Tony Banks (musician)

Anthony George "Tony" Banks ( born March 27, 1950 in East Hoathly, Sussex, England ) is a British musician and keyboardist of the progressive rock band Genesis.



Anthony George Banks was born as the first child of John and Nora Banks. He has four siblings. First he played the violin, then he learned piano and taught himself to play the guitar. In September 1963, he came to the Oration Quarter at the Charterhouse School in Godalming, where a foundation for the later band Genesis was placed on meeting with Peter Gabriel. Together with Chris Stewart, they founded The Garden Wall, 1966, she teamed up with the competing school band Anon Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and called on the proposal of its former music producer Jonathan King from 1968 Genesis.

In 1967, Tony's school days to the end, and he began at the University of Sussex in Brighton physics, mathematics and philosophy to study, but soon turned entirely into a musical career.

Careers at Genesis

Banks ' artful keyboard solos - like the piano intro to Firth of Fifth and the instrumental part at The Cinema Show - shaped the sound of Genesis prevail. In addition, Banks was still playing 12-string guitar (with Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford ) to acoustic passages in songs like The Musical Box and the beginning of Supper's Ready. Banks took occasional backing vocals and sang in 1970 together with Peter Gabriel song The Shepherd, which, however, only in 1998 in the anthology Archive I - 1967 to 1975 appeared on a Genesis album.

Notable Banks wrote Genesis pieces are Mad Man Moon, the complex multi-part suite One for the Vine and the anthemic ballad Afterglow, with graduated, the band at live performances usually their medleys ( potpourris popular older Genesis pieces ).

Banks use the keyboard in several songs a " hand-over- hand" technique to accomplish rapid changeover between the often arpeggiated chords - for example, in the plays The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Carpet Crawlers and later with No Reply At All is on the music video, this technique can be seen briefly.

After numerous speculations about a Genesis Reunion Banks, Collins and Rutherford announced on 7 November 2006 at a press conference a joint world tour for 2007 - in time for the forty-year -anniversary.

Projects outside Genesis

After the departure of Gabriel and Hackett of Genesis Banks was the first of the three remaining band members, who published a solo album. But unlike his bandmates Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins, which recorded significant solo success, to Banks ' solo works only under Genesis fans enjoyed increasing popularity.

In 1978 he wrote with Mike Rutherford, the soundtrack to The Shout ( The Shout ) ( Director: Jerzy Skolimowski ). In 1979, he then brought out his first solo album A Curious Feeling, taking on all parts except drums ( Chester Thompson ) and vocals (Kim Beacon ) grossed itself. The concept album is based in part on the utopian short story Flowers for Algernon.

In 1983 the soundtrack written by him to The Wicked Lady ( German Title: The infamous Lady), which until 2013 was released on CD. On one side of the LP are Banks's synth demos to hear that he had recorded in the home studio, the other side contains the orchestral recordings. Also in 1983 came his second solo album, The Fugitive, on which he also sang now. It is based - similar to Collins ' Face Value album - on synth demos that he recorded at home, which were then expanded in Genesis Studio by Daryl Stuermer and other guest musicians.

A setback he suffered when he Hollywood for the soundtrack to 2010 1984 - should compose The Year We Make Contact, but none of his proposals was accepted and the order of David Shire went. In 1985, he wrote, allegedly without content, the music for the sci-fi film Starship ( German title: Redwing - escape from the black droid ). In 1986 he contributed to the soundtrack for Quicksilver ( with Kevin Bacon). The music for both films was released on LP / CD soundtracks. On the title Shortcut to Somewhere ( from Quicksilver ), he worked to the delight of his fans for the first time along with Fish from Marillion. The title was released as a single.

Another setback was the album bank statement with the Banks along with producer Steve Hillage and the singers Alistair Gordon and Jayney Klimek tried to obtain a similar success as Genesis colleague Mike Rutherford Mike & the Mechanics. However, the album flopped completely.

In 1991, he brought that out with the singers Nik Kershaw, Fish, Andy Taylor and again Jayney Klimek partly star-studded album Still. The sung and has been written by Nik Kershaw song I Wanna Change the Score was played on the radio often. Another highlight for fans was the resulting complex together with Fish Song Another Murder of a Day. The album was still far short of the expectations of success.

In 1995 the so far last rock album under the pseudonym Strictly Inc. Banks ' partner was Jack Hues, ex- singer of the pop band Wang Chung. Although the album hailed by fans - mainly because of the epic 17 -minute song to Iceland in the Darkness - as Banks ' most mature work, but sold as poor as the previous albums.

2004 came out the orchestral work Seven, its completion took several years. The album sold by the standards of classical albums extremely well, led some weeks the classical charts and was often heard in Germany at Klassik Radio.


Tony Banks is married to Margaret since 1972. The couple has two children ( Ben and Emily ). Banks is known to act serious and concentrated at Genesis concerts and never to smile ( almost). He lives in the rural area near Guildford near Mike Rutherford and the Genesis studio The Farm.


Here is a list of keyboards and synthesizers mainly used by him:

  • Hammond L- 122- Tonradorgel with Leslie; from 1974: Hammond T- 102; In 1977 the Leslie was replaced by a combination of Boss CE -1 Chorus and MXR Phase 100
  • Hohner Pianet (mostly played by distortion to produce an electric guitar sound, the early to mid 1970s )
  • Mellotron Mk II (purchased from King Crimson ); from 1973 to 1977, he used a M400
  • ARP Pro Soloist Synthesizer (from 1973 to 1977 )
  • RMI Electra Piano 368 ( 1974-1977; often he used the organ mode, sent by phaser, distortion and Leslie )
  • ELKA Rhapsody string synthesizer ( the album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway)
  • ARP 2600 synthesizer ( 1976-1978, eg synthesizer solo on Follow You Follow Me)
  • Roland RS -202 string synthesizer ( 1977-1978 )
  • Fender Rhodes Electric Piano Mk I (1977, on Your Own Special Way )
  • Yamaha CP -70 Electric Grand Piano by BOSS CE-1 Chorus (1978 to present)
  • Moog synthesizer Polymoog (1978 to 1980)
  • Yamaha CS -80 synthesizer ( 1979-1981, v. a to the Duke album )
  • ARP Quadra synthesizer ( 1980 to the end of the 80s, is coming sawed lead sound with Abacab from Quadra )
  • Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 Rev 2 ( 1980 to the end of the 80s )
  • Roland VP330 Vocoder ( 1980-1987, replaced the Mellotron )
  • Sequential Circuits Prophet -10 ( 1981 to 1987, replacing the hammond organ )
  • NED Synclavier II (FM version with ORK keyboard, 1983-1987 )
  • E -MU Emulator I ( 1983)
  • E -MU Emulator II (1986 /87)
  • Yamaha DX -7 ( 1986, including bass at Land of Confusion )
  • Akai S900 (from 1986)
  • E -MU Emulator III (1991 )
  • Ensoniq VFX (1991; live a SD-1 was used )
  • Korg Wave Station (from 1991 )
  • Roland JD -800 (from 1991 )
  • Korg Trinity (from 1997)
  • Korg Oasys (2007)




On many Genesis albums Banks is listed as a background singer, but his distinctive high-pitched voice not to hear in the songs. In live performances, he controls along with Mike Rutherford also backing vocals on, but this occurs only in a few songs. One unconfirmed anecdote from the late 1970s, according to Collins and Rutherford made ​​the fun and presented during Carpet Crawlers her singing, so that Banks had to sing the chorus alone.