INSIDE THE MIND'S EYE OF RAY WILSON
~ An Exclusive Interview ~
 

Its May 29, 2001, and Ray Wilson is preparing to embark on a string of club dates in Europe. Not as a member of Genesis, Cut or even Stiltskin, but as a solo artist establishing a new band for a new audience. In one of his most personal and revealing interviews, the vocalist/songwriter speaks candidly with World of Genesis.Com's Dave Negrin about his club tour, his up-coming debut solo album, the last days of Genesis, and much more. 
 


  WOG: I interviewed Mike Rutherford back in 1995 when he was promoting a Mechanics project. He mentioned in the interview that the reason they the Mechanics didnít tour the US on their previous album (Word of Mouth) was because album sales were poor, and he didnít believe it was wise to tour to help promote an album. At least at the time, he commented that he believed a tour was done really only done if an album was successful. 

That comment struck me as being odd, since Genesis toured extensively in the 70s before they were a huge commercial success, and all of the touring they did played a big part in what made Genesis as successful as they eventually became.
World of Genesis: Can you tell me about your up-coming plans for your tour and if any dates have been set past August?

Ray Wilson: I havenít really got a tour planned at the moment, but my intension is to try out a new kind of band. A new idea, really, because Iím working as a three-piece now. Myself and a couple of guys. Iím trying to work on just really basing the music on an acoustic sound and working very hard on just the basic dynamics. Basic song qualities. Making sure the voice is really the focus. The voice and the song with less focus on the music thatís behind it.

WOG: Will you be doing predominantly new material at your shows?


RW: Iím doing some new stuff Iíve written, yes. Iím also playing some music from the past. I was in a band called Stiltskin. So, Iíll be playing some music from Stiltskin, some music from Genesis from the Calling All Stations album and also some older music from Genesis that I did when I toured with them; songs done by Phil Collins and (Peter) Gabriel. So, it will be a mixture really of songs from Genesis and from the past, acoustic arrangements of them Ė no keyboard at all.

 
 
RW: It tells you something doesnít it, really? (laughs)  

WOG: When the band cancelled the tour dates in the US for Calling All Stations, I noticed that discussion went from playing large venues like Madison Square Garden in New York to smaller theater tours to eventually canceling the whole US leg.

RW: I think the problem was taking the production over there. It was such a big production that when you go over to America itís obviously quite a considerable cost. They have to make that add up, and it wasnít going to add up. 

With regard to the first part of your question, the reality is that in the 70s when Genesis was playing they played absolutely and 150 percent because of the music. Because of the love of what they did. There is no doubt about it, because they sold no bloody records, but had a great touring band in the very early years. 

I think what weíre dealing with now is a situation where by Mike and Tony, Peter Gabriel, Phil, the whole lot of them, are all multi-millionaires. I think it is now as much about money as it is about music. Obviously, you have to take these things into account.
WOG: I know you did some acoustic material when Genesis was touring for Calling All Stations. Will those songs be among the Genesis songs you will be playing?

RW: It was because of that, that I started thinking about it. About doing acoustic arrangements of Genesis songs on guitar. It was basically because of the tour, and because of the launch we did in Berlin and also at Cape Canaveral that got me thinking about it. It got such a strong response from people, the whole acoustic idea. Also, Genesis never did an Unplugged gig, you know, the MTV Unplugged. Genesis never did one. They were one of the first bands to be asked to do one, and they didnít want to. I really like the idea now, whether itís the music I wrote with them or the music from the past with Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, of doing these songs in an acoustic style. Or even just without keyboard. Rather than doing the keyboard arrangements that already exist, and they (Genesis) do them better than anybody can do them, to actually do it from a different angle. Iíve found it really good fun.
 

Iíve been doing things like ďCarpet CrawlersĒ on acoustic guitar, which is fascinating. I think when you do acoustic arrangements of songs, you really have to have a very strong voice behind it to make it work, because obviously there is not as much going on in the music. So, the voice and the melody have to be particularly strong. So, itís quite an interesting approach for me, and it allows me to keep on playing some Genesis music as well as I do a version of ďIn The Air TonightĒ (by Phil Collins) and also a version of ďBikoĒ by Peter Gabriel. But to do these songs as well as do the music Iím writing myself, and the Stiltskin material, it just gives the set a lot more depth. Itís good fun. Iím enjoying it.
 
I suppose if Mike and Tony and Tony Smith are looking at it and saying we could tour, but we could lose five million quid, then itís easy for me to say ďOh, just do it anyway, guys. Itís only five million quid.Ē I mean, they are all worth in excess of 80 million quid at least, you know. So, its all very well for me to say just go ahead and do it.

 I think if it were the 70s, they would have gone ahead and done it. But now, because itís such a big money issue, they got cold feet. I can look at it from both perspectives. I can understand that youíve got the good name of Genesis. Youíve developed this monster over the years and youíre very proud of it and youíve sold a lot of records, and youíve created some wonderful music, and you donít want to tarnish that. I can understand that and even the fear of almost having to go back to the beginning again. When youíve been up there doing stadium tours around the world and then all of the sudden youíre back in small theaters, I can understand that almost being quite frightening to them. 

To me, I look at it and say when I was with Stiltskin, I was playing in clubs, I was doing festivals, but the clubs were like five hundred people, one thousand people, maybe a couple of thousand people. That was the kind of gig I was used to. So, then I start working with Genesis, and all of the sudden Iím playing in arenas of 15,000, 18,000, 20,000 people, or sometimes 10,000 people and the occasional stadium thing. So, for me, it was very much upward. I was looking up the way. For them, it was looking down the way. 

So, itís easy for me to sit here and say you should have carried on guys, because thatís what you said you were going to do. How they feel inside, at their stage in life as wellÖ.
 
WOG: Earlier (in a previous conversation) you mentioned to me that you did some demos of some new songs, but that you havenít recorded any polished studio tracks yet for a new solo album. Any idea when your solo album might be released?  

RW: Iíve got no idea, actually. I worked for about seven or eight months writing and just trying to produce various ideas. I got a lot more ďpoppyĒ with the style I was doing. I think in all honesty, now that Iíve had time to reflect on it, I donít like that style at all, really. Itís not really what I want to do. 
 
  I mean, theyíre 50-odd years old, theyíve got enough money to retire fifty times over, and theyíre probably looking at it from a different perspective from me. I kind of look at it and think, ďShit! I wish you would spend some of the money that youíve earned over the years and give this a go for the fans that love Genesis!Ē 

Because they are great writers. Mike and Tony are both brilliant writers and Phil is a great writer as well, but I donít really like what Phil does, to be honest. Iím not a fan of that kind of ďpoppyĒ brassy stuff. Itís not me at all, but heís still got a good ear for a tune.

 
Iím not in a hurry to launch a solo career. I think itís one of those things that the only important criteria is that when I do launch a solo career, that I have the complete game plan. And I havenít got the complete game plan yet. I think as things stand, Iím more interested in playing some live shows and doing stuff in a more stripped down fashion, a more acoustic fashion. A little bit like David Gray has done. I donít know if you know David Gray? Heís been very successful in the UK and I know heís been moderately successful in America. Heís kind of like Van Morrison or Bob Dylan in a kind of modern day style. I like what he does. There are some quite good jungley dance rhythms in his music, but its acoustic stuff. I like what heís doing. Iím kind of keen to just experiment and do some live shows. Actually, just play in front of people. 

Iím so fucking tired of the music business. It bores me to deathÖ to tears (laughs)! Because itís so shallow now. Iím more interested now in just playing to an audience, and getting that feeling back again. Once Iíve done that for a while, then Iíll think about exactly how Iím going to record this music. At the moment, Iíve just got a whole bunch of songs produced in various different styles, but I havenít got a very definitive idea of exactly how Iím going to do it. Until Iíve got that, I donít see any point in releasing an album.
  I like the idea of them doing another album and saying, ďLetís be really selfish and do it for the sake of Genesis and do it the way we do music. Very progressive, very not commercial, and letís just do it for the love of what we do.Ē But as I said, itís easy for me to say, I donít have to spend the money.

WOG: How and when did you first hear that you were out of Genesis?

RW: Iíve never really been out of the band as such. They didnít phone me up and say, ďRay, youíre fired!Ē They basically phoned me up and said, ďRay, weíre not continuing.Ē Iíve never really felt that I was out of the band as such; itís just that the band doesnít exist anymore (laughs).  When I heard that, it was just after the Cut tour, about a year and a half ago. Iíve read some articles saying that I was fired and stuff, but to be fair to them, they didnít phone me up and say, ďRay, youíre fired. Weíre going to carry on and weíre going to get somebody else to sing.Ē Or, ďWeíre going to carry on and get Phil back.Ē There was never any of that. They just said, ďWeíve decided not to continue because the market doesnít want us.Ē I think they didnít want to completely close the door to ever doing anything again.

"... If I went to the record companies with a live album of me doing Genesis songs, they wouldnít give a shit."
 
   I mean, I think it would be wonderful if they could all reunite with Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins and do a world tour like that. That would be brilliant for the fans. I donít think itís something I would be involved in.
WOG: These concert dates that youíre doing, are you considering recording them for a possible future release or would that be a copyright nightmare since youíre doing a lot of other peopleís material as well as your own?

RW: I think it might be quite interesting to record a few shows just to see how it comes out. I suppose the beauty of it as well is if you record live you can always do the occasional overdub. Maybe bring a keyboard sound in, like a Wurlitzer, or something like that? You know, something quite cool like an analog instrument. I donít mean synthesizers and all that type of stuff. Another alternative is that you can keep it exactly as it is live, which is, I suppose, the better of the two options. 
 


Guaranteed Pure

WOG: Because you would choose not to be or because you think they wouldnít pursue you?

RW: No, no. Not by choice. I just donít think they would want me there. Iíve been very isolated and left out of stuff since Iíve finished touring with them. You know, theyíve done promotion for the Hits album (Turn It On Again: The Hits) and they reunited every member of the band. I donít know if you saw it? They all reunited, but I wasnít invited.

 

But I am keen to record them, and if it sounds good then, yeah, I would make it available. Whether a record company would want to release it or not is another situation all together, but I would make it available through the website or whatever.
 
  They released ďCarpet CrawlersĒ (the new version on the Hits album) and I was supposed to be singing that with Phil and Peter, and then I was left out of that as well and nobody told me why. Thereís been a lot of isolation and being pushed out.

WOG
: Really? You were originally going to sing on ďCarpet Crawlers Ď99Ē?
With regard to copyright, itís not a problem at all, because if I was doing Genesis songs for example, all you have to do is pay the licensing fee for the tracks that you record. Thatís not a problem. Obviously, Iíd do it legitimately and fairly so nobody gets stitched up.

WOG
: Assuming that you don't get major (record) label interest, some artists find that going independent offers them more artistic freedom, and allows them to make more money than they would taking a small percentage from a smaller label. That seems especially true with artists who already have a following or tour extensively and sell their CDs at shows.

RW: I think so, and I donít think people are really interested anyway. I mean, if I went to the record companies with a live album of me doing Genesis songs, they wouldnít give a shit. They wouldnít be remotely interested in that. I think some fans would be interested in it, but thatís not enough to start a buzz in the music business.

For me, you do these things for the love of music. You donít do them because youíre trying to make a fortune. Itís just quite simply because youíve done something youíre proud of, you like the sound of it, and you feel that fans would enjoy listening to it as well. To be honest, Iím not really bothered about making money off of something like that; Iíd rather just make it available.

WOG
: Well, there was never a live Stiltskin or Genesis album with you on it. So, there might be some novelty there...

RW
: I mean, yeah, maybe. Maybe itís something that could be on a slightly bigger scale. I really donít know. I just know that as soon as you go to record companies nowadays, its extremely difficult if youíre doing something like that. That type of sound. 

Itís (the music industry) so image conscious that it becomes everything other than music. Thatís what I donít like about it, thatís why Iím disillusioned by it. Although, Iím not down heartened at all. Iím disillusioned by the whole industry really, because itís just getting it so wrong now. The focus is on the wrong stuff.

WOG: On your site you mention that the members of Cut are spread out all over the globe, and I know Nir Z is on tour with Billy Squier, Styx, and Bad Company this summer. Do you foresee yourself recording with them as Cut again in the future?
 
RW: Yeah. They told me I was singing and dropped it and didnít tell me why (laughs). Thereís been a few shitty things, but I didnít blame Mike and Tony for that. Itís just the industry. I think Tony Smith (Genesisí manager) is a bit to blame, I have to say. The manager could have dealt with things a bit nicer. I went through a very, very difficult time for a couple of years. I lost my home, stuff like that, because of their decisions and their in ability to tell me of their decisions until a little bit too late in the day. I suppose from my own point of view, I suffered a great deal emotionally. I felt very rejected and very upset. I was never invited to lunch in London to have a discussion and to explain it. It was a phone call from Tony Smith and that was it.


WOG: But since you had a contract for a couple of albums, how was that settled?

RW: They just paid me; they agreed a reviewed amount. They picked up the option of a second album and then didnít do it. I mean, I canít go into the details of that for legal reasons, but they basically paid me for a period of time. A basic wage and then stopped, because that was their obligation.

From my point of view, if I had done a second album, it would have meant a lot more to me financially than the first one did, because I had a higher percentage in the second album than I did the first, contractually. So, it would have made a big difference to me. As I say, I made some decisions in life. My home and stuff like that. I spent a lot of money on a house understanding that I was doing another album. Of course, then they didnít, so I lost the house. But, fuck it; itís only bricks (laughs)! It doesnít really matter in the grand scheme of things.

WOG: After the success of the Stiltskin album in Europe, the fact that you didnít do a follow-up album, says that tensions in the band must have been terrible. Were the relationships within the band completely unsalvageable by the time Stiltskin had completed the tour for The Mindís Eye?  

RW: Yeah. I think so. It was really two of the band members had a falling out with Peter (Lawlor) who started the band and he was the main guy really. Him and me. Me being the lead singer and him being the writerÖ of the first album anyway. The bass player and the drummer had a terrible relationship with Peter. And to be fair, Peter Lawlor, who was also the guitar player, was extremely an extremely difficult character to get on with. The bass player and the drummer left, and it was just Peter and me. 
 


Stiltskin in the '90s with
Ray Wilson (front)

RW: I donít think that there is a demand for it to be honest. I loved what I did with Cut. It was my favorite music Iíve ever done. As well as the music I did with Stiltskin. I have a great passion for that kind of music. 

I think the key element is the melancholy mood to a lot of it. I also like a bit of aggression in music. I like that kind of thing. Genesis did it in
 

"Any band would suffer when you replace
someone as prolific as Bono or Phil Collins
or Mick Jagger or a real household name like that..."

 a slightlyÖ I think the key element is the melancholy mood to a lot of it. I also like a bit of aggression in music. I like that kind of thing. Genesis did it in a slightlyÖ There was still melancholy on the Calling All Stations album, but it didnít have that kind of aggression that bands like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden would have had in the early 90s and stuff. I like that kind of aggression in music, and Genesis obviously didnít do that. They did do the melancholy (element), so I kind of enjoyed that side of it.

WOG: At what point of the Genesis tour did you ask Nir Z if he would be interested in doing an outside project (the Cut album)?

RW
: To be honest, it didnít work like that. My own thing on the side (Cut) had a drummer already. 

 
  I just felt Iíd rather just continue this kind of thing on my own, rather than deal with the politics of a person who really isnít very pleasant. I didnít want that.  Iíve never ever had a falling out with any of the guys I have to say within Stiltskin. I have a reasonable relationship with all of them, but sadly, it was a problem between Peter and the other two that caused the end of the band. I just thought, ďWell, what can you do?Ē It was such a waste!

WOG: You made reference to a second Stiltskin album. Was there a second one?

RW
:  The second album, we had been writing some stuff and it just kind of lost momentum. 
The problem I had was that when I came in to record it, the Cut album (Millionairhead), Nir wasnít in the band. It was another guy named John Allison. Obviously, I had just been working with Nir on an album and a tour, and I came to record my own stuff, the Cut stuff, and the drummer just wasnít up to it. I just suddenly realized, ďJesus, Iíve got a drummer who isnít good enough!Ē And that is why Nir was brought in. I brought Nir in because I panicked (laughs)! I thought, ďWell, who do I get?Ē And, Nir is the best drummer Iíve ever worked with by a mile. 

Nirís brilliant for rock music, because he hits it (the drum skins) so hard. Heís a very intelligent musician and a very talented guy. I worked with Nir, because I knew him and I just know that heís stunning. Heís an amazing drummer.
  As I said, I wrote the album (Cutís Millionairhead), had the record deal in place, and then Genesis came along and kind of spoiled it in all honesty.

If I look at it from that point of view, I wish I never joined Genesis, because it kind of blew my whole game plan. I let it happen. It was my own fault. Because it was such a big opportunity and I suppose in the end I thought, ďChrist, you canít say no to this!Ē
 
When I look back at it from a purely musical point of view, I wish I had said no to it, because it fucked my life up. It really did fuck my life up. I enjoyed the touring (for Calling All Stations), and I thought the touring went extremely well. I never had any bad vibes at the concerts. Every gig I did, people stood up at the end, as they do at gigs, and chanted for

WOG: I recall you mentioning in another interview that when you were doing the promotion for the Cut album that so much of the questions really focused around the wrong band. Do you think that being in Genesis or having just completed a tour with them hindered the success of the Cut project?
  more. Thatís it! They didnít hold up cards saying ďPhil Collins.Ē Apparently, Marillion had all that stuff going on when they toured after Fish left. I had none of that. I had a really strong response from people. So, I enjoyed that side of it. I enjoyed the recording of it to a degree, but I wasnít as involved as I would have liked to have been. But I wish I had never done it musically. I really do. I wish Iíd never done it!

WOG: In another interview you mentioned that the song ďMillionairheadĒ was about someone from Stiltskin. Was that aimed at Peter Lawlor?

RW: Yeah, I think I timed it wrong.  My timing was completely wrong. The problem with the Cut project was that it was only released in Germany. It wasnít released anywhere else in the world, except Germany. A lot of people donít know that, but thatís the reality of it.


The reason I signed the deal in Germany, was because Stiltskin was signed in Germany also. We released in the UK independently. 

In America, we released it through East West, who bought it for a lot of money, and did nothing with it which defied belief, to be honest. It was never released in the UK, the Cut thing.
  RW: Yeah. The problem wasÖ when I joined Stiltskin, I was unemployed, so I didnít have a great deal of money. Neither did the other guys in the band. The bass player had done quite well, because he worked with a band called Hue and Cry and they had been quite successful in the 80s. But myself and the drummer, we didnít have any money. We were getting paid 150 pounds a week in the early stages of Stiltskin. We have a term, which is ďairhead,Ē I donít know if you use it in the U.S. I just made the word ďMillionairheadĒ out of the two words ďmillionaireĒ and ďairheadĒ and came up with a song, basically, about the rise and fall of it. And the reason it failed was through somebodyís greed. Thatís what its about.

I think, when I look at it now, the timing was wrong. It was too soon after the Genesis album.

The Genesis album, by the record company, was regarded as a failure in the UK and obviously it didnít work in America either. It worked ok in the UK as it happens, but it didnít work in America at all. 

So, I basically had a lot of cynicism before I even started (the Cut album). I singed to the German label, and thought ďWell, fuck the UK, Iíll just do it through Germany.Ē The downside to that was that the German record label wasnít best set up to help me properly. I wanted to work with a producer on that album (Millionairhead), rather than produce it myself, because Iím not a producer. Iíve written the music and arranged the music, but I really wanted someone else who I could use just to put that little bit of dressing on it to make it very now or very modern sounding. I didnít have that. 

I look at it now and think that there are some good songs in amongst it, but wasnít produced in as modern a fashion as it perhaps should have been. Thatís why it didnít do as well as it might have done. 

I think ďAnother DayĒ was a great opportunity as a single, but it's life. Itís one of those things. Itís all about timing and image and all that stuff nowadays. I donít know, I canít get too wrapped up in all of that, because you forget that youíre actually in this for music and not for image and timing.
  WOG: Do you think that the Guaranteed Pure albums will ever be reissued at some point? Iíve been looking for them for years.

RW: (laughs) I have some here in a cupboard, actually (laughs)Ö CDs. Thatís the only copies of them that there are. It was never commercially released other than in Edinburgh and the east of Scotland. It wasnít a big deal. I didnít have a record deal.


 

Ray Reflects on Genesis:

"
When I look back at it from a purely musical
point of view, I wish I had said no to it,
because it fucked my life up.
"




WOG
: Are there extras that you would consider selling?

RW: Yeah, Iíve got a whole bunch of themÖ a few hundred of them in storage in a cupboard. I just listen to them and cringe (laughs)! I think that there are one or two good songs on them. We did a song called ďSwing Your BagĒ which was just a kind of stupid song.


WOG: Did you have any reservations about stepping into the shoes of Phil Collins by becoming the new lead singer for Genesis? I would think that many people would fear that even with a successful album, you would never escape the shadow of what Genesis was with Phil.
 
  WOG: The one for the Outpatients í93 compilation?

RW: Yeah. The Outpatients thingÖ

WOG: How did you get hooked up with Fish for that project?
RW: When I was first informed of the desire for me to audition, my first instinct was not to do it. The reason my first instinct was not to do it was, because I was so wrapped up in doing my own thing. The continuation of Stiltskin, which was what Cut was. It was a continuation of Stiltskin.

I was so far down the line with that when Genesis came along, I thought, ďWow! Thatís a really impressive offer, but itís not really where my heart is.Ē

When I went to meet the guys (Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks), audition and have a chat with them, their intention was toÖ They realized that Genesis almost had to start again musically if I joined it. Because, they were replacing one of the most famous singers in the world, and it wasnít going to be easy. Regardless of how good a singer I am, itís irrelevant. Itís just going to be bloody difficult. Not only that, they had lost a key song writer as well in Phil. 

Especially, the way that the sound of Genesis had developed. It was becoming more and more Phil and less and less Genesis, and when you took him out of that the band went very retro. 


I was involved in writing, but only a little bit at the end. So, my input really wasnít great. So, you lost something. So, it became a bit more retro, which I liked, personally. But the downside to it, of course, was that they were going to have to come to terms with the fact that album buying public wasnít going to be 50 million like it was the album before. It was going to change.

WOG: Do you think Mike and Tonyís expectations were still somewhat unrealistic at that point?

RW: Yes, but I think to be fair to them, they really didnít know what to expect. Had the American market bought the album with the same attitude with the European market did, then everything would have been fine. But they didnít, as it happens. 

Itís not to blame anyone in America for that, itís just the way it goes. Itís life. A lot of the good die-hard fans bought it. Iíve had lots of e-mails from America who love it, and Canada, and so on and so forth. But, it didnít work the same way it did in Europe and thatÖ I suppose for them ó it scared the shit out of them. 

In the first place, when I first spoke to them it was like, ďWeíre going to start again.Ē I did a contract with them for a couple of albums, I was a band member- I wasnít a session singer and they were doing a couple of albums to see how it went. I thought, ďThatís fair enough. If youíre going to commit to a couple of albums, then at least this is going to be something that we can work on over the next five years.Ē 

What the end result was, was that the American market didnít take to it, the European market was good but not great, and they were afraid that if they released another album after Calling All Stations that no one would buy it at all because of the trend. 

If you look at Invisible Touch and We Canít Dance, if you look at the album sales for these albums, and then Calling All Stations, it was quite a considerable drop. They were concerned that if they released another album that nobody would buy it at all and that they would ruin the good name of Genesis. That was their reason.
  RW: Well, I recorded all the songs in his studio. He lives just along the road from me. Fish put a lot of money into a studio, a beautiful studio, and we went along there and recorded it. 

He heard one of the songs and he put it on the Outpatients album. He said, ďI like this! It reminds me of the David Lee Roth ĎJust A Gigoloí thing.Ē You know, the recording that David Lee Roth of Van Halen did of ďJust a GigoloĒ as a solo artist? He just said, ďI like this!Ē and put it on the album, and thatís how it happened. I didnít get any money from it. I just put it on it.  

WOG: Were both Guaranteed Pure albums on CD?

RW: Thereís only the one really. The other one is just on DAT. Itís just a cassette, a four track recording.

WOG: Can you tell me how you came to join Guaranteed Pure and why you left the band?

RW: I met a piano player named Paul Holmes who was also in Cut. I met him in a piano bar in Edinburgh. He was playing like Billy Joel, or whoever. You know, that piano bar type thing covering other peopleís songs. When I was about 20 years old, I used to go to this bar, because my girlfriend at the time used to sing. She did a spot, and whoever the piano player was backed her. 

I met Paul in the piano bar while she was getting up and doing her thing. We got talking and he said, ďDid you want to get up and do a song?Ē And I got up and sang with him, and I sang ďdesperadoĒ by The Eagles. I remember it very well (laughs). He thought, ďChrist, youíre a good singer.Ē So, I said, ďWould you fancy writing some stuff together? Iíve been doing some bits of writing. I play guitar; Iím not all that good, but Iím really a singer-which is my main thing.Ē And we started writing together and Guaranteed Pure basically evolved from that.

Then I brought my brother, Steve, who had worked with me in my bands at school. We used to write stuff in the bands we were in at school. He played guitar, and he also was a singer at one stage. We brought him to Edinburgh from Dumfries, which is where I was born. 

Steve got involved and then we were a trio, and then we got a bass player and then a drummerÖ and thatís how it worked out.

The band split up, because Paul, the piano playerÖ. It got tough financially, as it always does in any band trying to make ends meet. He decided that he wanted to go back and do piano bars, because he made a good living out of it and he was very good at it. So, he went away and did that, and the whole band kind of fell apart because of it, since he was a very key part of the band and a good friend. So, he left, and thatís how it ended. I didnít leave Guaranteed Pure; it just kind of ended.

SELECTED ALBUMS FEATURING
RAY WILSON

Click on the album art below to buy them or to hear audio clips


"...I look at it and say, '"Well, thatís not what your intention was in the beginning, guys. You canít just say that because it didnít take off in America, all right thatís it. We give in. We go home. If you told me that in the first place, I would never have joined the band!"
 

 

Stiltskin - She

The 2006 return of Stiltskin, featuring the new line-up with Ray Wilson and Nir Z of Genesis fame! Includes "Fly High", "Sick and Tired", "Constantly Reminded", "Fame" and much more! A fantastic album, and perhaps one of the best albums of the year! Highly recommended!
 
From my point of view, I look at it and say, ďWell, thatís not what your intention was in the beginning, guys. You canít just say that because it didnít take off in America, all right thatís it. We give in. We go home. If you told me that in the first place, I would never have joined the band.Ē

So, there is a little bit of resentment there, because I feel that they didnít have the courage to continue when I think they should of, because I think Calling All Stations was a good album, a lot of people really enjoyed it, sure it wasnít as commercially massive as the albums before it but it was never going to be. You can imagine replacing Mick Jagger in the Rolling Stones. I mean, Christ, they would suffer as well. Any band would suffer when you replace someone as prolific as Bono or Phil Collins or Mick Jagger or a real household name like that. I feel a little resentment, because they went in with one attitude and they came out with another.
 






Ray Wilson -
Ray Wilson Live


Double live album featuring music from Ray's solo career, Genesis, Stiltskin, Cut and more! Recommended!


Ray Wilson -
Change


Ray's studio solo debut! Includes the title track, "The Beach", "Goodbye Baby Blue", "Along The Way", "Cry If You Want To" and much more. Highly recommended! 

   

Special thanks to Ray Wilson for granting this interview. This interview is © 2001-2007 David Negrin and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.  



 


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