TONY BANKS - The Last Romantic

5. April 2018

Tony Banks Genesis

TONY BANKS - The Last Romantic

As a member of Genesis, Tony Banks wrote music history. Thanks to his talent for composition and the innovative use of various keyboard instruments, he left his mark on the group. Since Genesis were only active once after 1998, the Briton increasingly focused on composing orchestral works. In February, he released his third album with classical music, mainly borrowed from the late Romantic period. According to the number of pieces it contains, it bears the simple title "5".

The interview with Tony Banks coincidentally falls on the sixty-eighth birthday of his former band colleague Peter Gabriel. Banks reaches the same age on March 27. Unlike Gabriel, with whom he often rubbed during his time with Genesis, Banks is considered irreplaceable for the band - just as he is often regarded as their leader. Unlike Gabriel, he still releases records regularly. Like five now. On the phone, the British man, who is regarded as stoic, talks about it like a waterfall and has an answer to all questions ready in a flash.

eclipsed: Actually, I expected you to be somewhere else tonight, at a birthday party in Bath..

Tony Banks: Oh, no, Peter's in London right now. We are now at the age where we no longer celebrate our birthdays because there are simply too many of them: Steve [Hackett] had his birthday yesterday, Phil [Collins] his last month, and it's my turn next month.

eclipsed: But there's still reason to celebrate, because these days your new album "5" will be released, your first for BMG, after your two previous classical records have been released by Naxos. Did you want to go to a label that offers you a better promotion and a bigger budget?

Banks: You could say that, yes. The people from Naxos did a good job, but they were more specialized in re-releases. The manager suggested that I look for a label with a higher profile to see if I could not do more, which I was absolutely willing to do.

eclipsed: Your fans will be pleased that all piano parts on "5" are from you, while you deliberately did not appear on "Six Pieces For Orchestra". Why this change of heart?

Banks: Well, this time I did much more elaborate demos that defined all parts of the piece from the beginning. I used my demos as a template, so to speak, and then we recorded the other instruments. In the end, the piano part was the only thing left of the demo. The advantage for me was that I could examine the individual parts much more thoroughly. However, eclipsed readers should know that no solo piano can be heard on "5". The piano has more of an accompanying function.

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