The Way We Walk (I+II) - live (Virgin)
Koncerten med den engelske gruppe Genesis p Gentofte Stadion 8. juli er aflyst. Lastbilstrejken i Frankrig er årsag til at Genesis må aflyse koncerten i Danmark. Genesis' første tre koncerter i Frankrig er blevet forsinkede på grund af blokaderne på de franske motorveje, da gruppen ikke har kunnet få sit udstyr frem i tide.
På det berømte fodboldstadion Nya Ullevi i Göteborg, hvor det danske fodboldslandshold bankede tyskerne, giver Genesis koncert 8. juli. Til denne koncert kan de danske fans få ombyttet billetterne til siddepladser. Hvis ikke man har lyst til at tage til Sverige for at overvære koncerten, kan billetterne refunderes.
Mads Kastrup, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten e.l. 7/92
En strandet Genesisturne, en feberramt trommeslager i R.E.M., ødelagt udstyr for Ozzy Osbourne - forsikring af rockturnéer er blevet en stor forretning. Hvis nogen tror, at Phil Collins og kompagni eller koncertarrangøren mistede nogle millioner, da Genesis måtte opgive at nå frem til Gentofte Stadion 8. juli, tager de fejl. Forsikringsselskabet betalte. Gigantisk sceneudstyr fordelt på godt et dusin lastbiler, der strander midt på de franske landeveje i en strejke-blokade, forsikrer man sig imod. Når de store rock- og popnavne drager ud for at erobre verdens idrætsarenaer, er det med millioner af kroner på spil og normalt med et tidsskema, der ligner Norman Schwarzkopfs for nedkæmpningen af den irakiske hær.
Steffen Jungersen, BT 7/92
Ja, det var den koncert der skulle have fundet sted på Gentofte Stadion i aftes. Nu var den i stedet i den almægtige dollars og kolde kalkulations navn henlagt til Nya Ullevi i Göteborg, Sverige, fordi der kan være flere mennesker end der kan i Gentofte. Det var der bare ikke. Der var sansynligvis ikke engang de 20000 på Nya Ullewi, som der var solgt i forsalg til Gentofte. Men hvis Genesis hellere vil spille for en flok svenskere, end de vil spille for det danske Dynamit-publikum, så dem om det.
Nå, til musikken. Genesis spiller jo noget så gammeldags som symfonisk rock, og det er om noget et begreb, der kan få et moderne rockpublikum til at få nervøse trækninger a la bestyrelsesmedlemmerne i Hafnia. Men for det første er det tåbeligt at sætte lighedstegn mellem gammelt og dårligt - ligesom der kommer et tidspunkt i enhver mands liv, hvor han simpelthen må vælte vodkaflasken og applaudere noget så banalt dejligt som godt håndværk.
Genesis er fremragende musikalsk håndværk, og deres musik går først rigtigt godt igennem i al sin storladenhed live. Sjældent har jeg hørt et band, der var så meget bedre til koncert end på plade, hvor Genesis ærligt talt er alt for lamme efter min smag. Den lille buttede Phil Collins, der ligner en rockstjerne omtrent så meget som Paul Bundgaard ligner en trapezartist, besidder en stor og unik stemme live. Og når han så en sjælden gang (alt for sjældent faktisk) sætter sig til trommerne, så er han faktisk endnu bedre der. Tilmed er han befriende almindelig og har en pragtfuld sort, sarkastisk humor, der kom til udtryk i anti-TV-prædikantsangen "Touch the Screen" og titelnummeret til det seneste album "We Can't Dance".
Men Genesis er meget mere end Collins. De har også en af denne verdens virkeligt velspillende keyboardfolk i Tony Banks, der i numre som "Home By The Sea" og den flotte "Domino effect" lod storladne klangflader (sig mig, skriver jeg gamle heavyrocker virkelig det her?) sejler ud over Nya Ullevi, så man helt glemte man var i Sverige.
Musikken var bakket op af et lys- og videoshow, hvoraf sidstnævnte i hvert fald var det flotteste og mest effektive, jeg har set til nogen stadionkoncert. Sangene? Hvad med eksempelvis "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" eller "Invisible Touch" og meget, meget mere af samme kaliber. Det var en dejlig aften med Genesis.
5 af 6 points.
Aalborg Stiftstidende 11/92
Genesis, Phil Collins med venner, står ét år efter "We Can«t Dance" klar med live-albummet "The Way We Walk". Ude nu er singlen "Tell Me Why" (i studie-udgave) med lange live-versioner af "Mama", "Invisible Touch" og "Brazillian" som bonusnumre.
Have, Aalborg Stiftstidende 12/92
11 af Genesis største hits fra de tre studiealbums (hele fem af de otte på "Invisible Touch"), er at finde på "Live - The Way We Walk". I heftige, medrivende, men ikke meget anderledes live-udgaver, ud over en mere salvesesfuld Phil Collins i "Jesus he Knows Me". I sagens natur uden bandets flotte sceneshow, men perfekt til fest. For fuld hammer!
AV, Gaffa 1/93
Når jeg hører "The Way We Walk, Volume 2, The Longs" mindes jeg min årle ungdoms mange Genesis lytninger med glæde. Gruppens tidligere plader var milepæle i min musikalske teenageopdragelse. Men denne liveplade er en massakre på både de gamle numre og deres senere efterfølgere. For langt, for tyndt, bare for meget.
Have, Aalborg Stiftstidende 1/93
Ideen med "The Way We Walk, Volume 1+2" er ganske udmærket. Hvorfor besvære lytterne med en ujævn og måske lidt rodet vekslen mellem tjeppe radiohits og længere, mere snørklede rock-forløb? Netop Genesis' store talent for begge dele - den solide melodi og den gode historie ikke nødvendigvis i samme nummer - gør det helt oplagt at dele op. Kort før jul kom første del af optagelserne fra Phil Collins og Co's "We Can't Dance"-turné i fjor. 11 hurtige nemt fordøjede hits fra de tre nyeste albums i meget lidt ændrede udgaver. Fint nok, men ikke ligefrem uundværlig.
Så er der anderledes gods i denne anden del. Med 14 knap så kommercielle, "slidte" hitmelodier til større fordybelse. Mest fascinerende er et knap 20 minutter langt medley af syv sange, flest fra Genesis' mest kunstneriske og "desperate" periode først i 70'erne, mens Peter Gabriel stadig stod ved roret. Til slut får bandet uden besvær "I Know What I Like" til at flyde sammen med et par af de nyere "That's All" (genganger fra første del) og "Follow You, Follow Me". Resten af pladen består af gruppens typiske minisuiter og længere, novelleagtige ballader. Med "Driving The Last Spike" og den stadig dybt betagende "Fading Lights" som de nyeste.
Alt i alt en fortræffelig rundgang i Genesis' meget alsidige rock-univers. En plade, der i høj grad må åbne nye fans for Genesis' gamle kvaliteter. Med en heftig, ret humørsmittende tromme-duel mellem Collins og Chester Thompson at runde af på. Ligger p.t. på 12 pladsen på ugens Top 20!
Gibson Keddie, Guitarist Magazine 2/93
Genesis' celebrity continues its relentless ascent with one of their most popular albums to date and a sellout international tour... We talk to their chief Mechanic, Mike Rutherford.
The pace never slackens, but at least you can be busy in comfort, and there can be little doubt that Genesis' success over the years has brought them most imaginabie comforts. Their commitment to what they do, both in terms of the band and individually on their solo projects, seems to be undiminished. Not content with releasing 92's internationally successful "We Can't Dance" album, single and suitably tongue-in-cheek video, they've organised the release of a two-part live album, "The Way We Walk". The first part, "Volume 1: The Shorts", is already successfully assaulting the charts, with the second, "The Longs", to be released as I write this.
Guitarist: Shorts' and Longs', Mike?
Mike: "We did it that way as a result of trying to combine all the songs we wanted to use on one album, and failing. It didn't seem to work no matter how we arranged the running order. In the space of our two and a half hour live show we can do a long section for about fifty minutes, then a couple of short songs and it works really well, especially with the visuals - the screens and so on. But within the space of an album we couldn't seem to get the same effect to come over, and were really making no progress. But as we refused to put out a double album this time, someone came up with the idea of an album of 'shorter' songs and a separate one for the 'longer' ones. That felt right, so we went with it. And as quite a lot of people seem to prefer one type of song over the other, they can now make their choice. So I think the concept is a good one."
Guitarist: The live album came together very quickly, overlapping in fact with the closing stages of the tour. Didn't that require a lot of extra work on the band's part, at a time when most acts would be looking forward to putting their feet up for a while..?
Mike: "Yes and no. Live albums don't require the same amount of effort as studio albums, in terms of creating the actual material, and so the majority of the hard work was mainly done by Nick Davis, with Robert Colby co-producing. They would set up the mixes, then I'd come in with Tony Banks mainly, as Phil was away for quite a lot of that time, and we'd assess the tracks, comment on them and usually say 'Yep' then leave again, because it was just where it should be. Occasionally we had to start again, but overall the mixing side was really quite easy. The recording side not so, because we had to record various shows from Philadelphia to Hanover to get the material we needed. "For some reason, I don't quite know why, this album feels as if it's being taken much more seriously as a live album - perhaps we're getting better at it."
Guitarist:: As a band, Genesis are no strangers to the concept of the live album...
Mike: "No. My personal opinion is, and most record labels will definitely not agree, that live albums should be cheaper to buy, because to me they are extras'. I know some fans just like live albums, but the price in these cases should be reduced. It's a battle that I've fought long and hard, with only mixed success."
Guitarist: Modern PA technology has made the live album a much more successfui representation of a band's real sound. Could you still listen to the first Genesis Live- album from the early '70s, which was primitive in that respect?
Mike: "I haven't actually heard it since we did it. Although we get asked about old albums and old material, and we obviously comment on it in cases like this, occasionally it strikes me that I haven't actually heard the songs I'm commenting on for about fifteen years! So you're talking about your image of how you imagine they are, and if you go back to hear them, well... One project we have discussed doing in the future - because on the early albums, live and otherwise, the recorded sound was not very good - without doing anything fancy or changing the flavour of the songs we would like to re-release those albums with the production brought slightly more in line with present standards, even if it was just a remix with new technology. Our sound was pretty rough then, especially drums and bass, with poor separation and so on. So it would be good to give that side of the earlier music more definition."
"One project we have discussed doing in the future - because on the early albums, live and otherwise, the recorded sound was not very good - without doing anything fancy or changing the flavour of the songs we would like to re-release those albums with the production brought slightly more in line with present standards, even if it was just a remix with new technology. Our sound was pretty rough then, especially drums and bass, with poor separation and so on. So it would be good to give that side of the earlier music more definition."
Guitarist: To get back to the present, the band initiated a change of producer for "We Can't Dance". Did the change have any significant effect on Genesis, who have such a distinctive sound anyway?
Mike: "I would agree that we do have a sound, whoever produces it, but I would add that the previous albums were actually all co-produced with the band anyway. When we've finished doing the writing and recording of the rough demo tapes, then that is a large part of what the sound of the finished songs will be. I should add that we changed from Hugh Padgham not so much because of any unhappiness with Hugh's work, but because it's so important that a band like Genesis gets to change, and it can't be any of us three. "So, although the basic sound is always there, it then becomes a different atmosphere. Everyone is a bit nervous in the way that you are when starting to work with someone new, but it worked out fine. There's no difference to the structure of our recording; the difference is in the personalities. One different face just changes the whole atmosphere and how we all react. Some other things changed too, though; I got a much better guitar sound than previously..."
Guitarist: A week or so before recording, with absolutely no material already prepared, the band get together and jam out ideas from scratch. It might seem like a strange way of doing things nowadays, but you feel it's the only way to get the best out of Genesis?
Mike: "I suppose it's a gamble on our part. If we were to go in with two or three songs each, then we'd be up and running right away. If you go in with nothing, and this is what I like about the situation, the ideas are then a result of Genesis the band, which, to me, is about the three of us anyway. If nothing happens, if there's nothing sparking, then it's the end of the band. It means you can't cruise on someone else's material, and I like that."
Guitarist: The adrenaline's stirred by that kind of situation must provide inspiration, too...
Mike: "On the first day there's pretty much no result, because were just getting back into it. In fact, for the first two days you pretend to be working on your gear most of the time as a cover-up for your lack of effective individual contribution. But we're recording everything, which can be awful chaos to listen to on the playback. There's as much bad as there is good material, as you can imagine. When we're jamming, I've no idea what key Tony is in on the keyboards, and vice versa. But that's the whole point. For instance, if you knew that a jam was in the key of A, then you'd spend your time using what fits in that key, and that would be very restrictive. So it's literally played by ear. When we take it into the studio to begin recording in earnest and I hear Tony's contribution in isolation, I'll often say, "Is that really what you're playing?"'
Guitarist: Is Phil coming in with Iyrical ideas at this point? Or perhaps scatting through the songs..?
Mike: "Well, both, but for the "We Can't Dance" album, I thought I heard him singing, 'You're no son of mine...' and remarked what a good Iyric I thought that was, but it wasn't what he was singing at all, although that's what it became. Whereas "Jesus He Knows Me" was a deliberate idea for a song. But it's always helpful to the development of the song if you can get the Iyrics, or the sound of the Iyrics, as early as possible."
Guitarist: Do you think it strange that, in this day and age, a song such as "I Can't Dance" with its simple riff, very reminiscent of late '60s Stones, still has that irresistible appeal?
Mike: "Well, a good riff is a good riff! To be honest, I've always wanted to write something like that - very simple and effective. Plus, it wasn't written in our normal terms; we had the riff, and we had Tony's drum machine accompaniment, but we'd left it till the end of the album sessions, on the condition that if we played it again and it didn't sound good, we'd ditch it. When we did try it again, it was all very hurried; we were saying to Tony, "Come on, give us a middle eight... Right, that'll do!' Phil was doing Iyrics round the corner from us while we were working on this around the lunchtime period, and so the whole thing was done in a day. It still sounded as simple as it was meant to be - a nice way to work, too."
Guitarist: According to you, a band's influences shows up most in its writing, so for Genesis it would be The Beatles and Tamla Motown...
Mike: "Those songs are still wonderful, and indeed all the late '60s English pop scene, which had such wonderful bands like The Small Faces, The Who, Kinks, Yardbirds. We were really spoilt for choice then, and that material, by and large, still sounds exciting today. With regard to ourselves, I still think we owe Jonathan King a lot to get a chance to make an album in those days - four guys just out of school - that was a big break for us. We did the album in three days and that gave us such a valuable insight into what it was all about. We had a lot of material available - in fact there's still a lot of good pre-first album material that has never been heard, and it might be an idea to arrange for it to be released sometime. Looking back, there's quite a lot of it that I couldn't listen to, because I know that all of us were trying too hard, but that was only naturai at the time, to want to play to the best of your ability and prove yourself by doing clever things. But, I don't know, I've changed, everyone does, and listening to the songs now I know that I wouldn't arrange my bass parts the same way..."
Guitarist: Were you musically aware of what you were doing, particularly the shifting time signatures?
Mike: "Yeah, and I enjoyed a lot of that. We don't do it so much now, maybe because we did it for a long time back then. When we jumped time signatures sometimes it sounded very good, but listening to it now I find some of it awkward - again, because we were trying to be clever. But perhaps that was part of the charm of the songs, because we felt it was all a challenge."
Guitarist: That distinctive quirkiness completed Peter Gabriel's eccentric Iyrics and stage presence perfectly...
Mike: "I think that the biggest change between early Genesis including Peter, and now, is that we used to put so much material into a song then - in fact too much. Now we'll take an idea and try to develop it, which is actually harder to do. With Peter, if we had an idea which lasted a minute and a half and we couldn't develop it or even find a home for it, we'd just pop it into a song, do it for a minute and a half, and then move on. So some of the long songs were an easy way of assembling a collection of largely unrelated ideas which wouldn't fit anywhere else."
Guitarist: After Peter's surprising departure, was it an arduous process to find a replacement singer? Phil wasn't seriously considered to begin with, was he?
Mike: "We certainly didn't plump for Phil right away. We'd started writing for a new album without Steve even, because he was off finishing his solo album. It was just Tony, Phil and myself, and it went very well. We had various singers come down during the writing period to try out, and Phil would sing them the melody lines and show them how they went. Then we started to notice that none of the singers actually sounded any better than Phil. When the recording for the album started, we decided that Phil should sing the softer songs because he had that purer, quieter quality, and we'd use another singer for the raunchier stuff. Time was getting on, though, so Phil did the vocal on "Squonk" which was a big step forward for him as it has quite an aggressive vocal, and he sounded great, so we went with that. We still thought that, live we'd use someone else, then gradually that idea disappeared as Phil evolved into our singer... Although it was a major shock when Peter left, there were songs such as "Cinema Show" on "Selling England By The Pound' which we had mainly written anyway. But Peter was an integral part of the writing process, and so it was a matter of restructuring that process too. But it's natural that people should think that the frontman "is" the band - and on stage at that time that looked to be very true - but so much of the writing was down to the rest of us. Now, of course, the same thing is happening with Phil, so you can't win."
Guitarist: What do you think of the songwriting you hear in the charts in the '9Os?
Mike: "The trouble is that nowadays it's so easy to get a keyboard and a drum machine, a few echoes, and even just using the presets you can quickly sound iike half the dance bands currently in the charts. And that's being substituted for songwriting. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just that it's so easy to do, and people aren't bothering to write melodies or chords, because you've got a happening moment anyway. It results in a real lack of character and individuality since everyone's using the same keyboards with the same sounds. That lack of character is my main complaint at the moment. As an example - whether or not you like the band - when you hear a Queen song you know it's them immediately, and that identity is important. U2, The Blue Nile, Bruce Hornsby, Paul Brady: they all have a recognisable sound with real quality. "
Guitarist: The latest Genesis tour included a number of smaler, regional gigs. Did that move away from the stadium prove a positive step?
Mike: "The first regional' gig in Southampton was a real shock to us. We'd discussed doing these regional theatre dates, obviously, and knew that Genesis worked well in that environment. Plus we felt that doing only two locations in Britain, including Earl's Court, was a bit brief, especially as the show was very strong, and so the idea of doing an additional four or five dates came about. Bearing in mind that so much of our live work is planned far in advance, I remember a wonderful moment in the dressing room after the first show in Southampton, where our manager was ringing round other theatres, such as Norwich City Hall, and asking if they had any dates available in about ten days time! And that's what I felt touring should be. So by the time we played Newcastle City Hall, the whole show was going really well. I'd like to see other name hands doing the same thing; the response is terrific, and it's just a matter of scaling everything down, lights and so on, to suit the gig."
Guitarist: What about your other project, Mike and the Mechanics, a group that's had great success in its own right... ?
Mike: "The Mechanics came about very much like Genesis did, in that I had a whole collection of songs which I'd written with Chris Muir and B. A. Robertson, and couldn't find anyone to cover them. They wouldn't have suited Genesis, so l thought, Sod it, I'll do it myself.' And that's how the first Mechanics album was started. B.A. brought Paul Carrack down, and he tried some of the songs and sounded very good, plus he was a writer, too - an additional asset. The "Living Years single brought so many letters, more than for anything else we've ever done, about the effect that the song seemed to have on people, changing their lives and attitudes because of the sentiments involved. The second Mechanics' album did very well in America because of that track. The third suffered a bit because we went through a rough patch during its recording, changing producer halfway through, which knocked us off our stride as the Mechanics normally record quite quickly."
Guitarist: The Mechanics project seems to be divorced from Genesis in the public's minds, with a completely different appeal.
Mike: "I think I have an advantage there, in that I'm not the front man for Genesis, and my band isn't really seen as directly related to Genesis in respect of sound - vocals, especially - in the way that Phil is. In the meantime, whilst I'm presently trying to avoid fixing dates, the Mechanics will probably be reactivated next year."
Guitarist: How did your design of the guitar which became the Steinberger GM-series come about?
Mike: "I used one of the original stick, Steinbergers, and looked pretty ridiculous with it, because of my height and its lack of any dimensions. I used to call it my George Formby guitar' because that's who I felt I looked like with it. I asked Steinberger if they would change the design for me to something bigger and they refused, because they're a small company and couldn't afford to get into the business of making one-offs. So one night I laid the guitar down on top of a piece of card and drew the outline of the guitar shape that I wanted, and got Roger Giffin to make it up for me. It looked fine and so i used it, and Steinberger later saw it and asked if they could have a look at it, and ended up using it as a basis for their GM-series production model. I had a feeling when they saw it that they'd like it."
Guitarist: The biggest change to Mike's stage rig happened recently, when his guitar tech, Geoff Banks, brought him something new to try...
Mike: "He turned up with a Groove Tubes Trio' amplifier which I thought was just fantastic. I played it on almost the whole of the "We Can't Dance" album. In fact, a lot of the writing - in terms of the chords and the riffs - comes from the Trio's sound. It all just seemed to click for me. The biggest benefit comes when playing quietly, because I always feel you're not pushing the amp hard enough, if you are using a Marshall, for instance. And although I still use the Marshall cabs in my setup, the Trio compensates with a good sound at lower volumes. And I didn't use Strats very much for a long time, as I felt their sound to be a little too thin, but the Trio fattens it out nicely."
Guitarist: What about the old Shergold double-neck?
Mike: "I've still got it somewhere, but I would dread having to put it together and use it. During rehearsals at the start of this tour, not only did we try out all the songs from the new album to find out what worked and what didn't, we were also trying out various medley combinations of songs from the '70s. We feel that's quite a valid way of presenting those songs for our older fans, and during those songs I was constantly having to change guitars from six to 12-string, then to bass and so on, so I went back to the double-neck and it brought it all back, this great heavy object hanging round my neck. At that period, because the songs had so many sections in them, it was a good answer to the quick changeover from bass to the guitar and bass pedals, then back again, so it was particularly convenient. But mine's one of the earliest ones and it's just "so" heavy. So I was very glad I wasn't still using it. I've found a new bass for this tour- a Yamaha TRB 4P. I first heard Daryl Stuermer playing one and it sounded great, so we're using that."
Guitarist: Through changing sounds, changing songs and changing personnel, what do you feel has kept the core of Genesis together for so long?
Mike: "I think we're grown to respect what we can each contribute to the band, and that uniqueness continues to keep it special. Not only that, on this tour I've felt that what we were doing was still relevant and contemporary, and that's good. There's no sense looking back, and we're certainly not trading on hits we've had in the past. In fact we've probably got a wider age cross-section of fans than any other band, and new fans seem to arrive all the time..."
Kit Levine, Replay Magazine 5/93
In the begining there was ... Genesis? Not quite right, but a six-track demo tape featuring Messrs Banks and Rutherford from aspiring band the Anon, sent to fellow Charterhouse old boy Jonathan King, soon had our well-heeled Surrey chums renamed, and signed to Decca Records.
Since then much water has travelled under the Genesis arches of time and various band members have come and gone, including the solo career-departing Peter Gabriel, and an incoming 19-year-old actor/musician, Phil Collins on drums. Despite having experienced monumental personnel changes that would have disbanded many other acts, or reduced them to studio artists, Genesis closed ranks and have gone from strength to strength as a contemporary rock attraction. A twenty year-plus history as a recording unit has seen them constantly on the move. After those orchestrated Decca Records debut mutterings of "From Genesis To Revelation", the band then plumped for a decade and a half with Charisma Records, which spawned such a notable gems as "Selling England By The Pound" "A Trick Of The Tail", "Abacab", and "lnvisible Touch", through to the opening shot of their current Virgin Records contract period, "We Can't Dance".
Both as a recording and live act, Genesis have been at the sharp end for most of their career ... helping to establish the Seventies rock tradition of Album releases followed by lengthy promotional tours, they quickly established a nucleus of hard core fans. Since the band's early Eighties invention as a trio, led by Chiswick's very own cheeky chappie, Phil Collins on vocals, Genesis have enjoyed a profile rarely glimpsed at by other artists. Among the luxuries the band can now afford themselves are solo careers, and money-for-nothing live album releases.
The band's latest waxings come in the form of two separate albums, "Genesis Live - The Way We Walk, Volumes One and Two", individually titled "The Shorts" for volume one, and "The Longs', on the second issue, the album project was recorded during the band's 1992 world tour to promote "We Can't Dance". Having carefully checked out both platters to see if I could spot to join, I decided it was high time that a couple of these well-respected gentlemen of fashionable middle age gave an account of themselves to the good readers of Replay. Speaking from the comfort of their semi-detached mansions in deepest, darkest Surrey, band guitarist Mike Rutherford and his keyboard cohort Tony Banks stepped out of the Genesis bubble to talk about their outrageously successful careers.
I put it to Messrs Rutherford and Banks that the high quality of the live albums suggested that Genesis either play to pre-recorded tapes, or touch-up' songs during the final mixing. "We do a stereo board mix of gigs every night and they sound pretty much like the album really," replies Mike Rutherford. "The one thing I think we do manage to do is to maintain a certain standard, so that even nights we feel we are not playing as good as we should be doing, there's still a good standard of quality musicianship there. However for a live recording I would rather choose a performance that was basically inspired, rather than one which is technically perfect but has less feeling. Virtually nothing is changed though with the tapes, we don't any kind of layering', nothing gets added to the recording. I think a lot of the reviewers would be interested to hear the board tape - which is what goes in through the PA each night - because it doesn't sound very much different. That's how we did the Live album. "Nothing is pre-recorded, apart from a drum machine for some of the drum patterns, and bass synth line in "Land of Confusion" which is obviously a sequenced part, but that's all. I'm always amazed, but each time we do a tour it sounds better ... I don't know why it is, but I guess we're still working with our gear and improving it. The sound of the band seems to improve each time." Tony Banks interjects: "Everything you hear on the record is us actually playing; we came through an era when there was no other way of doing it and I suppose we've got used to doing it like that. And that for me is what live playing is all about."
How long does a Genesis album take to put together these days? "It varies a lot; with the last record it took us about five months to write and record it, and with the last three or four albums we've gone into the studio with nothing prepared, and just targeted the album from scratch, says Banks. "In terms of writing, we just improvised together and the songs kind of emerged." Was that certain magical ingredient, which is needed to work together after all these years, still there? Tony Banks: Definitely, but the most fun for me is always writing and recording, that's what I'm in the business for... I enjoy playing live, but it's just a kind of extra, and I guess it's taken up more of our time than any other aspect. I would have perhaps preferred to have spent more time making records, but we enjoy it all and have a good time together, and it's been a lot of fun over the years." Mike adds: "I must say, looking back now, it did stop for a while, but with this tour the magic was better than ever. The album was lot of fun, and easy to make, which I think is always a good sign, and we all enjoyed the tour very much.... and we did very well, so we can't really ask for more than that.
At the moment we haven't got any bit plans, but Phil, Tony and myself left this tour and album in very good spirits, and with a view that we might well do it again in the future. Knowing that we've all done solo albums in the past, though, there's a lot to get under the bridge before we can talk about it." So does that mean that all three Genesis members are now going to do their solo projects? "Yeah, Phil's off to do some film for the first part of the year, and then a solo album," says Rutherford. 'He wants to get his film career moving a bit, and that requires time and effort really. I'm going to do Mike and the Mechanics, though I haven't even put my thinking cap on for that. I try and avoid deadlines - I didn't want to start writing in January, with a view to being in the studio by whenever. Once I start writing, then that gets me excited about it and I make my own deadline, but I want some time off because the last Mechanics album overlapped with the Genesis album, and that's not ideal," he adds. "I'm looking forward to doing the Mechanics again because I haven't done it for a year now, although I want to work in a slightly more relaxed fashion for a while. I like the set up of the Mechanics... the two Pauls will definitely be there but somone else may come along and play. There's more freedom than with Genesis, you can bring in a couple of guest drummers or a guest guitarist, and that could well happen. But it will only get going when I start writing some new songs."
Tony Banks adds: "I'll be writing, and hopefully doing soundtrack work for films or TV, and I hope that I'll have time to do another solo record of some kind. When I'm not looking for quite the same degree of success, although I could do with a slightly higher profile. The business at the moment is geared towards stars and individual hype, and it's difficult if you want to do it in a slightly more low-key manner. But I enjoy myself and I have a select few who follow what I do and like it, so I do okay!"
Is touring America still fun for the band? "We've been doing for so long, it's not quite as exciting as it once was,'' Banks admits. "We move around so fast, and it's not much fun from that point of view, but obviously the gigs themselves are great and we enjoy playing in front of an audience. I can live without the rest of it though." Banks has a personal preference for playing smaller venues rather than huge stadiums. "On our world tour we played big venues everywhere ... anything from around thirty thousand to over a a hundred thousand people. It's exciting and we've found a way of making it work, with the screens and everything, but in all honesty if anyone were to ask where it would be best to hear us play, I would have to say a theatre. The problem though is capacity ... if we only did one or two shows in the smaller places we would get a lot of stick for that, so it's a compromise. In America there are the twenty thousand seaters and, if you're not doing stadiums, they're quite intimate and the sound is more controllable. There are very few equvalents over here ... Wembley Arena or the N.E.C. in Birmingham, and that's just about it in England."
Do you, Banks and Rutherford, feel that Genesis songs are an antidote to the current sampled music scene of the early Eighties? "I do think it's one reason why the band has been able to sustain its popularity while a lot of the bands providing more complex stuff have fallen by the wayside," Tony Banks reasons. "Genesis is perhaps something of a hybrid anyway - we fill a very big gap in the music industry and, perhaps because we are so well known, don't have too much competition which helps us to still be around. "A lot of kids are looking back into earlier musical periods, back to when there was more musicality and more playing ... they're not satisfied with what they're geting from top 40 material, which at the moment tends to be very much at the simple end, like in the early Sixties before The Beatles. I think people are waiting for something little bit more ambitious to come out of it." Mike adds: "There's always been different music fads, in fact there's new one every time we bring an album out and that's quite alright. But yes, I suppose I do think that we offer a slightly more complex type of music - I'm not saying that's good or bad, because that's what we offer - but it is a contrast to what's around."
We venture into the rather controversial waters of artist royalties for CD and DCC sales. With various rock acts bitching about their compact disc sales royalties, and refusing to allow their work to be released in the new formats, what are Rutherford and Banks' views on the subject? "I don't know to be honest - I'm a bit out of it!," Mike admits. "CD's are too expensive, nobody understands why they cost so much to buy because they cost nothing to make, do they? ... and it's not as though the artists are getting the money! The theory is that the record companies are earning back their initial investment I believe - but they must have got it back by now, surely? It costs about one pound to make CD, with packaging and promotion, and obviously they have their running cost, but to my mind there is a huge figure missing somewhere. And the trouble is, in reality, nothing ever comes down in price does it? "My feelings about the new formats (Mini-disk and Compact Cassette) are that it's like the old VHS versus BETA situation, they can't both survive, which is why we haven't licensed out our stuff yet ... we want to see which one becomes the most popular format. I feel it's rather unfair unleasing all these formats on the public. I am sure I'll complain about the royalty rates, but I'm comfortable and doing very well! "
Tony Banks adds: "It's down to record companies and artist managers to battle it out between them. From our point of view, we're getting quite enough from royalties anyway, but I'm not too sure about these formats at the moment ... it can't be the right time to launch them when people haven't got enough money; everyone's just got used to the CD, and are happy with it, and suddenly we have a whole new system introduced. "From a royalty point of view, it's not that big a deal for us at the moment ... I don't imagine anyway that during the next couple of years the sales of these formats are going to mean that much in terms of overall royalties. Ultimately, artists will still have the same sort of clout that they have now - there's always been different percentages, depending on what stage a recording career has reached, and I don't see it will make much difference in the long run. In the short term maybe, whilst they are trying to find ways of getting these formats launched. Artist managers are quite able to manipulate record companies when necessary, and the big acts will make sure the percentages are right for them and that will filter down through the system. ''AII I know is, when we came into the business we were lucky to get two-and-a-half percent of ninety percent, or whatever it was ... when an artist or band starts off, it is always low because that's the game of the record companies, but once an act starts making a lot of money, then they don't need to take such a high percentage and the group can keep more. It's capitalism, whether you like it or not ... record companies are only going to invest in new acts if they feel they are getting a proper return."
With Phil Collins' high profile solo career, do either Banks or Rutherford feel that there could be a danger of his work and that of Genesis ever becoming one and the same? "It's always difficult when you've got the same singer," acknowledges Mike, "but songs like "Driving The Last Spike" and "Fading Lights" are nothing like you'll hear on a Phil Collins album." Tony adds: "Phil's got a great ear for simplicity, and makes the most of that, while Genesis songs tend to be much more involved and complex. It's a similar situation to what Mike and I do on our own - people who go out and buy our records don't have any troube distinguishing between our music and that of Genesis."
And if Phil Collins were ever to leave, would Genesis be likely to continue as a band? Both his colleagues feel that it would be unlikely. Tony Banks says: "I don't think that we would continue, if any of us were to leave... Genesis has become very much what the three of us do together now. I can't say definitely that we would split up, as it would depend very much on how it happened, but I think it's unlikely we would continue." Mike adds: "We get asked this question from time to time, and I wouldn't have thought we'd continue, but you never quite know, do you? But we've got to stop somewhere along the line though".
Gaffa e.l. 6/93
De kan stadig ikke danse, siger de, men de kan spille. Det er der kommet albums ud af, og nu findes hele herligheden også på videoen "We Can't Dance Tour Live'' (Polygram). Optaget under en koncertrække i London's Earls Court sidste november. Tre aftener med Phil Collins og co. for fuld udblæsning, og med hele den imponerende sceneopsætning. Jo, video'en indeholder også 'I Can't Dance'.