Why Peter Gabriel Doesn’t Miss Being in a Band
Peter Gabriel knows one thing for sure: He doesn't miss being in a band.
In a recent interview with Uncut, the former Genesis singer spoke about seeing his old band perform its last-ever show in March 2022. "There's a lot of history there," he said. "It was lovely to see Phil [Collins] again, though he wasn't as strong as I remember him. But it brought back a lot of memories. I was very glad I was there. I had been there at the beginning, so I should be there at the end."
Still, Gabriel said, he doesn't pine for the days he spent in the group. "I don't see [the members of Genesis] very often, but I enjoy my relationships with those guys," he explained. "I love the freedom of being able to do what I want, when I want, how I want. That's fine to give up on a particular project, but as a state of living, I don't want to be having arguments again."
Gabriel, who has a new album titled i/o on the way though a release date hasn't been announced yet, said that having his studio, Real World, and a traditional manager helps with his sense of freedom as a solo artist. "Being the old awkward sod that I am," he said, "I might say to [studio director] Mike Large and the team down at Real World, 'We're going to do this project.' And while no one's going to fight me and say, 'No, you can't do that,' they may say, 'We can't afford to do that.' ... It's about having a physical base that allows you to pretty much follow your heart."
In the past, Gabriel said, a lack of funds was sometimes the only thing in his way, like the time in the '80s when he, Brian Eno and Laurie Anderson attempted to build an "experience park." Even though a location in Barcelona was secured, the money was not. "But some of the brainstorming, I think, nourished each of our work," he said.
Now, Gabriel said, the money he's earned from his solo career has bought him the kind of freedom he desired. But, he added, he's just as thrilled to be making new music as he was when he started with Genesis in 1967. "It's the same sort of excitement," he said. "I'm a little more realistic now because you can either ride the crest of whatever wave it is you're jumping on, or sink into the deep water and think you're a piece of shit. Most creatives that I know are all the time between those two. And I fit in that, still."