…according to Tony Banks.
This article appeared in Vulture, March 22, 2023. Please note that all (c) are with Vulture and its author Devon Ivie. the original article can be found here.
In the beginning, when … just kidding. But perhaps there’s some humor to Genesis the band being as polarizing as Genesis the text, with Tony Banks there since the start as a quiet stalwart of uncompromising originality. He’s a master of the chords, never lacking a solo of epic proportions. Genesis was a progressive band that never stopped progressing, so we’re not here to squabble about which era was best, because Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel, and Steve Hackett are always worth celebrating in their own right. Yet you just get the sense, whether putting the stylus down on Nursery Crime or Duke or Invisible Touch, that Banks and his keyboards were their guiding forces.
With Genesis ending their touring career last year, Banks decided to open up the band’s vaults to curate BBC Broadcasts, a new collection of previously unreleased material. It’s a wonderful 53-track set — just don’t expect it to stoke the idea of future projects. “I don’t think there’s anything else left. The well is dry,” Banks tells me. “We can’t tour any more because of Phil’s state, so that’s the end of that. Let’s face it, when we did our last show the most recent piece of music must have been written about 30 years before. That was our era, and anything I do now tends to be independent of Genesis. I’ve been working a lot with orchestral music in the last few years.” When I joke he could’ve used this as leverage to be a guest on Graham Norton to promote the collection, he offers a rare smile and deadpans: “Those programs are awful because you’ve got to be funny.”
“I bet I would’ve said, ‘Phil, what are you doing, you can’t use just three chords in a song”
The thing is, Banks is pretty funny when he wants to be, despite his public perception as “the serious one.” We recently talked for an hour about the agony and ecstasy of being in Genesis, and his memories are often punctuated with a chuckle or two. By the time we say our goodbyes, he’s willing to admit: “I’m always happy to talk about myself.” As he should be.
Read here about what Tony Banks is saying about…
- Songs that doubled as the biggest restart
- Weirdest song
- Solo that should’ve been longer
- Nerdiest song for keyboardist
- Song that deserves more acknowledgement
- Song you’re undercredited for
- Most competitive album
- Most divisive album
- Proudest year with the band
- Phil Collins song you wish he gave to Genesis
- Most terrifying ‘Land of Confusion’ music video puppet
- Your thoughts on Genesis being a long-running torture device on Top Gear