Phil Collins Plans New Music, Mulls Tour: ‘I Am No Longer Retired’
Mere weeks after emergency surgery forced him to delay his upcoming solo album reissue campaign, Phil Collins sounds like he's back and feeling better than he has in years.
The former Genesis drummer, dogged by a series of health issues for the last 15 years, tells Rolling Stone that his latest surgery successfully repaired much of the nerve damage that forced him to walk away from playing drums: "The doctor said to me that my vital signs were all there. He said to me, 'If you want to play drums again, all you have to do is practice.'"
Even though that doesn't mean Collins will be playing drums onstage again anytime soon, he says he does intend to record a new album — his first collection of original material since 2002's Testify — and put together a solo tour. "My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does," he explained. "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."
Three years sober after a serious battle with depression and alcohol abuse, Collins anticipates a full-time return to his solo career following the reissue series, which he admits has helped rekindle his interest in new music; as he put it, he's "easily flattered," and feels like "it would be silly" to stay retired after attracting a new generation of fans with expanded and remastered versions of his previous LPs.
On the subject of a Genesis reunion, Collins is decidedly non-committal, telling RS that he isn't thinking past his next solo project. And if the band does get back together, he's all but certain it won't be with Peter Gabriel, who left the lineup in 1975.
"I just don't understand that," admitted Collins of the persistent calls for a Gabriel-era Genesis reunion. "They haven't thought it through. Pete won't sing 'Invisible Touch' or 'I Can't Dance.' We'd only do material like 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.' Also, I can't play drums, so I can't do what I did. I just want to settle with the bits of me that I can possibly do."
Regarding those bits — which he described by saying, "I can go out there, play piano and sing" — Collins insists he's "in a very happy place" and notes emphatically, "I'm no longer officially retired. The horse is out of the stable and I'm raring to go."
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This Day in Rock History: October 28