Steve Hackett Says Genesis Was The Most Sophisticated Band

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett appeared as a guest on Classic Album Review and reflected on his time back in Genesis. The guitarist stated that for him, Genesis was harmonically the most sophisticated band at the time.

Genesis is known to be one of the most important progressive rock bands of the 1970s. Although the band had distinct periods due to the changes in their style and the lineup changes they had over the years, they’ve been praised for their unique sound and endless creativity. They’ve liked experimenting with various genres, which helped them develop their innovative style.

Steve Hackett served in Genesis as the lead guitarist between 1971 and 1977, and he contributed to six Genesis albums. His distinctive guitar solos and his encouragement to incorporate a mellotron sound into the songs helped shape the band’s sound in those years. Hackett left the band in 1977 due to some creative differences as he wanted more autonomy, and he has continued with his solo career.

During the interview, he was asked about the difference between the band’s 1971 album, ‘Nursery Cryme,’ and 1972 album, ‘Foxtrot.’ Steve Hackett explained that it was astounding to see the band’s development in the early days. When he looks at himself, he thinks that adapting mellotron into his music was one of the most significant milestones in his Genesis career.

When he did that, it immediately boosted the band’s sound, and for Hackett, Genesis was very good at experimenting with new sounds. That’s why he claims that Genesis was the most sophisticated band of the time. He knew that they had that potential, so seeing this development was incredible to him. Steve Hackett is now pleased to see that their music has survived to this day and is still appreciated by people.

Steve Hackett speaking on his time back in Genesis:

“It’s a very funny thing when you look back on your young self, and you say all the things I was preoccupied with then no longer my preoccupations, and I was thrilled to join Genesis. In the early days, what was wonderful was to see the growth, and I think by the time he got the mellotron, never mind the synth. Once there was that expansion of sound, expanding the keyboard arsenal but in many ways, dipping our toe into the water as regards stuff that was orchestral in spirit.

I think Genesis was very good at that because I think that harmonically I would argue that the band was the most sophisticated around and yes, of course, classical music, etc, but I was very pleased with the development. I knew we could go in that direction. I know that they straightened up later, but I love the fact that the orchestras do it, they teach it in schools, people do their thesis based on it.

All of this from music that was very rarely ever written down other than the idea of here’s a chord shape, here’s the bass note, here are the changes. This is roughly what we were doing instinctively was then of course turned into something else by other people but it doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that the music survives.

You can watch the entire interview below.