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Steve Hackett talks Genesis defining prog rock, coaxing Phil Collins to be lead singer amid ‘Seconds Out’ Revisited USA tour

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Genesis is the name of the first Book of the Bible; and Britain’s Genesis band, true to their namesake, were at the forefront of the progressive rock genre’s genesis. Lead guitarist Steve Hackett was not only an integral part of their innovative songwriting; he also found himself at the genesis of popularizing guitar wizardry, such as his tapping technique that captivated and heavily influenced future hard rock juggernauts like Eddie Van Halen.

Steve Hackett is one of a kind in many respects; not least of which, he composed songs and wielded guitar in a band that boasted TWO of rock’s most recognizable voices – Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins – and then sailed on to a long, successful solo career of his own.

50 years after 1972’s ‘Foxtrot’ catapulted Genesis to rock stardom, Steve Hackett is touring the world with a celebration of all eras that defined his career – with a special emphasis on revisiting the entirety of Genesis’ legendary 1977 ‘Seconds Out’ live double-album, recorded after Phil Collins became lead singer but also featuring many cuts from Gabriel’s tenure.

Hackett’s “Seconds Out & More” Tour marks a rare opportunity for Genesis fans to hear a Genesis member performing copious selections from both the Gabriel- and Collins-led eras. Gabriel himself has almost never performed any Genesis material since his 1975 departure; and the remaining Genesis trio’s recently-completed farewell mostly stuck to songs from after Hackett and Gabriel left, when they had become more defined by singles with music videos in heavy MTV rotation.

Ahead of Hackett’s return to Ohio, where he’ll perform in Cincinnati (April 28 at Taft Theater) and Akron (May 1 at The Goodyear Theater), WOUB’s Ian Saint had the chance to catch up with Hackett – ironically, Saint dialing in from Hackett’s native Great Britain, while Hackett was in America.

Steve Hackett

Hackett and Saint discussed a wide variety of topics new and old, including:
• How his new solo albums approach paying homage to cultures beyond his own in these reconciliatory times, and specifically analyzing recent collaborations with sisters Lorelei and Durga McBroom (“Wingbeats” and “Underground Railroad”)
• Takeaways from playing Poland in March, while war launched in bordering Ukraine; and the surreal experience of collaborating with a Ukrainian musician taking cover in Kyiv
• Hackett recalling how he approached Genesis about Phil Collins becoming their lead singer after Peter Gabriel departed
• Reflecting on the creation of “Supper’s Ready,” the 23-minute magnum opus that is a standard-bearer for prog rock overtures – and the experience of performing it on this tour, 50 years after its release
• The differences of processing Genesis music during their prog rock titan era, as they focused on albums; versus when the band’s singles went into heavy MTV rotation after his departure – and dissecting why he’s able to sell out concerts in America, 5 decades later, off the might of his albums (solo and ’70s Genesis) even though they do not include any Top 40 singles
• and more!

Click the Play button in the YouTube widget up top to stream the full segment on-demand.

Steve Hackett’s ‘“Seconds Out” + More’ Tour plays the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on Thursday, April 28 and the Goodyear Theater in Akron on Sunday, May 1. For tickets, and a full world tour itinerary, visit Steve Hackett’s official website: https://www.hackettsongs.com/tour.html