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Tony Banks: I can live with ignored solo work

Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks can live with the fact that his solo output has been all-but ignored.

But he hopes people might still check out his own work, which is to be re-released over the next 18 months and headed up a personally-curated anthology A Chord Too Far.

Banks tells Classic Rock’s Mark Blake: “Let’s be frank – most of my solo work has been overlooked. That’s okay. The success I had with Genesis made up for it.

“But once you’ve been through all the Genesis albums, you’ve done Mike + The Mechanics, Phil Collins’, Peter Gabriel’s and Steve Hackett’s solo albums, you might find my stuff is worth a listen.”

He accepts that he might be a victim of being thought of as the one who wrote the “long songs” in the band. “There’s more complexity in my songs than in Mike Rutherford’s,” he says. “I like unusual harmonies, things like the intro to Watcher Of The Skies.

“But I’ve written more concise songs as well. Afterglow is one of mine and that’s a very straightforward thing. I came into the business as a fan of 60s pop and Motown, and I’ve had a hand in writing the big Genesis hits.”

Banks began working on classical albums following Genesis’ winding-down after their 1998 world tour. He released Seven, A Suite For Orchestra in 2004 and Six Pieces For Orchestra in 2012.

He says: “I could see myself making another classical album. The things I’m best at are harmony and melody – with classical music it’s all about harmony and melody. You don’t have to worry about chords. I can put as many in as I like, and I do.”

A Chord Too Far is on sale now via Cherry Red. Banks is featured in the current edition of Classic Rock, on sale now in print, digital and via TeamRock+.

Q&A: Tony Banks