The second archive set contains mainly B-sides, as well as a selection of rare and live tracks from 1976 to 1992. So are you happy with the contents?
Yeah. We were all involved with the first but, with this, I wanted to be more involved because it was my period. Some of the tracks were left off albums mostly because there wasn't the time available on vinyl. And even when CDs came around (laughs) . . . I sound like my dad, don't I? To put too much on would overload people's senses - they weren't always sub-standard tracks. There's a couple that aren't on, which I was happy about, because they're period pieces that were embarrassing.
But most of the recorded tracks are great - especially "Hearts On Fire", which I really like, and "On The Shoreline". But there's some live things -"The Lady Lies" is a great instrumental period piece - but my vocal had to be seen as well as listened to. I sound like Anthony Newley (sings in Newley style) . . . From the mouth of the monstaaaar! Overacting buffoon (laughs). But if you watched it, it was alright. But it's for fans and it wraps things up neatly.
Prior to Genesis you were in bands like Flaming Youth. Is there any material from pre-Genesis days available?
Oh! I hope not! (laughs). Three fans who are drummers in America just sent me a 6-CD box set that they'd put together for themselves of their favourite bits of me as a drummer: Gabriel, John Cale, Robert Plant, Robert Fripp, Eno, and one was an instrumental Flaming Youth track. I'd forgotten about it and it was jazz - bad jazz, but jazz - and I realised that my big band idea was there back in 1969. I have a few demos of that band before we became Flaming Youth (Hickory). One of those tracks that was recorded in Regent Sound A in Denmark Street went under the hammer recently. I was gonna buy it, but I'd got a copy, so I thought, 'why?'. (Another demo by Phil's pre-Hickory group, Freehold, which sounds remarkably reminiscent of "In The Air Tonight", recorded in 1968, will feature in an exclusive feature next month).