This interview was obviously conducted before there was restrictions on what media could print. Later on the marketing departments of the record companies demanded too much control over what was printed. A press officer today would have had a heart attack if he saw an artist being so frank and outspoken as Collins is in this interview. Shame on you, concert goers from Bournemouth and Southampton! LOL!
OK. Here we go.
Phil: Showing off his colours
Feature by Jerry Gilbert
Three days before Genesis concluded what appeared to be a highly successful British tour, selling out two concerts at the Rainbow and earning an ovation that any artist would treasure, Phil Collins came out with this surprise announcement: “I don`t know if you get blase but we expected a little more from some places and they just didn`t live up to expectations. The Northern gigs were all good but not Bournemouth or Southampton.
“The Rainbow was also weird and I didn`t really enjoy either of those gigs although a tape I heard of the Saturday gig sounded a lot better than I remember playing it”.
He also has reservations about their new album “Selling England By The Pound”, feeling that the numbers are only beginning to find their feet onstage now. But this is a problem Genesis have always had – their cycle of event forces them to take several months off to routine a new album and then go straight into the studios to record it before embarking on a tour to promote it which is usually when those numbers come of age. But if there`s one aspect of the band that this tour has pinpointed, it is their ability to play freely, and for the first time we have seen the band split down into units of three (Tony, Phil and Mike) and two (Phil and Mike). In fact Phil has been coming to the fore more and more recently, combining a display of powerhouse drumming with back up vocals, and now his own feature spot in the programme when he sings “More Fool Me” to Mike`s guitar accompaniment.
“We took three months over the last album, and while we were doing it I was doing my own pub gigs with a band (the legendary Zocks) and we may revive that band again. I`m also cutting a single which came about when I demoed some songs for Mike (Rutherford) and Ant Phillips, who used to be in the band. I was just demoing the songs for them but Strat liked what he heard and decided to put it out as a single although I don`t yet know what name it`ll go out under.”
Phil admitted that Genesis had finally emerged as musicians rather than a bunch of guys who meticulously work out every arrangement over a period of three months and devise strange costumes, props and slides as expletives.
“Everyone has come out better musically and whether it`s born out of frustration or not I don`t know. I don`t think it was a conscious effort, it was just the way it evolved and we hope to bring a lot more things into the band – there are some more percussion things I want to bring in. I mean the more I can get into the band the better I feel and things like `I Know What I Like`, `Dancing With The Moonlight King` and `Aisle Of Plenty` have given me more pleasure playing onstage now because it used to be that somehow I`d be playing better at the soundcheck than I was onstage. We`ve wanted to sound freer, and now, with only three of us onstage, the time changes are easier to pick up.”
But what role does Phil play in the preparation of new material? “Well I come up with ideas, little riffs and things because I play piano and so ideas come out in various pieces though obviously I`m more into the arrangements and the time sequences than chord patterns and lyrics.
“With the new album I feel that the production is much better because `Foxtrot` had been a farcical situation where we had three producers and it wasn`t until we settled down with John Burns to do `Supper`s Ready` that we realised we were getting into something. He thinks that the feeling should come across more than the technique but technique is important too so this time we`ve found a compromise and shown off a few rough edges.”
Phil`s future plans also include an album with Irish singer Eugene Wallace, although right now he is more concerned with preparing for the States` tour which follows shortly. “We want to make a film of a gig for American use also perhaps a `Whistle Test`, because although this is our third visit to the States it`s only our first real tour. The first time was a gamble with a one off thing in New York and I think it was effective.”
At the beginning of next year the band want to undertake a European tour, but more important, they plan to feature a week of concerts at a major London venue – either Edmonton, Hammersmith or the Rainbow. “We could have sold out four Rainbows this time so that`s what we`ll do instead of the Wembley thing we were going to do, because the show is still maturing.
“The thing is there`s a lot to take in at one show and I`m sure there`ll be some freaks who will come all five nights.”
With such an eccentric show, could Genesis ever hope to make money from the British concert circuit? “No. We had to put our ticket prices up this time which is a sad thing to do, but it`s a vicious circle because we can`t go on playing for nothing and getting ourselves into more debt but at the same time we can`t stop doing what we are doing because that`s what the band`s all about. The financial situation is something we never think about because if we did it would depress us. We`re taking all our own stuff across to America so we`ll lose money there too.”
But Phil is adamant about one thing – Genesis will continue to show off more and more of their colours. “There`s a lot in each of us that doesn`t come out in the band. Steve should play his instrumental `Horizons` and he and Tony should do instrumental things. My song came about because we were all going to do feature spots but I was the only one who actually got it together to do something else in the band.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dicky Betts (Allman Brothers), Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre, Humble Pie, Wishbone Ash, Michael Chapman, Ringo Starr, Neil Innes, Ken Hensley, Refugee, Steve Tilston, Groundhogs, Mike Heron.
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