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Peter Gabriel: Out For Blood

In 2011, Prog talked to Gabriel about his New Blood album, his work ethic and the chances of a Genesis reunion

It might be hard to swallow, but Peter Gabriel doesn’t believe in talent. “I don’t, no. It’s overrated. People who believe that there are those who get success because they’ve got natural ability have got it all wrong. That counts for nothing.”

If this all sounds like controversy for its own sake, then the man who first made his name as one of the unique and abiding artists in the first era of prog is prepared to back this up.

“Look, I’m an old prog rocker; someone who’s been around awhile, and people probably believe that I was born with a gift for music. So would it surprise you to know that when I was at school Iwas told that I had no musical ability? I used to play the flute and my teacher told me I’d never be able to play it properly. You could say that all I achieved since then is a rebuttal of that assessment.”

Gabriel is of the opinion that everyone can achieve whatever they desire, if they’re encouraged sufficiently to try. He insists that the problem with schools, and society in general, is that they all too easily give up on those who are a little slow to make the grade.

“We live in a time when it’s still fashionable for everyone to be judged on the first impression. Okay, let’s make it simple. You’re in a young prog rock band. You interest the music industry, but you are a little backward in getting your ideas to the fans. So, the industry leaves the band on the sidelines. And you accept this because it’s happened all your life. Well, that’s wrong.”

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