Where are they now? - Chris Squire
This page last updated: 5 Jun 2013
On this page: Squackett
On other pages: Yes news
Apr 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Squire laid out his immediate
future: "I'm very tied up with my work with YES, and possibly
another album with Steve Hackett, which could also come down the
pipe in the next couple of years."
Bass Player magazine presented Squire and Aston Barrett (Bob Marley & The Wailers) with Lifetime Achievement Awards on 20 Oct 2012 in Hollywood, CA. There was an accompanying concert including sets by Squire and Barrett. Performing with Squire were Jon Davison (Yes; lead vocals, tambourine), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters; drums), Johnny Bruhns (ex-CIRCA:, ex-Yoso; guitar, backing vocals), Matt Brown (worked with CIRCA:, keys, backing vocals), Claudio Pesavento (worked with Squire before; keys). Set: "Hold Out Your Hand/You by My Side", "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout". Billy Sherwood was among those in the audience. Squire also hosted a clinic the next day.
After guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR) played on Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, Squire guested on some of Hackett's solo albums—Out of the Tunnel's Mouth and Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (see below for details)—and the duo then made a collaborative rock album as Squackett on Esoteric Antenna, a label of Esoteric Recordings, part of Cherry Red Records. The album, A Life Within a Day, was released Jun 2012. In the UK, that means digitally and in 3 physical formats: standard CD (EANTCD 1002), limited edition vinyl (EANTLP 1002), and limited edition 2-disc deluxe edition (EANTCD 2002) with hardback cover and a 5.1 Surround bonus DVD (not region encoded). US release was the regular album only, with a separate catalogue number, manufactured and distributed by MVD. The deluxe and vinyl versions are not receiving a US release: Esoteric recommend you use hackettsongs, their website or usual mail order suppliers for these. There is also an Australian release through Select Audio-Visual Distribution. Import copies are available in Japan. Several retailers in the US and UK, including Amazon, made the digital version of the album available on 28 May, which had been the CD release date until a last minute delay to 4 Jun (due to a problem at the factory pressing the deluxe edition). However, these were then withdrawn. The album then had a regular digital release.
| A taster is available on
Hackett's webpage and samples are on the Cherry Red
Performed by Chris Squire (bass, vocals), Steve Hackett
(guitars, vocals, harmonica), Roger King (Steve
Hackett, worked with Gerard Johnson; keys,
programming), Jeremy Stacey (ex-The Syn, Noel
Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Sheryl Crow; drums),
Amanda Lehmann (Steve Hackett; backing
vocals), plus on "A Life Within a Day", Christine Townsend
(violin, viola), Richard Stewart (cello), Dick Driver
(double bass); produced and mastered by King. Artwork and
design is by Xu Bing, with photography by Maurizio &
Angela Vicedomini. (Hackett, King, Squire, Lehmann,
Townsend, Stewart, Driver and M Vicedomini all worked on Beyond
the Shrouded Horizon.)
A single edit of "Sea of Smiles" (4:21), backed with
"Perfect Love Song", preceded the album. This came first
as a limited edition (2000 copies) 7" vinyl single ("Sea
of Smiles" (45 edit) b/w "Perfect Love Song"; EANTS 1001)
as part of International
Record Store Day in the UK on 21 Apr. A digital-only
single was then released on 21 May.
On 22 Jun, the album was #56 on US Amazon (#39 in Rock,
#56 in Pop). On 5 Jun, it was #137 on UK Amazon (#32 in
Rock). On 29 May, it was #1 in Classic Rock MP3 Albums on
UK Amazon, #13 in Rock, and #64 in all MP3 Albums. It was
#1 in Progressive Rock MP3 Albums on US Amazon repeatedly
in May/Jun and #6 in Classic Rock on 30 May. Hackett
tweeted that the album entered the UK Independent Album
chart at #23 (I think this may have been the midweek
chart). The regular release of the album was the top
selling Cherry Red Records title in Jan-Sep 2012, with the
deluxe edition being the third best selling.
|Buy regular edition from
Ltd edition 5.1 Surround 2-disc version
Ltd edition vinyl
regular edition from Amazon (US):
"A Life Within a Day" won
in the Anthem category (best song) for the Progressive
Music Awards 2012.
Both Squire and
Hackett brought material to the project. Squire brought 3
songs—"Aliens", "Can't Stop the Rain" and "Perfect Love Song"—that
date back to plans
for a Squire solo album in 2006/7, some co-written by Gerard
Johnson (co-wrote "The Man You Always Wanted Me to
Be", The Electric Opera/Funky Monkey, St
Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter Banks) and Simon
Sessler (co-wrote "The Man
You Always Wanted Me to Be", works with Chris Kimsey, worked
with IQ, Terry Reid, Francis Dunnery).
Hackett brought "Storm Chaser" and "Divided Self" among other
pieces (presumably also "Sea of Smiles" and "The Summer
Backwards"); in a Jun 2012
interview, Squire said he first played on "Divided
Self" when it was to be a Hackett solo piece, before its inclusion
in the Squackett project. "A Life Within a Day" and "Tall Ships"
were specifically written for the album. An article in the May
2012 issue of Prog (#26) explains how "Tall Ships" began
with a bass riff from Squire; Hackett then "added a guitar phrase,
the lyric and the chorus tune, while Squire provided the verse
melody." In the Jun 2012
interview, Squire described the piece beginning
with a riff, that King recorded. He then goes on to say that King
and Hackett then built a demo around that recording, adding a
chorus, and then all three of them worked on the vocal line and
lyrics. In the May 2012 article, King explains, "I did most of the
arrangements with Steve and Chris' approval." Hackett talks about
how they both brought music to the project and how the credits
were decided in this exchange in a Jun
2012 interview at MWE3.com:
mwe3: So “Aliens” is kind of a
SH: No. That track originally is something that was written by Chris, but obviously I contributed to the arrangement that you hear on the record. And many things were written face to face but some[ ]things were already written and in some cases, some were already recorded. But, you know, as soon as someone starts contributing their part to something, they become part of the writing process. At least that’s the way we used to do it in Genesis, in the early ‘70s.
Hackett talked more about the project in this
Jun 2012 interview, saying:
At first we gave each other the
pick of material we’d been working on, and reviewed that
together. We spent time together socially, which was very nice.
Our wives got on well. A lot of the album was recorded in the
living room I’m calling you from. In a way, it was an
anti-studio album. We recorded some bass parts and drums in the
studio, but most of it was recorded in a domestic environment.
We did a lot of writing face to face.
I think that parts of it are progressive, but I like to think there's more than that. [...] I think it's a songwriters' album as much as an instrumentalists' album. [...] some of the tunes have got, um, a very accessible kind of feel to them, but they weren't designed, initially, as something that was going to go... on this project. It's been a much more organic thing. Y'know, Chris had some ideas, I had some ideas, we combined them, um, we, y'know, extended them, shortened them, pruned them. And they went through various stages. And we wrote stuff together. There was stuff designed for an album of his. There was stuff designed for something of mine. And, y'know, we orientated towards the stuff that we liked best, from each other. But there'd be certain things on there that I think you'd be hard pushed to say... er, y'know, this is a combination of, of guys that come from Genesis and Yes. I think it's bigger than that. [...] We come to widen it over all of the, all of the genres. [...] there is no [...] lead singer along the lines of a Jon Anderson or a Peter Gabriel, or a Phil Collins. Something Chris said, he said, the combination of the two of us makes a really strong singer [...] The sum of the parts. [...] I'm very pleased with the way the vocals sound. [...] A lot of harmony singingIn a Jan 2012 interview, Hackett had this to say:
Obviously, there is a certain
amount of our two histories involved with it but, in the main,
it was written very quickly between the two of us. [...] I
always loved Chris’ bass sound and the whole vocal approach [in
Yes], which was largely harmony based. So when we worked on this
record, [...] we decided that harmony vocals were going to be
the thing. Chris and I both grew up listening to the Beatles and
the Who, and there were some great harmony bands around at the
time. That’s how we went at it. [...]
It’s a fun thing. That’s the plan. We’ve got that title, so surely no one buying something called Squackett would assume it to all be intense opuses. [...] It was all very natural. We didn’t stand in each other’s way. We didn’t go: ‘Oh, that’s a terrible idea. [...]’ It was a case of, ‘Well, that’s your idea; let’s relate it to this idea.’ [...] I’m sure it’s going to be different from what [people] expect – because they probably think: ‘[...] Genesis meets Yes. Everything is going to be in 19/5, and it’s all going to be finely clothed.’ But it’s not like that. It’s a very melodic album, with a selection of surprisingly gentle songs at times.
Touring was discussed, but didn't materialise. In the Billboard interview, Squire
said they had talked about touring in autumn 2012 with a set list
based on the album but also including songs from Fish Out of
Water, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (Hackett's recent
solo album on which Squire guests—see below) and
further material from Hackett. The Mar 2012 Classic Rock says, "A tour is
scheduled for the autumn." In a May
2012 interview, Squire, talking about Jeremy
Stacey, said, "hopefully he'll be able to come and play with
Squackett when we eventually get some live dates scheduled." The
May 2012 Prog quotes both men on the possibility of
touring: Hackett said, "I would like to think that there's time in
the midst of our busy schedules to play live together, [b]ut I
don't want to make promises I can't keep." Squire: "There's a
possibility that around September, October  we'll do
Squackett live, [b]ut we haven't pinned anything down." A May
2012 interview with Squire says the group are
"planning on touring England in the fall, and they might expand
that into a broader European tour." It then quotes Squire to say
that the set list will not include any Yes or Genesis, drawing
instead on Fish Out of Water and Hackett's solo career in
addition to A Life Within a Day. A joint
Jun 2012 interview has this in response to the
Hackett: I certainly hope so.
I’m looking forward to the time when we’re able, in the midst of
our busy schedules, to be able to do this stuff live.
Squire: I believe the fall is
the time we’re focusing on, but it’s most likely going to start
off in Europe, I think. We’re looking at offers right now but
nothing is confirmed. We’re looking at doing some work in
England and we’re getting inquiries about Germany as well. So
we’re more likely to put our toes in the water and test it out
over there. The U.S., we’ll have to fit that in sometime next
near. We’ll see how it goes.
In another interview
published Jun 2012, asked about touring and possible set list
choices, Squire said:
if we do live shows, and [...] Steve and I have talked about it [...] We have the material on the Squackett album but to fill out the rest of the show I would like to do some live Fish Out of Water stuff, which has never been done. I did a video with Billy Sherwood a few years back doing a couple of the tracks. I'd like to be able to do more as part of the Squackett show. Steve has a wealth of material from the various albums to fill out the Squackett show. I don't think we'll be doing anything with Genesis...maybe we'll throw something in.
In the early Jun
2012 interview at MWE3.com, Hackett says: "I hope there will
be shows, but it depends on our availability's amidst busy
schedules! DVD sounds like a good idea..."
As for the future of the collaboration, the May 2012 Prog quotes Squire: "I think
the degree of success Squackett achieves will decide that" and the
article goes on:
But Squire thinks that there is
probably space in his schedule to do so: "Steve Howe and Geoff
Downes have Asia, which means I'm going to have time to do
something on my own."
In the joint Jun 2012 interview, asked about a second Squackett
album, Hackett replied: "I hope there will be that, too." And in
the other Jun interview, asked about 'Squackett 2', Squire
Yes, I'm sure as this album does well, there will be pressure from the record company to do another project and I don't see why that wouldn't happen because Steve and I enjoy the creative process together and I'm sure we'll be happy to work on some material in the future.
In a Jan
2013 interview, Squire said: "I'm sure at some point, Steve
and I will probably want to do another one." In an Apr
2013 interview, Hackett said that Squire would like to do
another album and how he "had great fun" working with Squire on A
Life Within a Day. He continued, "The only problem is that
he lives in the States and I live over here [...] It's easier to
do an album than it is a tour".
In an Apr 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Squire talked about, "possibly another album with Steve Hackett, which could also come down the pipe in the next couple of years."
History of Squackett
In an early Nov 2008 interview, Squire explained, "I went round to his studio and played on some things for him that he had been working on I think from a view to making a solo album. [...] he had been working on a new project and asked me to join in on it. Once I became involved in it, we started writing new material together and now it's developing into another project, which I think, is collaboration". These first recording sessions, around the end of 2007, were with Hackett, Squire and Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, ex-Mike Oldfield, ex-Mike Rutherford, ex-U-Z) on drums; their release was held up following legal issues around Hackett's divorce but have now seen the light on Hackett's latest solo album, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (see below).
Hackett, in a Feb
2009 interview, said, "people are already calling us the
Squacketts, which was an idea Chris' wife Scotty came up with!" In a Sep 2008 post on
Yesfans.com, Squire said that some of the songs he had been
working on for a solo album (see below)
"have been diverted to the project" with Hackett.
I’ve just finished [the album] [...] It’s actually one of my greatest achievements I think. The best achievements, I’ve always found, are always when you’re working with someone else and of course when it’s with someone new, I guess it’s like a new relationship, so we really have made this work
The amazing thing is that Steve and I
just work together so well and so naturally and we sing
together really well and the combination of our talent is
really something that doesn’t happen often so we’re both
really pleased with the outcome of the record.
guesting on Hackett's solo albums
Squire has appeared on two of Steve Hackett's solo albums. Out of the Tunnel's Mouth is detailed in the Yescography.
came Beyond the Shrouded Horizon
(InsideOut Music), available as a 2CD limited edition with a
bonus disc of 6 previously unreleased pieces and as a 1 CD
version. Squire plays bass on 3 tracks of the regular CD and
2 tracks of the bonus CD. These use material from 2007
sessions that became tangled in legal issues around
Hackett's divorce from Kim Poor (see above). Performing on
most of the album are Hackett (guitars, vocals, harmonica)
and Roger King (keys, programming), while others include
Gary O'Toole (drums, vocals), Rob Townsend (sax, whistle,
bass clarinet), Nick
Beggs (Kajagoogoo, ex-Steve Howe, ex-Iona; bass,
Stick, pink ukele), Amanda Lehmann (vocals, guitar), John
Hackett (Steve's brother; flute, vocals),
Christine Townsend (violin, viola), Richard Stuart (cello),
Benedict Fenner (keys, programming) and Dick Driver (double
bass). Most tracks were co-written by Steve Hackett, Roger
King and Jo Hackett (Steve's wife, Amanda Lehmann's
||Buy limited edition 2CD version from
||Buy limited edition 2CD version from
The album reached #133 in the UK.
Former solo album plans
Squire was working on a new solo album in 2006/7, co-writing with Gerard Johnson (The Electric Opera/Funky Monkey, St Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter Banks) and Paul Stacey (The Black Crowes, ex-The Syn, worked with Oasis), with a plan to record with Jeremy Stacey (ex-The Syn, Sheryl Crow) as well. Material for around half an album appears to have been developed, but this has been largely adopted into the Squackett project, with one song, "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be", going to Fly from Here. It now appears unlikely that this material will have a life of its own. As for his solo album plans, asked in a May 2012 interview about a follow-up to Fish Out of Water, Squire said:
What seems to happen is every
time I’ve sat down and been disciplined with myself and written
new material, I’m thinking it’s going to go in that direction
and then something else has come up, like the Squackett project.
[...] So it might be best that there will never be a follow up
to Fish Out Of Water…
never say never… but we’ll see what happens . I do want to say
that [the late] Andrew Jackman and his arrangements had a lot to
do with the appealing of that album.
And in a Jun
2012 interview, he said:
I've been trying to make a follow-up [to Fish Out of Water] for years, but the material always gets diverted for other projects [...] But the chances of that happening again in that way is unlikely because a lot of the flavor and the orchestral arrangements [...] were done by my dear friend Andrew Jackman and he is no longer with us. [...] I think I'll not attempt to do a Fish Out Of Water 2. I might stumble upon another way to do it at some point.
In a Mar 2007 post
to alt.music.yes, Johnson said, "Chris, Paul (Stacey) and I
are working on material now, which will be ready when it's ready
and not before." Another report in Mar 2007 talked of Squire,
Johnson and P. Stacey having demo'd four songs with lengths of
around 5-10 minutes. In Oct 2007, Squire blogged that he "will
resume recording my second solo album in November". In the
interview done late 2006 for the Fish Out of Water
re-release (see below), Squire said he had "29
minutes worth of ideas [...] not finished ideas, but ideas." He
also described the material as "leaning in [the] direction" of
having orchestral accompaniment. In a late 2007
interview, Squire was asked from where his inspiration comes
on solo projects. He replied:
In a Nov 2007 Notes from the Edge
interview, Squire said he's "got close to 80% I think of the
material I'm working on for the solo record; I'm pretty much in
good shape, a lot of the lyrics had gotten written". However, the
project appears not to have progressed since 2007, initially in
part because of P. Stacey's other commitments and then with
material and focus shifting to Squackett. In Sep 2008, Squire posted
In Mar 2007, Jem Godfrey (Frost*, worked with Atomic Kitten) met with Squire and blogged:
Chris is making a solo album, most of it is written, but he wanted to get together with me to kick a few ideas about as well. He played me some works in progress and there's some really good things going on. In particular, there was a track called "Can't Stop The Rain" (or something like that), which was really excellent.However, in Sep 2007, Godfrey blogged, "Jordan Rudess has invited me for lunch. Let's hope it goes a bit better than the one I had with Chris Squire..." I am unclear what this means. Scotland Squire said in a Mar 2006 post to Yesfans.com that, "as for who will be participating in the project there are some very interesting musicians that said they would be involved that I won't mention at this time."
So, obviously, I said YES (ahem...)
In an interview for Rolling Stone published Nov 2012, Jimmy Page (ex-Led Zeppelin) said that he has multi-track recordings from the 1981 XYZ sessions with Chris Squire and Alan White and that he would like to see these released at some point. Squire's response to this came in a Jan 2013 interview:
Interviewer: Jimmy Page recently brought up [...] the XYZ sessions [...] even suggesting the idea of releasing some of it. Are you on board with that?
Squire: I wouldn’t have a problem. It was fairly unfinished when we left it; it was pretty much in a demo form, mainly. So it would require some more work. There were only four tunes that were involved in that, so if there is an idea for a serious release of it, there would have to be a little bit more done on it.
Most of the material was songs I had written actually, although Jimmy did contribute. [...] Yeah, we might try and revive it in the future. We’d have to get together, of course, and welcome it, but that wouldn’t be something I’d be opposed to.
While Squire refers to "four tunes" here and that's what has been
bootlegged, there have been past indications that there was
further material beyond those four. A Feb
2013 interview then has this exchange:
Interviewer: [Page] said that there are some multi-track recordings that exist that he’d love to see come out. Would the two of you have to do some additional work to make that happen?
Squire: Probably, yeah. There are bass tracks and drum tracks and guitar tracks, but there wasn’t much in the way of overdubs. I did quite a few vocals and harmonies, but they were somewhat rough. It was intended just really to be demos that we were making anyway. So that’s where it got to really. I know you can probably access that stuff — it’s out there on the web and you can find it, but they are just really rough mixes. How they got out there I’m not really sure, but that’s the way those things happen. So yes, if we seriously did anything with those, they’d need a little bit more work on them.
Chris Squire's Swiss Choir (Stone Ghost; dur. ~55 minutes) is a 13-track Christmas album with prog rock arrangements of traditional carols with Squire on basses and vocals, Gerard Johnson (Funky Monkey, St Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter Banks; keys), Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis; guitar), Jeremy Stacey (ex-The Syn, Adele, Sheryl Crow; drums) and the English Baroque Choir (main vocals; musical director: Jeremy Jackman (Andrew Jackman's brother)).
There’s never really been a plan to do that. I don’t think I would ever want to [...] do a followup to that particular album as it stands very much in its own right. However, I can tell you that there is a 5.1 mix of Fish Out of Water which is in the completion stages at the moment and should be available at some point this year.In mid-Nov 2007, Squire announced on his website that, "In the not too distant future, after delaying the project for awhile, I'm going to start work on my book which will cover my experiences, anecdotes, etc. over the last forty years". In an Aug 2012 Innerview, Squire said he is working on his autobiography with actor/musician/film-maker Vincent Gallo: "I'm doing interviews with him and we're recording them. Vince and I have been good friends for years. He's the godfather of my son. [...] the interviews involve me just remembering stuff about my life. I think the project will take a couple of years. We'll see how it ends up."
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.