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Ten Questions with...

STEVE HACKETT

Guitarist Steve Hackett needs no introduction having played with Genesis, the 80's supergroup GTR (along with fellow guitarist Steve Howe) and he has also built a successful solo career. He is currently touring the UK.

1. What are you currently up to?

27.09.03 10.15am Waiting to enter Euro Tunnel on first date of European tour, "The Road to Tilburg" as Bob & Bing may have put it.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

The high - finding an audience for my extremely complicated brand of music.

The low - seeing my 1957 Les Paul in two halves after it was knocked off a stand by accident in Sitthard as they had seen fit to mount an agricultural show in the same venue, same day... road crew under pressure... etc etc...

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

A day trip to Calais... pass round the cap for the young Harmonica player aged about 8... All music has been influential, from Hank to Handel, somewhere lies Hackett.

4. Could you take us through some personal highlights of your new album, 'To Watch The Storms'?

I had a lot of fun with the whole album - very proud of the woodwind arrangements on Serpentine Song for instance.

5. You've covered many styles of music. Which have proved the most challenging and who would you like to work with in the future?

Orchestral work is most satisfying & challenging as I'm self-taught. My idea of heaven is that when musicians die they all end up in the same band... but perhaps that would be hell.

Steve Hackett

6. You are about to embark on your first large UK tour in almost ten years. What do you think the reaction will be from fans? What sort of setlist can the fans expect?

Ticket sales would imply that staying off the road in this country for ten years is very good for the box office. I expect the reaction from audiences to range from complete bafflement to sheer delight...

7. How healthy is the UK progressive rock scene? Has it seen a revival in interest along the lines of mainland Europe or do you still find your biggest markets are overseas?

I never considered myself in a category as I've approached most forms by now. I leave 'movements' such as 'Prog' to others. Markets I leave to the marketing department - I'm only interested in music - I just make a noise for a living.

8. How come there was never a second GTR album? Did the band work well as a unit?

GTR had a hit album in the USA and a bankrupt company in the UK to fund it. In other words, it was impossible in the long term.

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I make sure I have a life outside music. I try to stay fit, read, and wish I was more practical... but you can't have everything...

10. Message to your fans...

The message is 'Be true to yourself... It's never too late to become a genius at anything... The worst that can happen is only death... so isn't it about time you cheered up, love your old pal, Steve'

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Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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