He rose to global fame in the ’70s as the lead guitarist of the progressive rock group Genesis, in particular from 1971 until 1977.
On September 25, Hackett and his band played the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City, and their show earned a rave review from Digital Journal. “It was wonderful to play the Beacon. That was the third time I’ve played it in my career,” he said. “I played there once in 1976 in Genesis, and now on my own, with my band.”
Hackett listed his At the Edge of Light album as one of his three personal favorite CDs that he has ever done. “It is all strong material,” he said.
He acknowledged that his songwriting is inspired by “everything.” “I hear the music in my head. I don’t like to force anything. It gives the music a natural quality to it,” he said. “If you try and push it too much, it doesn’t really work.”
On being an artist in this digital age, Hackett said, “It means that things are more malleable. We don’t have to worry about the signal-to-noise ratio.”
In 2010, Hackett was inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its “Performers” category as a member of Genesis. “That was wonderful,” he said. “As I got inducted, I recommended to journalists that Yes should be inducted since there are not too many progressive bands in there. Fortunately, Yes did get in years later in 2017, but that was after the passing of Chris Squire, who was a pal of mine.”
On his dream collaboration choices, he responded, “I am always thinking about that. It’s an ongoing thing. You never know who makes the call.”
Regarding the key to longevity in the music business, he said, “I have been making music since 1952. I have good genes in the family, my mother’s side of the family, the Jewish side of the family. I have an uncle who lived until the age of 108. Longevity is part passion, part luck and part accident of birth.”
For young and aspiring singer-songwriters and bands, he said, ” There is no secret formula. Not giving up is the only thing I can suggest. As long as you are working, you need to believe in what you do and you need to be tenacious. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. There is plenty of discouragement out there. Only listen to what is positive.”
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Hackett said, “Life is wonderful.” “That would be it. I am doing the best American tour now that I’ve ever done. The response was been just phenomenal. It is great to take people back in time. I thank them for then and I thank them for now,” he said.
Hackett noted that he worked with Colin Blunstone of The Zombies in the first volume of Genesis Revisited, where he sang on “For Absent Friends.” “The Zombies are a classic band with, of course, great songs. It is great that they are touring together,” he said. “It is marvelous that they got in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. It is such a great American institution.”
He defined the word success as meaning “different things at different times in your life.” “Success is always not giving up, I think. As you throw in the towel, that’s it. Nobody still loses while they are working on it,” he said.
Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live is going to be released on October 25 via InsideOutMusic. It is available for pre-order on Apple Music. “It’s live with orchestra and band. It was recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in London,” he said. “I love working with orchestras and the band. They were fantastic and they played with such precision, it was unbelievable. It is mainly revisited material, mainly Genesis but there are some of my songs in there as well. It sounds wonderful and I think people will like it a lot.”