Talking Music: Steve Hackett – From Acolyte To Wolflight

Prog rock pioneer Steve Hackett’s Acolyte to Wolflight with Genesis Revisited Tour brings him to St David’s Hall on October 10.

A founder member of Genesis and successful solo performer in his own right, Steve will be revisiting material from his early Charisma label years as well as presenting his more recent work, together with a selection of Genesis tracks previously unheard live.

“We’re going to do two sets and try and please everybody,” Steve tells Andy Howells. “Those who want the new stuff and those who want to revisit the dream again.”

“The dream” of which Steve refers to are his early years with Genesis of which he regularly performs classic material much to the delight of the bands legions of fans.

“We’re doing it in surround so it will be as totally immersive as I can make those concerts,” continues Steve, “ It will be the most ambitious two sets I’ll be doing, it’s quite a commitment and there’s a lot of rehearsing beforehand but it’s a lot of fun. We’re still building it day by day.”

Steve’s most recent album Wolflight was released earlier this year and has a real epic quality not just for the tracks themselves but also for some the excellent videos he has made to accompany some of the songs. These include the albums title track and another song Love Song To a Vampire.

“The whole album has got a kind of a cinematic aspect to it,” says Steve.

“I didn’t design it in terms of the album been adjacent to video. Video is a genre that many people no longer subscribe to but then I’m not trying to get hit singles out of that, I’m using long form videos to get ideas across”

“We’ve done a couple of videos which are 7 minutes each in length so we haven’t gone for the short songs at all, we’ve approached it from another angle. There’s another one in the making so it’s the most heavily videoed of all the albums and it just seems to have a life of its own basically. All music is a shot in the dark, if it strikes a chord with people, that seems to be a happy accident. I mainly try to please myself with stuff and I’m very difficult to please, I think that’s the best yardstick I can offer.”

Later this month, Steve will also be releasing Premonitions – The Charisma Recordings 1975-1983, a comprehensive reissue project that includes his first 6 albums on the Charisma label, together with a wealth of previously unavailable live material.

“Its got the title I intended for my first solo project,” reveals Steve, “ I had a sneaking feeling that many things like it were going to reveal themselves, it was a premonition of a solo career to come. The record company weren’t thrilled with that at the time I suspect. It was a little threatening to my tenure with Genesis or the credulity of been a band member and having a parallel solo career.”

“Its lovely to be celebrating the new album as well as the past glories of Genesis,” continues Steve who reveals he’ll play several songs from the early Genesis canon that haven’t been performed live in decades. “Its 40 years hence since I’ve done The Cinema Show and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway lots of old things that became classics after their time. Always on a slow burn, Genesis didn’t emerge on the scene fully formed as some other bands it took a long time for Genesis to achieve total world domination.”

  • Steve Hackett played St David’s Hall, Cardiff on October 10, 2015

  • A version of this interview by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on October 2, 2015.

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