Steve Hackett Survives The “Wind and Wuthering” and Brings Us “The Night Siren”

Steve Hackett Survives The “Wind and Wuthering” and Brings Us “The Night Siren”

Interview by Danny Coleman

“I think it’s in our similarities that we celebrate our differences,” explains former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett as he discussed his upcoming February 17 show at the Victoria Theater inside the NJPAC in Newark, NJ and his latest CD, “The Night Siren.”

Fresh off of the success of his last effort, “Wolflight” and the “Acolyte to Wolf Light” tour, Hackett has continued his assault on progressive rock fans with a new CD on the way due out this March and a road show which once again includes a visit to the days of old as he celebrates the 40th. Anniversary of Genesis’s “Wind and Wuthering.” “The “Wolflight” tour went very well,” he said in a very relaxed tone. “Now I’m heading back out on the road, I’ve got the new disc scheduled for a March release and I’m quite excited about it. Given the current political climate, this new album flies in the face of politics really. I think borders inflict violence on the poor and this album; this album has none of those, no boundaries or borders at all.” 

What Hackett is referring to is the international theme and methods which he used to record “The Night Siren.” Using instruments such as a Sitar (India), Oud (Middle Eastern), Charango (Columbia/Andean) and Uilleann Pipes (Ireland), accompanied by vocalists and musicians from all around the globe; he has assembled a multi-national cast. It has been said that, “Politics makes for strange bed fellows” and this disc has some pairings that may fit the same bill. “This was a very ambitious project,” he said with a slight chuckle. “There are about 20 people from all over the world involved and we did nothing in real time. I have an Israeli singing with a Palestinian, right next to each other at the same time and proving that people from different backgrounds can work together. One of the good things about being a musician and touring the world is that you can improve your local dining experiences and find unity through music. I hope this album and I think it does, reflects that concept; I’ve even got a player from Azerbaijan and a Didgeridoo on this record.” 

While he comes from a family of immigrants himself, Hackett hopes that this album helps give all of us a, “Bird’s Eye View” of the world. “I think,” he started as he seemed to be searching for the proper words. “I think the idea of “The Night Siren,” be one a refugee, or a  transgressor; music crosses everyone. My family fled from Poland and came to England; a name change later and there we were. I remember stories as a child of women being dragged by the hair; people fled then as they do now from similar situations and with the international flavor on this record, I’m hoping to give people a glimpse inside other worlds and how yet different, we are all still very much alike.” 

Steve Hackett

Hackett is not a man to shy away from his past and each time he takes the stage he pays homage to it by performing a set of Genesis material from his time in the band. However, this time around is a bit more special for the legendary guitarist as “Wind and Wuthering” is the last album that he helped craft before departing the band. “Really was, it was a good album at the time and it actually became my favorite and it was the last one that I did with Genesis. It’s being re-issued on vinyl too and I love the old days of vinyl. I’m glad that it’s making a comeback; especially for the younger people who never got to experience it. I understand why so many people like it; the feel, the distortion, the warmth, the artwork and the feel of the large packaging. Vinyl has been the saving grace of the record industry in England. With a compact disc or digital music downloads you can never do something such as slow those down like you can when changing speeds on a turntable. I’d receive the wisdom of the ancients by playing “Led Zeppelin III” at a different speed or backwards (laughs).” 

Along with songs from the classic album, Hackett will be performing other Genesis material as well as selections from his solo career. “I’ll be doing a set of my material and a set of Genesis songs. I hope to do something from each album up to around 1978 and most of if not all of “Wind and Wuthering.” 

After the 8 p.m. show in Newark, Hackett heads to Ithaca, NY and around the Northeast before coming back to New York City on February 25. “I’ve got shows here on the east coast but I’ve also got a big show in Buffalo, NY where I’ll be performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic doing a “Genesis Revisited” show; much the same as the rest of the tour but with a full orchestra.” 

To discover more about Steve Hackett and the “Genesis Revisited Tour,” please go to www.hackettsongs.com.

Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)