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Интервью журнала Arena (Великобритания)
с Филом Коллинзом
Q: "Phil Collins in Grand Theft Auto" — not a sentence Arena ever thought it would utter…

A: Yeah, it's cool to be cool [laughs]. I guess because my song "In The Air Tonight" and I were in the "Miami Vice" series a fair bit, I'm kind of associated with that era. But games as an art form the developer's offices and they were troubleshooting, sorting the bugs out. It was fascinating to watch because it was all such a painless process for me. I did my lines in two hours.


Q: A model of professionalism!

A: You have to remember that some drummers can't string a sentence together. I've done a bit of acting and they over-compensated with the amount of time they allowed me. I just came in, hit and run.


Q: Were you worried how you might be portrayed?

A: When someone like me arrives, everyone does a tapdance round me, but I'm actually very normal, and they said if there's something you don't like we'll rewrite the whole thing and I said "No, it's fine. You've obviously given this some thought." And they got it all spot-on: the five o'clock shadow, the suits, and all the other stuff that was so embarrassingly prevalent in my Eighties wardrobe.


Q: In one of the missions the in-game Phil drums "In The Air Tonight" suspiciously authentically — did you ensure they got the right snare patterns?

A: Yeah, they got given footage of me from different angles. I have a personality when I play — you can tell when it's John Bonham, you can tell when it's Keith Moon, you can tell when it's me.


Q: Was it strange acting as yourself?

A: A bit. I play myself as I was in that period, but one of the best things is that Timothy Spall [Phil's manager Barry in the game] and I are a double act. Once I heard his accent on the finished game it was great. Maybe me and him should do a spin-off: "Barry And Phil Rapping And Plundering Across America".


Q: Well, you've already made quite a step from doing Disney musicals to soundtracking gun-toting gangsters…

A: Yeah, but Grand Theft Auto's not overly violent. It's not like there's people's brains everywhere.


Q: So do you ever have much spare time for playing computer games?

A: I was quite anti-games when they first reared their head. I don't know why — I just figured kids watch too much telly anyway and now they're going to be stuck with this game thing. But I bought my son a games system and suddenly realised what the fuss was about. Then I bought one myself and now I play Crash Team Racing all day.


Q: Do you think Grand Theft Auto will give you a fresh injection of indie cred, like rap/R&B covers album Urban Renewal did back in 2001?

A: No, I generally do things that are tremendously unfashionable; if you start worrying about that, you do things that aren't really true to you. Music critics tend to put people in boxes, but if you actually talk to the people involved, there's a much more open field. For example, Pharrell Williams and I are desperate to work together. I'm always pleasantly surprised when young black kids come up to me and say, "Yeah man, I love But seriously".


Q: But it's not a patch on "We Can't Dance", surely?

A: Well I might be doing some Genesis shows next year so watch this space.

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