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Phil Collins Proves He's Boring

Phil Collins Proves He's BoringBIZZ: From the beginning: can I describe you as a soul music fan in a progressive rock band?

PC: Yeah...I liked Motown and Atlantic records, was a kind of a mod. And Genesis was the regular prog group.

B: When PG left, your influence on the group increased and Genesis began to follow new musical paths. How did that happen?

PC: To really have that answered you'd have to have the other guys here, because all I did was to sing. I feel it that there's the wrong idea that when I started singing I turned Genesis into a chart-orientated outfit. I didn't do that. I cant have either the glories or the blame.

B: Your new album is about relationship sequels, such as loneliness, regret, sorrow, meeting again...

PC: Yes. There was a time when something specific happened to me and the results of that were being very dramatic and dangerous. That's what I wrote about.

B: You always use your personal experiences into your music. What's your limit, I mean, how much of your private life you're willing to show the audiences.?

PC: Well, I'm really opening up to myself, writing songs about myself. But the logical conclusion of making music is that its recorded and released in an album. When you're writing you simply don't think about that, you just think that that's the right thing to do at the moment. Some people get a bit shy when it comes to other people know how they feel. There were people who read my lyrics and said; "My God, what's that?" . I don't know, some people are ashamed of crying in public; I don't have this problem. If I'm feeling like that Ill write about it.

B: "Sons Of Our Fathers" is about kids who do not respect their parents. Have you always been an obedient son?

PC: Not much. What I really meant is what's going on in England and America. Nowadays we have lots of under - aged criminals, too young to go to jail, but who rape, steal... I think today's parents are losing their interest in bringing up their kids, who are getting adults earlier with less guidance and advice.

B: You said that, "Now its the right time for my work to be re-evaluated". What did you mean?

PC: I guess you're an example of someone who's probably not much fond of what I do solo or with Genesis. When I come to an interview like this one I bring a huge background, all the prejudices you have against me. I've got all that stuff you've never liked in my music or Genesis. Well, I'm here saying; "forget all this for just a minute and listen to this record for what it really is. Forget you've heard of me before." I wanna be re-evaluated because I believe this album is different. Give it a listen instead of hammering the last nail in my coffin.

B: Then you're trying to walk away from your image of hit maker.

PC: I'm not trying cause I don't believe in manipulating things. I want the album to be a success, but I'm prepared for the opposite for I think its going to puzzle many people, many wont understand it.

B: One of the biggest institutions of the music industry is hype, the exaggerated promotion of the latest trend, the next big thing. Its happened faster and faster. You who are older have to carry the tag of "has been"...

PC: I understand all that. Each one is trying to be more "in" than the other. Its good not to have only the old guard, we should always find out new and promising bands. I enjoyed punk when it happened although, in theory, it was a threat for us and so was it to groups like ELP, Moody Blues, Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull... Most of those guys are gone, but I liked them. I thought it exciting sweeping everything and getting rid of things, it was a good idea. I didn't get afraid though for I knew I was good enough not to be swept away.

B: What are the pressures you have to put up with in your daily life? What concerns you?

PC: People think you don't have to do a thing, that everything is done for you. But I still go shopping, to the supermarket. I still cook for the family. Go to pubs. When the front door gets closed I lead a very normal life home. I obviously have no financial worries, but fight the impulse of spending money. I know its stupid, everyone wants to have money to spend. I feel a bit guilty though.

B: How's your movie career doing?

PC: Slow. If I only were an actor it would be doing faster though. I've just turned down some roles because I was preparing the album.

B: Looking back on your career, in Genesis with or without PG, Brand X and your solo career , what albums do you like most and least?

PC: Among the most interesting stuff is my works with Brian Eno. Some Brand X stuff was very good too. What I cant listen to anymore are Genesis earliest records, all dated, stuck to a specific period in time. There are songs in my career that get by. Yet I feel better about my solo output as a whole than as to Genesis.

© BIZZ, by Camilo Rocha

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