Simon Phillips Interview

March, 1999
Allen Huotari

You've made several recordings with Mike Oldfield. In many ways, the work with Oldfield seems to have been an unlikely and idiosyncratic collaboration. What did you learn from working from Oldfield and what do you think he learned from you?

Simon Phillips: "That was really a breakthrough for me as I was co-producer and co-engineer on "Crises", "Discovery" and "Islands". Mike basically taught me how to engineer. I think Mike wanted a break from engineering to be able to sit back and listen to the record from a different perspective - but he had a hard time with most engineers - he likes a musician's approach to balance and sounds. As I was technically minded anyway and was always interested in engineering it worked out well. I learnt an incredible amount from Mike and in fact he really showed me the way for starting a solo career. After we finished "Islands" in '87, I was inspired to start writing music for my first solo record where I played all the instruments - being keyboards (with the help of a sequencer) and drums. I think I introduced a more R&B feel to his music and a little jazz as well - but subtly!"

Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield