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Genesis Interview at BBC Radio 2

Genesis - Interview (4th March 2020, BBC Radio 2)

Genesis will return on stage in late 2020! In the frame of a show on BBC Radio 2, Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford announced their plans for the The Last Domino? Tour 2020. Read the transcript of this interview:

Host: People, let me set the picture: In 2007, the new Wembley stadium was completed, Gordon Brown became the prime minister and the iPhone was revealed. But it was also the last time that this iconic and legendary band took to the stage. They have sold over 100 million albums world-wide, they are absolute legends in the best sense of the word, and the global music scene simply would not have been the same without them.

Now, despite saying themselves that it would be highly, highly, highly unlikely they are, indeed, back together. They are going on tour, and it gives me a great thrill to introduce to you today, Radio Two listeners, it’s only Mr Phil Collins, Mr Mike Rutherford and Mr Tony Banks. It’s Genesis! In the studio! Congratulations, chaps! Oh, thank goodness I can say it now. That’s what we needed, a huge stadium roar there, didn’t we, Phil? This is very lovely indeed. Quite a few of our listeners had guessed, some had seen the papers. They are absolutely thrilled.

Umh, what happened, then? Who made the first move? Why was this the right time, as this is a conversation that has been running between the three of you for quite a while?

Mike: I’m not sure we know, really. I think it’s the natural moment, actually, probably because … It’s happened very naturally, Phil’s been out on tour for the last two and a half years doing his stuff, you know? His son Nic has been drumming, Nicholas, and it just seemed the natural moment to have a conversation about it.  We’re all still good friends, we’re all above grass… Here we are!

Host: Here you are! It’s fantastic! I see you all are looking mighty fine as well, Phil, I got to see you playing and I saw your Nic drum at Hyde Park. He’s very good, isn’t he?

Phil: Yeah, he’s fantastic.

Host: But wasn’t it part of the idea of you guys getting back together was that you, obviously, wouldn’t be drumming but Nic would come on board as well?

Phil: For me, it was… It wasn’t a deal-breaker but it was something that was working. It was a problem that we had to overcome with me not playing, although I’m going to be doing my best to play some bits on the tour. I gotta start seriously thinking. But I have already been working out what I gotta do and what songs to play…. Excuse my voice, I’ve been a bit sick. It was … Tony and Mike both came to the shows at the Albert Hall, and both were taken with the way he understood what was needed. He plays a bit like me when he wants to. He doesn’t when he doesn’t want to, but I’m one of his many influences, of course, being his dad. He plays like me and he has the same attitude as me. That was a good starter.

Host: And you’ve got your old mates coming on stage. Who else is going to be playing with you?

Tony: Well, the most obvious extra is Daryl Stuermer, who has played with us for many years. Basically we have to have him because he’s the one who knows all the songs, so when Mike and I lose the place slightly he can remind us what’s going on.

Actually, what was interesting was that Nic was much the same. He was way ahead of us. Normally, when we come back to rehearsing after a long period off, we normally have a bit of time to get our parts back together, but with Daryl and Nic being much the same I was kind of behind everybody else which was a bit embarrassing. I’m not going on about Nic all the time, but he’s … I love Chester, and we had a great time with Chester, you know, wonderful drummer. But the thing with Nic: He sounds like … can sound like Phil. When we do some of these old songs it’s interesting – they go back to how they were when we did it on the albums, which was quite fun for us.

Host: That must be quite emotional, actually. I have to say I came to see you at Wembley stadium in 1987, the Invisible Touch tour. Loads of people I have been talking to were going “I was there!”, Nigel was there, Chris, lots of people. For some of them it was their first gigs. It was phenomenal. I revisited it last night. I was listening to your albums yesterday. You know every word, every drum break. And you watch those crowds. Well, you’ve played to crowds like that all over the world. People go mad for you right from the front of the stadium right all the way to the back. No wonder you want to do it again because it must be the biggest thrill, Mike.

Mike: Well, they have done so far. [laughs] Yeah, it’s great, [unintelligible] It feels great, it feels the right time. I’m looking forward to doing it. We haven’t played … We’ve done two shows in the UK in the last 28 years so we haven’t overworked it.

Host: Most definitely not. So you can see why everyone’s so thrilled that this is happening.

Genesis BBC2

Host: Our listeners are finding out it’s Genesis who are back together and going on tour. They are thrilled, they are very happy indeed. We have Phil and Mike and Tony in the studio with us. I’ve just been talking about the atmosphere of going to Wembley as a 16-year-old, the old Wembley stadium, remembering every single moment of that. I was so thrilled there is a video of it because you watch it back and my memories of the day, or days. You played like four dates there. It was so sunny every day and the atmosphere was so incredible there. The drum duet with Chester you did. I remember the outfits you were wearing, everything. So, you’re back together, you’re going on tour, you’re going to playing stadiums around the UK.  You’ve obviously had a couple of rehearsals. How is it being back in a room with each other?
Tony: Well, it is amazing how the years seem to disappear, really, after you’ve played a few things. I can’t believe it’s thirteen years. Three or four years ago, you know, that’s how it feels to me. Once you get back to playing together again it feels like that. And as I said before, with Nic there as opposed to Phil it didn’t feel much different from the point of view of playing. It was great.

Host:  How are you gonna come up with a setlist? I mean, such a huge body of work back through all those albums. Are there ones already, Phil, where you sort of say: Yeah, we have to play… Mama, I don’t know, A Trick Of The Tail, … What are your feelings?

Phil: There are songs that you feel you have to play because the audience will feel cheated if you didn’t.  And then there’s the question of putting the rest of the stuff together, from songs that maybe we haven’t played for a long time. Obviously we’re still working out what the order will be, but things tend to take shape gradually.

Host:  Well, they’re not revealing a lot at the moment… It is early days…

Mike: What really hit me when we went to New York is that there’s sort of Genesis sounds. Instrumental stuff, some of Tony’s chords (we don’t tell him that). The sound we have, which is a darker sound, which I don’t do in the Mechanics, not quite the same in your stuff, this sort of Genesis sound is still there. I kind of missed it. It’s nice to play it again.

Host:  I know. I found written in an interview, Phil, that you once compared Genesis to being a little bit like Monty Pythons, in that everybody went off and got all the things that everybody did, but then it all sort of stemmed from the one thing, that beautiful thing you have.

Phil: Thinking like that allowed us to do our solo projects and to do whatever we wanted to do but occasionally come back and be the mothership, as it were. That seems to be a pretty good analogy. A couple of them have snuffed it since then but we’re all pretty much…

Host: You are still HERE.

Mike: He’ll be fine by the tour.

Host: [messages of fans gushing even more than the presenter left out] …and Charlie from Leeds saw you at the O2 last night. The charity gig last night, who were you playing with?

Mike: It was great line-up. I had a couple of songs with Paul Carrack. Eric was there, Mick Hucknall, it was fantastic, Mick is really good. Van Morrison, Sir Tom. Actually all down the backstage it was Sir Tom Jones, Van Morrison, then there’s the rest of us. It was a great, fantastic gig.

Host:  [more gushing, then the show dates are mentioned, and outro]

Transcript by Martin Klinkhardt, 5th March 2020