Q - What is your state of mind when you begin a promotion marathon ?
A - I was precisely wondering in the bathroom what happens in your mind before coming to see me. I don't know what you think about my music. Do you like it or not ?
Q - To be honest, I wonder why you still agree to be interviewed, to be so much at the medias' disposal ?
A - I have the choice to talk or not with people, it's an incredible luxury and as I enjoy talking, about my life for example, I'd better give a maximum of elements to journalists to avoid reading stupidities on my back. It's exactly the same with my songs. I'm given the opportunity to explain my lyrics, I don't hesitate. Sometimes it's quite demanding, you're right. I've stayed in New-York for two weeks and we began at 7 am, to be on the radios at traffic hours, I was singing live on TV at 7.30 am, and I didn't know what I was telling at 5 pm...
Q - You know that Genesis has always been extremely popular in Belgium. For your fans, could you tell us why you left the band ?
A - I'm leaving because I've been part of it for 25 years, and I think it's enough, that it's time to change and to do something else. We did a charity gig in '93 with Genesis, Pink Floyd, Clapton, Queen, and it was in the middle of the writing of my album "Both sides". In addition, it was on Saturday and I was annoyed to leave my album for a gig, and this album was very personal. I was on stage while being elsewhere in my mind. I've talked about it with my wife as soon as I got back home, telling her : "Now is the time". I had already talked about it with our manager, I was on tour in the US, and he advised me to wait, but I was already decided. I didn't stop these last 15 years. A Phil Collins album followed by a tour. As soon as I was back home, we rushed to the studio for the Genesis album again followed by a tour. To be honest, I long for an easy and quiet life at home.
Q - You "launched" a "big band" for the 30 years of the Montreux festival. Did you achieve a kid's dream ?
A - Yes because I've always said that I will do this one day, when I will be rich. I always enjoyed the "big band" records. In 1994, we did an unplugged with jazz stuff in the middle of the gig, and people went crazy, so I thought seriously about it. More, I had promised my bride to do it. For the anniversary of Montreux, the director gave me carte blanche and Quincy Jones, who led the orchestra, advised me for the choice of the musicians. As I can't read music, we had another drummer, and I was sent tapes for me to learn the "groove". Eventually we did it, and I never made something so exciting. We will issue an album next year since we have recorded everything : jazz standards as well as Genesis songs as mine.
Q - Why did you wait 1981 before recording Face Value, your first solo album ?
A - My first marriage had crushed and my wife left with the children in Canada. Mike and Tony were working on solo stuffs and I began writing, it was an outlet but it was done by accident because I didn't want to begin a solo career, the songs were addressed to my ex-wife, it was for her. I began a solo career because my marriage had crushed.
Q - On each of your solo albums, as in your last one "Dance into the light", you keep a balance between soft songs and more lively ones.
A - It's totally unconscious. The atmosphere of the new album is happier because I'm happy today. Which was not necessary the case before.
Q - If I thank you for having launched Genesis because without it and other bands, there would never have been the punk wave, do you give me a kick in the pants ?
A - Absolutely not. Frankly, I regret that Genesis has been linked to bands like Jethro Tull, I didn't like them. If you find what you like in whatever music, even if it's not mine, I'm happy for you...
Ang, thanks for the translation from a Belgium Paper.