Denis Gagne of Genesis Tribute the Musical Field Talks ‘Lamb’ Tour

Denis Gagne, singer of legitimately world-famous Genesis tribute band the Musical Field, selected to not see the precise Genesis throughout their ultimate tour. “In fact a part of me needs I may have gone,” he tells UCR. “However the different a part of me mentioned, ‘I’d somewhat hold the recollections of what I noticed up to now.'”

Which may as properly be his band’s mission assertion: serving to followers protect the reminiscence of prog-rock’s biggest act at their peak.

“I believed for a very long time that Genesis was not going to be taking part in once more,” says Gagne, who joined the Musical Field in 1994, one 12 months after their formation in Montreal. “Even once they did the reunion in 2007, that was a shock — I by no means anticipated Genesis to do it once more.

“One of many causes we did that is to indicate one thing that wasn’t occurring anymore, particularly the [Peter] Gabriel period,” he continues. “Everybody saved saying, ‘We need to see Genesis with Peter Gabriel,’ and Peter at all times mentioned he’s not coming again. We made jokes about it: We put the present collectively as a result of we want we may have seen it, and we nonetheless don’t see it, however we get numerous folks to see it. [Laughs.] We need to hold the music alive, similar to any nice music on the market, together with classical stuff — simply because Mozart has been useless for over 200 years doesn’t imply we shouldn’t hearken to what he did.”

There are tons of Genesis tribute teams on the market, however no different treats this music with such reverence — or brings a lot clout. As their Fb notes, they’re “the one band licensed and supported by Genesis and Peter Gabriel,” with each Phil Collins and Steve Hackett having guested throughout their reveals. And for his or her upcoming stay run, that includes a full-LP efficiency of 1974’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, they’re going to proceed to recreate that Genesis tour by way of costumes, period-specific devices and the surreal authentic slideshow.

Forward of the trek, launching April 7, Gagne spoke to UCR about incomes the Genesis blessing, savoring Collins’ stay cameo and protecting the band’s spirit alive.

The true Genesis, in fact, simply completed their ultimate tour. Did you occur to catch any of the reveals?

I didn’t. I feel it is determined by everyone’s manner of it, however I need to bear in mind the Phil I knew earlier than. It’s private, I suppose. I’m certain you catch what I’m making an attempt to say. I need to bear in mind the beast behind the drums. In fact a part of me was pondering, “They’ll by no means be onstage once more. Possibly I ought to go see them.” It was not a straightforward factor. I’ve been a fan since I used to be 10 years outdated, so it’s been a very long time.

What number of occasions have you ever seen them stay over time?

The primary time I noticed them was the Abacab tour in ’81. I used to be too younger earlier than that. In ’81, I’d simply turned 15, and it was a two-hour drive from my place. My dad and mom let me go. My good friend’s mom drove us to the live performance — it wasn’t like I may go to Montreal on my own. The primary two occasions I noticed them, I used to be only a child. Possibly I noticed them 4 occasions, 5 on the most. I noticed Peter much more than I noticed Genesis — that’s for certain.

Peter, in fact, hasn’t launched an album of recent materials in 20 years. However he just lately had his band within the studio, and there are rumblings that he’s close to the end line.

Nicely, final time I noticed Peter was when he did the tour with Sting, and I talked to any individual I do know — certainly one of his technicians — and he advised me, “The very last thing for Peter now could be to launch a brand new album and tour with it, after which he’s going to retire,” and that was what number of years in the past?

That was six years in the past!

[Laughs.] Precisely! I’m pondering, “Is that this nonetheless occurring, or did he overlook about it? Like, ‘I’m too outdated, so I’m not going to do it.'”

He was really on the ultimate present in London, and everybody on-line hoped he’d get onstage and sing for the ultimate present. I suppose he simply wished to be there and assist the fellows.

I additionally thought perhaps he may have and perhaps he ought to have, however I do know sufficient about Peter [to know he’s going to say], “Nope, that is behind me. I’m simply going to observe my outdated bandmates do their present.” That’s high-quality — that’s who he’s. He’s like, “That is up to now.”

I used to be shocked on the Sting tour when he sang the snippet of “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight.”

He did it on the final night time of the tour, and the one motive why he did it’s as a result of he was pissed about Brexit.

Actually? I by no means noticed that remark. That is sensible.

Precisely. When what [the lyric] “Promoting England” is about, it was like, “There she goes once more!” Britannia and all that. Once more, I used to be advised by any individual I do know that he was pissed and went for it. In any other case, he doesn’t need to do Genesis stuff anymore. It’s behind him, up to now.

I perceive once you initially obtained approval from Genesis to make use of the imagery and slides, somebody inside Gabriel’s camp helped you out. How did that work? Did you’ve got a contact who was serving to you from the within, so to talk?

Nicely, we met the promoter who had Genesis coming over to Canada for the primary time in ’73. We knew him and met him a couple of occasions, and we had been making an attempt to get by way of to them. At one level, he mentioned, “Simply ship some stuff, and this particular person at [Gabriel’s studio] Actual World goes to get it.” We had been eager to get a solution from them, however nothing was working. As soon as we despatched some recordings and [Gabriel] heard what we did, it was virtually instantaneous: “You recognize what, you’ve got my approval.” Peter advised Genesis, “Allow them to use every little thing. Give them a hand.” But additionally Tony Banks opened the door for us — he’s at all times been very useful. We went to [Genesis studio] the Farm.

I didn’t notice Tony had been so useful. So he is the one who obtained you into the Farm?

He wasn’t there after we went there, however he was the one who mentioned, “Yeah, allow them to in.” He’s been very form. Let’s not overlook that the majority of Genesis music is his music — he’s the principle author within the band.

Folks are likely to not notice that as a result of all the opposite members had way more solo success. However such as you mentioned, he’s actually the chief composer once you get all the way down to it.

His solo initiatives by no means actually took off, so folks don’t actually see that he’s the principle man in Genesis, however he’s the principle author with regards to music in Genesis — he’s at all times been. I bear in mind studying one thing the place he mentioned, “I used to be at all times making an attempt to make issues extra difficult whereas the remainder of the band members generally had been like ‘Nah.'”

How did you really discover the slides? Did somebody simply bump into them accidentally whereas trying round?

I’m not precisely certain — it may need been certainly one of us who discovered the slides once more. It may need been discovered by certainly one of their guys. They had been type of misplaced. It was a pile of issues, and in some unspecified time in the future they simply discovered a field and realized it was the slides. I don’t know for certain, really.

You may not know this, however once they launched the field set [in 2008] with 5.1 mixes, it was our lighting man, the archive man within the Musical Field, who did the slide present on The Lamb — you may hearken to the album and watch the slide present on the similar time. They gave us the slides, and we put them again so as. And when it was time for them to launch the album once more, they went, “OK, are you able to do one thing with this and assist us out?”

It comes full circle…


What a discovery. I additionally know you guys obtained to hearken to the remoted Lamb tracks. I think about that needed to be a surreal expertise.

It was surreal. I went over there with Sebastien [Lamothe], the bass participant. And once more, this was all Tony’s doing. We had this loopy request: “Do you suppose we may hearken to the tracks?” We had been pondering there was no manner. Tony mentioned, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll organize one thing. I’ll inform our engineer to set you up.” We went there for 2 or three days and sat on the board. The man [Geoff Callingham] simply loaded the songs — he was like, “That is the way it works. Simply come and get me once you want one other music.” We had been simply sitting there by ourselves within the studio, listening to the tracks. I’m a child in a sweet retailer. It’s like, “What?” We heard issues that no person ever heard, like some tracks I couldn’t consider: “Broadway Melody of 1974” from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Peter sang the music 4 occasions fully otherwise! And once they did the combination, they picked traces from totally different takes — he sang all of the traces otherwise.

Wow. I want they’d launch that stuff.

No kidding! I’ve heard all of it, and I used to be like, “Oh, my God! Holy shit, he did 4 totally different takes!”

I’m so jealous proper now.

I’ll cease speaking about this! [Laughs.]

No, I’m simply completely satisfied to understand it exists. Hopefully at some point somebody will clear home with all of the alternate takes like Led Zeppelin and a few of these bands have accomplished.

Possibly they’ll now that they know they gained’t do the rest.

Phil famously struggled to play “The Musical Field” when he joined you guys onstage in 2005. He talked about dropping sticks in essential locations and lacking drum fills — however he was additionally very complementary of the band, saying that you just performed higher than Genesis did. What do you bear in mind about these rehearsals? Was there a way of, “Possibly this isn’t going to work?”

He was extremely nervous, critically. It was a bizarre expertise as a result of we had been the duvet band whereas he’s the man, ya know? And we’re reassuring him: “Every little thing’s gonna be high-quality, Phil. Don’t fear.” It was similar to you mentioned. We mentioned, “Do you need to do ‘The Musical Field’ with us?” He wished to do “I Know What I Like” — I keep in mind that. We had been like, “We’re touring with The Lamb now, and that music was not a part of the present through the Lamb tour. How about you play ‘Musical Field’ with us?” He by no means listened to the music once more earlier than the day of the present, and he performed the music in his automobile on the way in which to the venue. He was like, “Oh, my god. What did I get myself into? Why did I do that to myself?” Our drummer on the time was giving him a couple of [pointers]: “Do it like this — it’s going to be easier.”

He was very, very nervous. He was sweating profusely. I used to be like, “Oh, my god — that is Phil Collins!” I bear in mind a couple of days after that studying some stuff he posted on the web, like, “These guys had been unbelievable and I performed like crap.” I feel his manner of it was totally different than the way in which it was. All people felt prefer it was an awesome second. I put on in-ear [monitors] onstage, and I don’t have the drummer or his voice in my combine. However for the primary time, I wished his voice in my combine and a little bit drums — I’m onstage with Phil Collins! Come on! I need to stay this otherwise than the opposite gigs. It was actually bizarre for me to get Phil reply to me: “Play me my music” after which “Right here it comes once more!” It was loopy! It’s Phil Collins, not some man. I don’t need to put anyone down, but it surely’s the actual Phil Collins. It was a extremely nice second. That was virtually 20 years in the past.

Watch Phil Collins Play ‘The Musical Field’ With the Musical Field

Talking of Phil: This has at all times bothered me, however lots of people I do know — and folks I’ve learn on-line — say Peter and Phil sound alike. I’ve by no means understood that. Their vocals have at all times blended very properly, however I don’t discover them comparable in any respect.

They’re not. [Laughs.] I feel the rationale why folks really feel this fashion is as a result of, such as you mentioned, they mix properly collectively. We additionally hear Phil generally doubling Peter — and particularly on The Lamb, Phil sang a whole lot of backing vocals and doubling Peter on issues like “Lilywhite Lilith.” Each of them are singing the entire music virtually. I feel that is the place the confusion comes from, however I don’t discover that they sound something alike.

The Lamb is without doubt one of the band’s most divisive albums from that period — a number of the band members, together with Hackett and Banks, had been by no means 100% glad with it. As somebody who’s immersed your self on this album and manufacturing greater than in all probability anybody else on the planet, how do you charge The Lamb inside their catalog?

Ah, I don’t like these questions! [Laughs.] I really like The Lamb, although it’s form of the intruder in Genesis. To me, it’s the album that sounds the least like Genesis, but it surely’s an awesome album — don’t get me unsuitable. However they did one thing completely totally different with this album, after which they went again, even with A Trick of the Tail, to what we count on from Genesis, despite the fact that Peter was gone, with using 12-string guitars and all that. That being mentioned, I really like The Lamb, but it surely’s an acquired style, should you see what I imply.

I feel the lyrical idea is an enormous a part of that. It’s so surreal and laborious to latch onto.

The story — who is aware of what it’s about? Some folks attempt to clarify it on the web: blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, “I’m not gonna strive. I don’t even need to strive as a result of, no matter I provide you with, I do know I’m gonna be unsuitable.

I’ve by no means adopted it as a narrative. I simply comply with the gorgeous imagery — that Alejandro Jodorowsky stuff Peter was drawing from.

I completely agree, completely agree. Making an attempt to know what it’s about — I even surprise if Peter may clarify it these days. [Laughs.] He mentioned it himself: Generally you play with phrases, and they won’t imply something. He’s simply having enjoyable with it, and we’re looking for some deep that means in what he’s speaking about.

Have you ever stayed in contact with Peter or the band over time?

No. Peter’s helped us, however he’s at all times saved his distance. That’s OK — I’ve no downside with that. It’s not like we’re buddies. I don’t have his electronic mail or his telephone quantity. I’m not in contact with any of them. They’re serving to us, they usually’ve been form to us. However I at all times must undergo another person to get one thing, and it’s completely high-quality. They have to get so many requests continuously, and it should be so annoying. I get it. He advised me as soon as: Whenever you’re well-known, there’s at all times somebody who needs a chunk of you.

Genesis Albums Ranked

From Peter Gabriel to Phil Collins to that man who got here after Phil Collins, we check out all the band’s studio data.

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