Ray Wilson Recalls The ‘Pressure’ Of Replacing Phil Collins In Genesis


Former Genesis singer Ray Wilson recently joined Rolling Stone for an interview and revealed that he was under tremendous pressure when he joined Genesis as a replacement for Phil Collins.

Genesis stepped into their musical journey with Peter Gabriel on the vocals. The singer helped the band stand out with his theatrical performances, dazzling costumes, and exceptional singing style. However, Gabriel departed from the band in 1975 due to his other priorities and problems with the remaining band members after appearing on the first six Genesis albums.

Although the band auditioned many singers after Gabriel’s departure, they couldn’t settle on any of them, resulting in Phil Collins’ takeover of the lead vocal duties. However, Collins also left Genesis in 1996 to concentrate on his solo career and other projects. Following that, Genesis replaced Collins with Stiltskin’s lead singer Ray Wilson. Wilson fronted the band from 1996 to 2000.

However, an arduous task awaited Wilson as he was replacing two very influential lead singers who had their signature on the band’s sound. In a recent interview, the rocker said his admiration for Peter Gabriel was much more than his love for Genesis and Phil Collins.

Wilson really liked Gabriel’s singing style, so replacing him was a big honor and a pleasant experience. When he participated in the audition for Genesis to take over the lead vocals, he always had Peter Gabriel’s music in his mind. Phil Collins’ voice was also in his ears, but Gabriel had a tremendous impact on his singing style.

The interviewer said:

“You weren’t just replacing one of the most famous singers on the planet. You were replacing two of them. In some ways, it’s double the pressure.”

Ray Wilson continued:

“Yeah. That really is something. I was a big fan of Peter Gabriel, probably more than Genesis and Phil, to be honest. I loved Peter Gabriel’s music, so that was really nice to be doing that. I mean, even when I auditioned, I had Peter Gabriel singing backing vocals in my ear from the original recordings. I could hear Phil singing along with me as well, doing backing vocals and stuff. It was a very, very surreal experience.”

Wilson said he genuinely felt double pressure during his tenure in Genesis since he had both influences from Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. Although he mainly looked up to Gabriel, filling the shoes of two very distinctive styles was still challenging.