MWE3 Feature Story
conducted by Robert Silverstein and Eric Paulos
for  mwe3.com  



mwe3.com presents an interview with

STEVE HACKETT

 

Continued From Home Page


OUT OF THE BODY

mwe3.com presents an interview with
STEVE HACKETT


interview written and produced by
Eric Paulos and Robert Silverstein for mwe3.com

Having been a key part of that long awaited Squackett album from 2012, prog guitar ace Steve Hackett returned in 2015 for what some are calling his finest album yet. Wolflight features Steve on the cover in the company of friendly looking wolves. He has always been considered in the top echelon of guitar players yet, even to the amazement of long time fans, Steve's vocals and song writing hits a new high on Wolflight. Progressive rock and pop vocal hooks is at the core of Wolflight, yet it also dives deep into the well of symphonic, orchestral sounds, bombastic, hard-edged rock, and a hybrid form of ethnic flavored, pan-global music. A pair of acoustic instrumental tracks offers a quick look into that legendary Hackett classical guitar sound. Guest players really enhance the sound, including the late, great Chris Squire, who plays bass on a track here—a sprawling ten minute song about domestic abuse called “Love Song To A Vampire”. Considering that the YES legend was dead within a few weeks of the release, it's kind of a metaphysical coincidence that the lead off track—one of several instrumental tracks on Wolflight—is called “Out Of The Body”. Like a phoenix rising for sure, Squire will not make another great album like Squackett again and that sobering thought will no doubt colour Steve’s future music. Backing vocals by Amanda Lehmann and Steve’s wife Jo Hackett are also sublime on Wolflight, as are Steve’s own multi-tracked vocals. What more can be said about the musicians Steve Hackett chooses for his albums? First rate players who summon sounds like a rock orchestra, including keyboard wiz Roger King, drummer Gary O’Toole and a host of other great players—in fact a veritable rock orchestra graces these tracks. Steve Hackett emerged as the lead guitarist in Genesis in 1971 and since then, he’s gone on to define the role of electric lead guitar in progressive rock. With Wolflight poised to become his most acclaimed album of the past 35 years, Steve Hackett shows no sign of letting up. In addition to the 12 track CD, the deluxe edition also includes a Blu-ray disc featuring the entire ten track album, with the two bonus tracks, presented in DTS Master Audio 5.1 and 24/48 stereo LPCM as well as 3 interview videos with Steve discussing the music of Wolflight, all topped off by that classic album artwork, which really personifies the musical content. Prog-rock fans who thrilled to Steve’s work with Chris Squire on the Squackett album will love Wolflight. With Chris Squire now sadly part of the universal garden of life, it’s perhaps up to Steve Hackett to carry that tradition of timeless, Beatles inspired progressive music onward into the brave new world of the 21st century. By 2050, at the mid 21st century, Steve Hackett will be surely be considered as one of the founding architects of progressive rock and Wolflight will be right up there among his most highly regarded albums. www.HackettSongs.com / www.InsideOutMusic.com




{On August 10th 2015, Robert Silverstein and Eric Paulos of mwe3.com spoke to Steve Hackett in a three way phone conversation from Pompano Beach, Florida, Los Angeles, California and London, England}



mwe3
: Your new album Wolflight is just an amazing production. It has some wonderful world flavors and the guitars, thankfully, sound like they were recorded loud.

Steve Hackett: Actually, the guitars were supposed to sound loud but I recorded it without amplifiers, straight into the box and they scream in a different kind of way. I torture them with pedals. It’s five months of work.

mwe3: It’s incredible how technology has progressed with the studio effects. Were you using a modeler?

Steve Hackett: I think we were using various things on it, which Roger King served up for me. We hooked something up that looked a bit like a Marshall cabinet with an Orange head or a Fender this and we mixed things around… Different heads with different amps and different things. You’ve got to keep trying it until you find a sound you fall in love with.

mwe3: It’s absolutely a modern sounding album. Everything in it is extremely well recorded and the drums and the guitars are very forward. It really pops out in stereo!

Steve Hackett: There was a nice surround mix of it as well, except the guy who did the surround turned down the speakers by 10db in the rear when we had it mastered so when there’s another edition of it, when it gets repressed, we’re going to fix that. It’s your life in their hands!

mwe3: Tell us about the tour you’ve been on. I was amazed you played twenty different countries last year. And tell us about your upcoming tour and what you’re going to play from Wolflight live in concert.

Steve Hackett: Okay, yes we did twenty countries… which seems like a lot but in the past month, I’ve just been to so many countries, some of which I’ve been working in and others, for other reasons. It’s just been ridiculous. In the past month, I’ve already been to Argentina to work, and to Peru for a holiday. Lovely music, wonderful, highly recommend it. And then we came back to the U.K. and very quickly off to the Loreley festival in Germany. Went to Greece, shot a video. Been working with some Hungarians. My friends in the Jarvi Band as we were in Eastern Europe doing various countries, including Croatia, where I finally got a chance to play. Absolutely beautiful! It’s a little like Italy. Eastern Europe’s best kept secret. I went to a place called Vela Luca, on an island there called Korcula that was absolutely beautiful!

You were asking me about Wolflight and what we’re going to play from it. It’s covering the whole of my 40 year history as a solo album maker but there’s also going to be some Genesis stuff as well. We’re doing it in surround. So there will be surround sound, to make it fully immersive for everybody. The tracks we’re doing from Wolflight, the latest one, we’re going to do the title track, we’ll be doing “Out Of The Body”, the first track which kind of works a little like an overture. I think we’re going to do “Loving Sea”. We’re certainly going to attempt “The Wheel’s Turning” and of course “Love Song To A Vampire”, which had Chris Squire on it. It’s all important that we do that. It’s a long tour that will keep me going up until Christmas. Rehearsals start next week. So I won’t be returning to civilian life until about Christmas.

mwe3: Most people start to slow down when they get into their 60s. You buck that trend completely. Everything you do seems to be stronger and stronger each year. I saw your Genesis extended tour in Los Angeles in December last year. It was quite excellent.

Steve Hackett: Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think the older I get, the busier I’ve become. It’s an organic process of just knowing more and more people and more and more people wanting me to show up on their albums as well as to show up on tour, so I have a hard time saying no. I love to work. Once I’ve done a few shows and the band is getting comfortable with the new set then I start to relax. Actually it’s a very easy life! You don’t really have to think that much. You get driven somewhere, you show up, all you gotta do is find the right switch, live out of a suitcase, give up sleep… It’s a strange life but it’s the chosen one for us muso types.

mwe3: It was such a shock that Chris Squire died at the end of June 2015, as we had just found out in May that he was sick and then a month later he was gone. Was it a shock for you too? I know I had asked you about what you thing happens to us when we die.

Steve Hackett: Well, it was a shock for me. I loved working with Chris. He was a lovely guy to work with. Hugely talented. Every time he recorded it was always a party. It was just great. It was a shock. I heard about his death when I was just about to take a flight to London, from Madrid, having flown back from Peru, so I’d already had a night without sleep when I heard that he passed on. Somehow you feel that there’s certain people, whose work is eternal and because their work is infused with so much energy you feel that’s really unstoppable so… All I can say is, I’m sure there’s an afterlife and can’t wait to see what that holds… There better be!

mwe3: When you recorded “Love Song To A Vampire” with Chris were you guys together?

Steve Hackett: He was about to go off on tour in Europe and he was in my home town of Twickenham, Richmond (Surrey)… that area and he phoned me up and said, “I’m in town for a couple of days. Have you anything I can work on?” I said “It just so happens that I have a track that needs a bass player. It would be great if you could do it because the bass feature on the chorus of ‘Love Song To A Vampire’ is this steadily ascending line, so it’s one of the main features.” He didn’t have a bass with him because all his equipment was on tour so I said to him “I’ve got a Fender Precision that hasn’t come out of its case for about twenty years,” So we got the thing virtually reconstituted… and it sounded just like him. It’s just the way he sounds. He carries that sound with him and it sounds classically like him and I was thrilled to get him on it.

I always felt we would do more. We played together on the boat… the Close To The Edge… sorry… Cruise To The Edge… Freudian slip. Cruise To The Edge. He was on stage with us, and Simon Collins, Phil’s son, and John Wetton. It was a great ending to all of that. And we played “All Along The Watchtower” and it was great fun… Just a bunch of pals having a lot of fun with a great tune. Yeah, I always thought that I would work with Chris again. We were always going to do our own thing, show up on each other’s albums. He asked me to join YES at one point. I thought “Well that would look great, wouldn’t it!” to have been lead guitar with Genesis and with YES, I thought that might be a first, but at the time I said “I’m very flattered, but I’ve got these other commitments” but lovely to have been asked. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel miffed about that but it happens to be a reality and thank God that he asked me.

mwe3: I know that in the early ‘80s everyone was leaving YES.

Steve Hackett: They were! But at the same time, Trevor Rabin… the combination of Trevor Rabin and Trevor Horn, working on 90125, gave YES a huge injection of energy.

mwe3: I really love that version of YES. I get into a lot of trouble with my friends because I thought that was their best stuff.

Steve Hackett: I know, people can get very possessive about this and say, well that was the computer era and the real YES is another era but one can’t be purist about this. Certain bands have been through a number of reincarnations and reinventions and they’ve been terrific through all their eras basically. So move further on.

mwe3: I had a really great time listening to the classical guitar sections of Wolflight. In “Love Song To A Vampire”, for example, I was hearing Paganini’s “Capriccio No. 24.”

Steve Hackett: That’s interesting. I’m totally unfamiliar with that. I was probably thinking of Paco De Lucia with some influence by Russian composers. I was thinking “What if flamenco players grew up in Russia in the late 19th century?” So there is something of Eastern Europe in there, something of Flamenco, something of the Gypsies and other things besides. I had a chipped nail when I did that so my sound is a little bit spikier than usual. What the Russian composers have done as well… the harmonies and the Slavic / Nordic elemental stuff. There have been so many groups, Led Zeppelin for instance…

mwe3: Speaking of Led Zeppelin, in the CD review of Wolflight, we mention that the album is a combination of progressive rock and pop vocals and you could also describe it as hard rock as well as world music and classical themes, in the totality of this recording. There’s a couple of tracks that had that strong, primal kind of Led Zeppelin vibe about them.

Steve Hackett: It’s very difficult to categorize the album in total, but you could say there was some cinematic heavy metal. That might be an oxymoron, but it ought to be possible to get orchestras to sound hard edge or to make groups sound quite soft. I’m always looking for hybrid, unlikely constructions… I keep thinking… “Yeah let’s try skiffle and psychedelic!” (laughter) Why not! It ought to be possible to do everything to make mongrel things out of different styles. I mean there a guy from Azabajian on the record playing tar, doing the intro to “Wolflight”. Malik Mansurov, who is like working with a guy that’s a cross between Ravi Shankar and John McLaughlin. There’s a spiritual quality and mythical quality to the playing. So he was a real find. I was dying to work with him! I’d worked with him live in Hungary so I thought “I’ve just got to get him on the record!” And I’ve got many more recordings of things that he’s done and that I’ve done. I’m hoping to be able to unleash that later and maybe that will become a little bit of a house style. It’s a wonderful instrument.

mwe3: I especially loved in “Love Song To A Vampire”, after the orchestral break, your second guitar solo. Sounds like a bat out of hell! It sounded like a Jan Hammer line. If you listen to your second solo on “Love Song To A Vampire”, after the cello section and the orchestral break… When I first heard it, it was so fast, I thought I was listening to a synthesizer riff with a guitar patch, then I realized, no that’s Steve’s guitar!

Steve Hackett: Actually, it’s something that’s’ very simple to play because a lot of those notes are all hammering on, although they sound like they’re plectrumed. They’re basically, almost in a line. It’s actually quite simple. I’m taken with that idea of doing something which was not necessarily in time, but just firing at salvos right across a completely different genre kicking in. The album was a little like a relay team, or maybe like a tag team. Another genre barges in for the kill when the other thing might start getting a little tired. So I always wanted that idea of the element of surprise. I suppose, in a way, it gives it a kind of schizophrenic quality, but it does have surprise on its side.

mwe3: It speaks highly to your professionality how coordinated the record sounds, so it’s surprising. To me, it’s so well done that it transcends that schizophrenic, attention deficit kind of quality. Everything sounds like it fits!

Steve Hackett: You mention attention deficit, and I think I am trying to cater to the people who get bored easily, certainly. But I had a lot of fun making the record. I had to do it very quickly because I was selling my studio and that’s probably what made up come up with the ideas that we did. I’ve often spent longer on a record and found that it was less energetic, but making a modern record these days is a very flexible process. You can immerse yourself in so many different styles and you don’t necessarily, literally need to have all those instruments at your disposal. I mean, what The Beatles did with manpower back in the day… These days it is very tempting to want to dial it up and go for the virtual rather than the real, but I tend to mix the two. I think that the end justifies the means. I never meant to put orchestras out of work and believe me, whenever I’ve been able to afford it, I would always rather have a great orchestra on a record.

mwe3: Did you record the entire record, other than you mention, Chris coming to your home to record “Love Song To A Vampire”, did you record the rest of the record in Budapest?

Steve Hackett: Well, no actually. A small amount of it was recorded in Budapest. It was basically in London.

mwe3: There’s just so many classically inspired instrumental sections and tracks on Wolflight. The scope of music covered is staggering! It sounds like you’re really enjoying going back to your pop roots and pairing them with these new catchy symphonic prog-rock melodies! I read you said that Wolflight is the kind of album you’ve been trying to make your whole life. Does it also feel like a ‘60s kind of thing going on some tracks?

Steve Hackett: I see Wolflight as a combination of many styles. There is the sixties element in both “The Wheel's Turning”” with it's nostalgic element and “Loving Sea” with the nod towards the carefree vibe of bands like Crosby Stills and Nash. But overall the album has many modes. It runs from rock to symphonic to choral to ethnic. I like to blend and contrast dynamics as much as possible to create an eclectic mix of sounds and atmospheres, like a film for the ear.

mwe3: On the title track “Wolflight” you I heard you speaking about trying to get into a drug free, psychedelic mindset and I think you succeed. There is something intoxicating about reality right? On that track were you going for a kind of 5:00 in the morning and you’re out there breathing in the cold London air, looking around, sketching out medieval rock anthems about vampires and wolves? (lol) Is reality stranger than being high? And the funfair too!

Steve Hackett: Being on a high without the use of drugs is intoxicating because then you can directly access the power of your imagination in a really focused way. For sure, vampires and wolves lurk in the dark corners of the London streets, where the creative mind fills in the spaces, and when you look upwards at the tops of the buildings, you sometimes see gargoyles and mythical creatures staring down at you… Funfairs put you on a natural high. They feed the imagination with speed, colour and bizarre visuals. Battersea Funfair was my childhood dreamscape… An escape from the grey London of the 1950s.

mwe3: You said something recently to the effect that orchestras are not in favor these days. But your use of strings on Wolflight in a way reminds me of the YES album Time & A Word.

Steve Hackett: I enjoyed blending rock and orchestral elements on Wolflight. Both aspects are really powerful, but in different ways. I feel they need each other. Rock gives the edge and sometimes idiosyncratic aspects, whilst orchestra often takes the whole feel into an epic level and at other times adds both romance and atmosphere.

mwe3: How about track 9 “Dust And Dreams”? It's of the great instrumentals from Wolflight. It’s really unique in that it’s a Pan-Global suite that ends up being one of your classic sounding prog instrumentals. From Africa and back to London! Tell us about your trips to the Middle East and the musical rub therein? It sounds like a trek across the Sahara. Have you done any shows in that region and Israel too for that matter?

Steve Hackett: Marrakech is an amazing place, full of colour, smells and the exotic sound of the oud, transporting you to the land of the Arabian Nights. The journey from Marrakech over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara desert was incredible. The desert touches your soul and inspires through its hot, remote and wild energy. You feel the vastness of it all. I have not played there but I have played in Israel. The old town of Jaffa there had fantastic atmosphere... dating back thousands of years.

mwe3: Your vocal harmonies really shine on tracks “Loving Sea”. It’s clear you have an affinity for Crosby Stills & Nash!

Steve Hackett: Absolutely! Well, I’ve bumped into Graham Nash a few times now. We always seem to bump into each other at the same events or the same radio stations. I had a lot of time for those guys. I think their harmonies have still yet to be equaled. The English and American style together, I think was hugely impressive. I absolutely adore it.

mwe3: The Crosby Stills & Nash reference I was taking from the song on Wolflight called “Loving Sea”. The harmonies… I recalled the song “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby Stills & Nash… were so beautiful.

Steve Hackett: I’m glad you like that. It’s a five part harmony vocal. It’s supposed to be a three part and then some stacked octaves. I just sang as high as I could and there’s several tracks on each of the parts as well so there’s probably about thirty of me on there. I was going to get other singers on that but I ran out of time, so I thought I’ve got to do them all myself, the clock is ticking, isn’t it always?

mwe3: Tell us something about working with your wife, Jo. You dedicated “Heart Song” to her and also on “Loving Sea’”, you two are really on the same wavelength. Does she bring out the upbeat energy to your more gothic guitar nature?

Steve Hackett: Jo and I love both upbeat and Gothic elements equally. We wrote lyrics for several of the tracks together. Jo has a great melodic sense and like me she is keen to help songs move on rather than get stuck in one mode. It's fun to work with Jo particularly during the early stages of the songs, when all the ideas are rising up from the melting pot. We work well together.

mwe3: How did you get that fat choir vocal sound on “Corycian Fire”?

Steve Hackett: Well actually we have some software where, vowels and consonants that are originally designed to sing in Latin. It’s East-West Symphonic Choir. You have to make up the names and harmonies and write it. My wife, Jo wrote some ancient Greek and then they all lapsed into Latin because they were the strongest sounding notes that were available from the choir. So it does a very convincing version of the real thing. That’s sampling for you… It’s all of that. Some people think that the Mellotron is an unethical instrument but once you’ve seen it or experienced it, worked with it… it was always a love affair, the early sampler that it was. It’s wonderful to work with this new generation of samplers and what they can do. Very interesting. I’ve always worked with the real thing if I could if I can afford it but you’ve got operatic qualities with something like that.

mwe3: I think it takes as much artistic application to properly program virtual instruments and samples as it does to make music. I mean we are in the 21st century and need to recognize technology’s place in music production.

Steve Hackett: It’s one way of doing it. There’s so many ways. As I said earlier, I didn’t use any real amplifiers on the album but I do love amplifiers and what they can do. It’s just… you have a choice. You can work with the real thing. I quite understand that if somebody goes to see a film, they’d like to see their favorite actor up there because that’s great. At the end of the day, I don’t know how much of a calling card it is to say something is a test tube baby, but I’m still proud of my children if you know what I mean. The preference is always to work with the real thing, at peak, with the greatest players and the greatest singers and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the real greats in this world.

mwe3: One thing I was curious about Steve was I saw a blip in the news that you were doing an “And Then There Were Three” unplugged tour. Do you know anything about that?

Steve Hackett: I don’t know anything about that. It may well be that Genesis, obviously, may decide to reconvene and do something like that. But I’m unaware of that. I think what I’ve been doing live, with Genesis songs, tends to be pre-a certain era when the music was perhaps so different. You know, the era of Peter Gabriel, the five man team. I think you have a lot to recommend it and I’m still very proud of that because that was a pan-genre approach of course. What happens subsequently, if the other guys decide to get together, and do an unplugged thing, then good luck then. If not, then someone might do something with the group name. Shame to let it die.

mwe3: But it’s not you?

Steve Hackett: I’m not involved with that, no. Nobody has approached me about that. It might well be that Mike Rutherford in a situation like that. People often say that if you have two guitarists, it’s one guitar too many. I remember this thing with Jeff Beck at one point where he was saying “You stand on stage and I look to my left and see another great world class guitarist…” It’s very weird… guitarists can be very competitive. I know that Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett all together on stage… I know that’s the ideal for them but, I’ve always said I was up for it, like the song says, “If you want me, why don’t you call me?” But sometimes these group names can be closely guarded.

mwe3: I think there are a lot of us that consider the ultimate public service this gesture, conducting these Genesis extended tours from those of us that relish the early Genesis material.

Steve Hackett: It’s very hard. Bruce Willis came to one of those shows and I’ve spoken on the phone with Steven Seagal. If you round up all the actors that can play and sing and sound good, you’d probably have a pretty good band there! I was very lucky to work with Richie Havens, another great friend of mine who died. He had a wonderful voice and was a lovely guy.

mwe3: I used to listen to him in the late ‘60s.

Steve Hackett: Me too, and at one point I had the chance to work with him. He suggested we work together. I waited for him to ask me. Three months later I wrote something with him in mind and he said “I can hear it already, and it sounds great!” I was just so thrilled and honored to work with that great man. To say he had a great voice is an understatement. He was one of those guys, when I saw him in London, backstage, many years ago, it was just full of that magic… a singer’s singer.

mwe3: He delivered the message…

Steve Hackett: Oh yeah, he was the real thing. He said to me, he made a promise that every weekend… he made some promise to whatever deity he believed in… whatever it was… whether it was to the ancestors, I don’t know but he would do a gig every weekend. That was the promise, whether that was playing to half a million people or a roomful of people. I think he delivered that, every weekend. That was something that he wanted to do. He was true to his muse in that way.

mwe3: I saw him at the Troubadour in Hollywood in front of a small, intimate audience. He was just incredible.

Steve Hackett: He always was incredible, and again… how wonderful to have worked with him. I was working with him in Los Angeles in the late ‘70s and we flew him from New York. A five hour journey. He arrived. The guys in the rental picked him up. He insisted on traveling in the back of the van. He didn’t want any star treatment. I said “You must be tired after that flight” and he said “No, I don’t get tired.” And you know what? We did those two songs in the same night. He didn’t know them from Adam, from one minute to the next. But he said what he would like you to do is to be with me there on the studio floor. And there I am, two or three feet away from the legend! And doing stuff live with him… I was worried about letting him down but he was so concerned to get it right for me. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life… These songs arrived in a way you’d think that he’d been singing them his entire life. Those sort of things don’t happen every day of the week.

mwe3: Would you say that the song “Black Thunder” was more of a tribute to Martin Luther King or Richie Havens or both? You mention them both in the CD booklet liner notes for the track.

Steve Hackett: I would say Martin Luther King certainly. I also went to his birthplace, the actual house, the actual bed where he was born. My wife and I were given a private tour and saw the church where he preached. A church in which, although he was assassinated, several years later, Martin Luther King’s mother was also assassinated in the church. Someone just walked up and shot her while she was playing organ. And you realize this kind of thing just goes on and on and on... This terrible blood feud. The slave museum in Liverpool… I did that as part of the research for it. The song is about a slave rebellion. It’s really kind of blues style, but I had great fun doing it. I wanted it to be worthy. It’s a difficult area. A lot of people think that the white man has been ripping off the black man for years and you really shouldn’t be doing the blues, but in a way, I think it was the white, English guys who at one point welcomed over the blues greats and had them be a success in England and then return to America. One way of doing it. It was showing people what they’ve already got. I guess it’s like no man is a prophet in his own country and that genre, which set alight us English guys… We did our best, I guess to bring that alive again. That genre is flourishing again today. I think of guys like Joe Bonamassa. Terrific players! Again, ironically although he’s American, he’s probably doing more in Europe, then he’s doing back home, certainly as far as the level of acceptance goes.

mwe3: I guess you were concerned about Wolflight not being accepted as there are so many genres of music on the album.

Steve Hackett: That’s right. At the end of the day, I think you have to do these things for yourself. Please yourself first of all because that’s the only yardstick that you’ve got really.

mwe3: In some ways “The Wheel’s Turning” is the centerpiece of Wolflight. It is a flashback to youth, like a classic ‘60s song played by an incredible rock orchestra. Wow! How did you get so many brilliant ideas into one song? Tell us more about the Battersea Power Station area with the funfair near where you grew up. I remember Pink Floyd's Animals cover and years later I flipped out when I heard the Super Fury Animals song "Battersea Odyssey".

Steve Hackett: When I was a kid in the early 1950s, the view from my bedroom window was, what was to become the cover of Animals so I had that “Pink Floyd view”. And I used to gaze at it at night because the power station was huge. It had four huge smokestacks that were busy day and night serving much of London… coal barges coming up the Thames, hooting at night. There was a comfort in that. And Battersea also had London’s only permanent funfair so in the 1950’s and ‘60s so by the time I was an adolescent, I was working there… working in the funfair on summer holidays and being very proud to be part of it at a time in 1962… when I guess surf music was all the rage. Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, The Safaris, The Chantays… “Pipeline”, “Wipeout”… you know, all that kind of Ventures type stuff. And it was a heavy time for me. For me, listening to music on the radio... it seemed as if every other track was a masterpiece and it was as I was learning to play things and you could play a lot of these things on just two strings on a guitar.

mwe3: I just want to tell you Steve, that this is my favorite record to date that you’ve produced. I’ve heard quite a few of your albums and it’s got its own personality. I would definitely love to see this show. I’m sure fans will love to hear Wolflight in a live setting.

Steve Hackett: Thank you. I’m looking forward to doing the shows. I’m looking forward to presenting this stuff in surround and also presenting some of the Genesis stuff in surround and tracks that I’ve not played live in some cases, ever such as “Can Utility And The Coastliners”. We’ll be doing “Cinema Show” as a lot of fans have asked for that one. “Get ‘Em Out By Friday” from Foxtrot. There are more. “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” often gets asked for. We’ll be doing that too. So I’m doing that and I’m looking forward to seeing how the placing of sound works with this as well. Probably the floaty stuff, more orchestral sounding keyboard stuff will be in the rear speakers.

mwe3: Also can you tell us about your new box set? How many CDs are in the box set and what was involved in putting it together?

Steve Hackett: The new box set is coming out via Universal, but we'll be selling it via my webstore. There are fourteen CDs in the box, including my first six albums, some of which have been remixed in both stereo and surround by Steven Wilson, and there is also quite a bit of live stuff from that era included. Roger Dean has painted the cover and there are a lot of Armando Gallo photos inside. It was fun to help collate all this.

mwe3: I want to thank you once again for doing the Genesis Extended tours. It’s probably the only chance that we have of hearing this music live.

Steve Hackett: Well in terms of one of the originators of it, and I’m proud of that… I’m a huge fan of the stuff that the other guys did in the band. It’s probably the closest thing to seeing Genesis doing it. It’s a little bit like we didn’t think the music was going to last as long in the affections of fans, but it does seem to have survived from the last century in fact, so it’s already gone further than its original intention. The arrow has traveled further than we could possibly have imagined. It was great to have been part of it then and it’s great to be part of it now, and to bring it back.

 

Thanks to Steve Hackett @ www.HackettSongs.com - follow Steve on Facebook







 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 

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