Despite there being a clear distinction between the Peter Gabriel-led Genesis era and the Phil Collins years, co-founding keyboardist Tony Banks saw little difference in the band’s music over the years.
During a chat with Classic Rock, Banks was asked if he saw any line in the sans between the two periods, and said, “I don’t feel that. There is a hard-core who feel the days with Peter are the glory days, but I never really saw a big change in Genesis. It was a slow thing. We got better at the short stuff. Once we did (1978’s) ‘Follow You Follow Me,’ the singles became something we were able to do, even quite complex songs like ‘Turn It On Again’ and ‘Mama.’ “
Banks, who wrote some of the band’s most beautiful — and catchy — musical moments, went on to explain, “In many ways it’s more difficult to write a good simple song. And some people are very good at it – the Beatles, the Bee Gees, ABBA. I love a well-done single, even nowadays when I hear something like ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen — that’s a really good pop song! There’s a real art to that.”
Although by no means a reluctant stage performer, Tony Banks told us his primary duty in Genesis has always been that of a composer: “It’s always been one of my major roles in this group to write music. ‘Cause, y’know, back in the time when Pete (Gabriel) first left, y’know, Mike (Rutherford) and I were definitely doing a lion’s share of the writing, even before that. In the later part, y’know, slightly Phil (Collins’) contribution came up more to a kind of level with ours. I mean that was the thing. I’d say it was very much an even thing on those last two Genesis albums.”
There’s been no word on any further Genesis activity since the band wrapped its final European dates back on March 26th at London’s O2 Arena.