rd December 2004.

TWR: Well, to be honest the first thing is the fact that you have The Video Show and The Platinum Collection out at the moment, and so why such a broad ranging compilation of the stuff from your careers? I noticed Hugh Fielder's because of the comments about a "definitive" album. Do you view this as that elusive definitive album?

T B: Well, not speaking personally I wouldn't really. We did it because the record company wanted to do it is the original reason they came to us and I wasn't very in favour originally because we had done the Hits and the original suggestion was the Hits "and more", you know going right the way back through the catalogue and then once we started thinking about it we quite got into the idea and we had intended to do these 5.1 mixes anyhow and we started doing them and it seemed like a good chance to sort of… when you were going back and listening to the song and the possibility of remixes, that came into it and so … I wouldn’t say it is definitive… I don’t think any of us would have chosen the same songs.

TWR: Are there any favourites from either of you guys that are missing from this collection that you think "I really wish that was on…"?

M R: I don’t think you can look at it that way, you have got to say to yourself ; right it’s a defined time period on CDs and so you can't put a complete cross section of our career on it and as Tony said; it is this Platinum thing that Virgin do and it came along. Listening to it now I think it has come up better than I thought it would. It’s a stronger body of work than I imagined actually.

T B: We decided to take one or two songs from every album that was the first thing. There might have been an album that didn’t have anything on it if we had been down to our favourites from our past and suddenly you might have had more songs from one album. One I ..the track I really miss is Domino but having got most of Invisible Touch on this album anyhow (laughs) and so if you took some stuff off to make room for that you were taking stuff off that you felt really should be on there and our later period is really defined by the singles to a greater extent I think. You would have had to leave things off which wouldn't have made much sense I think. It was a compromise between everything but you know apart from one or two of them the stuff we shuffled around but in the end it made up its mind and even the stuff from the early albums.

TWR: Wasn't there the argument that The Hits covered all of the singles in a way…?

T B: Well, that’s true and I said that to Virgin but they said you have to remember who this record is for ; it might serve more than one purpose now I think but originally it was designed to be a lowest common denominator thing; you put it out there and say: this is the best of Genesis from all kinds of things were have done and as a sampler for the whole career. It wasn't necessarily designed for people who had already bought The Hits or anything like that or for big fans. Having said that, fore the real fans I think there is something in this because of the remixes which I think take them back and gives them something and hopefully whets their appetite for the 5.1s (laughs).

M R: One of the best by-products I think was that on a lot of the middle era songs they were remixed and improved and some of those … a song like Ripples comes to mind and stuff of that era. At that time we rather rushed our recording and our technique was a it rough and ready compared to the way things are done now and I think Nick did a really good job on actually giving it a bit more bollocks without changing anything and he ran them parallel to the old ones ; he never went mad; he just tried to improve the level and quality of sound and every three or four years the standard gets higher and you are judged on what's around now and I think on the mixes of some of the early songs they have got a lot more balls I think.

TWR: The problem I have always had always shied away from the idea of remix this…remaster that but I must admit I listened to this and from the very first track I felt my ears pricking up … hold on… this IS different.. and my stereo is a vintage stereo it isn't a brand new state of the art job …

T B: well we obviously, originally this was something we changed and we changed it because the original running order … (Mike rifles through a biscuit tin at this point hence weird sound effects!) Oh do shut up please! (laughs) we started with The Knife followed by Musical Box and in those days I think Watcher Of The Skies was a possibility and they just sounded awful, and I thought we can't start the album with this and if we are going to consider using these tracks then we have really got to remix them, and I really felt when we listened to the tracks for the first time that we really shouldn’t include The Knife or Watcher Of The Skies because I felt that they both sounded very dated. We decided in the end.. it ended up being between Watcher… or Cinema Show and we felt that Cinema Show was probably because we had already got Supper's Ready on from Foxtrot and I must admit, coming back to that song (Watcher) I am not in love with it really. The Knife was a period piece and it sounds a lot better now and having said that things like Musical Box are really good and I had always thought that the Nursery Cryme version of that was a bit rough and it really sounds good on this album.

TWR: I think the thing that really stands out is the tracks that HAVE had that treatment against the ones that strangely enough haven't… Hopefully now that we have had a sample of what CAN be done is this the way the whole catalogue will go?

T B: That's the plan well we want to do the whole lot in 5.1 and these are what you are hearing on this is the stereo version of the 5.1 mix and having said that we have revisited all The Lamb… tracks again so although The Carpet Crawlers is pretty much exactly the same; The Lamb is even better now but the others… as Mike said before; we did some of them in a great hurry and particularly the early mixes of things like The Lamb.. itself we were remixing day and night for the last three or four days to get the thing finished and we knew we didn’t do the thing justice but what was on the tapes was really good and coming back to it we were amazed at how high quality the sounds on the tape actually were.

TWR: Certainly from my perspective it has been a case of , pardon the pun, but a revelation on these tracks ; there is a lot more on them than on whatever previous edition you are listening to you couldn’t hear and it is almost as if we are finally getting the fuller picture of what you guys actually intended when you were in the studio doing them.

M R: Well if you look at our career on album over the years and after getting this place (The Farm) around Abacab time and it got better and better and the sound we made on record got closer and closer to what we have always done; you know what I mean? I think Abacab.. which is why the last couple of albums we did very little to since Hugh (Padgham) there wasn't that much room for improvement but in fact what it has really done; we always sounded we always had that kind of power and size to our sound but the early records didn't show it, I think. So in a sense this is to me one of the best by-products of Virgin's original idea to do this compilation.

TWR: So in a way is it kind of like going back to the mixing session of each album and doing it how you would have liked to do it then?

M R: Well you have got to be careful because we are not keen to go mad and remix and do all that kind of stuff and try and keep the songs true to the way they sounded ..

T B:
We wanted people not to be aware that it was new but it would just sound better to them, the people who really know the songs well. I remember a while ago hearing remixes of tracks that I used to love and you would hear the remixed version and you would just hate it because it was wrong and had changed whereas with this we have tried to keep it very faithful to the original and we did constantly compare it to the original and obviously we came in … I came in at the end of every mix really and quite often one had to make changes to get it back to that or whatever you wanted to do and fiddle around with more experimental bits than on others but definitely trying to keep it faithful to the original mix and make sure that there was nothing lost that was even more important (laughs) because the odd thing wasn't on the tape and you had to find it.

TWR: I think the key thing is to my ears at least, not so much a case of what's been lost but what has actually been GAINED, the picture has been broadened an awful lot.

T B: Well, when you hear the 5.1s and obviously you have the videos and they are all the single tracks and the later ones haven’t changed quite as much but when we were doing things like The Lamb… you could position things to a much greater extent and you really do hear things and there are some great little things that go on and I said.. 'What's that?' (laughs) and if you do think what IS that you go up to the speaker and you can hear it; little vocal things and it has been a lot of fun.

TWR: Has it been an enjoyable experience for you guys as well as it has been for us the listening audience?

M R: Well, to be honest I haven't been around that much and Nick has been the one who has been carrying the weight of this and I would come in at certain times and often make just simple comments where things weren't quite right and made a couple of comments; in my case not very many but he has been the one who has had the responsibility of keeping it so that it doesn't go too far from the original.

TWR: We interviewed Nick last year when he was in the throes of producing The Lamb… and the one thing that was patently obvious was the attention to detail; to try and keep as faithful to the original while broadening… it is difficult to broaden a picture that everybody knows but the best way I can describe it is taking a picture out of a frame and discovering the details that were hidden by the frame and these remastering things have brought those hidden details out.

T B: Yeah, it is going back to it and starting again but having a reference point and having the amount of time as well; we have gone back to things two or three times .

TWR: We are led to believe that Peter had a few reservations about…

T B: Well no, the only reservation he had... and I don’t blame him really; was that he didn’t know it was happening (laughs)

M R: We kind of forgot to tell him, actually!

T B: Mike and I ended up almost because of the way things have ended up; as caretakers fore the whole catalogue and he had not told anybody actually; not even Phil and Tony (Smith) because he is working around Phil was earmarked to talk to Phil and I was earmarked to talk to Pete but this was quite late on in the thing and by the time I actually got round to talking to him he had already got wind of it and I think he was just pissed off which is fair enough; that he hadn't been... he thought that perhaps we were just trying to get it past him (laughs) because he can be such a difficult guy at times as we all can be (laughs) and in the end we talked about it and then he came and sent things and listened to things and the only reservations he had about the 5.1s; he had no problems with the stuff on the Platinum Collection apart from a couple of comments. With the 5.1mixes what he felt was that with one or two things he wanted to try something a bit more radical which in turn made us go back to the songs and we have been a bit more radical and I think it is good actually and I think we needed that and I was the first thing we did on 5.1 and we got braver as things went on.

So we were able to make the picture a little bit bigger and also once or twice just playing around with positions slightly and able to do more quirky pieces such as The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging and a few things changed but not doing anything really radical things with the stereo on things like The Colony Of Slippermen getting a couple of vocals out of the back and things like that. With these things it asks for that and I think it was good to go back to it again but essentially he has not been physically involved he has just made those comments and we have done some things and sent some stuff to him and he is really excited by it now. I think the main thing was to keep him informed and Steve as well although Steve was much easier; he came down and he thought it sounded absolutely great.

TWR: So do I! I have been listening to this stuff for… not so long as you guys...

M R: Far too many years! (laughs).

TWR: and to listen to something that I took for granted…

M R: That's the trouble you know it so well that change is hard…

TWR: I think the fundamental hope, speaking as major fans is that if you are going to go ahead and do this… do it ALL!

T B: I think that is pretty much our plan to start with The Lamb… and A Trick Of The Tail . Originally we were going to release The Lamb.. on the 30th anniversary of the thing but I was very happy and my own thought was that we shouldn't put any of this stuff out while there is so much stuff out there; Phil has got a couple of things; Peter and Steve have too and I just thought it was silly really and so I wasn't in favour and so I was quite happy to lose one thing (laughs) and so The Lamb… isn't coming out until next year and to me that is the most interesting thing; the 5.1…. I like the videos; I was always in favour of the videos and I did push for that because at one time that wasn't going to be done.

M R: Is the video in 5.1 as well?

T B: Yeah, the video is in 5.1 and I think that is really good and it sounds good on a regular TV, much better than the original sound. The most exciting thing for me is doing the whole catalogue in 5.1 and we are working through them and a lot have been done although we might revisit everything before we sign off every album. Obviously there are things like Supper's ready on this thing which is not a remix so that is one in store (laughs).

TWR: Are any of these 5.1mixes now finished?

M R: Is Trick Of The Tail finished?

T B: Trick is finished but I am pretty sure we will revisit it and actually having done The Lamb… there are a few things we might try but those two are pretty much completely finished.

TWR: Are there any plans about which will be next?

M R: I think the original plan was that we would do those two and see and we will do the others in time but we need to get a handle on how the 5.1 market is developing and at the moment not many people buy this stuff apart from collectors and when people get more and more having their films set up in 5.1

T B: The other thing is whether it becomes the definitive stereo as well and it might happen that way that the new mix becomes the "one" and only time will tell with that really.

M R: What happens with the 5.1 mixes is that Nick does all that hard work on that and two or three hours to get it back into stereo and so he is creating a stereo mix of everything as he is doing it.

T B: I think it is fair enough to do and I think there is no doubt that the early stuff will benefit; things like the end of Musical Box, the vocal was quiet… originally you know… "You stand there with your fixed expression" and it always sounded crap really (laughs) and it is a great piece of vocal and you want that to be thrust out at you and there were lots of mixing errors like that and on Stagnation from Trespass, the voice is practically inaudible on the thing so you can repair all that at the same time and the thing that we have very much found with the 5.1 mixes is things like the acoustic guitar and the tinkling stuff on the piano just sounds wonderful. I don’t know what it is; there's something about it and on Entangled even more so.

M R: I think in the early days too we were just four or five guys full of ideas and all fighting for your own corner you know (laughs) and as the years go by we are all much better we are all fine now we have an overview of a song and the voice has to come first obviously and it never did quite the same way as it does now and so I think that the vocal setting for these new mixes is very good.

TWR: The tracks that I took for granted really shine on The Platinum Collection, they really do it has been a pleasure listening to them again... if this is the way to go then please do...

M R: On the remasters you can't get into the ingredients.

T B: On the studio masters as much as anything but obviously Nick keeps telling us stuff on the website that everyone seems happy and if the old fans are happy with the new mixes then… people who have never heard them before; they are going to hear them for the first time anyhow so it doesn't really matter but the people who know the stuff really well; they seem happy with the ay it sounds and that is good for us.

TWR: I have sat through several of my favourite band's remastering projects and I have sat there and I have bought the albums and sat there and listened to them and thought… "nice" but in all honesty, I have never sat and listened to an album that has been remastered, remixed whatever and sat there and thought... "Wow!" until The Platinum Collection…

M R: Good.

T B: All credit to Nick as much as anyone else but it’s a thing that is an ongoing project now.

M R: The later songs don't really have the same room for improvement because they were pretty good anyway. Nick did some other mixes on some of the stuff that Hugh Padgham did and they weren't as good, its funny because Hugh was a very good mixer I think and he was very good with sounds.

T B: On some songs yeah and it is a matter of getting into the things but of course you have all the remixes now, and it is in 5.1 so but it does make slightly less difference with the more modern stuff it is the early and middle period stuff that benefits most.

TWR: It's great that there is a definitive overview of all the eras of Genesis.

M R: Its not bad it is very hard you can't please everyone because there are songs you are going to miss and it can be too wide a range of songs but it is not a bad little example of eras which was the intention, I guess.

T B: We are still a fairly cold item in the general world of the... of Rock music in the world at the moment you know and how we are perceived by the music press the music media, radio everything really and so you have to get people... there aren't that many young people who are sating "I would really like to hear what this band is all about" whereas if it was The Velvet Underground or something they would all go out and buy it, because they are pushed as something special. With an album like this you are trying to reach the biggest audience you possibly can to introduce people to it but it is difficult.

TWR: Putting it out at the same time as The Video Show really gives the likes of us the best of both worlds…

M R: In all fairness it had to come out now because we always bring out things at the same time! (laughs)... Peter has a video out and Phil has an album and a DVD and so it had to come out now.

TWR: Two questions I want to get out of the way purely and simply because I am fed up of being asked them by other people and so I am going to ask the guys who should know the answers to these…

T B: we certainly don't (laughs)

TWR: Oh … OK… well I am going to ask them anyway …Why no video for I Know What I Like, first of all?

T B: Well, I will answer this one because it probably goes back to when we were announcing to Peter that we had all these things coming out and he was saying "I've heard about this Lamb.. 5.1" and I was saying ; "Yeah and we have also got the Platinum Collection coming out and this DVD which has got this I Know What I Like on it.." and I think he just felt that I Know What I Like and I agree with him… and really if we wanted to do that, which would have been great then we probably needed to do a new.. not a NEW video but a video that used footage from the old days rather than using that awful thing from Shepperton where he really just looked so cold. He wasn't happy for just that to come out and so the feeling was that as we were trying to keep all the plates in the air with The Platinum Collection and the 5.1 stuff and we thought we would just "lose" it really that’s the simplest thing because its not a great video and I think if we had had the time we would have done a "new" video for I Know What I Like which would have been quite nice to do but we didn't, so there you go.

TWR: The second one… I know I am not imagining this because I remember distinctly watching this on TV; Match Of The Day, promotional video? Where is it? What happened to it?

M R: Was there one?

T B: I don't know about a promotional video but there might have been a Top Of The Pops...

TWR: No, the Top Of The Pops thing was basically a play out over the end of the programme but I distinctly remember watching a performance of Match Of The Day with Phil in his QPR shirt on the terraces singing the song…

T B: I think that's the drugs. They were obviously very good in those days (Laughs)

M R: That doesn't mean that there wasn't one...

T B: I don't think we did one but if we did then fine, but as you have noticed we didn't put that even on the archives… it’s a toss up between that and The Day The Light Went Out as to which is the worst lyric we ever wrote.

M R: Which was the song from this that got a lot better on the remix… I can't remember now I will when I get a copy! (laughs).

T B: I just think at the time… the other thing we left off the archive was Me And Virgil and I would have liked to have that on really but Phil felt rather self conscious about the lyric. We all agreed about Match Of the Day.

M R: To be honest the actual selection of songs isn't that far away from when that version first came in and people came in and made a couple of changes and Phil came in and made a couple of changes and that did help actually.

T B: The thing was there wasn't very much from the middle period and there was only Follow You Follow Me and Many Too Many and there was so little from that that we had to get another one and I originally suggested One For The Vine (laughs)...

TWR: I wonder why?

M R: Absolutely! (laughs) and that was too long so we thought we could get two extra ones on the Platinum Collection and so we got Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers and Undertow in.

M R: I was quite pleased by the playing which was quite nice now that I have thought about it. That's the one… Many Too Many that I think the chorus sounded great where it had always sounded weak before.

T B: In all honesty I probably prefer Undertow as a song now anyway.

TWR: Many Too Many… that begs another question about…there appears to be some confusion about this... there are a lot of people that seem to insist that there are two versions of the promotional video for this one… There is the one which you did in America; the one which is on The Video Show which is outside the Box Office at the Merryweather Postgate Pavilion... I believe? And there is the other version which was shot with you guys miming at Knebworth…

T B: Isn't that one on? We did do one at Knebworth which was the one which was supposed to be used...

TWR: Well, I always thought that that one was done as part of the BBC documentary…?

M R: You could be right, actually... It might have been… I wouldn't mind a copy of that… have you got the Nationwide thing? Can you send me one?

TWR: Yes; I've got that and will get a copy for you.

T B: Well, we should always come to you people first because you know more about it than we do! (laughs)

TWR: Well… please do!

T B: The other thing was… because it took us a long time to find the Turn It on Again video, I knew it was there but we had to really search for it. For some reason or other I like that better than most of them; Phil has a sort of strange look about him (laughs) very thin and he looks a but like he always does I suppose… a bit strange (laughs). But it actually works quite well.

TWR: How much were you involved in the production of that package as compared to The Platinum Collection?

T B: we just used every one we could find and the only addition was Paperlate where we used the… I suppose we could have used... the thing we took Home By The Sea from (Five Songs Live) we did three or four songs at the same time and we could have used some others from that I suppose but we wanted to put Home By The Sea on just to say that it wasn't just the singles and there was more power in that and so the choice was really pretty much everything that was there and we did discuss the possibility of leaving a couple of things off where we thought that the video wasn't very good; like A Trick Of The Tail but then we thought that the sound of the song sounded really good. So we really wanted it on there I think. Ripples as well, same sort of thing and they weren't very good videos but it was early days and by putting the videos in reverse order you did start off with the ones which looked better.

TWR: One question I received was about the Jesus he Knows me video… did you have to be greatly persuaded to dress up as an American TV Evangelist?

T B: No... no any chance to dress up! (Laughs) I like to dress up and as you have probably spotted I am not the world's greatest actor and so if you put me in something then it doesn’t really matter what I do and the funny thing was that… not when I had the wig on but when I had my hair sort of fluffed up I was talking to people and they said I was the spitting image of one of these evangelists, you know and I just went "Lordy! Lordy!" and they thought it was uncanny. It was fun to do and when you have a strong plot and an amusing idea to work with that is fun and that is better than the ones where you haven't really got any idea and you play the song and hope for the best something like In Too Deep for instance but even that looks alright. There are favourites like that and Land Of Confusion and Illegal Alien. Most of them were fun. Anything She Does was there because virtually no one had seen it because it was a single in America and by that stage it was about our sixth single from the album and it didn’t receive as much play so it was just funny and to do a thing with Benny Hill was quite amusing really.

TWR: Have you got any particular favourites or ones that you really can't abide watching?

T B: My favourites are probably Jesus He Knows me and Illegal Alien and I Can't Dance I think. I think No Son Of Mine is a strong video it is a really good lyric I think that is one of Phil's best lyrics and I think it works really well it is one of those songs that both Mike and I have always felt was a slightly overlooked song and I know it was a hit and everything and it is one of our strongest songs from the later period and it had such a great atmosphere about it quite simple but very effective and a great chorus. It is more fun when you have something to work with and a bit of humour, and even things like Duchess; I liked the contrast between the verse and the chorus.

TWR: Singles wise, disregarding the videos for a moment, which do you consider to be the strongest?

T B: Well it’s a different thing; my favourite song on that collection would be Duchess because it is one of my favourite songs of all our songs anyhow and as a single I don’t really know… Follow You Follow me is still a pretty strong single really and Turn It On Again I think those two would still stand out. With Mama we were lucky and captured a certain kind of mood because it related a little bit to what Phil had done the previous year and stuff. I think that after Follow You, Follow Me, every single we did for the next few years was played on radio and that was what made the difference; you play a song a few times on radio and it gets in their brain, you know and yet Mama wasn't a hit in America.

TWR: So, when it came to the Calling All Stations period which in my opinion there were two or three good singles on there which didn’t do it in the charts…

T B: Actually that's a video that didn't get that far but Shipwrecked was a great video; I had forgotten what a good video that was. Have you watched Shipwrecked actually? (to Mike).

M R: No.

T B: I think it is one of the better videos on that because it has a great atmosphere and some really good ideas.

M R: Is that the one with the girl in the tent? I saw the black and white one which was better than I thought actually. I had forgotten how good Ray was on camera, strong.

TWR: Working backwards again and I beg your indulgence for some of these questions but they are some of the ones which people have asked us anyway but now that you have got the profile with this stuff... the live archive… archival recordings has any further thought been given to that..?

M R: Actually that's not a bad idea.

T B: I don't think we have thought about it too much actually although obviously we did the first 5.1 things we did were the two shows (Earls Court and Wembley) and I still think the Earls Court show is really good so obviously there will be the live albums as and when.

TWR: There has been a lot of discussion on the Genesis Forum at the moment about this vexed issue of archival live recordings from some specific tours…

T B: Oh, you mean the things I have erased?

M R: Well there are a variety of things and we hadn't really thought about the live recordings but there are things like all the live gig tapes, all the that excites me more because that is just a moment in time… Philadelphia that night and I kind of like that.

T B: It is something that we have really thought of doing and we are getting closer to seeing what we have got and archiving what we have got because as I have said there are tapes from quite a long way back; some tours are well represented and others are less well represented as I said because I erased some of the tapes (laughs) but there are still quite enough and it will be hundreds and so I suppose for people who like that kind of thing they ARE there and they will be put out.

TWR: At the present moment on the Forum the webmaster has actually asked and invited our input asking about the twenty… ten of the most frequently traded bootlegs that are out there and ten of the recordings that are the ones that the fans would most get excited about hearing, if they actually had them and now the expectation is that you guys will actually

T B: Respond to it? Or ignore it (laughs). Board tapes?

M R: I quite like the idea because its quite genuine and you are not going in and tarting these things up but you are taking these board tapes for what they are.

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Soon to be a thing of the past?

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An endangered species?

TWR: They wouldn't want to hear these things being too overdubbed.

T B: Well, they wouldn't be…

M R: They can't be because of what they are and that is quite nice; warts and all, bum notes! The problem really comes in with who has got to listen to them because there are so many of them and there are hundreds

TWR: (sticking hand in air in Oliver Twist fashion) Please sir …me!

T B: We were quite surprised because after we did the live Lamb... we came across another (multitrack tape) I think it was from somewhere in England… Sheffield or somewhere and we were quite surprised that there was another whole tape of the whole live thing which obviously included It which we didn’t have on the other one! (laughs) So there are a few bits and pieces and we did do a recording a twenty four track recording of every tour because of this King Biscuit Flower Hour thing in America and the only tour we didn’t do was the last tour which I regret in a way and there are a few bits and pieces. The only things we have got are we did this weird TV thing for Polish TV. It was a very early show and there are a few other bits and pieces that are around. There are things but there is nothing unmixed.

M R: Do we have a list of what boards we have got?

T B: Dale (Newman) did a list of the ones he has got and you have got some and I have got some. I won’t erase any more of mine (laughs). Its just that at the time I was recording things like nursery rhymes for the kids and things, on them.

TWR: How far back do you think some of them go?

T B: Well, there may be one or two from quite early but we started doing board tapes from the mid Seventies I would think and the majority will be later. Probably from '77 onwards really.

TWR: A lot of people seem to think that the BBC sessions might be released like Zeppelin did…

T B: Well, the BBC have been doing these things themselves haven't they? We used one or two of them on the archive… Stagnation on the archive is very good.

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What's on these tapes I wonder?
Photo S. Barnes/TWR

TWR: The one thing I should point out about that is, because I did actually get a copy of the CDr sets from Virgin; the last session that is on the copy that is around is not a master copy but the master to that session is in the BBC's archives and so accessing it would be no problem. Maybe that would act as a sop to the fans for whom board tapes are none existent…

T B: Well Paul Russell sent me things and I am sure all these things can be done. Talking about Musical Box the thing that has emerged which has emerged quite recently is this thing we did with Paul Samwell-Smith …the Jackson Tape which this guy has finally tracked down and I have got it actually… I have got a copy of it and we are going to get hold of the original... to be honest the copy is probably as good as the original because it is just mono… I don't think it is a stereo mix. The thing I have got is not bad; its just a copy. Paul Samwell -Smith was the producer and the other guy was probably the TV producer and the guy who has got the tape is the son. And having got this thing because it has got the early versions of things that we used in things like Fountain Of Salmacis, Anyway … most of Anyway is in there and Musical Box and stuff… you have probably heard it, haven't you?

TWR: NO! I wish I had…

T B: That is something that isn't out there which is quite interesting and so we are going to get hold of it and pay the guy for this stuff and we probably will do something with that through the web site because there is about fifteen minutes of music there and it is very… it comes and goes a bit (laughs) and the first three pieces we have pillaged pretty extensively... lots of bits of Looking For Someone and stuff like that but the fourth piece we didn’t really pillage at all and it is actually rather nice it is a much softer piece and it has a loud bit in it…

M R: Do you have that on CD?

T B: I have a copy of it but I forgot to bring it in. I found it out of all this retrospective stuff I found it one of the most interesting things actually because it was before Trespass but it was something whereas the other stuff we have got prior to Trespass was really pretty basic stuff which was the stuff that ended up on Archive 1; this was actually the first time that we sounded like the group we became and it is quite interesting really.

TWR: While on the subject of archival stuff did anything ever materialise about the Roundhouse film from 1970?

M R: Is that the guy who owns it?

T B: I can't remember much about that one is that the one we did with David Bowie? I remember it being an awful gig from our point of view. It wasn't our sort of place and they didn't like us and we didn’t fit in (laughs).

M R: We were on for about half an hour.

TWR: We shall drag ourselves kicking and screaming from the past and the present and dare I say it; into the future and I bite my tongue when I say this word but there is a lot of interest in the potential for a R-E-U-N-I-O-N…

T B: Yeah? Well if you hear anything about it then let us know! (Laughs) We never rule it out but there is nothing planned.

M R: Nothing is planned.

T B: I think the concept of doing something and playing some of this stuff on stage is… it must be a possibility but there really is nothing planned.

TWR: Is that as far as it goes...

T B: The trouble is that if you are talking about the most likely combination which is Mike and I with Phil you know Phil is such a busy guy these days and he is doing the stage Tarzan and stuff…

Click to enlarge
Tony and Mike ponder
over the 'R' word
Photo S. Barnes/TWR

M R: And the baby of course… Matthew born yesterday… and so as I said nothing is planned but never say never is my advice.

TWR: Phil seems to be saying "never" though doesn’t he, on the comments that he has made…?

M R: The only people who have any input is its down to us.

T B: I think in fairness there are two or three factors that need to be borne in mind. I think that reunions are very dangerous things really because nothing ever quite lives up to the how it was and I also think that you have got to... and I know what you will say to this and with The Beatles to reform… EVERYBODY wanted them to reform and I don’t think with Genesis it is quite the same… yes there are a certain number of people out there who would love it but others would say "Oh God, not them again!" and I think that we haven’t quite got to that stage where… I don’t want to go out there and be pilloried all the time it just gets too tedious and I know the crowd will be great…

M R: This is the man who was always dragged kicking and screaming into everything (laughs).

T B: I wanted to do the Video Show… I didn’t want to do the Platinum Collection…

M R: He has always been dragged around the world for the last thirty years (laughs).

T B: Yeah, I am the least keen on the live tours and stuff.

TWR: You are not honestly telling me that when you were up there in front of 80,000 or whatever people at Wembley Stadium that you didn’t get a buzz out of it? Come on…

T B: Yeah, I enjoyed that but there is an awful lot more to it than that unfortunately and all the travelling and that and the performances were always fun I think there's a feeling even when we did all the press that we did for the Platinum Collection in Germany and you get a sort of sinking feeling in your stomach occasionally and you know… I do find it very depressing reading negative stuff about us in the newspapers and I try to avoid it by not reading anything us but (laughs) and I find that when I read The Times which is what I tend to read, and I used to count the detrimental references to us that would occur in the paper really; you could have two or three in the same copy and if you include in that Phil AND Peter as well and sometimes it was glowing stuff but sometimes it wasn't and I always remember the restaurant reviewer Jonathan Meads who would go on about The Millennium Dome and for some reason or other he would blame Genesis for how awful it was… and I was thinking for Heaven's sake this guy left us thirty years ago… I refuse to be included in the general kind of… and I just know that if you put your head above the parapet you are going to get it all again and I think we are getting too old for all of this.

TWR: Why do you think that is? Because there are bands of a similar era such as Yes and they have got a great following that sees them in City Hall type situations and every fan there is a genuine diehard fan who loves the history of the band…?

T B: There is nothing fundamentally wrong with performing your old stuff… I think we have suffered a little bit because Phil's image has gone a little bit… peculiar (laughs) for one reason or another and it has never quite come back here. In Europe it is not a problem and he has re-established himself in America I think but here it is just a bit funny and I think we are most conscious of how we are perceived here. Having said that we may do it… we may not… Oh it's OK, you'll have your ticket! My only regret with Calling All Stations is that we should have been playing smaller halls and that confirmed that point of view as well and I think that had we done that then the whole thing might have worked out better.

TWR: So, that’s the future for Genesis, and now we turn to you guys as individuals… obviously you have just had an orchestral album out and you have just had a new Mechanics album, Mike so we haven’t had the opportunity to speak to your good self about Rewired so tell us a little bit about the gestation of Rewired…

M R: Yeah… in two sentences! (laughs). In a way it came out at a funny time after Paul Young dying and to precis it really; Paul (Carrack) and I wrote some songs because we like writing together and not necessarily with a plan for the Mechanics and then as time ticks by the loss of Paul Young became a little less painful and the songs started to sound very different to what Paul does on his own and I pushed them a but that way anyway and we decided; it must have been the beginning of last year that we would put an album out. And so it was probably different and probably a transitional album in many ways. Some of the good bits were good and I am not saying that it was all great…

TWR: How much of it was actually written by then, Mike?

M R: It was kind of on and off really I think that time made it easier and then we put it out and we hadn’t planned to tour and it is funny how things happen and Tony Smith said that Phil was doing a European tour and they have about fifteen stadium gigs and they need an opening act do you want to do it or is it too weird? Phil rang me up and I said it’s a forty five minute set and if the crowd are gonna like you.. and they sold out (laughs) and so what a great way to ease in and be back in the bar by the time Phil took the stage! It was a great way to ease in without that pressure and it turned out to be really good fun. Not taking anything away from Phil or Paul Young but things change and something new happened we had a new keyboard player and a couple of backing singers and it just had a different dynamic and it was great fun to do actually. The only UK show was the Shepherds Bush show.

TWR: That was actually one of the big bugbears for the fans here was why just the one show?

M R: Because he only had support at the outdoor shows and the reason was that it was all unplanned; the album was suddenly there and Paul had already committed to his own autumn tour and so we ran out of time really. We have the DVD of Shepherds Bush which actually turned out good… Eagle Rock are doing it and so that is quite fun and Gary mixed it here.

TWR: Is that just going to be the show itself or…?

M R: There is loads of stuff... our keyboard player Rupert Cobb is a great sort of film guy and he has done so much backstage stuff and hopefully that will be on and Gary (Wallis) mixed it here and it sounds good actually.

TWR: Getting on to the subject of your archive and I freely admit that I have been involved in this one and you WILL be getting a copy of this once it is done, whether you like it or not a six DVD set of The Mechanics from 1985 onwards...

M R: What? Visual stuff? You've got six DVDs of visual stuff ..we haven't done that much TV stuff have we?

TWR: Six DVDs of visuals it is TV appearances, it's everything which promoted the question about the new DVD and whether there would be anything from previous shows or is it just… ??

M R: It is just this one yeah... We hadn't planned this one but Eagle Rock said they wanted to do it.

And there you have it folks… Our thanks again to Tony and Mike for taking the time to talk to us and to Carol Willis for organising it all at such short notice and to Richard and Stuart for their input... hope you enjoy the finished result!