"I've been drumming since i was five" says Phil Collins. "And for a drummer the big band sound is a little heaven. "Its a place of amazing power to sit in the middle of 20 people and do a drum fill. It sets up an amazing sound. "I got the bug in 1966 when i heard Buddy Rich's Big Band. It touched me. "I heard a West Side Story medley & fell in love with the sound. You can trace that influence in early Genesis". "I don't remember my dad listening to any music" say's Phil Collins, when asked about early musical influences. "If anything he was into operettas. There wasn't much music at our house. My sister was into Tommy Steele, and my brother was a fan of Jim Reeves. "If I think back to milestones in my early years it was when The Beatles first blew my head off and MOTOWN and ARETHA did the same. Since then I've listened to all kinds of stuff. Phil Collins, who's moved away from pop to tour with a big band sound, say's he likes to take musical risks.
"I stay away from repeating things" he says. "If i write something which sounds like something I've done before, I'll ditch it. Anyone can write obvious ballads, but i rebel against that. "Its been said I don't have an edge, but that's because your image tends to be formed by a couple of Single's. My albums are more edgy" Now living in Switzerland, Phil Collins say's he won't have to face the dilemma of what team to support in this month's World Cup tournament. "I'll be away touring during the whole thing!! he says. "Its a shame, I'd love to have gone, but there's always the TV coverage. "I'd really like to see Switzerland AND England do well!! The England team is strong but realistically i think it'll be France, Germany or Brazil"