Tony Banks, the longtime Genesis keyboard player, has confirmed that the band will never return to the stage or studio. The founding member explained that, sadly, the band’s principal singer and songwriter, Phil Collins, is no longer in the “state” to perform.
The confirmation came during Banks’ recent interview with Vulture, which marked the launch of BBC Broadcasts, a new 5-CD boxset curated by Banks. The release features Genesis’ live recordings that were made for the corporation between 1970 and 1998. Elsewhere in the interview, Banks discussed Genesis’ legacy and picked out his favourite song from Collins’ solo canon.
“I don’t think there’s anything else left. The well is dry,” Banks confirmed. “We can’t tour any more because of Phil’s state, so that’s the end of that.”
The news regarding Collins’ health struggles stems from a recent comment made by Mike Rutherford, who said: “As you know, Phil is a bit… He’s much more immobile than he used to be, which is a shame, but at the tour, he was in good spirits. He’s fine now at home, enjoying life. He’s worked so hard over the years. I think he’s enjoying his time at home”.
Although Genesis’ well has run dry, the band has a rich back catalogue packed with immortal hits that span the band’s astonishing evolution from prog-rock to pop. Banks was more than happy to discuss the band’s legacy in his conversation with Vulture.
“In the early days, everyone thought it was always Peter [Gabriel] and then by the time we got to the ’80s, it was always Phil [Collins]. I never liked that,” he explained. “There’s no Genesis song that would’ve sounded anything like it did if I hadn’t been around,” Banks says later. “If you don’t like Genesis, I’m what you don’t like.”
Discussing his writing contributions in further depth, Banks remembered that he had “always wanted a weird chord here and there, which sometimes was my downfall.” Later in the interview, he admitted that if Genesis had recorded ‘In The Air Tonight’, a song he famously wanted Phil Collins to record with the band, he might have given it this potentially damaging treatment.
“If Genesis had done it, I’d have probably screwed it up,” Banks said. “I bet I would’ve added another chord or tried to do something with it and taken it somewhere else. I bet I would’ve said, ‘Phil, what are you doing, you can’t use just three chords in a song.”
“In a very simplified form, it has an essence of something that Genesis did well, which was a strong and moody atm
osphere,” he added. “That’s my favourite of his songs and always has been. It’s a great piece of music with the greatest drum riff of all time.”