“Geesefall - The sleep fly west” - Anthony Phillips in conversation with TWR about his most recent album and his current recording plans. Interview conducted at Vic’s place on Thursday 2nd October 2014. Photographs: Stuart Barnes and Esoteric Records. Memorabilia: TWR/The Pavilion archive.
TWR: well, last time we had a proper chat it was about Seventh Heaven, so obviously we are picking up the threads since then with… City Of Dreams so tell us a bit about that one as it came out under the radar and that one even surprised me…
AP: Well, I think in the history of the P Ps I have tried to balance it where possible so you don’t get three twelve string ones etc so thinking that there had been quite a gap because the last one had been piano (Soiree) and the two previous ones to that were ensemble ones, Nine and Eight but not much synth stuff at all, more piano and acoustic guitar ensembles and stuff so actually going back, the previous one which featured synth predominantly was Seven (Slow Waves, Soft Stars) which goes back quite a long way. And so obviously there were a lot of ideas ticking over and a lot of synth pieces and I think I had learned also to do some basic edits on Pro Tools as well working with my friend Sam Karl Bohn on some library stuff so I was kind of fascinated on the back of that to take some of these synth pieces and see if I could weld them into a kind of homogenous set and that was it really. Every so often you know there is a surfeit of piano pieces so there was a chance for a synth album the last one was back in 1987 which is a LONG time ago. So that was City Of Dreams.
We got the cover from the Bridgeman Library and the cover was just perfect actually and it is always tempting to commission but in the case of this, obviously the budget wasn’t big and they always seem to have so many good ideas. In fact on Seventh Heaven we did end up using a Magritte piece. Jon Dann actually found that and we had to go through the Magritte Society which I have to admit wasn’t that easy but this one didn’t cost a lot and it just seemed to be perfect and it was all based around that one sort of backwards sort of dreamy synth which recurs and the cover was a sort of mosaic.
TWR: There does seem to be… I think I said this in my review of the album, there is a theme going through the album but it is so tentative that I can’t put a finger on it. Did you have programme in mind…?
AP: No, absolutely not there are just a few pieces which have reprises that’s all . And I hope the reprise helps to give it the sense of a kind of journey because it keeps on coming back to that sort of dream state synth piece without being eerie or unpleasant and there are four versions of that and it keeps on coming back to that. Aside from that it is all just impressionist pieces really and some work a little bit better than others and it is difficult to choose what to leave in and what to leave out.
TWR: Was this stuff that you had composed for library projects or stuff that you had composed and then filed away or is it a mix of both?
AP: I think the point to make about library projects is that often with this stuff I seem to be ahead of the game and I don’t want to sound clever but if I get a load of new synth sounds sometimes I will just have a big session over a period of weeks just improvising and it could end up as a commercial track or as a library track and I nearly always have material in the cupboard ready for any given project and all the recent library guitar things I haven’t had to write a single … well I have had to develop them but I haven’t had to come up with any ideas because I have literally got ideas, ’do you think this will fit?’ ’yes’ so I am in the position where.. And it is good where I am not fixated with I must write this as a library track or whatever and I call it free composition and at the end of the day you decide well that could be a library track and this one is way of, that’s not a library track.
One of the things about library stuff is you are setting up a mood and you can’t change too much within it or somebody will say it doesn’t fit the picture. So if it has too much change within it, it won’t work and it ends up being a bit too bizarre or a bit too strange so that probably won’t work as well.
TWR: It is funny that this one fits into a patch as you have just mentioned Slow Waves Soft Stars and that had the same effect. I remember when 1984 came out and that really took me by surprise because obviously we had got used to you on guitar and so I thought, OK, a Private Parts & Pieces album it can be a mix, but you had done Slow Waves… and that is still one of my favourite albums but this one is a lot more prickly..
AP: I think at the end of the day it is just a collection of impressionist pieces really and no way is everyone going to like them all and for people that prefer the kind of acoustic guitar stuff will like it less but that goes back to 1984 and that album had some serious aficionados and some serious detractors as well! (laughs) some people don’t buy so much into the synth stuff and others find long twelve string pieces tedious as well (Burn the heretics - ED). So it is horses for course but I would expect an album like this one for people to like some tracks and not others. People were quite kind about it. I think it is more a kind of dream time album this one whereas Seventh Heaven was very much more up front and kind of pastoral and lyrical.
TWR: I still think there is one track on that album that you should expand because I just want more of it and that is the Old Sarum Suite. I absolutely adore that piece.
AP: Thanks Al, I know you like that one. This is one of the drawbacks of library is the length of things as well and the most common reservation I would say rather than criticism is I wish this would go on longer and obviously you can’t do a thing that is more than about three minutes.
TWR: So that is that and you have mentioned library projects, so what library projects have you been involved with recently because the last couple I have seen were labelled Film And TV?
AP: Yes, I have done a lot since then but principally since earlier this year I did a piano and strings with Andrew Skeet and a small section of strings with Hugh Watson doing the piano parts because it was too difficult for me because I am not used to it although I did on Tarka of course but I had been practising that for years. So we did a piano and strings project. I then did… I had done a lot of synth improvisations and stuff and when I was going through it, this was towards the end of last year and making notes on what it could be used for and where the pieces could fit and what genre and I kept on writing World War I battlefields because a lot of it was quite spectral and abstract and then around November or December I suddenly realised err… what year is it next year?! And I thought well, there is going to be lots and lots of TV hours where it won’t be commissioned and there will be a lot of big flagship programmes but they will commemorate every event as it comes up over the next four years and the BBC as it happens are commissioning 2500 hours of stuff and so I approached the library company and said to them ’well, what about it?’ and they rather disappointingly said, ’we’ve got enough in the catalogue’ which I thought was… it IS a big catalogue, they have got about half a million tracks, so you can’t knock it but … I was obviously disappointed and so I went round the houses a bit and then decided to have a crack at it and took a lot of the pieces and edited them with Sam (Karl Bohn) who I had done a couple of synth albums with because he is brilliant at all the editing and then came back in again on the basis of an email I saw which said; ’BBC commissions 2500 hours’ and then they sort of slightly recanted and said ’weeelll… maybe’ and about seven or eight tracks from that have come out, they do a BBC label and some have come out on that.
Since then it has been a lot of guitar projects actually, Sam has done a sort of Penguin Café type CD ad we did a couple of pieces for that. Claire did one which was called European Stories on which I did a sort of French guitar one and a sort of Balkans sort of mysterious one and then there was another guitar and so when I say it has been a lot of guitar, it has been a lot of the weird and wonderful instruments and so I have been using my big ethnic collection. And so the great thing about now is their web site is terribly good and stuff goes out very, very quickly. The reason I want to make the point that I DIDN’T sit down and cynically think, ’let’s cash in’ I just wrote s the stuff out of the blue and there are a lot of incredible sounds these days that are in that slightly spectral sort of area and are just very arresting really - you should be arrested as well! (Laughs).
So we have about another thirty pieces I think which Ged Poole who runs the label is going to actually put into other projects and I have still got loads more from that period so, to cut along story short, I am libraried up to the hilt, you know there are about 750 tracks of mine in that library and obviously others in other libraries too so the way is actually clear now to possibly experiment and think about doing a solo album which I am thinking about and running very fast the other way! (laughs). I am trying to decide should it be songs, should it be instrumental, should it be a mix? I don’t know! I haven’t done one for so long that I really don’t know.
My reservations about a song based album in the past have been mainly practical because the library stuff has been constant and it has been the main breadwinner so the commitment to many, many months because you do get slower as you get older, is something where you have to think, ’well, is this practical?’ as you get older it is less easy to stop and start on something as well or keep a lot of balls juggling and I could dive around from one project to another with masses of energy in the old days but I think the reason is that I have done so much now I am having to sort of reinvent myself for the library company really because given that a lot of it is orchestral, and acoustic it has a long shelf life so it is not as if the company is saying ’we need updated versions of this’ like with some of the stuff, so the way is certainly clear but as it is with all these things one is very out of practice in that area and I think I am right in saying that there have only been two songs to feature on albums of mine even in the vaguely recent past ; Unheard Cry and She’ll Be Waiting, so. I think my attitude is: give it a go and if it doesn’t work out… it doesn’t work out, that’s bad luck.
The other thing is, I do have in inverted commas, a lot of “commercial” songs which are bits so actually the time is probably right to have a crack at the sort of song department. And also, having signed with Universal Publishing for publishing proper as opposed to the publishing side I am now potentially in touch with a lot of other writers so there could be some collaborations possibly because I am not fooled that I can do all the lyrical side to all of them. Obviously some of the embarrassingly personal ones ( Ant affects a cod Scots accent here for reasons best know to himself folks), ones where I could do it but there are areas where I couldn’t hack it and write lyrics. I do occasionally still write poetry but lyrics and stuff is not my strongest suit. Like all of these things, you want the best end product and the singing issue is one again, I will look at and there will be the odd song that I will be able to carry and others which I patently wouldn’t be able to carry.
People have already started to ask me who are you going to collaborate with? And I have absolutely no idea because I don’t know what the material is yet. Once I know what the material is, and that is going to take quite a while as I sift through loads of stuff and then think well, hang on, who would be the best person for this? I will start developing stuff and then I might think ’well this would be good with X’ so we will see. So that is the rough plan and I will keep you posted! (laughs).
TWR: What happened with the move from Voiceprint/Gonzo and the move to Esoteric?
AP: I think it was just time for me to move on like a lot of people really. Rob (Ayling) provided a very good place for the stuff for a few years but it is well publicised that he had some marital difficulties and one felt that perhaps one wasn’t getting his undivided attention and some of the artists were then siphoned off to Floating World and there was some confusion between them as to which artist was going to do what and not to disrespect Floating World because they made a very decent offer when I said I wanted to move on but it just felt like it was time to move on. You know, you do a phase here and a phase there like moving house really.
Mark Powell is a very nice guy and also very persuasive and I don’t mean in a pushy way but in an encouraging way and I know Cherry Red of course from the old days doing Harvest Of the Heart and I also know Iain McNay privately through my friend Lyn who is a Senyassin and Ian was briefly a Senyassin as well. Senyassins were the followers of Bhagwan - the guru and Iain was a pretty spiritual guy an interesting mix for someone who is also a very shrewd businessman but also a rather spiritual chap as well and I had met him years ago and come across him again and so there was a kind of personal connection which meant that I knew I wasn’t leaping into the dark. So, the combination of knowing Iain and knowing that he was very successful and Mark seemed incredibly nice and one was hearing very good reports from all over the world and all sorts of journalists about Esoteric and then I heard that Rick Wakeman and Peter Hammill had joined so obviously it seemed like a bit of a gift horse.
Mark’s wife Vicky works with him and is extremely good and extremely personable and what I do think is two things. First, I think the catalogue will be in a safe place and they will be able to up the ante a certain amount as you said, in way of promotion and make sure it gets into the shops so the twin aim really is to pick up by this slightly wider targeting within that net to maybe scoop back people whom I have lost along the way because there are quite a few people you meet who knew the C Ds up to a point but then tailed off not because they didn’t like them per se, but they just lost the track and to pick up these people again and I have no illusions about suddenly finding droves of fans out there. It is just security and a bit if a bigger push is very nice and I was almost rather surprised that they wanted to do this in a way and I tried to dissuade them! (laughs).
TWR: So they are re-issuing the entire back catalogue?
AP: Yes, this is something which I don’t know the exact answer for and what order they are going to do it and how quickly and there is a little bit of a concern with people buying the Anthology and thinking I would love to get hold of that album and then can’t for a while and again, people’s attention spans are short given everyone’s busy lives and there is so much product in so many areas so that is a slight concern but I am pretty sure that they will release the principal ones within a very short time.
TWR: I am assuming that when they are released they will be pretty much the same content as they were previously?
AP: Yes, I mean the Geese & The Ghost is going to be done in 5.1 and that is coming out in January and there will be others which may get some form of treatment but I think being honest it is a question of looking and seeing how well it goes to start with. If it goes not so well, that will discourage and if it goes better than one thought then that will encourage them to do more. The ones that spring to mind would be the bigger albums like Slow Dance and Tarka. I might even put in some of my own money into Slow Dance as that is one I would like to see… I was going to say improved upon but there is a danger and I have been talking about this to a number of people and there is a danger that you start mucking about with things which are sacred to people, and you might think it is better but they have got used to hearing it a certain way.
TWR: You know what I think about Slow Dance, you know that it is probably my favourite out of all your albums…
AP: I know. That is an interesting question though, the problem with putting that out as a library album was that there were a lot of players to pay and so they would baulk at that and we are currently going through all of my commercial catalogue now with Universal Publishing AND Universal Publishing Library so that some of my album tracks could come out on library albums maybe others being pushed by the publishing side but Slow Dance may well come into that side of it.
TWR: Well that might give it an entirely new field of play to work in which would be great.
AP: Absolutely. The issue of the players will still be a bit of a vexed question but coming back to the point we were making, and I may have told you this before; clearly REMEMBER the issue with the fans and the Family song, The Weaver’s Answer which we absolutely loved, Mike and I particularly loved it and they apparently, the story was that they had gone off on tour and it had been mixed by an engineer, producer or whoever and they came back and didn’t like what had gone on the album and re-did it with a lot of wah wah guitar and stuff on it and the fans went ’we’re not sure about this’ because they had heard the other version on the album.
Another case in point is The Geese & The Ghost where we re-inserted Lute’s Chorus II which was how it should have been. The original plan was that you go to the court section with the lutes and then the guy goes off into a dream and he comes out of the dream and goes back to the lutes section and cuts into the war. You don’t disturb this guy’s dream by chopping bits of it out! (laughs) and people have got used to that dynamic, you see . And a number of people have said to me I don’t know why you have put that section back in and you start to think, hmmm maybe it is dangerous to change things.
TWR: I can only speak for myself but from my perspective it didn’t disrupt the flow of the piece.
AP: Well I am pleased to hear that and with Slow Dance I wouldn’t change it by inserting sections. It wouldn’t be new material or the insertion of abandoned material, for instance there may be more real strings a real drummer on one or two sections because in those days drummers were so expensive! Unbelievably expensive and session fees in the late Eighties were for some people probably more than they are now which is quite extraordinary. And it really was a two tier society with the people who could afford Fairlights and Synclaviers and the rest of us weren’t even making enough money in a year to buy one! I remember being quoted a fee by Simon Phillips of a thousand or it may have been two thousand a day and points and a royalty! And I spoke with Ian Thomas who does a lot of sessions now and it cost me about six hundred pounds and I was earning not a lot of money and this was a colossal chunk and we ended up not being able to use him on one of the sessions because there was a dodgy drop-in and you couldn’t repair it and it was the point where he did it right once and he didn’t drop in and then the next time he dropped in and it was in the middle and we couldn’t repair it so what do we do? Apparently you can repair these things now of course and so we ended up not using him on that fast section and it is OK but it is much more exciting with drums.
So again the danger would be to start mucking about with too much and changing sounds. You see there are later in it there is some slightly iffy analogue sounds which I think sound rather dated but that won’t matter to other people and the danger is musicians thinking those kind of things and then starting to change something which is very much loved and also people are used to it and so it is quite a tricky one really. I think you would have to have a very set, set of parameters or open the can of worms.
The other issue of course is surround sound, that would be lovely if it could be done in surround sound and there are quite a lot of instrumental solo parts. The same applies to Tarka as well but at the moment Esoteric being nothing if not realistic, have said we can commit to no more than the Geese & The Ghost and see how that goes and I completely accept that. Simon (Heyworth) is working on that at the moment and I don’t think it is going to be anything absolutely revolutionary again, for both reasons: one you don’t want to change it too much and the other is that the album is so complicated and was recorded on all sorts of equipment and his thought is to get back to the stereo mix as close as possible and then extrapolate out from that if it is possible to do that. No trying to recreate the whole thing in a different way and think the whole shooting match could just fall apart really. He is going to play not safe, but play sensible.
TWR: The reservation I have about 5.1 and Stuart knows more about the technical side than I do but with a project like this where there are things that shall we say didn’t necessarily go right, when you expose it like that the inherent flaws that you couldn’t do anything about are that much bigger.
AP: That is exactly my point and that is why Simon’s aim is to recreate the stereo mix as it was and then very carefully, selectively take the odd element out and as you know well the whole thing was based on two sounds: the geese was that rippling pattern and the ghost was that synth sound at the beginning and so those would be candidates to throw out and move around and that would be no problem but you are absolutely right, if you start to rip apart this thing that was hanging together at times, you know the ship was moving but she is seriously listing (laughs) and people don’t realise that. She could capsize!
TWR: There is a lot of excitement about that project.
AP: I’m delighted to hear it but that presupposes that you have got the set up and I don’t have a 5.1 set up.
TWR: The Genesis albums came with fresh mixes. There was the surround sound mix and Nick also ran off a stereo mix so it is up to date processing of the old recordings. in the act of remixing them down to stereo again he found the basic draft in a lot of tracks, Mama for instance at the end where all the drums are clattering around there is a bass guitar happening and it only when you listen to it on a decent mix on a half decent stereo that you hear this bit happening. And on several other tracks you are hearing things that were buried initially.
AP: What do you mix down on to?
TWR: The speakers were Proactive Pro ones, there were five of those and I didn’t see the sub woofer.
AP: I was just wondering what the tracks were mixed down onto…
TWR: It was Pro Tools fed through the SSL.
AP: I knew they were using Pro Tools because a lot of people…there’s this analogue revival isn’t there and analogue is coming back only in a limited way. I think, by the way, I’m not sure about this but there may be a limited vinyl release for this as well. Which would be nice to hear it with the analogue warmth but without all the pops and crackles and all the rest if it.
TWR: The interesting thing is when it doesn’t work and the only album I have heard properly on a 5.1 system was The War Of The Worlds now I know that album inside out and there was one track in particular, Thunder Child and I realised that there was a whole synth line missing and I wondered if I was sitting by the wrong speaker so I moved, and asked could you play that again? Played it again, and it still wasn’t there and I said either there is something wrong with your set up or there is something wrong with my ears! Other people have confirmed my suspicions that there are bits and pieces that for whatever reason, aren’t there.
AP: That’s interesting to hear but Simon will play safe.
TWR: It doesn’t always work for everyone and Nick missed out an entire guitar solo in Misunderstanding at the end on the re releases, so it happens to the best of them. The other thing you can’t rule out is that there may have been damage to the original tape and that sound might not have made it across on the transfer so they did the best with what they had.
AP: That is a very good point actually, things could have got corrupted and a good point to bear in mind actually. I am surprised if it was damaged and conspicuously that there wasn’t some note so that people don’t ask did you forget that? Were you in the loo? Or something.
TWR: Now we come to the project that is coming out later this month…. The Harvest Of The Heart five disc edition. Fantastic retrospective, looking at the track listing but obviously there are tracks in it that are new, or not so new so what can you tell us about the tracks that we won’t have heard before…?
AP: Well, it was rather sprung on me to be honest, I hadn’t read the email properly which wouldn’t be unusual (laughs) and I had missed the bit about extra tracks so I had quite quickly, there was no question of any lengthy delving into my sort of commercial side. Jon Dann came up with one sort of synth improvisation from about ten years ago which was quite nice but for the rest of it I just thought, hang on; I have done a lot of library guitar stuff recently and a couple of piano library things which I hope will stand up and you have got the same issue about length and aside from that I would rather have something that is two and a half minutes long and nice than five minutes and straggly and all over the place. Because I mean, I have more or less exhausted the archive, they are fairly barren now.
TWR: If I know Jon, he will have gone where no man and his yeti have gone before! Although he did mention the idea of Archive Collection Three…
AP: There are some nice things for Archive Collection Three but there is nothing that I would have felt… well there were one or two borderline actually for this but I think not quite right maybe but we shall see when that comes out. So I actually chose nine… and it was a good excuse to go through… because apart from Seventh Heaven there has been very little library stuff released in the past ten years or so at a time when a lot of the more interesting stuff has been done. There has been a lot of functional stuff but recently it has been a lot more interesting. So it was a good excuse to go through and I made a list of anything between fifty and a hundred which I thought could be used so there will definitely be another Missing Links in the pipeline. So we chose nine guitar, and there are a couple of piano ones.
TWR: Aren’t there a couple of remixes?
AP: Well the standout things are the use of Mike’s track Compression which was Mark’s idea and I wasn’t sure what to make of it but thought if it hasn’t had a release and Mike is OK with it and I was principally involved in it.
TWR: That was strange because many moons ago I put together a compilation of all the Mike Rutherford/Mechanics B sides just for my own reference and the only one I couldn’t get hold of was Compression because I no longer had the vinyl single it was on!
AP: Oh really? And Mike was very good about it and Jon also came across for the pictorial stuff, he came across some rough notes and I had a score of it and I had written “Les Beatles” because obviously there was apart if it somewhere that reminded me of The Beatles. It is in chronological order which is interesting which will either work fabulously or not and the choice was made by Mark. He asked me about it and I very quickly decided that I wasn’t going to decide! (laughs). Jon was a great help on that. The only one I vetoed was Souvenir, which I regard as a bit of a dirge and has that dreadful singer who is upstairs at the moment (Ant is referring here to Dale Newman who was cataloguing Ant’s guitar collection at the time). I think Bleak House is a better song and if there was no Bleak House and no I Want Your Love which from that album are musts really, or either-ors so Dale is pacified. That was the only one I changed.
I think it is an interesting collection and there is some of the TV stuff and some of the stuff I did for Nick Gordon.
TWR: Well, more than anything else, the sheer size of it, a five disc set, will prove just how prolific you have been.
AP: Yes, it is a fair old mix. I am so glad you think that. Everyone will have their why isn’t that track on? Someone is bound to have that because everyone would have a slightly different version of it and that was why I couldn’t decide. The other point is the other tracks have been remastered as well so they haven’t just been slapped on there so Simon has made it… everything will sound as good as it could do. So I think that is a good selling point.
A few people have asked about Only Your Love and my thought again was that we had to go back and OK this with the office (TSPM) and Tony Smith and Silver Song despite the fact that it had already been released before so I just thought wrong timing for Only Your Love but the plan… and this is by no means set in stone, is to try and get that on The Geese & The Ghost which I think would complete the circle.
TWR: Personally I think that is a better song than Silver Song, it sounds better than Silver Song.
AP: Yes, a lot of people do like it and I know it is not as “commercial” commercial but it has a nice quality to it. It has a naïve charm, it has kept … it is of its period and I don’t think there will be a problem but we will have to see. I don’t see why Phil would have any problem with it. The artwork is lovely as well, on the Harvest Of The Heart taking in lots of Peter’s work from the past so the package is going to be nice. I am always worried with people feeling that they have got to buy something again because of a few extra tracks but it is the way of the world and it is what every record company does and the fact that everything has been remastered I think gives it that little extra frisson. And you know, there is Compression there and all the extra tracks so hopefully people won’t be disappointed!
TWR: Well, you have a compilation that actually brings something new to the table, and then you have the recent Genesis compilation which has had so many people scratching their heads going… why?! OK, so there are a lot of people upset that you weren’t on that for whatever reason. The choice of solo tracks from the other members has got people scratching their heads thinking is this really representative of their best work? Which is what a compilation is all about. And then you have got the Genesis side of it which is effectively The Platinum Collection plus one track..
AP: What’s the point? I don’t know the tracks so it is really impossible for me to comment. And I think the decision on what to put on it and whoever has done it has obviously decided to go with the PRINCIPAL line up and not those from the early era or later so…It is really difficult to make a comment without knowing all the tracks and who made the choice. I think they went for the principal members and also the point has to be made and somebody made the point quite quickly that if I had three tracks on that then those tracks couldn’t have been on Harvest Of The Heart . I am probably the only person who is not bothered actually. Don’t get me wrong, I am concerned and sorry that the fans are upset. I don’t mean that I don’t care what they think, of course I care what they think! But there was nothing I could do about it. I am just out of this one it is just so far out of my hands. And as I said, at least I can use… if three really good tracks had been put on it then they wouldn’t have been able to be on mine so it is swings and roundabouts really.
TWR: Keeping on the same subject, I watched the Cherry Red interview you did with Mark and you were remarkable well behaved I have to say!
AP: I was on television Al! TWR: Yeah… and? (laughs). Mark knew his stuff and put some very good questions so what was it like doing the other documentary?
AP: I did the Genesis one here actually. John Edgington is a very nice chap actually and they were all very nice actually and his questions were a little bit more penetrative courtesy of books by people like yourself etc and maybe people as they get older are a little bit more forthcoming and think I was probably able to talk as the years have gone on to talk about the stage fright issue in a slightly more technical way because I have been quoted a couple of times now when I heard Derek Jacobi describing EXACTLY the same experience about thirty five years later about how he was about to go on and do the big speech in Hamlet and he was there thinking…’I don’t know the words, how does it go?’ and found himself out there doing it and that was the breakthrough for me because here was a man describing exactly, EXACTLY the same thing and I thought, hang on, this is so normal and clearly this happens to a lot of people. But obviously at the time and shortly after it, one felt terribly embarrassed about it and you didn’t really know how to talk about it. And he struggled for two years. I was quite resigned to being airbrushed out of the story as the emphasis they placed was on the five man line up.
TWR: Going right back to the beginning of the interview where you mentioned that you get new synths and you really go flat out on them. Is that so you can really pre-date anybody else who is using them?
AP: Well, I suppose there is an element of that and you are aware that there are some great sounds that people are going to be using but there is also the thought that if you leave it too long with a certain sound it will be dome to death bit I am not able to really control it you see because if I come up with a piece I am not sure if there will be a project for it. So that can’t really be my main motivation because I have no idea when something will come up and I can’t wait until the right time. I just love the sounds and there is so much now and the difficulty is trying to keep up with it all which is quite hard actually because gear is changing all the time and I spend so much time with things not working because they are so complicated and actually trying to keep on top of all the guitar stuff and all the synth stuff is at times almost impossible. I have a list of about ten new Virtual Synths to go through upstairs at the moment but yeah, I love it. I love wandering into that magical world of sound. It is very therapeutic and also quite meditative as well because life tends to race around and there is something about sitting down at a synth and playing dreamy stuff which has a calming effect on me and obviously at the other end, one hopes that it has the same effect on other people and that they don’t fall asleep (cue suitable sound effect from one of the TWR team who will remain nameless - ED) I have always thought that my music was a great cure for people with insomnia! (laughs).
And on that suitably soporific note, we leave this chat with Anthony. We hope you found it interesting and once again our thanks to Mr Phillips for taking so much time to talk to TWR.