Mama, the UK’s all era Genesis tribute band interviews John C about the intricacies of reproducing those Genesis keyboards
This weekend, the band will be performing their annual show at Theatre On The Steps in Bridgnorth. This theatre is most unusual in that it’s half way up a huge staircase, hence the name. We had a great time here last time we performed and tickets are selling very well so far, without any real promotion from us. In fact, this website update and the ensuing email newsletter represent the first time that we have promoted the show directly. So if you’re thinking of coming down, buy your tickets pronto because a bunch will sell in the next few hours (I think at last count there were less than thirty left!).
You can buy tickets for Theatre On The Steps from their website or by calling into the box office (The Tic, Bridgnorth Library, Listley Street – open 9.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday). You can also phone the venue on 01746 763 257.
It’s time for another interview with the band. This time we collared John C, our expert keyboard player, and got all geeky with him. Well, he got all geeky with us to be fair! Here’s the interview along with a new promo clip from our upcoming live video:
Mama Website: Hi JC and thanks for agreeing to share your technical secrets with us!
John C: Cheers n tha.
JC: Well there are really two ways you can go. With the early stuff it’s really just a couple of organ sounds through a chorus and / or phaser, an RMI style piano, sawtooth based mono synth (preferably an ARP) and of course some Mellotron sounds. Post 1982 it gets a little more tricky – early wavetable and sample based keyboards weren’t great by modern standards but had some unique sounds that aren’t that easy to emulate accurately unless you can get hold of the kit, or samples of it.
MW: Do you have all the sounds used by Tony Banks?
JC: No. That’s not the way I do it. I am pretty good at working out the type of synth sound I am listening to and then I go to my workstation library to find something similar. That works probably eighty percent of the time. If I don’t have something I am happy with, I start looking for instrument samples.
MW: Isn’t the object of a tribute to use the original instruments and the same sounds as Tony Banks?
JC: I know a lot of the other Genesis tributes try to do that and with the early stuff it’s true that you need to get that “70’s Sound,” but I doubt that Tony would be using those sounds if Genesis went on tour this year and they probably wouldn’t be using the the sounds from 2007 either. He would probably try to capture the spirit of the original with new technology, which is really the approach I use.
MW: So how does that work with a signature sound, like the Mellotron choir in Afterglow? View full article »