In a recent chat with The Metal Voice, guitarist Steve Hackett recalled the ultimatum that pushed him to make the decision to leave Genesis. Hackett opened up about why he left by explaining:
"I think I joined a band that was a democracy, a songwriters collective. I left a band that was becoming a dictatorship, and I think that when I was told by Mike [Rutherford]and Tony [Banks] that I could no longer do solo work the hackles rose there because they also wanted to control who was writing the songs and that wasn't the basis that I joined the band on."
The guitarist shared that he already had an album that was a success so he decided to take the leap and do his solo work outside of Genesis. He added:
"So great band probably the best band in the world but at the end of the day you can't keep a good Hackett down so you've got to be true to yourself your muse, that small voice that says, 'Well what if?' and I'd done 'Acolyte' and it had been a hit it had been a success. I've had these conversations with other people who've left bands and gone on to do extraordinary things. You've just got to accept this is the way it is."
Steve also shared that he wasn't the only former member that left Genesis; he expressed:
"I talked to Rick Wakemen, you can function within a band but then you get to outgrow the group unless the group is prepared to be relaxed enough to let everyone do solo work. I think once a band starts to lose people, it lost Peter Gabriel, it lost me, similar sort of circumstances in terms of being told that you can't have a parallel solo career blah blah blah all of that."
Hackett pointed out that Phil Collins managed to do better on his own; the guitarist said:
"And you figure well, why not? Because it would have strengthened the band, and of course, the great poetic justice at the end of the day was that Phil Collins solo career outpaced the band in terms of sales. So I think that's ironic justice for them, but here we are. I still love the guys in the band."