Steve Hackett Targets Former Genesis Bandmates: ‘They Try To Unset Each Other Ideas’

In a recent conversation with The Telegraph, Steve Hackett criticized the internal dynamics of Genesis, highlighting the competitive tension that existed within the band, particularly emphasizing the difficulties he faced during his time with them.

The guitarist expressed pride in the band’s achievements during his six-year tenure, referring to Genesis as ‘a knockout team.’ However, he shared insights into the group’s competitive spirit, particularly evident when discussing his exclusion from the 2022 reunion tour. Hackett described Genesis as a ‘strange band,’ further explaining:

“Genesis is a strange band. They ask you, and then when you say yes, they say… Surplus to requirements. It’s so competitive. I hadn’t realized I was joining a team that was very competitive and would often try to unseat each other’s ideas. I imagined joining a songwriters’ co-operative meant we were going to co-operate.”

The Struggle For Creative Control

Hackett then pointed out how the band members’ educational backgrounds prepared them with a competitive mindset:

“But they’d known each other since they were 11. I think they were privileged but brutalized. That [Charterhouse school] system was designed to produce the next viceroy of India, the next prime minister and competitiveness was bred into them.”

A Move Towards Artistic Freedom

In a chat with The Metal Voice in September 2023, the musician reflected on the moment he decided to leave Genesis, marking a shift from what he perceived as a democratic band to a dictatorial one, noting:

“I think I joined a band that was a democracy, a songwriters collective. I left a band that was becoming a dictatorship, and I think that when I was told by Mike [Rutherford]and Tony [Banks] that I could no longer do solo work, the hackles rose there because they also wanted to control who was writing the songs and that wasn’t the basis that I joined the band on.”

Despite the internal frictions and his eventual departure, Hackett has not closed the door on a Genesis reunion. In previous discussions about the band’s future, particularly after Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks performed what was billed as Genesis’ final show in March 2020, Hackett expressed his continued willingness to be part of Genesis again.