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Genesis live guitarist is ready to Go

Daryl Stuermer interviewed

He once described himself as a permanent part-time member of Genesis. He has been enjoying this role for almost 30 years now. Daryl Stuermer played bass and guitar on all Genesis tours between 1978 and 1992. He also played guitar on every Phil Collins solo tours. 15 years after the end of the We Can't Dance tour Daryl will pick up bass and guitar again and play them onstage in the world's largest venues on Genesis' Turn It On Again tour. His new solo album will be available in record shops from April 20, 2007. Christian Gerhardts of spoke with Daryl about his life, Genesis and his new album, Go.

it: What kind of guitarist are you? Are you more a jazz or rock guitarist?
Daryl: Honestly, I think I am a combination of both, maybe I am a fusion guitar player, bit of rock, bit of jazz together. And that's where I come from, I started with rock 'n roll, then I got involved with jazz. When I became a professional musician, I was always playing in groups that did both. I had a band called The Sweetbottom, and now I even have an album of a reunion with that same band. That band was a combination of things. When we started, we did a lot prog-rock like King Crimson, Procol Harum - groups like that, and then we became more of an instrumental band, like Chick Chorea, more jazz musicians more or less. That is my background, kind of a combination of the two!

it: Why does your new solo-album Go coincide the the Genesis tour?
Daryl: Well, I had this music recorded, so this solo-album was sitting there to go. In a way, I feel it's an advantage. With the upcoming Genesis tour it will put my profile a little bit higher as my name is out there. This time I cannot promote the album live because I will tour with Genesis. But this record is music that doesn't go out of style. I look at this music and it's never really in and never really out. It stays with you the whole time. So it never goes out of style because it simply is never in style. It's timeless, maybe also because it doesn't deal with lyrics. I am also listening to some quite old albums from the 70s and 80s that still sound good, because the music is timeless. So I think after the Genesis tour I will go out on tour to promote the album live. Hopefully I can take my band to places like Germany, France or Italy. I think that the label, InsideOutMusic, will also help me very much because with my last few albums, I didn't have a good distribution, they were only sold on the internet and every time when we played somewhere, we would be selling the CD there. But InsideOut Music, they have a wide distribution. And I feel that will be very helpful, and that's why I went with InsideOut Music! When we spoke with them, they were into this kind of music and I think that they waited with the release of the CD until now also because I had this album ready to go maybe six months ago but I think that they kept it until this time thinking that the Genesis tour can only help the profile of me and the selling of the album.

it: How did you get in touch with InsideOut?
Daryl: The guy who is my associate producer on the album started doing some research. And we started looking for some more progressive rock labels and jazz labels. We were also looking at different artists that were on that label. And when I saw people like Steve Howe from Yes and Steve Hackett from Genesis, I thought that this might be a good fit also, because obviously, that would be an audience that is used to this kind of music. I may be more in the Jazzrock area than Steve Hackett or Steve Howe, but I still feel that's an audience that is open to that. So we contacted Inside Out via email and sent them different music that I have played, a collection of more harder-edged music. That was always on previous albums of my back catalogue, but there was also some lighter stuff, contemporary jazz, some nylon string - but this harder edged stuff was the direction I would take on Go, and they liked that direction.

it: What's going to happen with your back catalogue?
Daryl: Actually there's a CD out right now on a label called Unicorn from Canada. We put out this collection of music because they have some distribution and they were into putting out a collection of my songs from my back catalogue - it's called Rewired - The Electric Collection. So this collection is basically saying - this is where I'm going now. And then Inside Out decided let's wait until the Genesis thing is coming.

int4it: When did you start working on Go? Do you revisit ideas from the past or is it all new? How do you work on music?
Daryl: There are three songs on Go I wrote in the 70s and eighties, the rest on the album is brand new. In fact one song I wrote in 1974 [laughs] and two other songs I wrote in 1980. These are the last three songs on the album. I took them, rearranged them and made them more modern to today's standards. And after that I wrote some other stuff because I wanted to go in that direction. I started at the end of 2005 with the writing, then recorded the stuff beginning in mid 2006, and now the album will be put out.

it: We have some questions about some of the tracks. One song is called Greenlight, and the keyboard sound of that one reminds me of the 80ies. Another track, Dream In Blue, seems to have a strong Toto-influence. Did that period in the late eighties inspire you, just how rock band s sounded back then?
Daryl: Well, first of all I think it happened by chance, but at the same time I am very influenced by people I play with and stuff that I like. And I am a big fan of the Band Toto. I am also a big fan of Genesis, even if I was not in the band, I would be a fan. And in Dream in Blue - I hear a bit of Toto in there but there's also a lot of Tony Banks. There's no way of getting away from that [laughs]. I also worked with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. And his approach to playing rubbed off on my guitar playing, same with Tony Banks keyboard. As soon as you start playing with someone, it's the strongest influence you could have. And Tony Banks has this big keyboard sound and I really like that and I love the way he arranges music, so Dream In Blue was influenced that way, and the other song Greenlight - well, that was probably intentional, I am [laughs] a big fan of that 80s keyboard sound, don't know why, I just think it is an interesting time, peope were getting more excited about keyboards. I also like the sound of organs and pianos but a the same time, there are some great synthesizer sounds that I miss in some music today, so I naturally go that direction. It's just - when I like those people - Rick Wakeman from Yes also, I can't help myself. It has become part of me as well.

it: One of the things you realise first when listening to the album is your fast guitar playing. I first saw you in 1992 with Genesis and I remember this Firth of Fifth solo that you played incredibly fast, I learned guitar back then when I was young. Now I'm still young but I don't play guitar....
Daryl: How old are you?

it: I'm 30.
Daryl: Well...that is young [laughs]

it: Anyway your fast guitar playing on Go reminded me of that Firth of Fifth solo. Would you describe that as a trademark of yours, to play the guitar as fast as possible?
Daryl: Generally, solos do not start out fast. But a lot of people ask me about that. But when you play it, it doesn't sound as fast as when you listen to it. Sometimes I play and then listen to it afterwards and realize, oh that was fast! But I think most of my solos do not tend to start at their peak. A solo has to grow, and that is my style. It starts slow and then gets faster towards the end. Maybe on this album I open up a little bit faster than I usually do. My previous records probably do not show as much of my technique or speed than this one.
I wanted this record to have more of an energy approach and energy - at least for me - sometimes comes from the speed, you know? I do not necessariliy think of it that way. But sometimes I listen to my stuff and think 'wow, that was pretty fast' [laughs]. This is probably my most focused album ever. Speed creates energy sometimes and I think it works! I stayed on track, on this idea - all the way through the album.

it: There's another song called Heavy Heart, that one got me thinking, why are there no lead vocals on that track? You play the guitar like a singer would sing a melody. So why did you decide not to have a vocalist on that song or the abum?
Daryl: Right, well actually, you're very correct. I played the song to Phil Collins and he said, that would be great with some lyrics! I knew that, too. When I wrote it originally, I thought of it as a vocal track. But I decided not to have any vocals on my record. I wanted it to be a Daryl Stuermer record and I am simply not a singer. It seems to me a lot of people like this song, because it is so melodic. It's a slow melody and like you say, it is a vocal melody. But I think it works, it is like covering a vocal song with the guitar playing the vocal part. But it was intentional. I also think that Phil will write some lyrics to it at some point. He has done that before. I have written some songs with him that were originally instrumentals. There's a song on the last Phil Collins album Testify, called The Least You Can Do, that was a song I wrote as an instrumental, this version is also on one of my own albums, called Retrofit. Phil liked it so much and wrote some lyrics to it. He's done that before - there's I Don't Wanna Know on No Jacket Required that was originally an instrumental. That came out on my Steppin' Out album...

goit: ...which is well known for its beautiful cover artwork

Daryl: [laughs] Yes, that's right. That came out in 1987 or 1988, so we did the song on his album first. It was a bit different then, I didn't play the guitar like a vocaist would sing, but I agree with you about Heavy Heart on my new album. I don't think it suffers without the vocals, I get good reactions for the song, also live. But nevertheless, if someone sang it, it would be great also.

it: Do you have pland to record an album with a vocalist at some point? Tony Banks did that as well, he had other vocalists doing his songs.
Daryl: Well I would not say I will never do that but I have no intention to do that now. My next album will be an instrumental record. I'm in this instrumental mode, this is my direcion at this point. And I don't have a singer [laughs], in the end it also comes down to that. I would need to collaborate anyway because I am more of an instrumentalist. Anyway, I am open to that idea, but not now.

it: Leland Sklar plays on your record. Did that happen because he returned to Phil's solo band or would you have included him anyway?

Daryl: It's a little of both, but he has been a friend of mine ever since 1984 when we recorded No Jacket Required. He also did two previous albums with me, Steppin' Out and the second one, Live And Learn. So we have recording history together. But also, because we were touring with Phil in 2004/05 on his First Final Farewell Tour, we discussed my new album and it's like you're saying - maybe that's why he is playing bass on it. I told him I was doing a new album and he said if you want to - please include me. But my own bass player plays on this record also, so I have Leland play the stuff that he think he would do best. And my own bass player, Eric Hervey, I use him for the songs that I think he would be best for it. Eric could have done the whole album but it's also an extra bonus to have a Leland Sklar on your album anyway. He's a great friend of mine, but also a fantastic bass player, my favorite bass player actually so I thought, this was a good opportunity. And I told it to Eric and he said he would be honoured to be on the same album as Leland.

it: What about the other musicians, John Colarco and Kostia, besides Eric Hervey. Did you play with them im Sweetbottom as wel?
Daryl: No, these are new musicians, although they have been playing with me for a few years now. They live here in my hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I considered them the best musicians around here and that's why I use them. Kostia actually is from Russia. He came to Milwaukee about ten years ago, and he didn't speak a word of English. He comes from a classical background and when I started to play with him I thought he was a great keyboard player. We also do some other work together as a duo. We also think about doing an album with just me and him. So he's someone that I'm planning on using for a long time anyway. The drummer is als great, sometime I change between him and another drummer that I use. It all depends, he also works with other people as well.

it: Speaking about Milwaukee, I actually was in Milwaukee.
Daryl: You were? When and why?

it: Well, actually in 2004 for the Phil Collins show.
Daryl: Oh, I see [laughs]

it: Actually it was a bonus, I visited a friend of mine, who lives close to Milwaukee in West Bend.
Daryl: Oh I know West Bend, you know Milwaukee is a very German town...

It: Yes, there's even a small town called Germantown there
Daryl: Yes that's right! But my ancestors are actually German, my mother's last name was Schoofs, so I have a Störmer and Schoofs. My grandfather's first name was Reinhard, so I come from this very German background, but also Milwaukee has a big German history as well.

it: yes, I realised that when I was there. Well, my friend there told me that you are very popular in this city, obviously I also got the idea when I saw the Daryl Stuermer Party during the Phil Collins Show  at the Bradley Center, and he also showed me a club where you perform regularly. Do you consider yourself more as a local musician with a strong fanbase at home, who just goes on the big road from time to time with Genesis and Phil Collins, or do you also intend to get your own band out there for a longer tour?
Daryl: Right, well sometimes we get out of Wisconsin to play shows, but it is a very hard thing to do financially. But now, with a record company like InsideOut Music, I feel that maybe there will be the opportunity to do that. We did some gigs in other states but it's a difficult thing to do when you don't have a record label backing you up. And now I hope to get even out of the States with my band. And honestly, I think that with my music, we probably would do better in Europe than here. So, I understand what you're saying, so this is what we want to do. I don't want to stay here and just play in Milwaukee. And there is this club here where I play occasionally, that's true. I don't do it that often because I want to make it a special occasion. And usually that happens when I have a new album. So I play there first to see how the music goes and how people react. After the Genesis tour - although I am not sure what Phil Collins is going to do,  will put my 100% into promoting Go and my live band.

it: so we can expect a few live-dates in Europe then...
Daryl: I hope so, this is what I want to do! Especially Germany is a big goal for us because Genesis is so popular in Germany. So obviously, that name attached to me will be a good thing.

it: Talking about live.shows, will you only play your own stuff or will you do cover versions of other artists as well?
Daryl: The only cover-music I do is Genesis. So all songs will be original compositions plus some songs from Genesis.

it: But you have done a record with Billy Joel cover-versions...?
Daryl: Oh yes, but this was different, just piano and guitar. And it was something that my piano player Kostia got contracted to do. There was a label that said, can you do a Billy Joel record? But we won't do any of those songs.

live1it: talking about Genesis, who probably had the biggest impact on your life as a musician - is it different to play with them compared to other artists?
Daryl: Well, they are the only guys I would consider to go on tour with. But at the same time, there are certain musicians, if they called me I would say of course! But Genesis will keep my busy this year. Phil Collins tends to keep me busy on other years. So I try to balance only between the two.
But also, for instance, when a group like Toto - not that thy would need me - but if they called me asking to play with them...but you know, Steve Lukather doesn't ned any help - so if they called, I would do it. I know Steve, he lkes my playing, I like his - so if they needed another guitar player, I would do it. You know Leland Sklar now plays with them! So, if someone like that, maybe Sting, but he has an excellent guitar player as well, Dominic Miller...

it: You played with Dominic on Phil's But Seriously album
Daryl: Yes that's right! So, if Sting would ask me, I would do it, because I love what he does. These are just examples, but these things are not likely and I am busy with Genesis and Phil and my own stuff at the moment anyway. It's a matter of time too. Living in Milwaukee allows me to have more time, like writing a new album. So the next thing will be writing another one, after the Genesis tour and my own tour.

it: You started with Genesis almost 30 years ago, do you recall the songs you had to play a the audition or was is some kind of freestyle audition?
Daryl: No, what thy did was they sent me a cassette with four songs of which I can remember three. Those were Down And Out, Dance On A Volcano and, erm...hmm...[laughs] now I can only remember two. Well, oh Squonk was the third one. And I believe the fourth one was Follow You Follow Me, though 'm not so sure about this one. They played me three songs at the audtion, maybe that's why I don't remember the fourth one. My audition was just with Mike Rutherford. They flew me to New York, I met Mike, we chatted for a while. Then we started. Mike had a cassette player and monitor speakers, he played the stuff through these monitor speakers and he was sitting on the floor with a pedal board, for different effects that he and Steve have used and then I played the guitar along with the music frpm the cassette. Mike had a guitar in his hands but wasn't playing. So I would play a minute or two of each song, then he would stop the cassette and go to the next one, and we did the same thing. And when we did the third song. And this is why I can't remember the fourth one, because we didn't play it. The exact quote after the third song was "I think you're the one" and I thought "wow". We talked some more and he said, I have 4 other guitar players to audition today but he said I should go back to the hotel and he would call me at 5 - it was at the Plaza Hotel in New York. So he wanted to meet again then to give me a list of songs he wanted me to learn for the rehearsals. And then at 6 - he was about an hour late - he called me and we met. So I asked him - I realised there were four other guitar players, so why were I the right guitarist compared to the other guys? And he said "you came very prepared". All the other guitar players didn't learn the songs, one guy actually said, let's start with music you want me to play. I mean, if you listen to this cassette, it's obvious [laughs], so the style of the music is Genesis, not jazz, not obviously I had the right attitude. Of course I can play guitar, but all the other guys can play guitar as well. But we got along very well, Mike and I, and we still do. it's a combination of things, it's not "you're the best guitar player in the world", it's more "you are perfect for the job".

it: Phil said in an interview back in 1978 that you might do a project with Phil, Alphonso Johnson and Rod Argent. Was it just an idea or did you have any real plans?
Daryl: Well I remember just what you said. But other than that, nothing else happened. I remember Phil was talking about it, but I probably only know as much as you do [laughs]. That's as far as it went, we never did anything.

it: How much freedom did the guys give you to play solos? There's always this discussion among fans. Your 1992 Firth Fo Fifth solo is more your own solo than the one Steve Hackett used to play. So how much freedom did you have to put your own stamp on the solos?
Daryl: Well a solo like that - what I do, I go in and out with what Steve played and then see what I can play. There are certain phrases that Steve played that have to be there. They are very strong, like a signature or like a melody. So hey have to be there. if they were not there it wouldn't be the right thing. I don't want to start improvising and play some odd solo every night - you could do that but I don't think it would be fair to the song. I really like what Steve played, but in between some of those phrases, I do something else. But also, sometimes whatever a person hears first, that's what they like. But sometimes you may hear for instance that 1992 solo first and like it and then you hear the old solo and like this one better. So it doesn't mean what his is better than mine or mine is better than his. But I took a lot of things that he played and I definitely wated to play those things, because they were a signature to the song.
But they never said to me you have to play it like Steve and they also didn't say play something on your own. They just said, here's the solo-part. So I played a lot what Steve played and added some of me to it. I think they trusted me for what I did. They figured that I would do whatever I had to do to make it work.

it: Talking about the upcoming tour, we know you rehearsed a bit in 2006, but when did you get to know first that something will happen?
Daryl: Well, Tony, Mike and Phil and Peter and I think also Steve Hackett had a meeting. We were on tour with Phil and we played in Glasgow in Scotland. I remember forgetting that they would be there. I was sitting in the hotel lobby and suddenly Mike and Tony came out of the elevator. We then talked for a while but we never talked about any touring, it was just family stuff or whatever. Then the next day, Tony Smith came to me and said Mike, Tony and Phil want to do the tour with you and Chester Thompson. I was very happy about that. I said  thought there would be a tour with Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett and Tony said well that may happen too, but right now, they did not make any decision on that, but they decided to tour with me and Chester. So there could be a tour with Peter and Steve in the future, but that decision has not yet been made, so in 2005 I knew something was going to happen, but we didn't know when it was going to happen and I was happy [laughs]. And this is not only a band reunion, it feels like a family reunion. And it's so amazng to me that it was 15 years ago that we last toured with each other. It doesn't feel like 15 years.

it: Who was the driving force behind that idea?
Daryl: I don't know, I think they just missed doing it. In the end I think Phil was the one who finally made the decision, I think Mike and Tony wanted to do it all along. But Phil had to make the decision because he was so busy with his thing. And maybe after he decided not to do any of those big tours with his solo-band, he felt open to Genesis.

it: So you met for rehearsals in October 2006. Was it easy to get the songs together or did you have difficulties?
Daryl: That depended on the song. We started with simpler stuff and then we got more into those more complicated stuff, Firth Of Fifth type of songs you know, the second part of Home By The Sea, things like that. A lot of things we rehearsed back then, we may or may not do. We rehearsed a lot of music just to see how it feels. And what will end up in our setlist, I'm not sure until we will be at the rehearsals, I'm going in three weeks, and that's going to determine which songs we will actually play. But also Tony has just sent me an email with some more things I should look at and listen to that they are thinking about adding to the show, things we never did before. Some things will change now. We might have our list in our heads what we're going to do but that will change during the final rehearsals. I mean if we did all the stuff we like, it would take 6 hours [laughs], would be a six hour show, but we have to scale it down to whatever, maybe 2,5 hrs, I have no idea. But no matter what, we're not going to please everybody. If we play a song that someone likes, it means we have to take out anoher song that someone else likes. But we will try to do a cross section of the very old stuff that Peter sang as well as the new stuff.

it: Ok, will the set be different from the 92 setlist, will it be more a "history of Genesis" setlist?
Daryl: We will definitely do songs that we didn't play in 92. The songs that Tony sent me to consider are songs we didn't do in 92. But also, when someone said to me are you doing old stuff, I said "they are all old" [laughs]. I mean it's 1992 - that was a long time ago. But of course I understand that they mean the stuff that Peter Gabriel sang. And - yes, we will do that, we will just stick more to the stuff that Phil sang but - at the same time - we always do stuff like In The Cage, where Phil sings stuff from the Peter Gabriel era. That's always gonna be there.

it: So it looks like you can't really talk about specific songs you have rehearsed or will rehearse?
Daryl: Well, no. I shouldn't do that anyway but also, if I did, we might not play that song. I could name you some songs, but these have to go through rehearsals and then we have to decide what is the better song to do, what fits the show better, the set, etc. That's why I don't talk about it. There will always be things tha will always be there of course. But there will be some surprises too.

darylit: Are there any problems with some of the songs regarding Phil's voice?
Daryl: Well, what we do when there's a problem. This mainly happens because it's too high now, voices tend to lower over the years, So what we do, we just change the key of the song. If it's in E, we'll do it now in D. The other reason why we do that isn't necessarily because he can't sing it. The show is maybe 2,5 hrs long and you play multiple dates, you have to take care about your voice. So it's better to take a song, drop the key now so it won't become a problem.

it: The 1992 tour had a very static setlist. If you saw the show three times, you saw the same setlist three times. Will the new show be a bit more dynamic, like more variation within the selection of songs for each night?
Daryl: Honestly, I don't know the answer to that. You never know that until we rehearse. They tried to do that once in a while, I know we did that in the past, but I believe in 1992 we didn't do that. But it's hard for me to answer that because I don't know that.

it: On one of the photos from reharsals, you can see a percussion kit between Chester's and Phil's drumkit. Who will play on that one?
Daryl: On certain songs Phil will play drums and then Chester will play the percussions, that's why it's there.

it: Will we see a 12-string guitar or a doubleneck guitar on stage?
Daryl: Yes, Mike will play a double-neck guitar, one neck will be a bass and the other one a 12 string or a 6 string guitar, it wll be interchangeable. He can take to guitar off that neck and put on the other one.

it: so that's a new guitar then, not the old double-neck?
Daryl: No, it's a new one, it's not the old one Mike used to play. I think it will be a combination of a Yamaha bass and I think a Stratocaster 6 string and a Rickenbacker 12 string, but I'm not sure now, I haven't seen it yet, he just told me about that. He had someone build this for him.

it: You will now tour with Genesis, the band will perform in stadiums only in Europe, climaxing in Rome where they expect 400.000 people. In North America it will be stadiums and big arenas. Do you prefer these big shows or would you rather play in theatres?
Daryl: I'm fine with the stadium shows but generally I prefer the intimacy of a theater. You can't beat that focus and atmosphere. But Genesis is so big, so the only way you can do this is in a stadium setting - and they have made this possible, you know? There will be big video screens and camera men there all the time and a big PA - and we'll try to make it as intimate as possible. But we can't do theaters, like in a place like Düsseldorf, we would have to play for two weeks and then we go on to Cologne. In every city we would have to play for so long that it probably would financially break the band [laughs]

it: maybe the guitarist is too expensive for that.
Daryl: yes, exactly [big laughter]

it: Do you prefer to play Steve's guitar parts or Mike's bass parts?
Daryl: That's impossible to answer, let me put it this way. Basically you would rather have to ask would I prefer playing bass or playing guitar. But it's hard for me to think of it that way because I enjoy playing with Genesis regardless what I play. I'm more of a guitarist of course. Sometimes I play guitar that Mike plays on record also. But, of course, playing a song like Firth Of Fifth, I enjoy a lot, that's one of my most enjoyable solos to play. But it's very hard to say it's like which one of your children do you like better? It's a fair question of course but a hard one for my to answer. For example, songs like Domino or Home By The Sea have some incredible bass parts to play, I enjoy that too, it's a lot of fun and they are very challenging. And on the guitar, apart from Firth of Fifth, it's Dance On A Volcano or Los Endos. Songs like this are so much fun to play. And I consider bass as my second instrument, I've played it for a long time as well. On all of my solo albums prior to the new one I play a lot of bass.

it: in the end a bass is a five-string-guitar anyway.
Daryl: [laughs] yes that's right. Well actually my bass is a four string guitar.

it: Did you discuss to play anything from Calling All Stations and what do you personally think about Calling All Stations?
Daryl: We won't be doing anything from Calling All Stations, there's simply so much music to play and Phil wasn't involved with Calling All Stations at all. They never discussed doing anything from it.
And personally, I think it was a good album but also, it's a tough thing to replace someone like Phil Collins. You're not only replacing a singer, but also a drummer, and he's one of the best around, writer and producer, so that makes four people. So for me it wasn't so much a Genesis album, it was more a Mike Rutherford+ Tony Banks album. The Genesis that I know was Mike, Tony and Phil. That was the strong formation. So when you take Phil out of the equation, you're taking out four positions. I think the album is good, but I wouldn't identify it that much as a Genesis album.

it: So in case the three of them decided to record a new abum and they thought about including you and maybe Chester, would you join them?
Daryl: I don't think so [big laughter] - of course I would! Why would I not want to do that?

it: You always said you are a permanent part time member...
Daryl: Yeah that's right [laughs], I've been permanent part time for how many years now?

it: nearly 30...
Daryl: Oh yes...right...well I never really expected to be a member of the band because they realised how much more complicated it was to have five people in the band. So then Pete left, they were four, then Steve left, then they were three, so three seems to be most uncomplicated way to go [laughs]. I don't think they want to go back with adding a fourth writer again or a fifth writer. I think they are comfortable wth what they are and they would surely come up with great music. When Phil stepped up to be more of a writer, that obviously changed the band. Some people think the band became too pop-orientated, I actually think they don't. It became more accessible. He brought the music more into the general public, as a producer and also as a writer. Some old fans didn't like that, but he needed also time to fit in his role when he replaced Peter. At this time people thought how can someone replace Peter Gabriel? But the difference between Ray Wilson replacing Phil and Phil replacing Peter was that Phil was already within the band. Ray came from outside. Maybe that's the reason why it didn't work out tha much as they wanted it to. And Ray is a very talented writer too, he does some good solo stuff.

It: Do you know Ray Wilson?
Daryl: Ray? Well, I met him twice I think and I shared a taxi with him [laughs], some time in London. I forgot where we were, some award show or something. He was there, me, Hugh Padgham, the engineer, and we all shared a taxi. It was the firs time I actually sat down and talked with Ray. He's a very nice guy. I'm sorry it didn't work out with Genesis, but that's the way things go, it doesn't always work, you know?

it: So, looking back now, what was your favorite tour and what song did you enjoy paying the most?
Daryl: I would say my favorite tour [deep breath]...oh's just the way things feel. It's either the Invisible Touch tour or the first one in 78, which simply was incredibly exciting, because it was totally new to me. I could say that was my favorite, but then as I stayed with them another tour comes to mind which was the Invisible Touch tour.
One of my favorite songs to play, well the most favorite song to play was in 1978 the Eleventh Earl of Mar, we opened the show with that and it was so strong. The atmosphere was incredible. It was a great tour. But you know, I liked every tour I did with them [laughs]. Again, it's the which child do you like better question.

it: I know musicians hate those kind of quesions, but we ask them anyway...
Daryl: I don't hate those quesions, I can understand and I know why people ask, but it's difficult to answer. I can pick various things from every tour that had something special. For example, I enjoyed it when we did this whole Duke Suite, but I don't even remember which tour it was.

it: Have you heard the new 5.1 mixes already?
Daryl: No, I didn't even know there was something like that. But I may get to listen to them.

it: Another typical fan question - what's your favorite Genesis album and song?
Daryl: My favorite album I can say clearly is Wind And Wuthering. And my favorite Track is Blood On The Rooftops. The whole album is great and this track really stands out. And it's funny because this was a track that Steve and Phil wrote...

it: Yes, the only Hackett/Collins composition from Genesis
Daryl: Right, it's a beautiful song and Steve did such a nice job on that one, with this beautiful introduction. My second favorite abum would be A Trick Of The Tail. This also might be because these were the first records I hever heard of Genesis. When I was working with Jean-Luc Ponty, he was the one that gave me a cassette of both records, he said, you should hear this band, this is an excellent band. And when I heard this cassette, it changed my life. I thought this is a great band, why have I not heard of them before? And it was Phil singing, those were the first two albums after Phil became this singer this was my introduction to Genesis. And then I went back and heared the stuff with Peter Gabriel, that's the story.

it: What is your favorite Phil Collins album and favorite song?
Daryl: Face Value is my favorite album and In The Air Tonight my favorite song, there's no question...I also loved playing that song live. I think it was always the best song that we performed during the live shows. least I can answer those questions clearly [laughs]

it: We did a poll on our websites asking people which songs they'd like to hear during the Genesis tour, we gave them 60 songs from 1973-92 to choose from and they could pick 10 of them. More than 1,100 people have participated so far and songs like Cinema Show, Firth Of Fifth, Mama, Home By The Sea, Capet Crawlers, In The Cage, Dance On A Volcano Los Endos or the Duke Suite are very strong...
Daryl: Oh, wow. That's good to know! And it's an interesting result.

It: Fans often have the feeling that a band like Genesis, when they decide what to play, they might be too far away from the fans to know what they would like to hear. Obviously the internet changed that a bit
Daryl: Yes, you're right about that, and it's good for me to know this stuff from your polls!

it: Ok Daryl, we hope you will have great tour and perform some great songs. Thanks a lot for taking so much time for this interview!
Daryl: Thank you as well, it was a pleasure. See you on tour then.

questions and transcription by Christian Gerhardts

photos courtesy of InsideOut Music, Ulrich Klemt,

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