Interview Steve Hackett (Squackett)

“We could have done a far more complex album, but I really like these direct songs”

(July 2012, text by Martien Koolen, live pictures by Henri Strik, edited by Peter Willemsen)

A Life Within A Day (see review) is the debut album by Squackett, the cooperative project between two legends of progressive rock music: Steve Hackett and Chris Squire. The latter appeared on every Yes album and is widely regarded to be one of the most influential and best bass guitar players of all time. Steve Hackett is now an established solo artist, but he first came to prominence as the guitar picker of good old Genesis. The nine songs on the first album are simple and direct, yet rather progressive. A Life Within A Day is a good reason to have an interview with Steve Hackett.

Steve Hackett

It took four years to make this album. Why did it take that long?

Steve Hackett : “It really seems like a long time, but in fact it wasn't. You know with Chris living in the USA and me in England it's very important to communicate. Communication is essential. Furthermore I have been involved in all kinds of musical projects so it was not that easy to do. We actually didn't record or compose the songs in the studio, but more face to face in two rather intense music sessions and I think that the result is rather good.”

How did Chris and you meet in the first place?

“I first met Chris somewhere in the mid-eighties when he was playing in GTR, the band with Steve Howe and since then we have been in contact about music and we talked a lot every time we saw each other on tour. I love orchestras and as it turned out Chris loves that as well. I always saw Chris as one of the best bass players ever, so it was inevitable that we had to do something together, some time, some place, somewhere...”

Please, could you tell us something about the album title?

“In fact I think that it was sort of Roger's (Roger King, producer, MK) idea. It has a good ring to it; a life within a day really sounds good. If you listen to the title track you notice that it's a very fast song and life is very fast, so yeah, I really, or I should say, we really liked it.”

What are the lyrics about on the album?

“Well, most of the lyrics are about nature, environment and energies that are linked together, but also about the hectic lives that we all lead.”

Squackett: Steve Hackett and Chris Squire (R)

In general, would you say that you're an optimist or a pessimist?

“I'm definitely a positive human being and I truly believe that there's survival after death as I have read a lot about that subject and the evidence is there; there is an afterlife. But in the mean time you should make the maximum of your life and use all your energy and drives to make your life good.”

I think that the song Divide Self would be perfect as a single as it is rather radio-friendly, don't you agree?

“That's an interesting choice, indeed. Maybe you're right about that, but I think that this entire album is rather suitable for radio play as it is really a melodic album. It's very direct and you can sing along to almost all of the songs. I think that we could have done a far more complex album, but I really like these direct songs. I also like love songs, so maybe we could also consider A Perfect Love Song as a single. You know, the reactions to this album have been great, so we must have done something right.”

How great is the influence of Roger King's production as far as the sound of the album is concerned?

“Well, obviously a lot, but not too much of course, ha ha! The arrangements played in 5.1 surround are of course the best on the album as that really sounds amazing. Please, listen to the song called Tall Ships on your headphones at maximum volume and you will be blown away.”

Who came up with the name of the band?

“It was Chris's wife in fact, so neither me nor Chris...”

Roger King and Steve Hackett (R)

Could you tell us something about your other musical projects that you're involved with at the moment?

“At the moment I'm working on an album called Genesis Revisited No.2. It's an album with classic Genesis songs from the seventies featuring many special guests like for instance John Wetton, Neal Morse and Mikael Åkerfeldt. The album will be finished at the end of July, hopefully. Furthermore I'm working on a musical project with Gary Husband called Dirty & Beautiful, which also involves John McLaughlin, so there's always something to do.”

Will there ever be a Genesis reunion?

“I would love it. Genesis has always been a very important part of my life and I would love to be on stage with Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins again.”

Are you going to tour with Squackett?

“Yes, I hope there will be a tour, but as you know we're both busy boys with tight schedules, so it will take some good planning to do a Squackett tour, but keep your fingers crossed.”

Thanks for your time, Steve.

“Thank you for your interest in our music. Cheers.”

More info about Squackett on the Internet:
       Squackett Website
       review album 'A Life Within A Day'

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