It’s been over a decade since we’ve heard from Genesis frontman Phil Collins and we’re now learning why. In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, the musician has revealed huge news for his fans, and exactly why he’s been away from the spotlight for so long.
2002’s Testify album was Phil’s last release but it’s his earlier work that really got us hooked. Who could forget “In The Air Tonight”, “Mama”, “Invisible Touch”, “Easy Lover” or “You Can’t Hurry Love”?
Phil has just had major back surgery and is in pain, however he has a feature coming out called My Life In 15 Songs, and revealed to the magazine: “I’m no longer officially retired. The horse is out of the stable and I’m raring to go”.
This comes as huge surprise for fans who believed his farewell tour in 2002 was really the last they’d see of the English singer.
But he’s now plotting a comeback tour and a new solo LP. “My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does,” he says. “They were in nappies when I was last on the road. They love my music and I’d like to take them out so they can enjoy it”.
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He also revealed a painful secret about why he’d been MIA for a few years, saying his divorce and children moving to be with their mother left him devastated. “I went through a few bits of darkness; drinking too much. I killed my hours watching TV and drinking, and it almost killed me. But I haven’t had a drink in three years”.
He’s now living in Miami and seeing his kids, however everything didn’t stay great for long – he found out he had major issues with his back and hips and needed surgery. “I had an MRI and my back and hips were just shot,” he says. “The doctor had to go in there, work on the sciatic nerve and take my back apart and unscramble the mess”.
So when can we expect new music from Phil? He told Rolling Stone he will record new songs in a month’s time but is unsure if he’ll tour before or after the album is released. His solo albums are about to be reissued alongside unheard demos and alternate versions from his four-decade-long career.
“We even re-shot all the covers, which was my idea. I’m easily flattered. If people rediscover the old stuff and show interest, it would be silly to not make more music”, he said.
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And he even has great news specifically for Australian fans, with Collins revealing, “I don’t think I want a very long tour. But I would like to play the stadiums in Australia and the Far East, and that’s the only way to do that. But there’s a part of me that just wants to do theatres, so we’ll see”.
At this stage there’s no sign yet that Genesis will rejoin but for now, his solo career looks to be back on track. “Let’s start with this [solo] bit first,” he says. “I love the guys. I would just prefer to do this first. For now, let’s just see how this goes”.
Right now, his focus is on recovering from the surgery and seeing what kind of music he’s inspired to write. “No matter what happens, I can go out there, play piano and sing,” he says. “I’m just in a very happy place right now”, he said.
Tell us, would you see Phil Collin’s in concert? Have you before?
Phil earlier this year:
Main image via That Eric Calper