Steve Hackett Says Peter Gabriel Became Less Concerned With Pleasing Genesis


Former Genesis lead guitarist Steve Hackett recently joined an interview with Drum Talk TV and detailed the process of Peter Gabriel’s last album with the band. Hackett also revealed that Gabriel did not have much concern about satisfying the band at that period.

Steve Hackett became a part of Genesis with the third album ‘Nursery Cryme‘ released in 1971. Although it initially only succeeded in continental Europe, primarily Italy, it reached number 39 on the UK chart in 1974. The band embraced a more aggressive style, especially with the drum parts in this record. Also, Hackett contributed to the band’s sound with his 12-string guitar playing.

The guitarist played with the band on other albums like ‘Selling England by the Pound’ and ‘A Trick of the Tail’ until his 1977 departure. While he was still with the band, the singer Peter Gabriel decided to part ways. For the last time, he recorded with the band on the 1974 album ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.’

It became a concept album with the suggestion that came from Gabriel. Although it received mixed reviews from critics then, it became a cult following, gaining critical acclaim in the subsequent years. However, the tension rose within the band as Gabriel wanted to write all the lyrics.

Recently, Hackett opened up about these tensions in an interview, indicating disagreements between Gabriel and the keyboardist Tony Banks at that period. He said that when they started this album, there were materials that Gabriel and Banks completed separately from each other. On the other hand, the other band members were trying to accommodate themselves to the pair.

According to Hackett, as Gabriel wanted to focus on his solo career more, he had fewer concerns about satisfying the band in this album. He noted that he always respected Gabriel’s wish to delight himself with his creations as the singer wanted to form the whole story independently. The way Hackett sees it, individuality prevailed within Genesis, and it was a usual situation in a band where each member had a strong personality.

Steve Hackett said the following about the last album Peter Gabriel appeared:

“There were the set pieces that Pete brought in, and the pieces that Tony had brought in had some keyboard parts that sounded like complete songs in themselves. And so, you had very detailed keyboard stuff, but then you had very detailed vocal stuff. So I think they were often at loggerheads with each other and just sang and played across each other.

And the rest of us were trying to, you know, hang on to the coattails really, fitting around that. So I think it was Pete’s last album with Genesis. He wanted to do other stuff; he was heading towards a solo career, so I think he was maybe less concerned with pleasing the band – and I totally respected that he wanted to please himself with his own material. He wanted to write the entire story, write all the lyrics; up to then, we shared it with everybody. So, you know, there were certain conditions that weren’t being met.

And there was also the improvised stuff. There were other tunes that we all brought in. And so it was a group effort, but you have some very strong individuals in Genesis at that time. So the sparks are flying, believe me, a lot of the time, but that’s just the nature of guys being good at what they do.”

You can check out the interview below.