Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen
This page last updated: 19 Oct 14
On this page—Yes: On tour - Cruise to the Edge - Heaven & Earth (new album) - Panegyric/Steven Wilson series - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books - Fandom
Projects involving multiple Yes men: Asia (Howe,
Downes) - Anderson
Wakeman - CIRCA: (Sherwood, Kaye) - Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin
- Levin/Torn/White - Sonic Reality project (w/
Sherwood, Kaye et al.) - Cleopatra Records album with
guest artists (w/ Sherwood, Squire, Howe,
Downes, Wakeman, Kaye, Banks)
|Yes news YesWorld; official
for Heaven & Earth
Yes are Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes and Jon Davison. They released a new album, Heaven & Earth (Frontiers Records), in Jul 2014, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, mixed by Billy Sherwood. The band have been touring through much of 2014: Japanese, Australian and New Zealand dates follow this year, with tour plans now for 2015 too. Recent touring in 2014 has been with a new set list, including material from the new album. A date on the 2014 European tour has been recorded for a DVD release.
2014 has also seen The Yes Album re-released with remixes by Steven Wilson and bonus material; Relayer follows in the second half of the year.
|Heaven & Earth—a summary
booklet) ; Frontiers
Records page ; SoundCloud
samples ; electronic
|When||Released 16 Jul (Japan); 18 Jul (most of
Europe); 21 Jul (UK, France); 22 Jul (North America). Review
copies have gone out. "Believe Again" released digitally 13
Jun; "In a World of Our Own" released digitally early Jul.
||Extensive pre-production late 2013. Sessions in Los Angeles, CA ran 6 Jan-14 Mar 2014. Mix in late Mar 2014.|
|Who||Chris Squire: bass, backing vocals
Steve Howe: electric, acoustic & steel guitars (inc. pedal steel), backing vocals
Alan White: drums, percussion
Geoff Downes: keyboards, computer programming (inc. grand piano, Hammond, Solina, synth string & brass arrangements)
Jon Davison: lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar (1, 6)
|Produced by Roy Thomas Baker for RTB Audio
Mixed by Billy Sherwood
Mastered by Maor Appelbaum
Engineered by Dave Dysart, Eric Corson; backing vocals engineered by Sherwood
Assistant engineer: Daniel Meron
Recorded at Neptune Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Painting & logos: Roger Dean; cover art can be seen here (the painting continues on the back)
Sleeve design: Kate Haynes
Photos: Rob Shanahan
Management: Paul Silveira Management
|What||1. "Believe Again"
[Davison/Howe] (8:02), preview at YouTube
2. "The Game"[Squire/Davison/Johnson] (6:51), preview at YouTube
3. "Step Beyond" [Howe/Davison] (5:34), preview at YouTube
4. "To Ascend" [Davison/White] (4:43), preview at YouTube
5. "In a World of Our Own" [Davison/Squire] (5:20), full preview at YouTube
6. "Light of the Ages" [Davison] (7:41), described by Sherwood as his favourite; preview at YouTube
7. "It was All We Knew" [Howe] (4:13)
8. "Subway Walls" [Davison/Downes] (9:03)
Bonus track on Japanese CD:
9. "To Ascend" acoustic version (4:33)
|There were various writing/pre-production
sessions involving all or subsets of the band, dating back
to early 2012. "The Game" is partly based on a demo from the
2006/7 writing sessions by Squire and Gerard Johnson that
also produced "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be" and parts
of the Squackett album.
Davison has said the band had "more music than we can work with" and talked of a "bunch of extra material" that will probably appear on a future album.
|How||Frontiers Records (FR CD 651) in most of
Distribution in the US by Universal; in Germany by Soulfood Entertainment
Release in Japan by Victor Entertainment
|Released as CD (Digipak) and, in Europe,
limited edition 180g 2-disc vinyl release (available in
black or blue). Japan also sees a limited edition SHM-CD
||Fly from Here Peak
||26 (9 Aug)
||36 (30 Jul 2011)
||Best US chart performance since Union
made #15. Made #108 in its second week, whereas Fly from
Here made #97 in its.
|USA Hits Daily Double
||27 (29 Jul); 8,961 first week sales
||11,000 first week sales; 44,000 to date (to
||Uses a projection from a sample of retailers
to come out earlier than the Billboard chart above.
||7 (9 Aug)
||9 (30 Jul 2011)||Out of top 25 in second week.|
||4 (9 Aug)||7 (30 Jul 2011)||#15 in its second week.
||13 (9 Aug)||4 (30 Jul 2011)||Out of top 15 in second week.|
||20 (27 Jul)
||Best UK chart performance since Talk
also made #20. The album was out of the top 100 in its
second week, whereas Fly from Here made #91 in its.
||4 (27 Jul)
||#13 in its second week.|
||10 (23 Jul)
||Out of chart in second week.
||18 (27 Jul)
||Out of chart in second week.|
||did not make top 40
||56 (4 Jul 2011)|
||did not make top 150
||did not make top 100||49
||Best Dutch chart performance since Union made #17. The album was out of the top 100 in its second week, whereas Fly from Here made #77 in its.|
||Best Swiss chart performance since Talk,
also at #29.
||#57 in its second week.
|Flanders (Belgium)||121||did not make top 100||#163 in its second week.|
||did not chart||Out of chart in second week.|
||did not make top 60||31
||did not make top 40||24
||45 (week 30)
||did not make top 50||Out of the top 50 in its second week.
||did not make top 50||did not make top 50|
||did not make top 40||did not make top 40|
|Global Chart Report
||31 (25 Jul); 20,000 sales
Steve doesn't really do much rhythm guitar (electric) per se, as he tends to use the electric for lead work and effects. Hence my approach tends to work with him, as it provides harmonic support for his style of playing. The idea behind 'Believe Again' was more of a Vangelis approach in the verse sections, then moving blocks of Hammond to support the vocals in the choruses.He also described "Subway Walls" as "a very heavy keyboard feature throughout". In an article in the Jul 2014 Prog, White described the album: "It's different from anything we've ever done". Downes similarly called it "a departure from anything Yes have done before". Davison described it as "unknown territory. It's very Yes-like but there's something very unique about it." Howe said: "It's too soon to say, really[.] We've achieved some level of perfection. Will I be playing it in five years? It's hard to say." Baker called "Believe Again" and "The Game" as his favourite tracks. In a Sep 2014 interview, Howe said, "It's an unusual album in a way. It has a light element to it". He says that "'Light of the Ages' is the kind of song that Yes needs to play[.] I play just steel guitar on that one, and Jon plays rhythm guitar. I like his rhythm work. It's really good to have a great rhythm guitarist in the group." He goes on to talk about "Subway Walls":
There’s a song [that's] got lots of complexity [...] that piece was really scary — complex, almost, like, ‘Where is the beat? Where’s the beat gone in this?’The article concludes with this quote: "If Yes make albums where none of us have to think, it must be...really appalling[,] because it's only when you have to work on music that you're doing something of value."
It’s by no means a concept album, but there are some lyrical themes [...] As the album title signifies, there’s this tendency of dichotomy in our personalities, which reflect in our relationships. It’s sort of a call to transcend the complacency we tend to fall into in our lives. So the lyrics encourage us to perfect our relationships, and go for the real meaning of what life is all about. Which is what we give along the way through the course of our lives. The love we give. [...] It’s not so much that I was rich and powerful, or whatever it might be, and that as individuals we succeed on a material level."Believe Again" is rumoured to have had a working title of "We Used to Believe" and to have originated with Davison, dating back to at least early 2013. "The Game" is partly based on an idea that goes back to the 2006/7 writing sessions by Squire and Gerard Johnson (The Electric Opera/Funky Monkey, St Etienne, ex-The Syn, ex-Peter Banks) that also produced "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be" and songs on Squackett's A Life Within a Day album. White has said "To Ascend" began with a piano piece of his.
Got a phone call from the Yes camp tonight, asking me to engineer the backing vocal sessions for their new record. Tomorrow I start with Jon Davison, Squire comes in later in the day to sing, Steve Howe after that and so on for the next week or so...(One report suggests that Sherwood effectively worked with the band on arranging the backing vocals.) The studio time used was shorter than for recent Yes albums and the band were rushed at the end. Squire explained to the Jun 2014 issue of Prog: "This did help focus [...] us on what we were recording, but at one time it led to us working simultaneously in three studios[.] Roy was in the main room at the studio in LA working on guitar overdubs. I was in a smaller room with Billy Sherwood getting the vocal harmonies completed, and Alan White was in a Seattle studio doing drum parts. But it worked out fine." In the Jul 2014 Prog, Squire described this period as "a kind of fun pressure, not a nasty pressure. Everyone rose to the occasion." In a late Mar 2014 interview (seemingly done some time between 27-9 Mar), Davison described the end of the sessions thus:
we finished recording just in time [...] we were doubling up in the studio, meaning that Chris and I were still there working on background vocals, Steve was finishing guitars at the same time. Geoff was in Wales, Alan in Seattle, and they were both sending tracks still. Alan had some percussion to do. So we were just kind of throwing everything in at the last minute. And then we only had, I think, two or three days maximum before we had to start this [Canadian] tour [first show was 19 Mar]. The tracks still have to be mixed and Roy Thomas Baker will start that in a couple of days. And then what he's going to do is send us, um, mix examples and then we all kind of sign off on them, or make, er, comments about changes we feel needed.Davison explained this approach to mixing was because "we just ran out of time". Davison above, Squire and Howe in an interview with Vintage Rock, and a first press release refer to Baker mixing Heaven & Earth, as was the original plan. Indeed, the band said on the cruise (11 Apr) that Baker was currently mixing the album. However, Sherwood mixed the album, at his own CIRCA:HQ studios, using Hafler speakers. On 16 May, he said on Facebook that, "I'm mixing the new YES record !!! Finished the 1st song late last night and now heading into the 2nd track." Late on 17 May, he said, "Mixing the new Yes record "Heaven & Earth".... 2 songs of 9 so far, "everybody happy happy happy". Moving into the 3rd track as we speak." 18 May, he described mixing the third song; 19 May, the fourth; 20 May, the fifth, with this comment: "song 5 of 9 today, spoke to the band, everyone happy happy happy with the mixes". Song 6 was mixed on 21 May, song 7 on 22 May, and the last two on 23 May. Sherwood said on 23 May: "Finished all the mixes for the new YES record... now I'm going to address a few minor tweaks the band members have (turn this up a bit or down etc...) and then it's off to mastering". And on 24 May: "Mixing Yes, actually doing some little tweaks on the mixs... I had Squire on Skype as I was addressing a few things with the mix, it was a blast lol. Tomorrow the entire band will be on skype with me as we'll be looking at the last and final tweaks." Posting in the early hours of the 26th, Sherwood said, "Operation "Mix Heaven And Earth for YES" is done [...] All mix[e]s done and dropped of at the mastering studio. [...] FUn day, working closely with the band , they were on skype from Holland while I was in my studio in LA. We did 8 hours of it, came out great, everybody happy happy happy !!!" In a Jul 2014 interview with MusicRadar, Howe said, "we just didn't feel that it was quite Yes" (seemingly referring to an initial mix by Baker). He continued: "Billy has a history with the band [...] we trusted him [...] That's how the swinging roundabout came; we might have been going around with this with Roy Thomas Baker, but that's not how we finished it. We wanted Billy to bring it back to Yes Central."
Ever since I joined the band there was talk that there would be a new album coming down the line, so I immediately started getting my ideas together. I’ve done a lot of songwriting with Glass Hammer, so I was prepared to really take this album on fully. [...] Early on, I met with Chris a few times and we started collaborating. And we met another time later and solidified a couple of our ideas, which have made it to the album. I went up to Washington to work with Alan, and that song’s also on the album. I flew up to the UK to work with Steve individually and then later Geoff individually. We had a lot of extra ideas too, that haven’t made it to the record, not because they’re any poorer in quality, but it’s just because we reached the time limit. We had enough music to work with. [...] it was just really exciting working individually with each member, and then we came together collectively, which also was really rewarding to see the bare bones ideas of demos really come to a complete realization as each musician plays the parts and interprets the parts, expands on the ideas. [...] the music becomes about the band as a whole.In an Apr 2014 interview, Squire described the album: "It's pretty well song-based in many ways, but it also has the kind of Yes style of expanding songs into musical pieces [...] it's definitely got the Yes stamp of arrangement on the album, there's no doubt about that." He continued, "[Davison] worked with the other four of us on a couple of tracks each, and we've come together at the end of the album with some very strong music." In one Apr 2014 interview, Howe had said, "we have tracks over ten minutes!", although none on the final album are that long. In an Aug 2014 interview, Davison also described the album:
You have to just go where the creativity takes you[.] At this stage in the game they [the others in Yes] want to ease back into some almost relaxing music[.] I don’t mean to sound like everyone’s dull by any means because that’s not it at all. [...]And then about the creation of the album:
it’s just a phase in their lives where it’s kind of an easy-listening record. It just kind of warms over you if you let it. It’s a lighter shade of Yes
I was just so passionate about doing an album, again because they’ve inspired me for so many years. I just brought a lot to the table[.]In the Jul 2014 interview with MusicRadar, when the interviewer said they would not call the album 'prog rock' (save for "Subway Walls"), Howe replied:
There wasn’t a lot of time [to record] [...] we had to really buckle down and get some product organized. I just had so much [...] they felt like they were happy to take it on board. At least take what they felt had potential and fine-tune it.
And I think I made it easy for them in a lot of ways[.] They were very inspired as a result. They just fed off my excitement and enthusiasm.
[...] I guess so. But [...] when somebody at Mercedes-Benz goes to work, they don’t ask themselves if they’re an Audi or a Volkswagen. They know they’re a Mercedes-Benz. When Yes goes to work, we don’t ask ourselves if we’re another band. We’re Yes. But that’s a pretty broad stroke.Back to the Vintage Rock interview and the interviewer asked Howe, "you left Asia last year but are still busier than ever. How do you do it?" His reply sheds light on one song on the album: "there's a song on the album called "It Was All We Knew," which isn't exactly about work, but basically I'm at home in my comfort zone, being in Yes and having a schedule that's somewhat demanding, but keeps me off the streets."
[...] when you look at Open Yours Eyes or other albums [...] we deviate from being just another straight-ahead, thoroughbred prog band. [...] remember that we took nothing but criticism [...] for being a prog band [...] you can’t blame us for sometimes wanting to edge away from it. But we don’t do that because we want to; we do that because of the material we’ve got.
It was the same with Fly From Here: [...] we didn’t say, ‘Oh, we’re not gonna make this record ‘cause it’s not prog.’ Or ‘We’re not gonna make this record ‘cause it’s too prog.’ Therefore, we would have upset everybody who thinks we’re indulgent, technical show-offs. We were never that. [...] through the ‘70s, all we were was an honest band that did what we did. And that’s all Heaven & Earth is.
We can’t change our mold. On this record, we’ve just got those songs. Some of them were a little bit dangerously close to being accessible, but some of them might not be dangerously close to being accessible. We don’t have a mold. I mean, I love the Keys To Ascension and I love the ‘70s, but we’re not always there. We just have to accept that, and so does our audience.
In some ways, some people in our band might be trying to appease people and give them something accessible. [...] I can say that we are more accessible – as writers, that’s what comes to us. I don’t disagree [...] about Subway Walls. It’s a profoundly good arrangement; we really developed a lot of ideas. I think it shows what weight Jon Davison has brought to us. He collaborated on the music with [Geo]ff as much as I did with him on Believe Again.
It’s a real mixed bag of writing, and it isn’t all the same, thank goodness. Some of it does lean a bit to close to ‘la la la-la-la,’ but that’s what we are
He’s come through with some great material.In another Apr 2014 interview, Howe was asked about the sound of the album:
His writing has been building up for a few years, and he's been looking for an outlet. The singer is expected to do that. Benoit [David] wasn't a writer, really. That's why Trevor Horn was involved in writing “Fly From Here.”
Now we’re much more independent. We don’t have a producer to write songs, so therefore we have to come up with them ourselves, and Jon is really excellent.
it sounds pretty different for us. [...] we are presenting a new writer [with Davison] alongside what Chris and Geoff and I are writing. It[...] has a lot of freshness, and I think that’s quite a healthy thing. The cross-writing is quite interesting, as Jon has written with most of us. There’s quite a collaborative sense that Jon brought into play [...] And his voice — we’ve gotten to see the effect of that element because of Roy Thomas Baker as we checked the mixes and got the whole feel. I’ve become quite happy with the album, and think it will be somewhat more of a surprise than Fly From Here.In an Apr 2014 interview with Prog Sphere, Howe described taking "a long time to collaborate [...] and I wanted that to be a longer process." He then talked about Heaven & Earth being "not strictly speaking a concept record but the basic idea of heaven and earth came about from some different title ideas which we presented to Roger Dean, who mistakenly one day called it Heaven And Earth". In Jun 2014, in the Prog Magazine podcast, Squire had a simpler explanation: "Heaven and Earth was actually the title of Roger Dean's painting. […] Roger said, 'I've got this painting. It's called Heaven and Earth. How about using that as your album title?' We went, 'Why not?'" In the Prog Sphere interview, Howe explained how the titles represents a duality: "how Earth is a physical place, it's about measurement and distance [...] all the things that science loves to document and accurately record, and then Heaven is something that's more free-willing [wheeling?]. You could call it religion if you wanted to but for a lot of people it isn't religion, it's a spirituality with our religion [...] it's all about imagination and the unknown. I think these two things are great parallels, like Yin and Yang, right and wrong, good and bad – it's a whole mix of those extremes [...] on one side you have heaven which is pure fantasy, on the other side you have earth which is pure physical." Dean's cover, also reportedly called "Frozen", continues the floating island theme from across much of his work (cf. Fragile and Yessongs), and which is part of his ongoing plans for a feature film. In a Jun 2014 interview, Davison described first sending Dean "a few samples of the lyrical direction to kind of give him an idea of where we were going. [...] that helps fund his creative outlook."
Brian Neeson: Reports from other interviews suggest that there was a wealth of new Material “enough for 2 albums” ..?White later added: "It's all fresh music. Everything on the album was conceived within the last year or so." And: "No epics on this album but there are some longer pieces with intricate parts to them, but there are some shorter tracks too which are right to the point." Brian asked about a title and White replied, "We are on the brink of having a title right now. We are working with Roger Dean on exactly what that is." In the 23 Feb interview, White spoke of a release date in "April sometime". Asked what the album sounds like, he replied:
White: There wasn’t quite enough for two Albums. We decided we would work with what we had and take it to this point. There is some extra stuff but it would take it a lot of work to make it to a Yes album.
It’s hard to explain! Jon Davison has [...] written material for the new album that has really wonderful melodies. There’s a certain amount of great musicianship and just generally, what you’d expect from Yes, a lot of great harmonies, great guitars, good high performance music.Describing the album in another Mar 2014 interview, White said:
As far as Yes music goes, there’s going to be a lot of song value in it as opposed to the instrumental stuff.In the SYN interview, White also talked about Davison's contribution, saying, "He's been working on the lyrics and the melodies on the new album. He's a really good songwriter. He presents that to the band, and of course we all work on those, change them and turn them into what they are. [...] He is very serious about his vocals and he gets the job done." In an interview published 21 Mar 2014, Squire said, "[Davison] has contributed very strongly to that [the new album] in terms of writing, both musically and lyrically [...] Jon Davison has brought in an interesting quality of songwriting and lyric writing. He has pretty much written all the lyrics for this album." The article also said the album is being mixed and has no title yet—although one soon followed. In a late Mar 2014 interview, Downes talked about various aspects to the album:
It’s just because that’s the way the music turned out – it’s what we wanted to do and we’re happy with it.
It’s been very inspirational working with [Baker] [...] The old school approach on certain things makes you realize how great those early albums were in construction and recording techniques. The [new] album is an interesting mix of hi-tech and vintageWhite said in the electronic press kit: "It seemed like an opportune time to get into recording a new album. I think everybody in the band had quite a bit of material that we need to get out of our systems". Downes continued, "It's not dissimilar to the way we approached the last album [...] we like to get the sound together first, so we spent quite a bit of time rehearsing the backing tracks, experimenting with ideas, and that kind of thing. The actual recording process itself is just a case of refining it... y'know, trying to turn it into something special". Davison said, "Ever since I joined this band, I've been preparing for this album. I got going on demos right away. Really inspired [...] to hear the band take home what I've offered, interpret it differently and add their own thing to it, their own flavours. And it's just expanded these songs." Howe added: "Every album is different. [...] it feels different, a different time, a different sensibility. Maybe a different mood too, which I think comes through in the music [...] we've got Jon Davison now [...] he's also a writer, a musician, a very fine musician [...] so, um, that meant that Geoff Downes and I and Chris and Alan could kind of just come here and start on the first track."
There was quite a long period to the end of last year where ideas were tossed around between various members, so there has been a general collaborative feel to the making of the album. We had a good idea of what we were going to record prior to going in to the studio, and worked closely with Roy on the choice of material.
[Davison] has really stepped up to the plate, and we’ve seen what a talent he truly is, not just as a vocalist, but also in an all round musical sense.
He certainly does. And the kind of hidden obviousness of the lyrics becomes expanded when somebody else plunks some other lyrics which are kind of just a little bit more out there. We like that. It is a characteristic that we endorse and recommend, because our music isn’t about . . . I was going to say hate, but that sounds a bit too extreme. But our music’s not about troubles, it’s about belief.Howe talked about the album in an Apr 2014 interview, saying:
I was the guy holding everybody back. Because they thought they could do it sooner [...] and I said “No, we just haven’t gotten the material.” So October/November we had to rethink about the material and who had songs. So in fact it could have been a real botched job to have done it any sooner.He had more to say in an Aug 2014 interview:
[...] there’s no substitute for the work you’ve got to put in writing songs. That’s something that we do when we’re home or something we do when [...] we’re in an environment where we can write. We did some collaboration so that we could share some of those ideas with each other
we didn’t know if Jon [Davison] was going to do as much collaboration as he did, but he came quite heavily armed with a lot of music anyway as I did, so there was a kind of pool happening with different songs and “where’s this going to go” and “where’s that going to go.” Jon proved his worth and he got the energy up to [...] see me in the U.K. and see Geoff [...] He made himself mobile to see what would happen if he was a common spirit between the music.
Obviously, he didn’t write all of the album, but he had a lot of source material [...] we just basically put our heads together in different numbers. Then when January came around, that was the first time that we really did a short rehearsal. [...] we didn’t really need to do much of that, but we had to get in the studio and start looking at each song [...] So there is a variety of different songwriting collaborations and also songs from Jon and myself that aren’t collaborated on.
I had plenty of songs. I could have written, like Jon could’ve [...] the whole album. But, we didn’t want to; that wouldn’t be Yes, and so we had plenty to collaborate on and plenty for my next project [laughs]. [...] it’s what people go for [...] in the songs. The guys heard “It Was All We Knew”, Jon liked it, and we did “It Was All We Knew”. I didn’t know whether it was going to make it through the sometimes dubious course of being talked about, being recorded, and then being overdubbed and then being mixed. There were places along there, with all the songs, there were risky moments.In an article in the Jul 2014 Prog, Squire said, "I won't say from which area, but there was some dissent about whether we should make an album at all because nobody makes any money out of them any more [...] Fly from Here [...] ended up costing us[.] So we were definitely a bit more cautious this time." He goes on, "It was important to do an album with Jon [Davison.] He's been with us a couple of years and he's a creative person in his own right". In an Aug 2014 interview, Squire said:
But that’s the way albums are constructed. I mean, I have not changed. I just do the same thing. It just so happened that “It Was All We Knew” was a song that stayed like it was originally, more or less. [...] I wrote most of “Step Beyond” and Jon collaborated with me. And in reverse, Jon wrote most of “Believe Again” and I collaborated with him. [...] maybe we’ll do that a lot more together in the future.
[...] we make albums. I held back a lot ‘cause I said we need a lot of material. [...] we only had enough for an album by the time we were ready, but most of it had been semi-approved and very, very little had been throwbacks from prior from here. So in a way we tried not to do that - just do things that were throwbacks prior from here that we didn’t do then - because we thought that the material needed to be fresh. And, for the most part, that’s what we did. So that material was not only comparatively fresh, it was recorded starting January and then it was released [...] July-August. [...] it could be the freshest Yes album ever as far as it being created and then released.
Whether that’s a good thing I can’t say. In a way it isn’t totally a good thing because we could’ve spent a bit more time on it. We were up against the wall. We had a tour coming and we just tried our hardest. [...] we could have spent another week on mixing and refining it. But, there again, we didn’t; and we couldn’t. [...] That happens.
I was really looking forward to us being able to do an album of new material with [Davison], so we could solidify his presence in the band. I recognized that he was a great lead vocalist when he first sang for us. But once I got to know him, and we wrote some songs together, I realized he was pretty talented in that area as well. So I suggested [...] the new album be done in the way where I’d write a few songs with him, and Steve, Alan, and Geoff would, too. And that was the principal that we [...] went with.In the Apr 2014 interview, Howe also talked about the choice of producer, saying, "you have a list and you take things off of it and then you end up realizing that a certain name is right. [...] we had other people and we talked to other people. We kicked the ball around the yard a fair bit, but we kept coming back to Roy [...] and his enthusiasm was very solid. We got good implications from his attitude that we needed somebody and he was interested in Yes." He also described how the album name arose from him and Roger Dean talking, and that it represents "the dualistic quality of the known and the unknown and the more you look at the known the more you see that there's even more unknown than you knew before." In the 2014 Vintage Rock interview, Howe talked more about Baker: "he understands in a different way, more probably, what Yes is like, what Yes is about, than what maybe Trevor Horn does because they likely see Yes quite differently. And I think that will be one of the marked differences in these two records [Heaven & Earth vs. Fly from Here]." In the same article, Squire put it like this: "Roy is very musical, but I think the emphasis or his background definitely came from the engineering and sound sculpture point of view, as opposed to other producers who are more overall conceptualists. Trevor Horn is a little more like that, a conceptual producer. Roy I think definitely started off in the engineer's seat, and has a wide knowledge of sound."
I was all really quite comfortable with it, especially because we started one-on-one. I started in Phoenix with Chris. We solidified a few ideas together. And then I went up to Seattle and worked with Alan. And then flew to the UK and went up to the countryside with Steve and that was great. I was there for about a week. We got a lot done as well. Then I went to Wales to work with Geoff one-on-one.Early Apr 2014, Downes tweeted about the "big prog piece", confirming events: "Yes that's true. It's 15 minutes long with 6 or 7 different sections. Shame we didn't record it for this album". In the Jul 2014 Prog, Howe, Squire and White all confessed to no knowledge of the piece, but Downes has more: "We started it initially in a studio in Phoenix with Chris and Alan — we spent time jamming it and I compiled various section. [...] when Jon came to Wales [...] we worked on it some more [and on "Subway Walls"] [...] we just didn't have time to put it together for the record. It doesn't have a title". In the interview Jun 2014 with Jon Kirkman, Squire said, "I think some of that [...] longer track [...] is actually used in "Subway Walls" [...] On the other hand, [...] Geoff and Alan both came to Phoenix [...] in November [...] and we went in the studio there and did some instrumental stuff [...] that we thought would be part of a bigger piece, but that didn't actually get used on the album just because we drew a line [...] [We] said, 'No, we can't do more than this right now, let's just work on these.' [...] I'm sure they'll re-surface in the future." In a Jul 2014 interview, Howe was asked whether the band avoided epics on the new album. He replied:
We all did a lot of writing on our own, especially myself. [...] I had lots of material. [...] when we came together [...] we would sort of try to, er, combine the ideas, expand the ideas [...] for example, Steve might have an idea and I would, "Hey, let's try this with it," and we would just kind of start blending things together, expanding concepts, especially Geoff and I, we had a big prog piece, but unfortunately we didn't have time to finish it, so that'll probably be on the next album, and we've got a bunch of extra material too that just didn't make it because of, we had sufficient time for this album and things were just left undone, just again due to lack of time.
I think it touches on all aspects of Yes, seventies, eighties. But mainly it's a really fresh sounding album. [...] Personally, I feel like it's light years from Fly from Here. [...] a fresh, new direction.
There were times when people started constructions that were really kind of growing, and somewhat meandering, and including another song. And the group’s reaction to that was kind of like, well, hang on, this is gone too far — I’ve lost the plot here. We didn’t have the right balance to do that this time, and therefore the songs stood out more individually without a great deal of expansion. But that wouldn’t mean that we shouldn’t or couldn’t or don’t want to do that in the future.In another Jul 2014 interview, on the same subject, Squire said: "we definitely wanted to try and pin down the actual songs".
“We usually take our time when we get a new member in the band [...] We didn’t know how prolific of a songwriter that Jon [Davison] was. When we learned, he really put a lot of himself into the project.”An article in the Jul 2014 Prog has this chronology: "Squire explains that Davison came to his house in Phoenix, Arizona towards the end of 2012 to work on new material. After completing a couple of songs, Davison flew to Seattle to write with White, and then to England for collaborations with Howe and, in Wales, Downes." Squire explains: "we were maximising Jon as the fresh element, allowing him to interact with each of us. Then we came together at rehearsals and started playing on the tracks we'd each been working on with him." Davison said, "Chris and I started right away, in 2012. I was over at his home and we were composing together from early on. [...] songs developed over the course of a year and a half." An article in the Jul/Aug issue (#162) of German magazine Eclipsed has this:
Squire says normally making an album would take more than five months, but for “Heaven & Earth,” the band completed it in three.
“Every album has been different,” he says. “I believe this was one of the fastest we have made. It was due to us being ready for everything. We got everything lined up and it all worked out.”
“We had these writing sessions that were amazing,” he says. “It was all very relaxed for the entire band.”
Als er vor gut zwei Jahren bei Yes anheuerte, war Davison klar, „dass wir eine Platte aufnehmen werden. Vor allem Chris und ich trieben die Sache voran. Wir arbeiteten eifrig an Liedern. Der Rest der Gruppe kam erst später hinzu.“ Squire muss lachen, als wir ihn mit Davisons Einschätzung der Aufnahmesituation konfrontieren: „Na ja, so das würde ich so nicht unterschreiben. Der gute Jon überschätzt unser beider Stellenwert bei Yes ein wenig. Tatsache ist, dass wir alle ein neues Album mit neuem Material voranbringen wollten. Zwar eine Platte, bei der Jon als Sänger im Vordergrund steht. Aber definitiv eine Platte, die im Patchwork aus allen fünf Mitgliedern der Gruppe entstehen sollte.“That is, Davison was clear he wanted to make a new album as soon as he joined the band, and he describes himself and Squire as driving the process, with the rest of the band coming later, although Squire offers another view. Davison added: "Ich kam mit jeder Menge lnspiration und Enthusiasmus zu dieser Gruppe [...] lch will Yes mit 'Heaven & Earth' meinen Stempel aufdrücken. Mit der Produktion soll klar werden, dass ich die Sache weitgehend vorangebracht habe." In a Jun 2014 interview, Davison said:
we were working on it for more than a year on an individual level, mainly. But, Chris and I got together earlier on, even in 2012, I think, and were already starting to write. [...] these were just little spurts, because we stayed so busy [...] touring. [...] Whenever we had an opportunity, I think we were all working, individually, since we all live apart. [...] eventually, we got together on a one-on-one basis regularly. I went to Europe and I worked with Geoff, and I worked with Steve. I worked with Alan up in Washington last year  a bit. This is the way it was until about January of this year , and then we came together as a group. And, as a whole band, we then constructed the songs; the demos, we brought to life. You know, everyone learned the parts, or reinvented the parts. Everyone collaborated uniformly.And in another Jun 2014 interview, he said:
The first thing that happened was that I went out to Chris Squire’s house and set up my portable pro-tools rig so that we could write together. From there, things continued on a one-on-one basis. In late December of 2013, I flew to Steve Howe’s farm house [...] we worked together for about a week collaborating extensively. I then did the same thing with Geoff Downes [...]In a Jul 2014 interview, Davison said:
In January 2014, the band convened in Los Angeles prior to the recording of the album. That was when the music really came to life as everyone was now involved and we were collaborating on the music as a band. [...]
That was an amazing experience… to hear the material I had been painstakingly working on for more than a year in my home studio finally come to life! [...] A week later, we were already in the studio laying down the basic tracks and moving forward with the album.
Chris Squire and I got together [in Phoenix] and worked on ‘The Game’ and ‘In a World of Our Own’ back in 2012[.] Then I went and saw Steve [...] and we worked on new material. Then it was Wales to write with Geoff. And I went to Seattle to work with Alan.He then talked about writing "To Ascend": "I did a lot of writing for that song while living in a camper van with my wife[.] We have this little conversion van and we were trekking through northern California, Oregon and Washington – just staying in the middle of nowhere out in the forest." And in an Aug 2014 interview, Davison said:
It was all one-on-one initially and then we got together before doing the album to solidify and arrange the music as a band. That’s when everything came to life.
I had a big creative burst. I was so excited to join the band [...] Right when I joined [...] we were already talking about an album. And I was demoing, and in any spare time I could get [...] so this album is the result of a long time preparation and anticipation.He added how he plays acoustic guitar on two tracks "because I write a lot on the acoustic. That doesn't mean I always play acoustic on the songs I wrote, even though I maybe started with an acoustic. It's always been a tradition in Yes; Jon Anderson's main instrument is the acoustic guitar, but sometimes it goes beyond the acoustic and it's translated to a keyboard part. Or Steve would take over the part and flesh it out, and make it really grand". A Jul 2014 interview with Howe had this exchange:
Really as a band, it was just at the final stages that we collaborated and arranged the music. But in terms of bare-bones ideas, demos, I was doing a lot of personal prep work for more than a year, and then in December  was when we really started buckling down, and we would work one on one, we’d do sessions; I worked with Steve and [...] Down[e]s [...] and then I went out to Arizona with Chris, and I was up in Washington with Alan, so there was a one-on-one period too. There were definitely different phases, or tiers, if you will, toward the final plateau of recording.
Interviewer: How were you able to make “Heaven & Earth” so quickly, given that you’ve spent so much time on the road these past few years?In the interview Jun 2014 with Jon Kirkman, Squire said: "Jon [Davison] and I first got together and started working on a couple of songs [...] earlier in the year [i.e., earlier than summer, so early 2013] [...] we re-got back together in November  to sort of like polish them up and put them in better shape. But I realised, the first time I worked with him, that he is obviously very talented in the writing area and that, y'know, the next Yes album [...] would be best served by him interacting with the other guys who were already in the band. And so I said, 'Let's finish off these couple of songs that we're doing, and then you go and work with Steve and Geoff and Alan on a couple of songs each,' and that's basically the plan we came up with and we stuck to it." Kirkman then asked about the importance of the pre-production sessions. Squire replied: "We put together a sort of a demo reel [...] [of] the songs that we were working on and then we all got them to listen to, and then we all started to add our own bits at home. And then we got together in Los Angeles [...] and went into a rehearsal room first to [...] make the final decisions about which tracks we were going to go for and to take the arrangements a little further down the line. So we did that for [...] maybe 10 days. And then we went straight into the studio [...] we knew at that point that we didn't have a lot of time." Talking through the album, Squire described "Step Beyond" as a "fairly simple track for Yes, but actually it's very, very catchy. It's a bit of a pop song, but it's got [...] Yesisms about it." He continued to describe "Light of the Ages" and "Subway Walls" as "both very proggy tracks. And we wanted to represent that we still have that side of us going because [...] some of the other tracks are quite poppy."
Howe: It was quite easy, really. Over that time, different songs got written — not necessarily on tour, but fragments might have been — and then other things collaborated on, and then Jon [Davison] did circulation around everybody to see what they had and what he could help with, what he could do with something of somebody’s else’s. Within two months we were able to walk in with demos on every song, and then say, let’s record this.
Right now we’re just getting ready, we're writing and getting ready to make a new album, which we're gonna start in January [...] we hope to have that ready for release some time around next summer [...] The difference between Jon Davison and Benoit David is that Jon is a pretty good writer and has been doing that for quite a while. So his input into the band collaboration, along together with everyone else, is going to put another slant on Yes, I hope, and we'll come up with something fresh.In the Dec 2013 issue of Prog, Squire said:
We're currently writing songs [...] The aim is to go into the studio at the start of 2014, and have recording finished by March.The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who is best known for producing multiple Queen releases (including "Bohemian Rhapsody") and has also produced Nazareth, Hawkwind, The Cars, Journey, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Chris de Burgh, Guns N' Roses and The Smashing Pumpkins. He also worked with Gentle Giant, The Moody Blues, Egg, Frank Zappa, Ginger Baker, T. Rex, Ten Years After and Foreigner. He previously worked with Yes, producing the band's aborted Paris sessions in late 1979, and later produced Jon Anderson's 3 Ships. In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, asked about Baker's previous involvement with Yes, Downes said, "for Steve Howe and Chris Squire, it's a case of unfinished business [...] they were keen to get Roy back on board." He is then asked whether any material from the Paris sessions is being used on the new album: "None [...] we've written the new material from scratch. [...] it's starting from a clean slate. No baggage left over." Asked in Brian Neeson's SYN interview about Baker, White said, "Roy is a smart guy and he knows where we should be going. He is getting on fine with the guys. He says his piece and he is very much part of what is going on." Neeson then asked about getting White's sound right on the album; White replied, "We spent quite a while getting the drum sound right. Roy is quite meticulous about which microphones get the right sound. We were using about $50,000 worth of microphones on the drums alone." In one of his Apr 2014 interviews, Howe said Baker "added his approach very subtley [sic] and very gradually into the recordings; he got things the way he wanted. He had nothing to do with our previous relationship at all which we all had virtually forgotten about anyway". In another, Howe described how the band was looking for someone with as much experience as them. He also related how Baker was suggested to the band, but they initially rejected the idea. (To quote the interview, in Czech: "Hledali jsme někoho, kdo má stejně jako my hodně zkušeností. Někdo ho zmínil, ale nejdřív jsme to zavrhli. Potom jsme však měli pocit, že bychom to měli zkusit.") Squire, in a Jun radio interview, described how other producers they were considering wanted to hear demos of the new album before the band felt they were ready, whereas Baker was willing to commit without doing so, and that is one of the reasons they chose him. In the Jun 2014 Kirkman interview, Squire discussed the choice of Baker, explaining how the band's manager, Paul Silveira, used to work for Baker ("about twenty years ago"). He went on: "We put out a couple of feelers to a couple of people [...] We didn't really want to work with Trevor Horn again even though [...] Trevor's, y'know, a really good mate of mine [...] We thought, 'No, let's work with somebody else.' [...] Roy was very favourable to the idea. [...] He was also very trusting in that we would come to the studio [...] with some ideas that he would like. So he wasn't one of those, 'Well, I'll have to hear the material before I can make up my mind'. [...] We liked Roy's attitude towards working with us."
I think it is my time now to step forward and reveal who I am. I have tried to do that in the context of the tour and that was balancing; performing the great Works of the band yet rendering and adjusting myself. [...] On the new material I can play around more and explore my own expressions, my uniqueness. The new music is very Yes-like but shows a lot more of my individuality.Davison described the material: "It will be more 70s sounding but we are touching on all that is Yes. [...] we have a wide variety of music. Actually we have more music than we can work with, so we have to consolidate what we have."
White: I’m gonna get together with Chris and just kind of toss some ideas around and maybe get the foundations of some new album work. [...]It had appeared that the band were planning studio work in late 2013, for an earlier album release in spring 2014, but that timetable shifted. They were working on new music through much of 2012 and have continued to do so through 2013, with a number of demos under consideration. For example, Squire and Davison were working together in late Aug/early Sep. In a May 2013 Brazilian TV appearance by Squire and White, Squire said, "We are looking at making a new album towards the end of this year . [...] We're going to compose some original music; we've already started with that process [...] maybe by the spring of 2014, there will be release of new musics. [...] maybe by March, April, something like that." In a Jul 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Squire said, "the next thing we're looking at doing is a new studio album [...] then we'll go out on the road and promote that. So that's what's up next for YES – is recording." And in another interview later that month, he said, "We're doing this touring [see below] right now and then towards the end of the year  we'll be looking to make some new, original music for a new studio album. That's going to be the next project and that's going to take us into 2014." A fan who met Downes and White in Apr 2013 reported they said the plan was for a spring 2014 release with 5 tour legs in support following, starting with a 2014 summer tour of the US. They also described the album as a "new Drama".
Interviewer: That’s great to hear you’re taking that step forward with the new album.
White: [...] we’ll be passing ideas around of the foundation musically – that kinda thing, with the view of building this stuff into concrete ideas for a new album, hopefully early in the next year  some time.
Jon[ Davison]’s a great guy, a real pleasure to work with. He’s really talented, has a wonderful voice [...] He has great ideas, and he’s a very talented songwriter.
Interviewer: When I talked to Chris Squire [...] he said one of the things he really liked about Jon is that he has a lot of musical ideas. Is he toying with the idea of bringing some of his own material into the songwriting process for the next album?
White: Absolutely! He’s got many, many great ideas up to this point that we’re taking in, and everybody’s excited about what he comes up with.
"We're already looking at bits and starting to gather music together," he reports. "It's really just in the germination stage at the moment."Later rumours (in Aug/Sep) downplayed these sessions, describing them as an opportunity to assess new material (see also this comment by Davison in a Jul 2013 interview: "A new album is in the works[.] After th[e summer] tour, Steve Howe goes out to do a solo project and then in October we will all convene to look at ideas we've been sharing and ideas we've been coming up with on a personal level"). In the end, there was no full group meet-up that month. However, Downes tweeted on 16 Nov that he had had a "Great week in Phoenix working with the Yes rhythm section aka White & Squire." Davison was then staying with Downes in Wales later that month, working on material.
I think that remains to be seen, at this point. Fly From Here was really well received and we have talked about carrying on that theme into the next album, but the new album is really in the baby stages and we’re all just talking about it and trying to get a concept in our heads as to what it should be.In another Jan 2013 interview, Squire said: "We'll see what the end of the year  brings when we make a new album." In this Feb 2013 interview, he said, "We'll be recording some new music later on in the year ." A Jan 2013 video interview with Downes had this comment from him: "We're looking now towards maybe doing some more recording towards the end of the year  but, as I say, you never know, it's always very much how things pan out." And a Feb 2013 interview has these comments from him when asked about the direction of the new album:
Well, there are only small ideas at the moment. There’s nothing that’s been seriously rehearsed or looked at yet. We’re just starting to collect ideas now and we won’t get into the recording of a new album until at least the end of this year . So there’s quite a lot of water to go under the bridge before we get there.In his Apr 2013 YesWorld Q&A, asked about a possible new album for 2014, Squire answered:
I’m excited to be working on [it], especially as Jon [Davison] is [...] also [...] a writer as well, so the combination of bringing some of his ideas into the YES camp are something we’re all looking forward to.A Feb 2013 interview with Davison describes him as "tentatively composing new material with Yes." In a Mar 2013 interview, he said:
Yes is currently in the beginning stages of a new album. Everyone is really excited about getting into the studio, which should happen sometime this year  or early into next year . [...] I plan to be very busy with Yes throughout 2013In his May 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Davison answered several questions about a new album. He was asked, "how do you project the sound and style of the next Yes album? Will it be more laid back or aggressive sounding? And will you be playing an instrument [...]?" He replied: "I hope that we'll find a nice balance between mellow and semi aggressive/aggressive. The YES albums of the 70's achieved this equilibrium so perfectly. Since I compose a lot on the acoustic guitar, I imagine my playing to some degree will make its way to the record." He was then asked about his possible contributions to the album, and replied, "So far, there's been an enthusiastic response to my ideas from the rest of the guys. We'll have to wait and see what eventually conspires." Asked about new music in an Apr 2013 interview, Howe replied:
certainly there’s some enthusiasm. And there are certain issues about it, and, well, they’ve thus far not been resolved. .. But it’s talked about, let’s say.A late Apr 2013 interview, in Spanish, had this from Howe: "Aún no puedo confirmar los temas ni el concepto pero estamos en el estudio probando algunas armonías y sonidos nuevos, definitivamente vamos a grabar un nuevo álbum", which translates as, "Although I can't confirm the topics or concepts, but we are in the studio, trying new sounds and some harmonies, we are definitely going to record a new album". Previously, he had been more cautious about recording a new album in some interviews. Asked in a Feb 2013 interview, Howe said:
It’s strange how the focus on your new CD is so different from what it was. Evidently, when we’ve been talking about The Yes album, Close to the Edge, Going for the One [...] they’re established, they’re documented, they’re important. You can’t attack them, they’re very good recordings. I think Fly from Here was a fantastic achievement after 10 years since Magnification.And in this Apr 2013 interview:
Even though Fly from Here was enjoyed and it was a high quality project—there’s no doubt about it—we won’t talk about it as long as we will the other classics. So I’m not quite sure how we go forward. I think steadily and not in a hurry. Because there are always labels saying, “Bring out another record.”
I don’t know how Yes did so much so close together in the ’70s but it shows how much our creativity was combusting together. I would love to say the obvious answer, “Yes, of course, we would love to get back,” but that’s not really true. We would have to time it. We would have to consider it and weigh up our expectations because that’s where happiness lies. And also when we would be ready to do something worthy.
Chris keeps going round saying, ‘Oh yeah, Yes is going to do another album.’ I keep saying, ‘What do you mean?’ [...] There’s people in bands who want to make new albums irrespective of the downsides. I notice bands doing albums and that they don’t have any effect. Considering the abuse on the internet, people getting everything for nothing – you go to the trouble of spending our money making a record we believe in, then it doesn’t spread the news far enough. [...]In a Nov 2012 interview, Howe is asked: "Do you think you will ever play on another Yes album?" His reply:
“Fly From Here was a nice record. It had certain repercussions that are going to take a while to sort out. [...]
[Speaking about the current 3 Albums tour:] “I got a kind of awakening that tells me that to have these albums that people still enjoy, that’s quite an achievement. What are we trying to achieve by doing another one? I’ve got mixed feelings – I’m not opposed but I’m certainly cautious.”
We released Fly From Here last year, but it's something that I kind of fight myself about. You take bands like Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones, bands bigger than anything I've been in, and they make new records and nobody really cares. The people want to hear "Satisfaction." That goes with Yes as well, because people want to hear Close to the Edge. We like playing it. We love it, too. We love the new music but it doesn't have the familiarity. It is questionable what effect a new album has on well- established bands. Sometimes, you have to step back and ask yourself what you should be doing. I think The Who had one of the most disappointing results when they put out that last album. It was practically ignored and they are The Who. If we were to come out with something even as good as Close to the Edge, that would be a major achievement. The collaboration on those early records between Jon Anderson and I was amazing. There was a remarkable sense of teamwork. I don't know how we did it back then. It doesn't work the same way now.An Aug 2012 interview with Howe and Squire has more positive comments from Howe but lays out a longer timescale:
Both Yes men say there’s an appetite to get more new material in motion, but it won’t necessarily come soon. [...] Howe [...] in particular feels that Yes “wasn’t really as ready to make a record as we thought we were” with “Fly From Here,” which he says will factor into what the group does next.Asked about a new album in a Jul 2012 interview, the interviewer commenting that Squire had talked about the possibility, Howe said:
“I would say (a new album) is blowing in the wind,” Howe says, “but I don’t want to put out something just to feel like it’s a follow-up record. I want it to feel like an opportunity to do a style of music, a certain project, an adventure.
“I don’t think we’re there yet at all, so I think it’ll take a long time to be ready for another record — which is fine so long as it serves the purpose of making a better album.”
We're in good shape. [...] we haven't started anything, so to talk to people in public about it seems ridiculous to me. As it may, we can only say what we believe in, and I believe we'll start to talk about it later.Davison was asked about how the songwriting for the new album is going in his Jun 2013 Q&A for YesWorld:
the band has been writing, mostly on an individual basis. I did collaborate with Chris, which was definitely a productive and rewarding experience. Alan has recently sent me some interesting ideas which I’ve started working on and am enjoying. Steve has also shared some solid demos with me over the time we’ve been out on the road together. I know Geoff is working as well and will be sharing his material soon.It was reported that Davison was with Howe in the UK earlier in Jan 2013 to work on material, although Downes was working with the new Asia line-up at the time. A 22 Jan 2013 Facebook update by Glass Hammer, Davison's other band, said that he is "busy in California right now." Squire, White and Downes were also in California in late Jan. Downes and White were in part there for NAMM 2013; Downes tweeted on 29 Jan, "Just on London - bound [...] flight out of LAX. [...] back in a few weeks time!" Might this imply collective work on new material and/or tour rehearsals? Without mentioning any context, Howe, in this Apr 2013 interview, described how, "January and February  were partly absorbed in looking back at ideas I've got [on tape] and finding out whether or how, which way they fit together." And then another Apr 2013 interview with Howe had this:
Though Howe says "there's no clear-cut plan yet," he acknowledges that there's a desire to follow-up [...] "Fly From Here" [...]In Jan 2013, Glass Hammer's Fred Schendel, while explaining how Davison will work in both bands, said on ProgressiveEars.org that, "Jon [Davison] is free, not to mention contractually obligated, to put in all the time with Yes writing and touring that they require".
"There's been talk and it's going around in circles and we're not really able to say much about it yet," the guitarist explains. "I'm happy to say I've always got music backed up, and in January (and) February I had time to do more of that with some fresh ideas and getting some demos going. Some of it's for my solo work, some of it's for Yes, potentially, so we'll see what transpires."
We've discussed the possibility of doing another album next year  [...] I think the appetite is there to do [...] we've discussed it, and certainly I think Jon [Davison] would be a very useful contributor to that. And it would be nice to do an album with him. Because we did an album with Benoit, but we would also like to do an album with Jon.In a Mar 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, asked whether he is writing songs for a new album, Davison answered, "Yes, I am contributing ideas. [...] We are planning for a new album to be released sometime next year ." Downes, in his in Apr, after answering a question about the recording of "White Car" on Drama added this comment: "I'm hoping to be able to contribute another vignette along these lines to the next Yes album. I think that might be an interesting route to go – more along the lines of say, the Fragile album." By his 14 Jun Q&A, he was saying, "I'm pretty busy [...] right now working on new material with both Yes and Asia, as well as several other projects. [...] It's a bit of a juggling exercise for me right now, but fortunately both bands understand the situation. There is work afoot on a new Yes album as well as a new Asia album, so I envisage the rest of the year  and early next year  to be taken up in the studio. It's great to be creating new music again." In an Apr 2013 interview, Squire described the band's writing methods generally:
Most of us have ideas that we start off individually and when we get together to produce a new album, people bring them to the studio. Some motifs and sections evolve into full songs and other ideas we may have a brainstorming session to try combining different parts to see if they’re complementary or if we can develop something entirely new around an idea, if we like it. There’s no one way we make Yes music; there’s a variety of methodologies we’ll try out in the studio.Asked about Davison on Yesfans.com, his bandmate in Glass Hammer, Fred Schendel said:
I don't know what new stuff JD may or may not be coming up with but I know for sure he has two very good songs that date back to the 90s, one of which I really liked a lot and passed up as a GH song during the Cor Cordium sessions mainly because it was so Yes-like. I had thought of developing it for us at some future point but when he got the Yes gig I figured, hell, they really ought to have a crack at it. So, I'd be pretty shocked if he hasn't played it for them. It will be interesting to see if it gets used...Schendel later said they referred to this Yes-like song as "Tree Song".
Squire and drummer Alan White tell ABC News Radio they hope the band will record a new album with Davison next year .In an Aug 2012 interview for the Innerviews site, Squire said:
"[Davison is] capable of it and, he's got song ideas," maintains White. "Yeah, [it] looks like he'll be a great addition to the creative process moving forward."
Adds Squire, "He's a writer as well, unlike Benoit…So, that's gonna be a bonus."
We’ve started looking at possibilities for material for an album which we will probably record sometime in 2013. [...] Any new member that comes into Yes that contributes as a writer is always valuable. Yes is an evolving thing. It’s going to evolve further with Jon Davison’s input.Interviewer Anil Prasad then asked, "Fly From Here was based on a lot of historical material. Will the next Yes album focus on newly-written material?" Squire's reply:
Yes, I would imagine. There will be a slightly different concept. On Fly From Here, there was a desire on Trevor Horn’s part—as well as myself and Steve Howe—to revive [...] “We Can Fly From Here.” [...] I think the next album will be totally fresh and new. We’re hoping to work with Trevor again. I enjoy working with him a lot. I hope he’ll have the time to fit it in.
In Jul 2013, a fan asked Squire whether the band would re-visit
"Go Through This". Squire is reported to have replied, "No, that's
not one we've discussed yet." before White then added, "If Trevor
Horn produces, we might go back and do something original like
that. Lately we've been focused on writing new stuff, not old
stuff. But who knows, man?" In a Q&A
for YesWorld in Jun 2013, asked whether the new album might
include "Go Through This", Howe replied: "We're not sure if we're
going to record any past songs that have been worked on and
released in any form at all. That's what Fly From here was about;
revisiting some of that retro material. We'll just have to see
where it goes when we get into the studio."
Next album (after Heaven &
As described above, in the late Mar 2014 interview, Davison talked about making Heaven & Earth and said:
when we came together [...] we would sort of try to, er, combine the ideas, expand the ideas [...] especially Geoff and I, we had a big prog piece, but unfortunately we didn't have time to finish it, so that'll probably be on the next album, and we've got a bunch of extra material too that just didn't make it because of, we had sufficient time for this album and things were just left undone, just again due to lack of time.In the Jul 2014 issue of Prog, Howe, Squire and White all confessed to no knowledge of the piece, but Downes said: "We started it initially in a studio in Phoenix with Chris and Alan — we spent time jamming it and I compiled various section. [...] when Jon came to Wales [...] we worked on it some more [and on "Subway Walls"] [...] we just didn't have time to put it together for the record. It doesn't have a title [...] It comprises about seven or eight different styles of music and is extremely progressive. It has the potential to be a Close to the Edge-style track in terms of landscape and duration, or a Fly from Here. I've got the original demo and I hope to develop it at some point." In a Jun 2014 interview with Jon Kirkman, Squire said, "I think some of that [...] longer track [...] is actually used in "Subway Walls" [...] On the other hand, [...] Geoff and Alan both came to Phoenix [...] in November [...] and we went in the studio there and did some instrumental stuff [...] that we thought would be part of a bigger piece, but that didn't actually get used on the album just because we drew a line [...] I'm sure they'll re-surface in the future." In a May 2014 interview with Aymeric Leroy, Downes again described this piece and speculated it could be on the next album. Davison said to a fan after the band's 9 Jul 2014 show that the band "are working" on the piece and that they hope to make it the "centerpiece" of a follow-up album. It is reported to be going under the title of "Horizons".
The whole landscape has changed. If everybody who ripped off our album were prepared to give us two months' work of their lives for free, then maybe it would be a very well-balanced situation. [...] They’re taking more than two months – but let’s just whittle it down to two months’ studio work [...] So the reason why we do this has changed a lot. Some people in this band might say that the reason why we do it is because we’re musicians and we’re supposed to make new music. But that’s a bit blind. That’s a little like a mouse saying, ‘I’ll walk across this road even though there’s a cat on the other side.’ [Laughs]
[...] It took me a long time to decide that I would agree to do [Heaven & Earth]. [...] The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith [...] they make records and they don’t even chart! [...] some of the biggest bands in the world. Yes needs to learn this. [...] [It] is a very, very different scene, and it’s [...] mostly due [...] to the internet. People got the needle about labels making money, but they have to because they have to print, distribute and promote the record, and give us a lousy percentage. Yeah, I could moan about that.
But now we’ve got the situation where people take the music for free [...] it does hurt. It does grieve me that our rights and our copyrights are abused all the time. And yet, we’re stupid enough to go and make another record, which immediately is put on the internet by somebody.
So the inspiration is quite different. I make time, I make my Homebrew series, I’ve done records with Asia – I do things for quite a few different reasons. But when it comes to a high-profile group like Yes… It’s a very complicated question you ask me.
series (with remixes by Steven Wilson)
Panegyric, the label behind DGM's King Crimson 40th Anniversary Editions, are re-releasing a series of Yes albums. They began Nov 2013 with Close to the Edge, The Yes Album followed Apr 2014 and the next release, due 3 Nov 2014, will be Relayer. The releases include bonus material and new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man, ex-Blackfield, worked with Steve Hackett, Ian Anderson, Marillion, Theo Travis), who has done similar projects before for King Crimson, ELP, Jethro Tull, Caravan and XTC. Neil Wilkes, who worked with Wilson on the King Crimson remixes and other projects, returns as well. The new mixes use the original multitrack masters. The original stereo mixes are also included. Sleeves notes are by Sid Smith, with others contributing to the releases including Daniel Earnshaw and Anil Prasad. The albums can be ordered direct from Panegyric via the label's official stall at Burning Shed. The band and Roger Dean are also involved and fully approve the releases. What further albums will be covered has not been stated: I believe it is probable that we will eventually see, at least, all the studio albums from Time and a Word to Going for the One. One report has that Wilson has been contracted to do the 6 albums from Time and a Word to Relayer.
In a Feb
2014 interview, Wilson discussed their involvement:"Steve
[Howe] and Chris [Squire] heard it [Close to the Edge
remix], but only when it was pretty much finished. Both of them
really liked it. There wasn't necessarily any sort of constructive
criticism, but it was nice to have the seal of approval [...]
Since then, Steve has been a lot more hands-on with the subsequent
Yes stuff I've done." In an Apr
2014 interview, Howe described his input on Close to the
Edge: "I was involved with some of the mixing, because he
[Wilson] wanted some of my input. [...] I got together with him to
listen to some of it and talk about some of the details." He
described having similar input on The Yes Album and then
talked about the next release to be done, the title of which was
censored: "before the  Canadian tour started, I sat down
with Steve for an afternoon and listened to [the album]. I did
hear a few things, and they were able to take my comments and
incorporate them as well as they could [...] They're very
meticulous, in the way they want to match the original, or get as
close to the original as humanly possible. [...] I'm very proud of
Steve and that he's going the whole distance. I'm just helping him
where I can." In a May
2014 interview, Squire described having listened to Wilson's
Close to the Edge, but not The Yes Album.
Relayer will come in a Blu-ray
and a DVD-A
version, due 4 Nov. As previously, these will
include Wilson's 5.1 mix, Wilson's stereo mix and the
original mix, while the Blu-ray will also have
instrumental versions of the new mixes and a needle-drop
of an original UK vinyl. Bonus material will consist of
an "alternate version of Relayer drawn from demos and
studio run-throughs", but full details have yet to be
released. The Blu-ray will also have "additional
demo/studio run-throughs [...] singles edits, a [sic?]
live tracks & needle-drops of the banded tracks from
the original US vinyl promo album." It seems likely the
release will include the bonus material from the Rhino
expanded and remastered version (single edits of "Soon"
and "Sound Chaser", plus a studio run-through of "The
Gates of Delirium"), so that implies some sort of
alternative version of "To be Over" will also be
included to complete an "alternate version of Relayer".
Packaging will include rare photos
and archive material, plus artwork expanded, restored
and approved by Roger Dean. CD tracks (new stereo
|Buy Blu-ray version from
The Blu-ray has the same as the DVD-A, plus an instrumental
version of the new album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo and an
exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing
transferred in 24bit/96khz audio. It also has additional extras as
The 1971 London live tracks are the same as were released on The
Word is Live, but the New Haven recording of "Perpetual
Change" has not been previously released. The release comes with a
booklet containing new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, plus rare
photos and archive material. The Blu-ray version was at least as
high as #135 in Music (and #43 in Rock) on Amazon UK (23 Apr),
with the DVD-A version at #387 in Music. The Blu-ray was also #1
in Blu-Ray Audio (15 May). Available only as imports on Amazon US,
the Blu-ray version there has been at least as high as #252 in
Music (23 Apr) and, perhaps on the back of Heaven & Earth
being listed, #12 in Movers & Shakers (biggest gainers in
sales rank in last 24 hours) on 14 May.
Close to the Edge (Blu-ray version; DVD-A version) is similar in its contents. The CD contains the new stereo album mix by Wilson, a new mix of "America" and an early mix/assembly of "Close to the Edge" (18:42). The DVD-A contain a 5.1 Surround mix and both the new Wilson mix and the original mix of the album plus "America". In addition, it also has (in regular CD audio) an alternate version of the album as follows:
And single versions:
The Blu-ray has the same as the DVD-A, plus instrumental versions
of all new mixes and a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl. The
album can be ordered direct from Panegyric via the label's
official stall at Burning
version). The Blu-ray version was at least as high as #526
in Music (and #5 in Psychedelic Rock) on Amazon
Releases have, so far, only been announced one at a time, with
what subsequent albums will be included unknown. I have been twice wrong-footed about the
schedule! I previously erroneously reported first that Going
for the One would be next, then that Tales from
Topographic Oceans would be next, and I believe there has
been work towards both, but instead Relayer has now been
announced. A report in Jan 2014 had that Wilson had begun
work on Tales from Topographic Oceans. One source reported
that Wilson has been contracted to do Time and a Word
through to Relayer, but also then said that Wilson has
"nothing against" doing Going for the One as well. Howe's
Apr 2014 interview implies that Fragile won't be next, but
will be done at some time. Asked whether it is "open-ended that as
many of the catalog masters you have in hand" will be included in
the series, Howe answered, "I don't think we should say yea or nay
yet, because there could be logistical things or even a question
of taste." On this latter point, the interviewer teases out that
Howe is referring to Tormato. Howe goes on, "It's not that
it's dreadful; it's just that we didn't quite get it right. I
don't know if a remix would make it right, but I really can't say
because I don't think it could, because if you're going to be true
to the original, then you have to base it on the original." In a Jul 2014 interview, Downes
said, "I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was
heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of
detail". Wilson said in an Aug
2013 interview that:
the idea is to do most of the classic Yes albums. For most people, that was the 70s records. So we’re going to do I think all of the 70s records
Cruises, a Camp & a Festival
Cruise to the Edge is a series of progressive rock cruises featuring and co-organised by Yes, and run by music cruise company On the Blue. A 2015 cruise has been confirmed on the NCL Norwegian Pearl for 15-9 Nov 2015, leaving Miami, FL and visiting Key West, FL and the Bahamas, with tickets including a pre-cruise show and party on 14 Nov. Yes again headline the cruise, with other acts including Nektar (worked with Billy Sherwood), Allan Holdsworth (ex-UK, ex-Bruford, ex-Soft Machine, worked with Jean-Luc Ponty), Caravan, Big Elf, Anathema, Banned from Utopia (formed by several artists who had worked with Frank Zappa), Lifesigns, Messenger, IOEarth, Airbag and Jolly.
Cruise to the
Edge 2014 ran 7-12 Apr 2014, starting and finishing in
Miami, FL and visiting Honduras and Mexico. It was on a larger
boat, the MSC Divina, than the first Cruise. Several acts
from the first cruise returned. Yes again headlined (two shows,
plus Q&A, meet-and-greet etc.). They played the same set both
shows (~2 hours 20 minutes duration): "Firebird Suite" intro,
"America", "Tempus Fugit", all of Close to the Edge in
order, "Heart of the Sunrise", all of The Yes Album in
order; encore: "Roundabout".
Also performing were Patrick Moraz,
Stick Men (with Tony Levin; Eddie
Jobson guested in one set), Steve Hackett's Genesis
Revisited, UK, Marillion (due to a routine medical procedure, Ian
Mosley will not be on the cruise, with Leon Parr standing in on
drums), Tangerine Dream, The Strawbs (electric version), Three
Friends (Gentle Giant spin-off band; Davison was in the audience),
PFM, Soft Machine Legacy (also with a stand-in drummer),
Queensryche, Renaissance, LifeSigns
(with John Young (ex-Asia), Nick Beggs
(Steven Wilson, ex-Steve Howe) and Martin Beedle), Saga,
Sound of Contact
(Hackett guested on one song), IOEarth, The Pineapple Thief,
Presto Ballet, Pamela Moore, Electric Asturias, Scale The Summit (also
Moon Safari (also with a stand-in drummer as their regular member
was expecting a baby), The Prog Orchestra, Heavy Mellow and Cheap
Thrill. Moraz played two solo sets on piano and keys with backing
tapes. First set: intro, "Sound Chaser/improvisation/Lost
Way/Temples of Joy/improvisation", "Freedom Alive", "Mumbai Mumbai
Mantra/Cachaca", "Away to Freedom/Modular Symphony (1st
Movement)". The second set featured material from i
and a performance of "Soon" with Annie Haslam singing. In
Hackett's second set, John Wetton (vocals) guested on "Firth of
Fifth", Simon Collins (Sound of Contact, Phil Collins' son)
guested on "Apocalypse in 9/8" and Wetton (lead vocals, rhythm
guitar) and Chris Squire (bass) guested on "All Along the
Watchtower". Passengers performed various pieces of music as well,
including a cover of "The Gates of Delirium", with the audience
including Squire, Moraz, Downes and Davison.
Kirkman returned as host and Roger Dean was again exhibiting.
Dean also did a Q&A in which he painted live before the
audience, a career first. (Dean was also on this year's Moody Blues Cruise just
before.) Writer Armando Gallo was also on board again. White
explained in this exchange in the Nov
White: It’s called Cruise to the Edge because we control who plays on the boat, and we work with a promoter to pick out the right acts. [...]Mar 2013 saw the inaugural Cruise to the Edge (Facebook). Also appearing were Glass Hammer, UK (with Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, Terry Bozzio and Alex Machacek), Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited, Carl Palmer Trio, Nektar, Ambrosia, Joel Hoekstra, IOEarth, Zebra, Heavy Mellow and Brook Hansen (doing Yes and prog covers). Most bands did both regular performances and 'Storyteller Performances' (Q&A sessions, sometimes including musical performance). Roger Dean was also on the cruise, exhibiting work, while Jon Kirkman hosted Q&A sessions and did a talk about his Yes book too. Writer Armando Gallo was also on board.
Interviewer: Obviously you’re working with a promoter, and there are other people who have a say in the lineup, but from Yes’ side, was it a pretty democratic experience in selecting the bands?
White: We all get together with a list of names, and obviously we know some of the guys in some of the bands. We’ve been around long enough to know a lot of people in the business. It really didn’t take much at all when all the names were presented to us – a couple changes, but it was fine.
Although Davison continues as a member of Glass Hammer, he only
sang with Yes. In an Apr
2013 interview, Howe described the situation thus:
it was said the band had forbidden Davison to sing with Glass Hammer [...]
But Howe calls the story an “exaggeration,” [...] “There was a decision: we jointly, as a band, decided not to water it down – let’s all be Yes at that time. I won’t dabble with my thing and no one else will dabble with other things.
“When I saw how it had come out I went, ‘Yuck!’ I was uncomfortable. It should have just said – and it would have been more honest if it just said – ‘Yes members are only doing Yes on the cruise.’ It would have said the same thing in a much better way.
“There was a lot of logic in the decision and it applied to everybody, not just him. If we hadn’t make the decision we’d have been doing masterclasses, lunches, tap-dancing, using whatever other skills we had!”
Larry Morand, cruise producer, in a Mar 2014 interview, explained it thus: "we had Glass Hammer on last year and the issue was, and I get it, as a manager I would be like, "I'm trying to establish Yes and rebuild the brand." And [Yes' manager] was a little like, "OK. Everybody has to know upfront that Jon Davison is not going to be performing with Glass Hammer." So Glass Hammer brought their old singer in." Glass Hammer were fronted by Carl Groves for their performances.Jon Anderson was on a different cruise in Feb 2014: Progressive Nation at Sea. Morand revealed that Anderson and Wakeman were considered for the Cruise to the Edge:
I had asked about Jon Anderson and even [about] Rick Wakeman. Wakeman wasn’t available. But Jon, as we were talking, I don’t think there was a problem on the Yes end – not liking it but understanding that if you wanted … to encompass something that was Yes, that’s somebody you have to have. But that got solved on its own. There was a competitor cruise, Prog Nation At Sea, and they had started their own prog cruise after we had gotten ours up. So [Anderson] came off the market.
On 14-7 Jul 2013, Yes hosted a Yes Fantasy Camp, part of the Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp series (which Alan White and Jon Anderson have both participated in previously), in Las Vegas, NV. (Howe also did a separate "camp" in Aug 2013.) The whole band were involved in the Fantasy Camp, with rock star counselors including Joe Vitale and Gary Hoey. The camp included masterclasses and the opportunity to play with band members (which included playing a variety of songs, including "Roundabout", "Heat of the Moment", "Sunshine of Your Love", "Pinball Wizard", "Slow Ride" etc.). The Yes Fantasy Camp took place during the band's summer tour leg.
The band have toured extensively touring in 2014 and they play 5 dates in New Zealand and Australia 10-18 Nov, then 5 dates in Japan 23-8 Nov. A European tour in spring 2015 is expected (while on a solo tour in Sep 2014, Howe confirmed a spring 2015 European tour is planned). A Sep 2014 rumour suggested there are touring plans for the whole of 2015, with a summer US tour and another tour in the autumn. The band have been confirmed for the Cruise to the Edge 2015 in Nov.
They played a 36-date US tour 5 Jul-24 Aug 2014 (rehearsals began
1 Jul), with the 19 Aug San Jose, CA
performance shown on Yahoo's
streaming service. Syd Arthur opened for the
band on most dates, playing a half hour set. The band announced
the set list for the tour will be [SPOILERS—highlight to read]
Fragile and Close
to the Edge in their entireties, an
interval, and then an "encore set" with material from the new
album Heaven & Earth and "the band's greatest hits".
The set has changed a certain amount from night to night in terms
of order and in which of a set of songs gets played. A typical set
has been: intro:
"Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra", "Siberian Khatru",
"And You and I", "Close to the Edge" (i.e. all of Close
to the Edge, but in reverse order), "Believe Again" (with Davison on acoustic guitar),
"Roundabout" (with Davison on
additional percussion), "Cans & Brahms" (with some parts on backing tapes),
"We Have Heaven" (with backing tapes, Squire, Howe and
Downes on backing vocals and Davison on acoustic guitar), "South Side of the Sky" (with Davison on
acoustic guitar and additional keys), "5%
for Nothing" (without Davison),
"Long Distance Runaround/the Fish (Schindleria praematurus)"
(the former with Davison on tambourine; the latter with Squire
using loops, Davison on synth and bells, and Downes on cowbell),
"Mood for a Day", "Heart of the Sunrise" (i.e.
all of Fragile in order), "I've Seen All Good People:
All Good People"; encore: "Owner
of a Lonely Heart" (with Davison on
tambourine), "Starship Trooper" (with Downes
on keytar during "Würm"). The
opening night set was a casino show and the set was abbreviated:
"Siberian Khatru", "And You and I", all of Fragile
in order, "I've Seen All Good People"; encore: "Owner of a
Lonely Heart", "Starship Trooper". Their first full show
was 6 Jul and featured "To Ascend" and "The
Game" instead of "Believe Again"
and a full version of "I've Seen All Good
People". The 13 Jul show dropped
"Starship Trooper" and had a full
"I've Seen All Good People". The 15 Jul set had: Fragile in order, "To Ascend", "The
Game", Close to the Edge in reverse order; encore: "I've
Seen All Good People", "Starship Trooper". On 16 Jul,
they played: Fragile in order, "To
Ascend", "The Game", Close to the Edge in order; encore:
"I've Seen All Good People", "Starship Trooper". The 23
Jul show and a number of other recent shows had: Close to the Edge in reverse order,
"Believe Again", "The Game" (there are
reports of an additional drummer during the piece), Fragile
in order; encore: "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a
Lonely Heart". A number of reports
suggest the band had rehearsed 5
pieces from the new album in total, the other 2 not yet
performed being "Subway Walls" and "Light
of the Ages". Sean Ono Lennon attended an early
Jul show. The 23 Jul Northfield, OH show sold out (attendance over
1800). The 25 Jul Madison, WI show sold 1,454 tickets, grossing
$86,033. The 28 Jul Nashville, TN show sold out (2,139 tickets),
grossing $145,475, while Alison Krauss was among the audience. The
30 Jul Atlanta, GA show was sold out or close to being sold out
(capacity 1,762). The 2 Aug St Petersburg, FA show sold 1,867
tickets, grossing $124,327; while Orland, FA on 3 Aug sold 1,662,
grossing $88,588. The 11 Aug Tucson, AZ show reportedly sold out;
the 12 Aug Mesa, AZ show was estimated to have an attendance
around 1450. The Mesa show was filmed for a possible DVD release,
with the following set: intro: "Young
Person's Guide to the Orchestra", "Siberian Khatru", "And You
and I", "Close to the Edge", "Believe Again", "The Game",
"Roundabout", "Cans & Brahms", "We Have Heaven", "South Side
of the Sky", "5% for Nothing", "Long Distance Runaround/the Fish
(Schindleria praematurus)", "Mood for a Day", "Heart of the
Sunrise"; encore: "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a
Lonely Heart"; second encore: "Starship Trooper". The 19
Aug San Jose, CA show, filmed by Yahoo, was estimated to have an
attendance around 800; the set was the same as the 12 Aug show,
but without the second encore. Sherwood was
in the audience for the final show on 24 Aug in Los Angeles, CA,
which sold 4,252 tickets, grossing $184,651.
We start rehearsals next week, we’ve practiced some of the songs so we have an idea which ones will work, we may only do a few from the [new] album, certainly Believe Again, maybe one of the shorter songs and move them around in the set.Paul Silveira is the band's manager and also the tour manager. Will Alexander is the keys tech, Richard Davis, the bass tech, Joe Comeau production manager and guitar tech, John Walsh, drum tech. Don Weeks is the lighting designer, with Matt Fitzgerald, the monitor engineer and Dean Mattson, the front of house engineer.
The 3 Albums tour, consisting of Close to the Edge,
Going for the One and The Yes Album in their
entireties (plus "Roundabout" as an encore), has now come to an
end with a European
leg 29 Apr-5 Jun 2014, with 10 dates in the UK, followed by
France (1), Switzerland (1), Monaco (1, their first ever
visit to the country), Italy (2), Luxembourg (1), Belgium (1),
Netherlands (1), Germany (3), Czech Rep. (1), Slovakia (1), Poland
(1), Denmark (1), Norway (1). The 28 May Leipzig show was
curtailed due to Davison having a throat infection (they played
"Close to the Edge" and "Wurm" only). The band were hoping to
schedule a replacement date within the tour leg, but that did not
prove possible; ticket refunds are available (see
here). The tour was back on for the subsequent date in
Prague. Davison said on his Facebook page:
I wish to express my sincere gratitude for all your thoughtful well wishes. I'm definitely feeling the love!Several UK dates sold out. These included: Oxford (29 Apr) with 1,728 tickets, $105,852 gross; Southend (30 Apr) with 1,580 tickets, $96,748 gross; Birmingham (4 May) with 1,866 tickets, $116,624 gross; Leicester (6 May) with 1,486 tickets, $93,753 gross; London (8 May) with 4,082 tickets, $287,231 gross; Manchester (10 May) with 2,605 tickets, $156,160 gross; and Bristol (11 May) with 1,860 tickets, $113,968 gross. Other dates were close to selling out: Glasgow (2 May) saw 1,956 tickets sold, grossing $118,732; Newcastle (3 May) sold 1,636 tickets, grossing $97,203; Sheffield (7 May) saw 1,789 tickets sold, grossing $107,228. The band recorded the Bristol show for a DVD, with Squire telling one fan on the 2014 Cruise to the Edge that there would be an accompanying DVD with the next set, presumably filmed on the US summer tour (see above): details on the release below. Squire, in an Apr 2014 interview, talked of taking some time "in June in the middle of our European tour" to rehearse the band's summer set; some rehearsing took place between their 22 and 26 May shows.
My spirits are high and I'm doing alright as I continue to take it day by day. Mumu is taking excellent care of me. The band, management, and crew are all supportive and optimistic.
My deepest apologies to all the fans that have been and perhaps will be greatly inconvenienced by my condition. I'm really very sorry!
There was a Canadian tour with 10 dates 19 Mar-2 Apr 2014, and 2 east coast US dates 4-5 Apr. The production manager for the tour was Joe Comeau. The opening night in Canada was estimated to have an audience of ~3000 by one fan attending. The 29 Mar Oshawa show sold 2047 tickets, grossing $115,654. They then played a different set on the Cruise to the Edge 2014, departing 7 Apr 2014.
Yes's 2013 touring was the 180th highest grossing in North America (on the Pollstar chart), with a total gross of $4.4 million, average ticket sales of 1431 and an average gross of $84,615. (They didn't make the list in 2011 or 2012. Yes were 65th in 2002 with a $7.8 million gross (equivalent to $10.1 million in 2013 adjusting for inflation) and average sales of 3494; out of the top 100 in 2003, a year they only played 2 North American dates; and 82nd in 2004 with $7.5 million (equivalent to $9.3 million in 2013 adjusting for inflation) and average sales of 3622.) Yes played North America 6 Jul-12 Aug 2013 (26 in the US and 1 in Canada). The 13 Jul and 9 Aug shows had time limits and were 2-album-only shows. The 3 Aug show in Camden, NJ was part of Yestival, a half-day event featuring multiple acts: see above for details. A Yes Fantasy Camp also took place during the tour, 14-7 Jul 2013. The 18 Jul show had a delayed start due to weather affecting the band's transport, so featured an impromptu support set by Barry Leach. The 10 Jul show was sold out (1110 tickets; $62,643 gross), as were the 28 Jul (1500 capacity), 31 Jul (3000 capacity) and 7 Aug shows.
On 6 Aug 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosted a free Legends Series interview with the band. All 5 of the band members were interviewed on stage, there was a short acoustic set and a Q&A with the audience. The event had a capacity crowd. Set: "Video Killed the Radio Star" (performed by Downes), "Devon Blue" (Howe), "Leaves of Green"/"Nous Sommes du Soleil" (Howe & Davison).
Yes's prior tour leg consisted of 9 South American dates in May 2013, covering Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Two of the Brazilian dates (24 & 25 May) and possibly a third (23 May) sold out and the Peruvian date was reported to have an audience of nearly 5000.In the Billboard interview, Squire described the tour concept as "something we've toyed with and discussed over the last 10 years from time to time". In the Vintage Rock interview, asked what inspired the tour concept, Squire said:
We were [...] saying, “Next year , we won’t have a new studio album, so what’s a different angle that we haven’t looked at before for the live shows?” This idea has been on our back burner for a long time to do albums in their original sequence — so the time has come for us to try this out, see how it goes.
Explaining the choice of albums in the Guitar International
interview, he said, "It probably could have been any of our
albums. We just narrowed it down, probably because we know the
material of most of those." Answering a similar question in the
Vintage Rock interview, he said, "I think they're a good cross
section of Yes' career [...] All of these albums marked a change
in the band's career". Howe explained in a Dec
2012 interview, "I came up with the idea that we should play
an album in full [...] and then it went to two and eventually to
three". In an interview
around Dec 2012, White described the choice of the three albums as
being fairly quick and explained that they rejected Fragile
because it has "some things in it that wouldn't appeal to the
whole band" and he gave "Five Percent of Nothing" as an
example. In the Guitar International interview, Squire
also explained why they passed over Fragile:
with Fragile, there are certain things that are difficult to pull off, particularly my solo on “The Fish”. Although I’ve done live versions of it in the past, they’ve been quite different from the actual album. I think that’s the purpose of doing it this way.
It was to try and emulate the albums and the order of the songs to come out the same way. We decided there wouldn’t be too much room for improvising.
Since starting their triple album tour
in 2013, the band have been asked about the possibility of
repeating the format with different albums. In a Feb
2013 Rolling Stone interview, the interviewer
suggests Relayer and Tormato to Squire,
who replies: "Yeah, both of those. Then, of course, there's the
Eighties Yes as well. That's something we haven't concentrated on
for a while [...] We have a wealth of material to pick from." They have also talked about material
outside of a complete album format. In a Feb
2013 interview, Howe talked of wanting to do "To be Over"
and "Sound Chaser". When the interviewer mentions playing material
from "more recent albums such as Keys to Ascension, The
Ladder and Magnification", Howe responds that,
"They're something we'd like to incorporate, possibly next year
. Because, although we've ignored them quite considerably,
there are some times we say, "Oh, should we try that one?" [...]
"Bring Me to the Power" and some of the other songs on [Keystudio]
are really quite the cream of what we were doing then." He also
hinted at re-visiting Tales from Topographic Oceans,
particularly "The Revealing Science of God" and "Ritual". Then in
2013 interview, he said, "I hope we [...] maybe play Fragile,
Drama and some other album." In a Feb
2014 interview, White mentioned Fragile; the
interviewer then asked about other albums in their entirety and
mentions Tales; White replied, "I'm not sure about Topographic
Oceans [laughs]; [...] preparation for playing TFTO
would be huge, we'd have to rehearse for quite a while [...] It
could be foreseeable in the future, but probably not this year."
White has also said that he would love to perform Relayer.
Davison said in this Jan
2013 interview that:
“Drama” did come up as a potential candidate. [...] I hope that all the classic albums eventually find their way to the stage.
In a Mar
2013 Q&A, Davison talked of wanting to sing "The Gates
of Delirium" and "Survival", while in his
in Apr, Downes talks of playing all of Relayer, Drama
or 90125, and in response to one question said, "Drama
live? We've talked about it!" To a question suggesting the band
play "The Remembering", he replied:
I think you’re right; ‘The Remembering’ would be an interesting choice [...] But there are also so many other hidden gems on the albums that have been historically been overlooked by the touring band over the years. Talk, Big Generator, Union, The Ladder, & Keys to Ascension also have some killer tracks. How about ‘Mind Drive’ as a suggestion? ☺
In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes
was asked about doing other albums and replied, "We've never
discussed this at all, but it's not been ruled out. [...] I can
see the subject coming up [...] But what we don't want to become
is a band who just live in the past". He then talked of the
possibility of varying tour set lists so that they "do a lot of
more contemporary material on one tour and the next time we do
something a lot more nostalgic."
The band, of course, did move to a different album selection for summer touring 2014. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe said, "we could do 'Drama,' 'Fragile' and the one that everybody wants to hear is 'Relayer.' But we're not ready for that yet. [It] would be a heck of a challenge. [...] at the moment we haven't got the time or the inclination yet to do something like that. But I'd love to do some of 'Tales,' I think [playing sides] one and four would be a great way [...] because it's the beginning and the end. But I don't know — we're not going to do any of those things at the moment." In an Apr 2014 interview, Squire largely ruled out doing Tales from Topographic Oceans, but discussed the possibility of doing Drama.
In the interview
with Vintage Rock conducted around the beginning of Apr
2014, asked whether the album format is an "ongoing part" of their
touring, Squire answered, "not necessarily. [...] the focus is
going to shift [...] We're going to be promoting our new album
[...] I've always thought it very important for Yes to always come
up with [...] a new product and focus the future on that. Because
that's [...] partly our key to success — that we haven't been
afraid to keep, I don't know, boldly carrying on into the
stratosphere with new pieces of music. And then [...] perform them
live. So that I look forward to more than rehashing the old
favorites. Of course, I do love playing them." The article also
has Howe commenting on the current format: "I'm really pleased
that we do albums. I got a little tired of a show that didn't have
any reason why it validated itself." And the article has White
putting forth Drama and Relayer as
two albums he would like to perform. In a Jul
2014 interview, Davison said: "There's been talk about any
of the earlier albums up to '90125'" and specifically
mentioned Drama as a possibility. In a May
2014 interview, Squire said he hopes that they will do a
tour one day playing material from the 1980s. He describes as
interesting the idea put forth by the interviewer for a tour
featuring Drama, 90125 and Big
Generator. Reports from backstage on
the 2014 summer tour suggest that Squire wants to do all of Heaven
& Earth, Howe and Davison want to do Relayer,
and White and Downes want to do Drama and possibly 90125;
US promoters are said to be keen on 90125. Unconfirmed
rumours in Sep 2014 suggested the band are considering playing Drama in its entirety in 2015,
with a US set list to consist of all of Fragile
and all of Drama, plus greatest hits and material from
Heaven & Earth, but also that subsequent
touring may see a set with most of Heaven & Earth combined with
material from Fragile, Drama and Relayer.
Then, Howe, while on a solo tour in Sep 2014, suggested the band
may play all of Drama and Heaven
& Earth plus a selection of hits in 2015, and
that they might drop Fragile
as early as the spring 2015 European tour. Another rumour
suggested they will play "Believe Again",
"The Game", "To Ascend", "Light of the Ages" and "Subway
Walls" from Heaven & Earth in 2015.
Commenting on the choice of Fragile and Close to the Edge
for the 2014 tour, in the Jul
2014 MusicRadar interview, Howe said:
they’re remarkable records [...] I fully understand why they’re not screaming for Open Your Eyes. I know why they don’t want us to play much of Talk. We’re not stupid. We know what went down well, and we know that, for years, Fragile and Close To The Edge were sensational-selling albums. We’re very proud of them. Let’s just talk about how proud we are, not that we’ve got some albatross. [Laughs]
Asked in a Dec 2013 interview about playing YesWest material, Squire explained: "[It's] because of the character of the music, and the character of the guitar player as well. Trevor [Rabin] doesn't do a bad job of imitating Steve [Howe], but it doesn't work as well the other way around. I wouldn't really push the issue."
Asked about playing '80s material in his May Q&A for YesWorld, Davison replied, "I think it would be really fun to perform Changes, It Can Happen, and/or Shoot High Aim Low." In a Jul 2013 interview, Davison said, "What I'd like to do is continue it; with maybe Fragile, Relayer and Drama following it up." In Downes' second Q&A, he said, "whilst we are currently focusing on the 70's Yes, there was some great music came out in all chapters of the band's existence [...] Personal favourite is "Changes"", while White said to a fan in Apr 2013 that the band had considered playing the piece, and that he would also like them to perform "Endless Dream".
In a Jun
2012 interview, Squire said that White had suggested
including "Perpetual Change". In one of the Jul 2012 interviews,
Natürlich können wir nicht behaupten, dass Jon Anderson bald wieder an Bord sein wird[.] Aber ausschließen will das auch niemand. Zwar ziehen wir im Laufe dieses Jahres noch etliche Konzerte mit Davison überall auf der Welt durch. Andererseits laufen schon Verhandlungen, dass wir 2015 ein paar Konzerte mit dem anderen Jon - also Anderson - machen werden. Doch wer weiß schon, was die Zukunft bringt? Vor allem die Zukunft von Yes, die ja stets unberechenbar war.Davison's response is given as:
[Translation: Of course we can't say we'll have Jon Anderson back on board anytime soon. But we can't rule it out either. We have a bunch of global concerts with Davison this year. On the other hand, there are already negotiations for a few gigs with the other Jon, Jon Anderson, that is. But who knows what the future will hold? Above all, the future of Yes, which was always so unpredictable.]
Mir war der Umstand, dass ich nur Jon Andersons Ersatz bin, stets bewusst. Das wurde mir vom Rest der Gruppe von Beginn an klargemacht. Trotzdem wäre ich sehr traurig, wenn ich meinen Platz bei Yes schon bald wieder räumen müsste. [...] Aber: Für einen Ausnahmemusiker wie Jon Anderson mache ich sofort Platz.The article then continues:
[Translation: I'm perfectly aware of being just a back-up for Jon Anderson. The group made that clear from the very start. Nevertheless, I would be quite sad if I had to leave the band again soon. [...] But for an exceptional musician such as Jon Anderson is I would make room anytime.]
Momentan sind dies jedoch noch Gedankenspiele. Und dennoch: „Auch wenn es nach außen hin chaotisch wirkt, bei Yes sind die Dinge konsequent durchgecheckt", ist sich Squire sicher. „Das war immer so, daran hat sich nie etwas geändert. Wir sind dieses Jahr noch eine Zeitlang auf Tour, wir hatten das alles von langer Hand geplant, lange bevor Jon bei Yes eingestiegen ist. Aber Davison singt die alten Songs großartig, insofern muss er da jetzt durch. Es scheint ihm auch jede Menge Spaß zu machen. Was danach passiert, werden wir einfach mal sehen. Auf Nicht-Bandmitglieder mag dieses Procedere merkwürdig wirken. Für mich ergibt es einen Sinn. Wir wollen dieses merkwürdige Schiff namens Yes am Schaukeln halten, Es bereitet zu viel Spaß darin zu schippern, als dass wir damit kentern wollten."In the Sep 2014 issue of Classic Rock, Squire likewise said, "I spoke to Jon Anderson not long ago[.] We had a nice chat. I think we will do something together again — it's just that he may not be up for full-scale touring." He added, "I don't think Rick[ Wakeman]'s interested[.] He's in his own world, working his way towards a knighthood."
[Translation: At the moment, this is just a bit of brainstorming. Yet: "Even though it might seem a bit chaotic from the outside, all things Yes are consistently planned down to the last detail," Squire assures. "It's always been that way and nothing's changed. This year we'll still be on tour for a while. Everything was planned well in advance, long before Jon [Davison] joined Yes. But Davison sings the old songs in a great way, so he just has to stick with it right now. And he seems to have a lot of fun doing so. What will happen after that remains to be seen. For non-band members this procedure may seem a bit strange. For me, it all makes sense. We'd like to keep this strange ship called Yes rocking. It's much too much fun sailing it to just let it capsize."]
Son ideas que hemos estado hablando, que se cocinan a fuego lento, que se desarrollan. [...] No van a pasar ni este ni el siguiente año (del 45 aniversario), pero mantengan los ojos y los oídos abiertos, que algo escucharán de estoAsked about the possibility of Anderson returning to Yes in a May 2012 interview, Squire referred to a possible residency on Broadway:
[My translation: These are ideas we've been talking about, which are on the back burner and developing. [...] It is not going to happen this year  or the next (the 45th anniversary), but keep your eyes and ears open, you will hear something about this.]
Interviewer: I read that there is a possibility of “Yes on Broadway” in 2013 to celebrate the band’s 45th anniversary [...]To Innerviews for more from Squire:
Squire: Ya, I don’t know how this rumor really got started. It was something that we were discussing as a band that maybe, at some point, to do a history of Yes sort of show and possibly have all of the previous members come in and do bits here and there. But it’s kind of a backburner thing. It’s not really something that’s going to happen this year  or next. But it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while, so don’t be surprised if in 2014 something pops up.
It’s [...] on the back burner while we mull it over. The idea is to do a history of Yes concept, including past and present members, if it was physically and financially possible. [...] We were looking at Broadway as opposed to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, which is where people try to do residencies. [...] we put this idea out there to see if someone who controls the theaters on Broadway would come to us and suggest something. We’ve had a couple of enquiries, but it hasn’t gone that far. [...] Next year , we’ll be looking at doing a new studio album [...] So, this idea may not surface for awhile.In an Aug 2012 interview, White may be alluding to the same or a related idea:
As for Anderson coming back, "we haven't put that out of our minds at all," White says. But if it happens, "I've got a feeling it won't be these long, arduous tours, maybe just some one-off gigs in big cities and stuff like that."
And for these special occasions, "I think we probably would have Jon there, too, the other Jon [i.e., Davison]. He's that nice a guy. He'd work with us on it and be part of it."
2012 interview asked White whether he would like to play
with Anderson again. The reply (seemingly translated into Greek
and then back into English):
It would be great to play with Jon again but you know, he’s doing his own thing. Now, we have a new singer in Yes. I see the reason of playing with Jon again in a special concert or in a special occasion. In very special gigs around the world like New York, L.A.. That kind of things.
discussion & longer term plans
An Aug 2014 interview with Anderson had this:
“That moment [when the band continued on without him in 2008] really hurt,” Anderson admits. “I think we’d grown apart over the years, and when it came to the crunch, you know, business is more important and that’s what they wanted to do.
“But we’re still brothers,” he adds. “I’d still greet them if I saw them.” Noting that a[...] reunion could happen if Yes ever makes it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [...] Anderson says he’d be happy to sing with them again.
As for a full reunion should it be offered, though, he demurs. “It’s not what I want to do,” he says.
2014 interview with Howe had the following exchange about
Interviewer: Is there any chance of a reunion with [Anderson]?
Howe: How would you like it if I asked you to get back together with your ex-girlfriend ...
Interviewer: People do get back together with their exes ...
Howe: We have a new album coming out. The way we see the band –– I don’t want to appear to be disinterested in things that other people might be interested in –– but you need clear goals when you’re working.
At the moment, we’ve got these [other] plans.
Asked whether Yes would perform with Anderson if they're inducted
into the Hall of Fame in this Dec
2013 interview, Squire replied:
Squire: Yes, that’s not a problem. In fact, Jon and I had quite a long phone conversation a couple of months back. I know he’s excited about the nomination and of course he’ll be there. We’ll see, we’ll probably try to do an expanded Yes thing there, if we’re inducted.
Interviewer: He’s cool with you guys going on with another singer?
Squire: Yeah, the chips have sort of fallen where they lay now. It seems like we can have a good conversation, and some of that bodes well for that being a good performance (if we’re inducted).
2014 interview in French had this exchange with Squire:
Interviewer: [...] Jon Anderson, peux-tu nous dire où vous en êtes de vos relations avec lui ?
Squire: Nous sommes toujours en contact et nous verrons ce qu’il se passera…
Interviewer: … qu’entends-tu par nous verrons ce qu’il se passera ?
Squire: Et bien, l’année prochaine, nous pourrions envisager faire quelque chose ensemble ! Je ne sais pas encore mais oui, c’est possible ! [That is: "Well, next year, we might consider doing something together! I don't know, but yes, it's possible!"]
Interviewer: Il n’y a donc pas de tension entre vous ?
Squire: Oh, non ! Mais il faut savoir que la santé de Jon ne lui permet pas de faire une tournée complète.
Interviewer: Oui mais justement c’était semble-t-il une des raisons des tensions entre vous à savoir que Jon Anderson aurait mal pris le fait que vous l’ayez remplacé...
Squire: Oui, je suppose qu’il devait être triste à ce moment mais c’est du passé (Sourire) !
In a Jul 2014 interview, asked about a Union-style tour, Squire
said, "It's definitely something that could happen again. I
personally would like to do it."
Asked (yet again) about the possibility of working with Anderson
again, in a Jul
2013 YesWorld Q&A, Squire responded:
It’s very possible that we’ll work with Jon in the future. We have had discussions about it, but the next thing we’re looking at doing is a new studio album with Jon Davison singing, and then we’ll go out on the road and promote that. [...] But yeah – there is a good possibility we may work with Jon Anderson again.
In a Jul
2013 interview, asked about Anderson, White said:
We haven't ruled out the fact that we might do something with him in the future. We don't know when. We have a good formula for right now. [...] We're going to roll like this at the moment and we're enjoying it.
And, earlier in the same interview, he also said, "There is a
possibility we may do something with him [Rabin] in the future."
In an Aug
2013 interview, asked about Anderson saying he would like to
return to the band, Howe responds:
Well, I've got two choices here[.] I either don't answer the question because I could say this is not a question I can deal with. I could say it's none of your business. People say all sorts of things about this, and I don't want to get into any deep water, but I will say that we've got a wonderful band at the moment and we've got a lot of plans for the future. So I don't really understand where that's [i.e., talk of Anderson's return] going myself, because we're very settled into keeping this lineup as close as we can to what we have. It's what we know, it's what works, it's what's been proven. Going back to something that everyone thinks, 'Oh, it's what they want' ... it might not be what we can deliver.
While in a second Aug
2013 interview, Howe has this to say:
The best lineup we’ve got is the one we’ve got[.] This is the best Yes lineup because it works now. All the others may have had their moments in time.
We greatly respect the contributions of every Yes member that’s ever been[.] They’ve helped fill in the bricks of construction that make up the architecture. We’re all products of our own making. Many people can’t accept that. Every situation is one we’ve produced ourselves.
And asked why Anderson isn't in the band in a third:
That’s like me saying how do you feel without your ex-wife or without your ex-girlfriend[.]
People don’t have any problem asking us questions like that but we have a problem answering them. What about Bill Bruford? [...] he retired from Yes altogether. And I love the guy. So there are a lot of crosses to bear, and I do respect all of the people who have made such great contributions in their previous role as Yes members. End of story.
In a Mar
2013 interview, White had this to say about the possibility
of Anderson returning to the band:
"I haven't put it out of my mind that it's a probability," he says. "We'll see down the line. I don't think it will be for a whole period. I think it will be for some specialized gig like New York, L.A., or London, that kind of a thing."
Despite Anderson seeming a bit bitter about the band recording its first album in ten years without him [...] White says there is no bad blood between them. "I spoke to Jon a few weeks ago," White shares. "He's a 49ers fan, and I'm a Seahawks fan, and we were having a conversation totally about football."
In an Apr
2013 interview (in Spanish), Squire was asked about the
possible return of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Moraz. His
answer (translated): "Not at the moment, at least not this year
. Perhaps in the future, there is a possibility of doing
something with them again."
In an interview
from around May 2013, Anderson said:
[...] I said to Chris the other month, if Geoff [Downes] and Jon [Davison] are in the band too, I don’t mind, you know, we can all work together. I’m very open. I think the music is more important, and the fans are more important than all that “I want the band to be my way” business. I was never into that. And I’m always very open for things to work out okay.
Rick is a very important part of the group [...] I think that it’s important that he should be involved as well.
And I spoke to Alan a couple of weeks ago. So we’re in touch, and when the time comes, when the stars align, we’ll probably be able to get together and perform together. I don’t see myself going on crazy tours for months on end, I don’t see the point in that—we’re all a lot older, and I hope a lot wiser. We should do shows here and there and we should make sure the shows are very important and very, very well produced
Anderson was asked for his thoughts on the current band in an Aug
2013 interview on Planet
Rock radio (UK); his answer: "[...] the music is great,
there's no question [...] they're playing well [...] They're not
as adventurous as they should be, but that's just me. [...] I wish
them well." In another interview
around the same time, asked about reuniting with Yes, he said,
"It's gonna happen. I think the key thing will be if we get in the
'Hall of Fame'. It will be fun. We used to joke about it. We'll
all be in wheelchairs and we'll get in the 'Hall of Fame'." A Nov
2013 interview asked Anderson about Yes. He was first asked
if he misses "the other members of Yes while performing these
songs", and replied: "I miss the beautiful energy that we created
as a band, but it's something that I can't dwell on too much
because it's something that is not going to happen. It might
happen in the next year or two. You never know. I'm never opposed
to doing concerts with the guys". Then asked about whether he is
on good terms with the current Yes members, he said: "I speak to
Alan [White] [...] He left a message the other day for my
birthday, so we're in touch. Chris [Squire] and Steve [Howe] they
are doing their own lives. [...] We're not that in touch". He was
also asked how he feels about the idea that Yes cannot be Yes
without him. He replied:
I can imagine when Journey went out with different singers that fans got very upset, but they loved the songs and still go see the band. With Yes, it's kinda different in many ways because I was a very integral part of the music as well as the songs that I wrote and the lyrics. So it's a different set of energy when people go see Yes. They'll hear the music [...] it's really great music, but it's going to feel different because I think I was this person to the band, leading the band. I had this certain energy, and it's missing. But that's not to say people don't enjoy going to see their show. I can't really fault them for anything other than they carried on doing the music without me, and it is very inspiring music anyway. So, I can see how the fans are upset in a way. I wish them all the best, and I hope that one day we will all get back together and do the tour everybody dreams of.
In another Nov
2013 interview, he said: "they're going to do what they
wanna do, Steve [Howe] and Chris [Squire]... they're in charge of
the band and they can do what they want. It's always gonna be
their band and I'm busy doing what I'm doing and Trevor [Rabin] is
busy doing what he does, Rick[ Wakeman]'s busy doing what he does.
Everybody's got a life y'know?" The interviewer then praised the
early Yes albums and Anderson replied, "Well, they're still
available. There's still the incredible history of the band.
People shouldn't worry too much and hold on to the past. That was
wonderful and it's gone. We move on to a better future. And you
never know. We might all get together and do a tour. You never
know..." In a Feb
2014 interview, asked why the 'classic' line-up isn't
together, Anderson answered, "Times changes and lives move on,
y'know. People have a strong feeling about what they want to do.
Urm... as you know, I got very sick and Chris and Steve and Alan
just wanted to go on the road. I understand that. Y'know, they
went on the road and they're still doing it. It's one of those
things, I did say after I got better that I'd love to, y'know, get
back together and do some work with Rick and... it just didn't
seem to want to do that kinda... y'know, I'm a sort of taskmaster.
I don't sit around [...] Times change. All the Yes fans, I really
feel sad for them having not the chance to see the band, but maybe
next year we'll get into the Hall of Fame and you never know, we
might just go on tour together. Life is like that [...] you can't
say never again." In a Mar
2014 interview, Anderson said:
If we get into the Hall of Fame, maybe we’ll all be friends again[.] That’s probably the way a reunion would come about. Steve and Chris have their idea of Yes, and that’s what it is. I went through a similar experience. ‘90125’ [...] wasn’t my idea of what the band should be. I tried to push them back into the long-form pieces of music, and eventually I gave it up and decided I would do it myself. I started writing musicals — I wrote three in the 1980s and two in the 1990s.
In a Q&A
for YesWorld in Apr 2013, Howe said:
The current members of Yes respect and regard and appreciate the enormous contributions that our past members have made, not the least of all Bill Bruford, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and the late Peter Banks, Billy and Trevor and so many people and they’ve all been contributing to the past. And what you have now is the Yes that is functioning because of multiple reasons: we want to, we’re able to, we have the energy, and we love the music.
And in an Apr
2013 interview, Downes said:
who knows, as regards Jon Anderson? It's something that's not really in my control. I've not really ever worked with Jon Anderson. So I know the other guys speak to him from time to time. So it's not... people say it was an acrimonious departure--probably not as much as people might think.
The article continues:
does it seem like it's healed over time, if indeed there was any acrimony?
"I'd say so, yeah. People get on. [...] when you get to your 60s, you don't want to be carrying too many grudges around with you (laughs)."
And in his Apr
2013 Q&A, Squire's answer to the familiar question was:
I’ve always said it’s never out of the question that there’s a possibility we could put together something that would involve Jon [Anderson], and I think Jon would be open to that, as well. At the moment, of course, we’re very busy with [...] Jon Davison, and doing a lot of touring work [...] looking at making a new YES album with Jon Davison [...] Going into 2014, there are other possibilities that might open up, but we haven’t detailed them yet.
In an Oct
2011 interview, Howe summarised the last few years for Yes:
And here's an interview
with Squire conducted Dec 2012 where he also summarises the last
Interviewer: [...] How difficult was it to find someone to fill in for Jon Anderson and do you think you'll ever work with him again?
Squire: Of course it was real difficult. [...] [In 2008,] we hadn't worked live for really four years. Jon was going through some medical issues and we were hoping Jon was going to come through that [...] We did set out to do a tour in 2008 with Jon. Just before we started rehearsing for the tour Jon had taken ill and I think at that point we had realized that we couldn't keep everything on hold and that's why we went with [Benoît David] [...] Then the end of last year  he just sort of decided it wasn't really for him, he had various reasons why he didn't want to be away from home. It was sad that it happened, but fortunately we got together with Jon Davison, whom is really excellent, he's probably the closest thing to a great replacement of Jon. Jon Anderson is a landmark singer, you're never going to be able to replace what he brought to the band, because it was more than just his voice. It was us working together writing wise, so that dynamic is obviously going to be different with Jon Davison. [...] [W]orking with Jon Anderson again, I never turned my back on the idea. As far as I know he's not really physically able to do a hardcore rock n roll tour. If we do anything in the future it'd be some special event that was set up for that or maybe a couple of events. Right now Jon Davison just got on board so we'll work with that.
In a Jan
2013 interview, Squire said he had received a Xmas card from
Anderson and "will return the favor". He goes on to say, "I want
to say that one day it might be possible we could do something
again. I wouldn't close the door on that." Asked about working
with Anderson again in this Feb
2013 interview, Squire replies:
I always say in interviews that I've never closed the idea on working with Jon again. It would probably have to be some sort of speciality kind of set, a limited engagement kind of thing. I guess, right now, our plan is to do this [spring 2013] tour and then record a new album with Jon Davison towards the end of the year . Then we'll be out promoting that.
So, there's always an open door after that if we want to look at doing something with Jon. But, of course, it also depends on how he feels about it.
2012 interview asked Howe: "Asia is a band that works so
well with the original four, and not nearly as good without the
original four. Yes, however, is a band where everyone, at one time
or another, has come and gone, including you, yet it still works.
What is the difference between the two?" His reply:
It must be personalities. Asia had a long break where we didn’t do anything and Yes has perpetuated all of these years. That has required people to come and go and it has meant we need to get new blood sometimes, as well.
Asia is really quite different as it doesn’t work unless it is the original guys. You could claim the same for Yes and say that we should bring back the original guys, but Bill Bruford is, sadly, retired. Peter Banks and Tony Kaye are both very good musicians, but it wouldn’t be the same as what we do now, or what we did in the past. Yes and Asia are very different kinds of creatures, really.
Later in the same interview, he is asked if Anderson and Wakeman
will ever work with the band again:
Well, how in the hell do I know? I wouldn’t particularly say that it is on the agenda. People have said the cliché like we have burned bridges and all of that.An interviewer in Nov 2012 said to Howe, "I interviewed Jon Anderson a while back and he was quite upset that Yes toured and recorded without him." Howe's reply:
We are realistic people, so in the sense of realism, for Yes to evolve, we had to be a strong group and we had to have people who were committed to it to warrant a position in the band. In other words, if you come in and say to Yes, “I play the drums but in Yes I am going to play the bongos.” We would say, “But we want a drummer.”
You’ve got to be able to provide the full story. [...] everybody in this group needs to accept that we look at the entire career of this group. We don’t just look at little pockets when certain people were in the group—we don’t do that anymore. [...] Of course, we do focus a lot on the ‘70’s but there were a few lineups there.
In a way, that is the commitment. It is not about Jon and Rick now. It is about who can do these tours and who can perform the repertoire from 1968 to 2012. If you can do that then you have an opportunity to be in Yes. I’m not going to say Rick and Jon can’t do that. I will say that I don’t think that is what they want to do. But that is what Yes demands. We want artists who can come in and perform with an open heart right across the board. I guess that is the key to it.
We were upset for several years when he wouldn't tour. It wasn't only because he had not been well. We were very sympathetic to that. When he was well, he went out and did Yes songs on his own. I'm not saying it is tit for tat. What I am saying that the circumstances have changed. Yes has toured with Jon Davison singing and it was very successful. We are going to continue with Davison next year . I know people would love to see Jon Anderson, but it's about does it work. Do we want to honor each other's position? Nobody leads Yes. Yes does not have a single, solitary leader who says I am the leader of the band. It's a team. We have pushed forward and we haven't had anyone going home unhappy or asking for their money back. We deliver what Yes is supposed to do.In a May 2012 interview, again asked about a reunion with Anderson, Squire said:
I would never close the door on
that possibility, but we're in the throes of promoting our new
album and Jon Davison is doing a good job with that. If anything
in the future happens regarding a possible collaboration with
Jon [Anderson], I'm sure we'd look at it, but right now we're in
a good place and not even thinking about it.
However, he also talked about a possible Broadway residency that
would be in collaboration with Anderson and other ex-members: see above for more. He also supports the
interviewer's suggestion of a get together if the band were ever
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saying: "That would
be fantastic, wouldn't it? It would be great to get every member
up there onstage. Fortunately, I think every member is still
alive, so they shouldn't wait too long." In a mid-Jun 2012
interview, asked about a "reconciliation with Jon Anderson",
Who knows? One time, hopefully,
we can, erm... get back together with Jon. Whether it'd be for a
just a few specialised kind of... y'know, the shows are an
occasion, and not much like a whole tour, will probably be the
case [...] I'm still great friends with Jon. And he's just happy
doing his solo thing.
The interviewer then says she spoke with Anderson in 2011 and
that he's ready, to which White replies: "I wouldn't count it
In this Jun
2012 interview, on the possibility of Anderson returning,
I don't consider, er, closing the door on the idea of doing something with Jon again. It's just he himself has said that he couldn't commit to the kind of schedule it takes to do a Yes tour.
And on the same subject, a Jul
2012 interview has this:
Squire leaves the door open to
working with fellow co-founder Jon Anderson [...]
"Of course, he would want to have to do it," Squire said [...] "But it would be probably a little bit different. Because I'm not sure if he'd be up for doing the hard slog, a long rock 'n' roll tour, at this moment. But I'm sure there's a good possibility we could do something together in the future."
Being the cordial chap that he
is, Squire doesn't rule out any possibilities.
"Well, the funny thing is that more by default than desire, I've sort of been there the whole time," he said. "And various other members like Jon and [...] Rick Wakeman, for instance, have been in, they've been out, they've been back in, they've come back again. So, it's really par for the course with Yes. That's sort of a pattern. I wouldn't object to working with any former member of Yes, really."
And in another
You know, I’ve never closed the door on doing something wi[th Anderson] again. But we’d have to see how that could be done. The setting would have to be right for that to occur, because it would be a shame to build up a new Yes lineup with Jon Davison and then bring Jon Anderson back in. That would make what we’re doing now seem like a secondary project. Even if we had him just in for a few dates, the business side would be pressuring us: Can you do more, can you do an album? It just may not ever happen. But, having said that, I haven’t closed my mind to it.
while Squire insisted that, “At the moment, we’re not thinking about doing anything with Jon Anderson again,” he seemed to take a “never-say-never” approach.
“It’s a possibility that we might do it one day,” he said, “but at the moment we’re out promoting ‘Fly From Here’ and introducing Jon Davison to people.”
2012 interview with White said:
As for Anderson coming back, "we haven't put that out of our minds at all," White says. But if it happens, "I've got a feeling it won't be these long, arduous tours, maybe just some one-off gigs in big cities and stuff like that."
And for these special occasions, "I think we probably would have Jon there, too, the other Jon. He's that nice a guy. He'd work with us on it and be part of it."
In an early Sep 2012 interview for GTFM radio (Wales), the
interviewer asked Downes about Squire having said he is "open" to
Anderson returning. Downes replied:
What Chris might say in an interview might (a) be misinterpreted or (b) might be something that, y’know, he might want to… erm… not really mean what he’s saying in that respect. Certainly, at the moment, I don’t see that being a possibility, but you never say never in those circumstances. There may be some level whereby there is a kind of a Yes reformation some time down the line in the future, similar to the Union situation, maybe. But certainly I think that the level of touring we’re doing at the moment and the intensity of dates, I don’t think would probably suit Jon Anderson, not that I know him particularly well
Feb 2012 interview with Squire on Davison replacing David
also had this:
In a Jan
2013 interview, Anderson was asked, "Will there ever be a
chance at reconciliation with Yes that could result in a new tour,
perhaps even a new Yes album?" His answer: "I would love that to
happen!" He said more in this exchange from a Feb
Interviewer: A few months ago[...] Squire [...] told me that he's never turned down the opportunity to work with you again, but currently your health is too poor to do an extensive tour. How is your health [...]
Anderson: Yeah, I nearly died a couple of times. My health is very good. The bizarre thing is I sing more on stage now doing my solo shows than I ever did with Yes. I sing and talk for an hour and three quarters. Chris just wants to own and control the band, that's his life. I wish he'd have called the band something else, it would have been more real, but bands do it, Journey carried on without their singer. I wish them luck; it's not my idea of Yes, obviously. My idea of Yes is "Open" and what I'm doing now. Emotionally I haven't left Yes at all. [...] I still have a great feeling about the future of my idea of Yes music. I'm still committed to the wonderful Yes music we've created over the years. I want to continue to make that kind of Yes music [...]
Interviewer: [...] Are you open to the idea of an extensive tour with them?
Anderson: I wanted to tour in 2009 when I got better and they said no. They turned me down. They said maybe next year. That's kind of bizarre to me that they'd say they already had a singer, six months later that singer, probably a lovely guy, couldn't handle the touring, because it's so hard. Now they have another singer, they didn't call me or ask me if I'd be interested, they just say oh he's sick, which is a lot of rubbish.
Interviewer: Would you ever work with them again?
Anderson: Sure, I'd love to. There's no reason why we shouldn't bury the hatchet, get together and make some music and do something very special for all the Yes fans around the world. And there are thousands of people who would like us to get together [...] Rick would have to be in the band. There's no point in just me. We'd probably do some shows or something, some beautiful new music [...] we could make a movie or something like that, just to honor all the fans.
2013 interview had this:
Anderson says he’s made overtures about joining the Yes fold again [...] His only condition [...] was that [...] Rick Wakeman return as well. [...] Chris Squire and [...] Steve Howe, Anderson adds, weren’t interested.
“Chris and Steve like to have control of things. That’s what they want to do,” Anderson says. “I’ve said two or three times, I’d love to get back together — as long as Rick is back in the band. They don’t seem to be hearing that, at the moment. Maybe, one day it will happen. We’ll see.”
He had earlier in the interview given his view of the current
They’re carrying on[.] Fans have lost interest in the whole concept, anyway. It’s what it is. It’s going to go the way it’s going to go — that’s really all I can say. I think a lot of people are just disappointed, like I was, that it’s lost that impetus that made Yes music so beautiful and different.
He also commented that he hasn't heard Davison singing, but he
said of David: "I heard Benoit when someone sent me a link on
YouTube, and he was singing pretty good. He's a good singer, but
he was having a tough time after a year on the road. Singers, it's
a very physical thing, and they are the most affected by long
In the wake of David's departure, it was reported that an attempt
was made to reach out to Jon Anderson, but
that Anderson would not talk and no discussion with him took place
(see, for example, here
on Yesfans.com). In response to earlier, erroneous, online reports
that he had been asked to re-join, Anderson released a statement
on 8 Feb, from which I quote:
Interviewer: Because of your health issues,
Yes decided to tour with a replacement vocalist. Can a band
still call itself Yes and not have Jon Anderson singing?
Anderson: No, it's never going
to be the same band. And they've just announced this week that
they had to get yet another singer after the guy who replaced me
became ill. I've told them that since I am healthy again that I
would to get back with them. I told them that I wanted to create
new music, but they don't want to do that. They just want to go
on the road and make money. They don't care for the integrity of
the band. I feel they have let a lot of fans down. They're just
in it for the money.
In the wake of David's departure, it was reported that some sort
of attempt was made to reach out to Anderson, but that he would
not talk and no discussion with him took place (see, for example,
on Yesfans.com). In response to earlier, erroneous, online reports
that he had been asked to re-join, Anderson released a statement
on 8 Feb, from which I quote:
“A couple years back he [Anderson] did have some problems with his voice and problems with his breathing. It became a little obvious that he was reticent to want to commit to do any large-scale touring,” Squire said. “The rigors of going on the road as a lead singer, it’s a very difficult job. So, at the moment, we’re concentrating on this lineup.”
[“]Benoit has certainly grown into the job very well. He manages to pretty much pull off most of what Jon does, if not all,” Squire said. “Jon Anderson is a great singer and still is a great singer and obviously very difficult to replace, but the fans seem to have embraced Benoit [...]”
2011 interview had Squire giving this explanation of how
Anderson was replaced:
Squire says the group moved on
without Anderson after the vocalist developed serious
"We took some time off in between 2005 and 2007 for Jon to get treatment for that condition," Squire says. "Then in 2008 we agreed to go on tour and Jon was up for it. But just before the tour started he got very sick and we had to cancel the tour. At that point we had to make a decision to bring somebody else aboard in order to carry on working. It's as simple as that, really."
In an 18
2011 interview, Squire said:
My standard answer [...] is
that there’s no door closed on the possibility of that [Anderson
re-joining] happening. Um, but you have to remember that,
y’know, Jon did go through some quite severe respiratory
problems, and I think he’s doing pretty well now. But, erm, the
rigours of being able to do a large tour with Jon are probably
gonna be a bit more than he’s capable of. But, y’know, we’ve
always talked about doing some selected shows
In a 28 Jun 2011 radio interview, asked again about the
possibility of Anderson returning, Squire protested the question,
saying the band's focus "for the next couple of years" was touring
in support of Fly from Here,
but that after then, they could think about working with Anderson
again. In another Jun
interview, Squire said:
I’ve never closed the door on
the possibility of working with Jon again. He has left and
rejoined the band on a couple of previous occasions. It could
happen again. But right now, having just finished the album and
the fact that we’re all pleased with it and the reviews from
outside all seem to be very positive, we’re at least going to
spend the next year or two going around the world and promoting
and playing live. [...] Ask me again that question in a year’s
time and I might have a different answer.
"Those [the Anderson/Wakeman
shows] were all fairly lightweight, acoustic kind of shows,"
Squire says. "Singing for Yes is a very taxing position and I
don't know Jon's abilities to do a heavy rock & roll tour."
[...] Squire insists that there is no bad blood between Anderson and the rest of Yes. "We exchange Christmas cards," he says. "I'd be happy to work with him in the future. I'm proud of the fact that we started this thing together. If there's a way in the future that we could work together, and it's something that's comfortable for him and everyone else involved, I'm certainly open to looking at it."
In a different Mar
2011 interview, Howe said: "It's got a lot to do with
commitment. We didn't want Jon to leave, and we didn't want Rick
to leave, but basically, they didn't want to be part of the
party." He then continues:
[David and O. Wakeman] They’ve
brought [the Yes] sound. It’s quite a similar tone, and that’s
helped us maintain a familiar sound[.] You shut your eyes, and
you think it’s Jon and that’s never happened before.
We didn’t go out with a sloppy show with a singer who couldn’t deliver. I think the audiences have been impressed by Benoit and, thankfully, have accepted him.
And there is this from another
interview with Squire that month:
A reunion of the two original
Yes men [Squire and Anderson] might happen.
But don’t expect it anytime soon.
“I don’t see why not,” Squire said. “That door is always open.”
He added, “But that would be something to look into two or three years from now.”
And Squire in a 22
Mar 2011 interview, asked about Anderson:
“We always exchange Christmas
cards,” Squire began with a hearty laugh, “but I haven’t spoken
to him recently. I don’t have any problem with communicating
with him, I believe he’s doing very well and is a lot more
recovered from his respiratory problems he was having, so that’s
“It wouldn’t be out of the question that we would do something with him again in the future, but we’ve got to get at least another year and promote this new album before we turn to any special guesting from Jon — but it’s not impossible to happen.”
with Squire from around Feb 2011 has the following:
When asked how Yes keep things
fresh [...] Squire chuckles and says bluntly, “[We] change the
other guys in the band.” [...] Squire is matter of fact about
the circumstances that led to Anderson being replaced as well as
the number of fans who are upset about the change. “I find that
to be the minority of people at the moment, as far as I am
concerned. Obviously, there are going to be people who will miss
him or whatever but life must go on. Believe you me, if Jon was
up and his health was good, then it would be a different
situation, but that is not the situation. We decided at one
point to go one with Benoit. Otherwise the band would have just
slipped into obscurity.”
[...] “We were very lucky to
find someone [in David] who can basically do the job. He pretty
much has all of the ideas surrounding the job as well,”
Some 2009 reports had Anderson (and maybe R. Wakeman) returning
to the band at some point in 2010, but this did not happen.
Anderson has said that he told Howe/Squire/White that he was ready
to return to the band in 2009, but they told him they would stick
with David. Squire was interviewed in Oct 2009 on Planet Rock
Eventually we said to Jon, y'know... we've been trying to plan tours, and then he said yes and then it was off again. And then we were going to do a big tour [in summer 2008] [...] Just prior to going into rehearsals, Jon had a real problem [...] After that happened, we said, well, y'know, maybe we just need to get, at that point, a stand-in for him, so we can carry on.
I don't think he is going to be able to do large-scale rock and roll touring again.
COMMENTING on a recent Yes concert, one reporter said
that the voice of Jon Anderson was missed, it was a pity that
he was still ailing.
“I sent him an e mail straight away,” Jon told me
recently. “Not only am I no longer ailing, but I’m healthier
“I’d actually been ill for about five years [...] it got
to the point where I couldn’t continue.”
“I had to take a complete break and ended up having six
But Yes [...] wouldn’t wait for him.
“[...] they recruited a guy from a Canadian Yes tribute
band and went on the road with him. I felt that they could
have waited until I had recovered.”
“When you go through a serious illness, you need to see
if you can perform again, so I’m doing about one show per
week. It’s a lot less of a hassle and it’s a kind of rebirth
But have Yes included Jon in their plans for a
forthcoming UK tour?
“I said to them that I was available, but they said they
were contracted to Benoit [...] It’s a complicated situation.”
The ‘complicated situation’ obviously rankles a bit.
“I think it’s inappropriate and not respectful to the
fans.” Jon said. “They shouldn’t have used the name. By all
means go out on tour, but don’t pass it off as Yes because
I love Chris [Squire] like a brother and wish only the best for him. But I think Jon is such an important part of YES, and it's not just the sound. It's the input and perspective that Jon brings. It sometimes is tough, but it's so worth it.Billy Sherwood was asked about the "situation" with Yes and Asia in this late 2012 interview, and replied:
I have and like any fan of the music one has their favorites of this or that.... That said, it's not my business how bands evolve, who should be there and who shouldn't. i just enjoy the fact music is being made.And then asked about working with Yes again, he said:
With Yes I have learned to never say no lol... Anything is possible, every time I thought I was finished working with the band it would then re-enter my world in some significant way. I have no plans to re-join or produce etc... but I didn't have that plan when it came at me in the past so.... let's leave it at who knows.Asked in a Jul 2014 interview whether there is "an irreducible core to this band, somebody without whom you would just say, let's call it a day," Howe responded:
[laughs] Not really. We’ve all been replaced by somebody at one time or another. What I’m concerned about is that if one loses the idea of the adventurousness in this music — the dynamics that we need to play with that make the sensitivity and the crescendos and the lulls and all those things — if we suddenly think that we don’t need to do that, that we just play the songs, hammer them out, that would be a nonsensing of Yes, really. When we play “Five Percent for Nothing” for the first time ever onstage, we will be showing, if not ourselves, we’re showing the audience also that we’re challenging ourselves. If we don’t, then this isn’t Yes [...] That would be a good reason for you to moan all over the Internet, that Yes have lost the flame to be adventurous and to be musical and to be subtle as well as powerful [...] Subtlety is what Yes is.As for the future, in the Dec 2008 article, Squire said age would not slow them down: "There are classical musicians who perform into their 90s. I don't see why that can't be the same for people who play rock 'n' roll." In the Mar 2012 Classic Rock, Squire floats this possibility, once suggest by R. Wakeman around the time of Union:
[Yes's music i]s similar to the way classical music works. Long after those marvelous composers [...] passed, and the centuries moved forward, their music lives on. It’s not so much about the personality anymore. And people have a hard time seeing that now, because obviously the members [of Yes] are still alive, apart from Peter Banks [...] But it’s so easy to associate the music with the personality, and that causes a lot of conflict among fans. But ultimately, it’s about the music, and just taking the music forward. And there will always be a Yes. And I’m a lover of Jon Anderson as much as I’m a lover of Chris Squire, but you can’t fight it. And when something has that power to it, it’s beautiful, and beauty transcends all of that personality, and it’s always gonna belong, you just can’t put a cap on it and say, “Well, the original members aren’t doing this music anymore, so it’s over.” That can never be. It just can’t be.In a Jul 2012 interview for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Howe explains Yes's longevity by saying, "[T]hat's the answer to your question: We change[.] We're like an orchestra; an orchestra can change membership." In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked how long he can see the band continuing: "As long as people want to see and hear us. [...] If we can get on a stage to play, and the fans still buy tickets, then we'll do it. [...] There's a lot more life in us."
Yes has certainly stood the test of time. We’ll see what happens down the line. It’s possible there might be a Yes band 100 or 200 years from now, much in the same way cities have symphony orchestras that have been around. [...] the name could be kept and you could have new musicians come in. [...] Yes isn’t necessarily contingent upon my presence. By now, people know what my contribution to the band has been, both in songwriting and playing. Of course, I can be emulated and my style can be borrowed from for any future bassist or secondary vocalist for the band. I’ve thought about it a lot, and this could be a possibility looking toward the future.
In a Dec
2013 interview, Squire mooted the possibility of something
akin to the Union tour in the future:
Maybe at some point in the future we’ll try and do another expanded Yes as we did in 1991, and maybe that will give us some opportunity to do some more of that [YesWest] music. The great thing about that band was that it was almost like a “Yes orchestra.” It was defintely a good thing to do, and not out of the question that we might do it again at some point. But right now we’re forging on with the new project.
Animated film project: Roger
Dean's "Floating Islands" film or something else
Yes have had preliminary discussions about possible film ventures, including one being developed by Roger Dean. In an Apr 2007 interview for Mexican newspaper, Reforma, Squire said that the band have been in contact with Universal Pictures about making an animated movie about the band's history from their formation to the present day, including their more representative songs. The article makes a comparison with The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine":
Hace poco la compañía Universal Pictures se mostró interesada en hacer una película de animación en la que se muestra un poco de nuestra trayectoria musical, desde cuando surgimos, hasta la actualidad, incluyendo obviamente, nuestras canciones más representativas. Lo estamos analizando, todavía hay algunas puntos por precisar, como la historia, de qué trataría y cómo se abordaría, cuáles etapas de la carrera se incluirían, las canciones, pero creo que es muy pronto para hablar del tema, esperemos pronto poder dar más detalles. [...]An Aug 2012 interview with the same newspaper, Reforma, raises the idea again, along side plans for a live residency by the band. The article is not specific, but Squire seems to respond that both ideas are being considered, but will not occur in 2012 or 2013. See details above.
Son muchos años, muchas anécdotas que contar, creo que tendríamos que seleccionar muy bien lo que quisiéramos abordar, porque una película, comúnmente tiene una corta duración, cerca de dos horas y es muy poco para contar tanto, ya casi cumplimos cincuenta años de estar juntos.
It is unclear how Yes are involved with current planning for
"Floating Islands". The film is expected to feature music by the
band. Asked in the Mar 2008 interview about Yes making some music
especially for the project, Dean replied: "all members of the band
have spoken enthusiastically about doing that. [...] That's
definitely what we would like." He goes on to say he would like
both existing and new songs, and discusses the options for either
existing or new recordings of old songs. He talks about both
"Awaken" and "Soon". Back in Jun 2007, Dean had said that Yes are
not currently involved with the project beyond authorising the use
of their music. A report from around 2005 had that the film is
intended to contain 8-12 classic tracks (a re-recorded "Close to
the Edge" was mentioned in one rumour) and at least 4-5 new
recordings. In Jun 2007, Dean confirmed there had previously been
discussion of Yes writing new music for the film and that the band
had been thinking of "re-recording everything" (presumably meaning
re-recording classic pieces), but that there hadn't been any
discussion of new music recently with Yes then being dormant.
Further back, there were more reports from Yes about contributing. In a Dec 2004 Delicious Agony interview, White said, "We're starting to write music for it." In his Christmas Newsletter 2004, Wakeman said: "There are certainly ideas in the offing which include [...] making a film/and/or DVD with Roger Dean involved with all of the visuals which I particularly like, but there is much to be sorted out within the band itself before any decisions". Wakeman indicated that one of their main reasons to prefer the DVD format over CDs is Internet piracy. In an Oct 2005 interview with Squire for YesFANZ, he said:
We are looking at various options from the various major companies. Universal have shown interest and we are going to be looking at trying to put together a show that maybe then after the film has been made of the same, we can then tour the world with that kind of a look and with that kind of combining the film and the touring aspect.The interviewer, Brian Draper, then raised the Dean project. Squire:
I think Roger’s floating Islands idea is a very good project. But after Lord of the Rings was made [...] with such good quality, it[']s hard to know quite whether Roger may be a bit late in thinking about that because it has been done so well with the correct amount of money [...] His idea, I fully support it but I am not quite sure where it is going to go. I had a couple of meetings with him to try and figure it out but so far nothing is happening.Fly from Here
[...] I think pretty much [he is looking for funding]. [...] Yes is a separate entity really from Roger [...] I have to look out for what’s best for Yes as opposed to Roger. But I think the idea of animated film for a Yes musical project is a good one but there are various options on the table that we are looking at.
national chart positions
A song entitled "Corner of the World" and further songs were also being developed after Downes joined, but were not used on the final album. Shortly before recording final overdubs for the album, David was interviewed by Progression magazine, saying, "At the end of the day we recorded so many tracks that we could do almost two albums. So the tracks are there, we just need to see what Trevor puts on the final disc." In mid-May 2011 on the Asia tour, Howe and Downes spoke to fans about the album and said that there were a few songs that were left off the album.
| In the Present—Live from
Lyon (Frontiers) is out as a 2CD,
limited edition 3LP gatefold (FR LP 537; Europe only; now
sold out) or 2CD+DVD set (FR CDVD 537). These were released
first in Japan on Victor Entertainment, then in North
America and then in Europe. Official
trailer here. This is the 1 Dec 2009 show when Oliver Wakeman and Benoît David were in the band. The
audio is the full show on the Japanese release, but omits
Howe's second solo piece elsewhere. The ~55 min. DVD
consists of interviews with the band, behind the scenes
footage, excerpts from the show and complete performances of
"Roundabout" and "Machine Messiah". Director of video
content: Philippe Nicolet. Tracks: CD1—"Siberian Khatru",
"I've Seen All Good People", "Tempus Fugit", "Onward",
"Astral Traveller", "Yours is No Disgrace", "And You and I",
"Corkscrew" (Howe solo), "Second Initial" (Howe solo; Japan
only bonus track); CD2—"Owner of a Lonely Heart", "South
Side of the Sky", "Machine Messiah", "Heart of the Sunrise",
"Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". Cover by Roger Dean. In
response to discussion on Yesfans.com about whether there
were any overdubs on the album, O. Wakeman said:
From what I can recall there were no overdubs on the live album.
I worked with Karl Groom on the mix for about 3 weeks in 2010. With any live recording there are going to be sections which don't sound perfect and occasionally things do go wrong. Someone might hit a wrong note or a cable might come loose. A snare skin or guitar skin can break for example.
I do remember when Karl and I were working on the album, I spent ages going through all the areas which I felt could need attention.
After checking the parts together, Karl and I decided to leave a lot of things in which weren't technically perfect but showed the band accurately and retained the feel of the show, otherwise what's the point, you may as well listen to the studio album!
If there were any sections that really weren't acceptable and had to be repaired, rather than get people to replay parts, we went through other live show recordings from the tour and utilised a part from that show in order to ensure the live feel was kept throughout.
There was talk of the whole show possibly being made into a DVD at the time from the two shows that were recorded (Rouen & Lyon).
I seem to remember the Rouen show was not as good a show as Lyon and therefore it would have made syncing the music from one show to footage from two shows a bit of a logistical nightmare! But as this was a possibility - we had to keep the music mix as close to the actual show as possible.
|A Special Edition re-release of "Songs from
Tsongas—The 35th Anniversary Concert" was out 10 Sep 2014 in Japan (Nippon Colombia)
and due 22 Sep elsewhere (Eagle Rock). There are a Blu-ray
version, a 2DVD version and a 3CD version. Japan also has versions with the Blu-Ray +
3CD, and with 2 DVDs + 3CD. In addition to the
original content, the Blu-ray and DVD versions include bonus
material (on the second disc for the DVD version) of 70
minutes taken from the band's Lugano, Switzerland festival
performance, "Ritual" from the Tsongas show (moved from the
main running order) and an interview with Roger
Dean. All the Japanese releases
come with an additional 8 tracks from the Lugano show, i.e.
the full show. "Songs from Tsongas" tracks:
have re-released a remastered and expanded version of ABWH
(ECLEC22465); US release follows 7 Oct. This comes with
restored artwork and booklet, including a new essay by Sid
Smith. Bonus disc:
1. "Order of the Universe (Long Edit)" (6:03), from 12" singleThis is different to the 2011 Gonzo re-release. In a Jul 2014 post to ProgressiveEars.com, the Esoteric account explained what had happened and the choice of bonus material:
With regards to AWBH , it was always owned by Sony, no one in the band had the right to licence to Gonzo we have been told , hence Sony wanted it licensed legitimately, it is complicated though what you can add, the owning label have to give permission to add bonus tracks that they don't own etc and we have a very short window to release on other label licences that don't allow for lengthy negotiationsThe Yes Album, Close to the Edge, Going for the One and Yessongs are now available as HD downloads from HDtracks (in the US; not available in most countries). These are described as "flat" transfers from the master tapes. Several Yes songs are also available through the Jammit app, which allows you to isolate multi-tracks. Audio Fidelity have released a limited edition, 'gold' Hybrid SACD release of Close to the Edge (AFZ147). Going for the One (AFZ 157) followed in Jun 2013. Both were mastered by Steve Hoffman, who said on his online forum that he used the master tape for Going for the One rather than the EQ'd LP cutting master used, he said, for previous CD releases.
|Buy from Amazon (UK):
||Buy from Amazon (US):
Covers of Yes songs
& other news
|Electric Wurms is a new side-project from
Steven Drozd (vocals, guitar, keys) and Wayne Coyne (bass)
of The Flaming Lips,
with the members of psychedelic band Linear Downfall, i.e.
Charlee Cook, Chance Cook, Will Hicks and Dom Marcoaldi.
Their debut album, Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk (Bella
Union/Warner Bros.), was released in Aug and includes a
cover of "Heart of the Sunrise" as the lead single,
available digitally on iTunes. This can be heard
on YouTube here. Tracks:
new album, Kaleidoscope
(Radiant Records), out Jan 2014, is available in a variety
of editions, some including an additional CD of covers and a
"making of" DVD (86 minutes). Tracks:
Now out is Recollections: A Tribute to British Prog from
Asia Featuring John Payne,
including a cover of "It Can Happen": see the Asia page for more details.
|Secrets of Disguise (Musea), released Apr 2013, is the second album from The Samurai of Prog, a project led by Marco Bernard (ex-Elektroshock; Rickenbacker bass) with Kimmo Pörsti (drums) and Steve Unruh (Resistor; vocals, violin, guitars, flute). Tracks: disc 1—"Three Piece Suite" (originally by England), "Sweet Iphigenia", "Descenso en el Maelstrom" (Crack), "Before the Dance", "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" (Genesis), "Aspirations" (Gentle Giant), "Traveler" (Premiata Forneria Marconi), "Sameassa Vedessä" (Matti Järvinen), "One More Red Nightmare" (King Crimson), "To Take Him Away" (Sandrose), "Time and a Word" (Yes); disc 2—"Singring and the Glass Guitar" (Utopia), "Darkness" (Van der Graaf Generator), "Jacob's Ladder" (Rush), "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (alternative version)" (original version on the Musea compilation The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft). Guests included Jon Davison (singing on "Time and a Word", parts recorded in 2011—available on streaming audio at Yes's SoundCloud), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic), Guy Le Blanc (Nathan Mahl, ex-Camel), Robert Webb (England), Eduardo Garcia Salueña, Linus Kåse (Brighteye Brison), Mark Trueack (Unitopia, working with Jon Anderson, Nikki Squire), David Myers (ex-The Musical Box, ex-Mystery), Lalo Huber (Nexus), Ákos Bogáti-Bokor (Yesterdays), Kamran Alan Shikoh (Glass Hammer), Mimmo Ferri (electric piano on "Aspirations"), Beatrice Birardi (vibraphone on "Aspirations"), Jan-Olof Stranberg (fretless bass on "Aspirations"), Phideaux Xavier, Srdjan Brankovic, Mento Hevia (Crack), Stefano Vicarelli, Risto Salmi, Octavio Stampalia, Matthijs Herder, Andrew Marshall (Willowglass). The album is available as a 2CD or a digital release.|
Voices for Yes
Voices for Yes (Facebook; Twitter) is a major fan-led campaign to get Yes inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can sign the petition here. The campaign is headed by two political operators: John Brabender (who worked on Rick Santorum's 2012 US Presidential campaign) and Tad Devine (who worked on John Kerry's 2004 and Al Gore's 2000 Presidential campaigns). Also involved are Steve Capus (former president of NBC News), Sara Taylor (former White House Political Director under George W. Bush) and our own Steven Sullivan (Forgotten Yesterdays). The campaign received support from the current band, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Geddy Lee (Rush), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Savannah Guthrie (NBC News co-anchor), Dylan Howe and Virgil Howe. Yes responded to the campaign here.
Yes were nominated for entry to the Hall of Fame in 2014. They were on the long list along side Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel (first nomination; already inducted as part of Genesis in 2009), Nirvana (first nomination), Kiss, The Replacements (first nomination), Hall and Oates (first nomination), The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, LL Cool J, N.W.A, Link Wray (first nomination), The Meters, Linda Ronstadt (first nomination), Cat Stevens (first nomination) and The Zombies (first nomination). The public were able to vote in a poll to select a top 5 that then makes up a part of the formal ballot. (Precisely how is unclear, however in 2014, three of the top five in the public vote are guaranteed to be inducted.) Yes came fourth with 151,238 votes (10.88%), behind Deep Purple (11.93%), Nirvana (15.69%) and Kiss (17.22%); Hall and Oates were fifth with 8.1%, with Gabriel just behind in sixth. Voices for Yes released a video supporting the vote. Anderson responded to the news on Facebook with: "weeeeeeeeeeeeee....wonderful new, all you great Fans deserve to see YES in the Hall of Fame, YES music is very special, very unique, and I'm a fan of what we did as a band, no matter what happens, we still created some of the most wonderful music ever [...]" In a Dec 2013 interview, Squire said he had spoken to Anderson about the nomination: "he's excited about the nomination and of course he'll be there. We'll see, we'll probably try to do an expanded Yes thing there, if we're inducted." He also said, "And I think Pat [Moraz] sho[u]ld be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well, if we're inducted."
However, Yes were not chosen for induction in 2014. Downes
tweeted in Jan 2014 that, "Fact: Yes missed out on the R&R
Hall of Fame by a mere 24 votes out of 700." The inductees are
Kiss (1st in the public vote), Nirvana (2nd), Hall & Oates
(5th), Peter Gabriel (6th), Linda Ronstadt (7th) and Cat Stevens
(8th). Before the announcement, in this Nov
2013 interview, Anderson had said, "We might not get in this
year. If not, then we'll try and get in next year. My mantra is,
it will happen when it happens." The band
were not nominated for 2015 entry.
Media, books, documentaries
Journalist Jon Kirkman (worked on the "Union Live" and other releases; Cruise to the Edge host) has written a new book about Yes, "Time and a Word: The Yes Interviews" (Facebook, YouTube; Rufus Stone Limited Editions), now out as a limited edition (1000 copies). There is also a limited signature edition (350 copies) signed by Kirkman and three of the band. A cheaper, softback version will follow later in 2014. The book contains new and archive interviews with current and past band members, covering Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Kaye, Banks, Howe, Wakemans R & O, White, Moraz, Downes, Rabin, Sherwood, Brislin, David and Davison, as well as with Phil Franks, the photographer for The Yes Album. The book also contains many photographs, many not previously published (including from Moraz's personal collection). Kirkman is also working on a second Yes book project.
Allá del Abismo" (240 pages), by Víctor Paraíso, is a new
Spanish-language book about Yes, released Dec 2013 by T&B
Garry Freeman (author of "The Bootleg Guide" and
the forthcoming "Emerson, Lake and Palmer—A Live Guide
1970-1978") is working on "Yes—A Live Guide 1968-1979" (Helter Skelter
Publishing). The book aims to review as many shows as
possible from this period, including details on equipment
specifications and so on. If you can help with recordings of shows
or technical information (what equipment the band used, what was
the set list etc.), please e-mail
Garry. The Gottlieb brothers are working on a book on Yes
collectibles and Bill Martin (author of "Music of
Yes—Structure and Vision in Progressive Rock") has been
rumoured to be working on a new Yes book.
In a Jul 2004 interview, Wakeman said he would be writing a book about Yes: "I am going to do [a book] about Yes. There have been lots of books written about the band and I want to do one from what it's like inside the band." In a Jan 2005 interview, he said he was "seriously thinking about" writing a book about Yes having been asked to do one by a "big publisher". See further details under Wakeman. Moraz too is planning an autobiography that "will reveal the truth of what happened with Yes" (Oct 2010 interview). Squire and Howe are both working on autobiographies, which will cover Yes.Significant record labels
Yes are managed by Paul Silveira. Precisely who owns the Yes name, or what that question even means, is unclear. Yes as a corporate entity (Yes, LLC) was owned by Howe, Squire and White, and Downes may also be a co-owner now. Anderson and R. Wakeman were equal co-owners 2002-4, but subsequently sold their shares back. Consider also this Jul 2009 interview with Squire:
Not at the moment. I spoke with Rick a couple weeks ago, and he’s getting ready for a tour next year  [...] Journey to the Centre of the Earth, a big tour. But he actually said to me he had some new music he wanted to have ready in a couple weeks, and I said, “Please,” because we might as well continue writing together, because we respect and love each other very much.A Nov 2013 interview had more: "We're working on a project, doing a couple of songs in the moment. He's doing a lot of orchestral work next year  [...] We won't tour the next year  together, but the year after , I'm sure. We are always in touch." In a May 2012 interview, Anderson said, "Rick's working on some new music now. I'm not sure when he's going to finish the music but he's actually working on some new music for a new album". In his Jun 2011 GORR, Wakeman mentions that he and Anderson "have been exchanging music to work on for [...] the pair of us" (as well as material for the project with both of them and Rabin; see below). Asked in a Jun 2011 interview, Anderson said:
Anderson & Trevor Rabin
Anderson and Trevor Rabin have been sporadically collaborating over the last several years. They were reportedly writing together in 2006. Anderson has mooted both the possibility of joining Rabin on some film work and of touring the YesWest catalogue. In a May 2008 article, he talked of him and Rabin "maybe touring some of that '80s-period music, because it was very special. [...] I wouldn't do it, like, Yes. I'd do it like me and Trevor aspiring to be the two of us making music and see what we come up with." The article describes Anderson as being "amenable to some sort of reunion of the Yes[West] lineup", although it is unclear whether Anderson indicated the involvement of any of Squire, White or Kaye. However, it appears this co-writing activity is now being directed to a project with Rick Wakeman as well: see immediately below.
A Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores."
Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman & Trevor
Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin have been working on a project together, but the collaboration is proceeding slowly. Some preliminary material has been written, initially by Anderson/Rabin in early 2011 and before, but also through online interaction since. The latest on the project came in the Jan 2014 issue of Prog. There, Wakeman discussed how the project came about and then said, "the band was officially born last year", presumably referring to 2012. Quite what he meant by "born" is unclear given he first announced the project in early 2010; he may be referring to how all three met up in London in early 2012 to exchange ideas. In the Prog article, Rabin explained, "It's been a slow process [...] because of our respective workloads. But we are always trying to move this forward." He added, "We all have a passion for this [...] I can't put a time frame on it. But none of us are getting any younger." Wakeman also explained that, given his solo touring schedule in 2014, that any release will be in 2015 "at the earliest". Describing progress to date, Wakeman said, "The first stage that we've agreed on is the swapping of music, themes and songs. That way we can begin to work on each other's suggestions." And Rabin said, "All we've done is pass on indvidual musical skeletons [...] there's nothing even close to being ready to play for anyone." In a Feb 2014 interview, Anderson said Rabin had sent him some music just before Xmas 2013, explaining, "So we're just jamming around with ideas." While in a Facebook comment that month, Rabin said, "Still hoping that time allows for an album with Rick and Jon. We certainly want it." A 14 Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores." It also said Anderson had been in contact with Wakeman that month.
In an interview
with Anderson from around May 2013, asked about the
collaboration, he said:
Well, I made the mistake of mentioning it once, and obviously a lot of people want to know what’s happening, and it was just one period of time about a year and half ago or so when I was seeing Trevor quite a lot and we’d been writing a couple of songs and we talked about maybe working with Rick. It’s funny because you spend time talking ideas and then six months later you’ve stopped talking about them, and then Rick’s busy and Trevor’s doing another movie and I’m on tour. It was very hard to bring it together, and at the moment we’re sort of in limbo.
2013 interview with Anderson had saying: "there's now some
talk of Rick and I doing an album with Trevor Rabin. Rick's doing
some music so I'll send that off with some vocals on it to Trevor
and he may put some guitar on it if he's not too busy composing
another film score." And then in another May 2013 interview, he
said that he, Rabin and Wakeman would like to tour playing Talk
with another couple of musicians.
In an interview in the Spring 2013 issue of Progression
magazine, Rabin said:
We've let it slide for a long time because I've been busy. Jon and I have never been closer, Rick and I were never anything but close. We really want to try to do something. [...] So I'm not sure when or how, but the intent is stronger now that it has been. We've been talking conceptually, but not really trading musical ideas.
He also said that he would like to use Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters, worked
with Jon Davison, Chris Squire, Alanis Morissette, Coheed and
Cambria) on drums, who is "really into" the idea.
The initial idea for the project was in early 2010. In 2011, it
emerged that plans had shifted to the main activity being in 2012.
By early 2012, Anderson was being cautious in his descriptions. A
2012 interview had this:
We talked about it, we wrote a
couple of things together, Trevor got sidetracked, we talked
about this year . We haven’t really finalized a
time. It’ll happen when it happens. That’s my new mantra: ‘It
will happen when it happens.’
The article then continues:
is there any chance of
Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin hitting the road and playing Yes
songs? “No, I don’t think so.”
“Rick’s recording as we speak,” Anderson says. “He said he’d send me some music this month or next month. And then I would send it to Trevor. We’d actually written a couple of songs, me and Trevor, and me and Rick have written a couple.” Last time, Anderson said he couldn’t imagine an Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin tour, but he may have warmed up to the idea. If they do tour, fans shouldn’t expect a Yes “greatest hits” show.
“If we make music that we really like, and we put it out there, we’ve got a good fan base who wants to see us do new music… I don’t think we’d want to go out just doing old music, I don’t see the point. I’d rather go out there and do some new music, of course, you’d do old stuff that people want to hear. But you don’t rely on that as your show. You want to take some new music out there and have an adventure.”
Nov 2012 interview then had this:
Anderson: [...] like anything. It's a process. It will happen when it happens. I'm never that sure when it will happen, but I just know it will happen. I'm in touch with Rick and Trevor all the time. They're busy doing things [...] I'm busy doing things, but we've talked about some ideas we've come up with and music that we've come up with and it's really a question of timing. Maybe next year  is going to be the year.
Interviewer: [...] who will be on drums and bass?
Anderson: Got no idea at all. We talked about getting an ensemble on stage with three of us, rather, you know, than five or six or seven other musicians. [...]
Interviewer: Do you think it will be something you do in a virtual studio or do you think that you'll try to do some studio time together [...]
Anderson: [...] we'll probably do virtual.
2012 interview with Anderson had been more negative:
Over the past year, Yes fans
have been looking forward to a proposed project from [...]
Anderson [...] Rabin and [...] Wakeman. Unfortunately, as
Anderson tells Ultimate Classic Rock, the grouping has been put
“We did some songs last year, and Trevor had some things going on in his life that he had to sort out, you know, family things and he gets very, very tied up in his music for movies, so we just found it hard to collectively get together. And Rick’s got so many things that he’s doing in England. He has TV shows and radio shows. So eventually, it will happen. You keep the door open and hope that it will happen.”
With Trevor it’s all about
timing being everything you know. You never know, Trevor always
said he wanted to do but right now he’s going through some
changes in his work, seeing what he wants to do. I am very open
to when it happens it happens, always ready to try things like
[...] I think Trevor is waiting to jump into that adventure but he’s not quite ready yet in his heart. We wait and see and when we will work together I think it will be real spontaneous music. That’s what we talked about, making it spontaneous. A bit different than we used to do…
2012 interview with Anderson had: "It Happens When It
Happens, is my mantra! [...] we're always in touch. [...] we'll
see what happens."
Interview comments from Rabin also express some uncertainty over
timing. In this May
2012 interview, Rabin is asked whether there is anything he
cares to discuss about the collaboration and replies: "Nothing I
care to discuss as of yet. Rick is supposed to be sending me
something pretty soon for us to work on, so we'll see what comes
of it." In another May
2012 interview, he said:
We’ve been wanting to do
something for a couple of years now but we’ve not been
able to get together. Either I was on tour [this appears to be
in reference to Rabin accompanying his son's band, Grouplove, on
tour], or Rick and Jon were on tour. I met with Rick about eight
months ago in London. Rick and I get along so well [...] As
musicians, we get on really well, and the same goes with Jon.
The three of us are really intending on doing something but time
has not been our friend.
In my interview
with Rabin from Jul 2012, he said:
While Jon, Rick and I are excited about the prospect of doing something together nothing is organized yet and there’s no telling when or how something will be done. We really want to. Time is the enemy at the moment.
An article in Prog magazine, issue 26, stated that, "While nothing is confirmed, Rabin hopes recording will happen in 2012." This issue was published May 2012, although it appears to be based on an interview around Mar. Rabin is quoted as saying: "I haven't spent time with Rick since we had dinner in London at the end of last year. And I last saw Jon ever earlier, when he stayed with me. The problem is that all three of us have so much going on in our lives that it's been impossible to find the time to take it forward. The one thing I can tell you is that we all want to make this happen." He describes plans for the album: "What we want to end up with is an album that showcases what we're all about as individuals, but to make certain that it has an overall sound which represents this new band." He also mentions the possible involvement of Bill Bruford, which h previously ruled out by Bruford (see below): "I know Bill Bruford's name has been mentioned, and I'd be happy to have him involved. But right now, we've approached nobody else at all. And, to be realistic, until we have our schedule mapped out, then there is no point in bringing anyone else in." In yet another May 2012 interview, Rabin said, "Jon and I speak all the time. [...] Rick Wakeman, Jon and I have been talking about doing something for the last 3 years. [...] schedules are a real problem."In a mid-Apr 2011 Facebook message, Anderson had said, "all is great with Trev, Rick and Myself, writing ideas , and thinking of next year  already." In an Apr 2011 interview, Anderson said, "At the moment, I am writing with Trevor Rabin and Rick." Asked about the collaboration in a May 2011 radio interview, Anderson said, "we were writing songs just two weeks ago [...] it's gonna be fantastic next year ". In this interview, published Sep 2011, Wakeman describes meeting Rabin in London "recently" to discuss the project. Then there was this in a joint Oct 2011 interview by Anderson and Wakeman:
Wakeman: [I'm] waiting to hear from Trevor at
the moment. To be fair, I certainly haven't chased him, as I've
been so busy this year  (as indeed Jon has and certainly
Trevor as well). I really want this to happen; I believe it
could be amazing in so many ways. I will certainly play my part
in trying to bring this to fruition.
Anderson: We've talked about creating a project; it's just finding the right time to work together.
The Nov 2011 Classic Rock
Presents... Prog (issue 21) has this on the
Rabin is also to be involved in
a new project with [...] [Wakeman and Anderson.] But things are
still in the formative stages right now.
"We are still working it all
out. I did spend some time with Jon when he was over in the
States doing solo shows not that long ago. I'm sure this'll
The original idea was for the project to be made up of and be
called Anderson Bruford Wakeman Rabin, echoing the Anderson
Bruford Wakeman Howe project of 1988-90, but Bruford is not to be
involved. I had multiple reports that plans for the project came
to a halt in Mar 2011, but the project returned to being a going
concern. I reported the project's demise here on 31 Mar, but in
response to the subsequent online discussion, Wakeman explicitly
denied that the project was cancelled and his webmaster advised
looking to the RWCC for any official news. A report from close to
Jon Anderson also denied the project had come to an end. Wakeman
discussed the matter at some length in his April 2011 GORR:
In his 18May
blog, Bruford said in reply to questions:
a lot of people talking about Yes, which you may
all know that I am not re-joining and have received no such
invitation from anyone connected with the band. [...] Can’t we
just let rumours be rumours? It just clogs up the place.
The answer to Roger Norway - 3/16/2010 12:02:37 PM [who asked about the reports of Bruford's involvement in the Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin project] is therefore – I have no interest. These rumour things often get started by a ‘slow news’ day over at the magazines and blogs.
|Levin Torn White
Out is a new collaborative instrumental album by Levin Torn White, a trio of Tony Levin (bass, Stick), Alan White (drums, percussion) and David Torn (worked with Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, John Legend; guitar, textural events). The 14-track album, simply called Levin - Torn - White (Lazy Bones), was produced by Levin and Scott Schorr, and mixed by Tony Lash.
it all started w. Alan in the
studio. I just said, "rip it up, Alan. The more hardcore the
better. Whatever you feel." Then we ran a click track through
his headphones & began recording him just jamming. We'd stop
then give him another tempo & he'd be off and running. In
between takes, he'd just be messing around; off beats &
fills galore (no click) & I would tell the engineer to start
recording. Alan had no idea he was being recorded during these
"breaks". Most of these free jams made the record. His timing
was impeccable & he was so locked in the entire time. [...]
after drumming, he sat at the piano & blew everyone's mind.
Awesome pianist & he actually wrote a very cool piano piece
that didn't make the record.
I've known Alan and admired him
for some time, but never got to do a project with him. (Not
counting the "YES" album where we both played with different
incarnations of the group, but not together!)
David is an old friend and co-conspirator [...]
When I realized from Alan's ideas, and my reactions, how radical the direction was for this music, David seemed not only the best choice, but pretty much the ONLY choice for guitar!
He went on to describe how the album was made:
It's a category I don't know
quite how to describe. Improvisational, to be sure, but with
each player improvising separately to what the others had done,
and then re-assembling and then re-improvising.
In an interview
published Nov 2011, White said:
I came up with some really
different drum patterns and timings. Some of it was especially
for this, but some of them were things I have been working on
for years. Tony and Torn [...] then came up with their own ideas
[...] Toward the end, it was more Tony and Torn who
collaborated, since I was on tour with Yes. I was on the
telephone quite a bit, talking to them. Some of those things
were inspired from me as the source. It might change direction
slightly, become something different.
He went on:
When we were first getting into
it, we were all just trying to find our own way. [...] I think
all of these ideas have been doing through the three of us for a
lot of years, and those things just naturally come out when
you’re inspired by the people you are playing with. It was
mostly improvised but, at the same time, it still sounds really
articulated. There are spaces within all of that stuff to
In an Oct
2011 interview, White describes the project starting with
him, Levin and Schorr, but then they considered a number of
guitarists, before Levin and Schorr proposed Torn.
There is a preview
video on YouTube and various
samples on SoundCloud and Facebook. Details
Asked about live work, Torn said: "we've been talking about it,
but a few periods-of-time already haven't worked-out, so.....
dunno." Levin, in the aforementioned interview, said, "We're
indeed talking about that… too early to know if it can come
together. Alan busy touring with Yes -- I have Fall and Winter
commitments with Stick Men sharing a bill with Adrian Belew. So …
we'll see." While in White's Nov 2011 interview, he said: "We've
talked on email about doing some shows, maybe next year 
sometime. I think everybody still has that in the back of their
minds. But I told Tony we would have to rehearse at least a month
to recreate that stuff!"
White and Schorr discuss the project further with YesFANZ' Brian Draper here.
The interview ends with Draper asking about live work:
White: [...] we bandied about on that for a
while. Even so with Tony's schedule and my schedule and stuff
like that its really hard to pull off. And so as far as that
material goes, the answer is you would have to rehearse for
about 6 months! (laughs) That's the way I can see it. Now, I
reckon we could latch into it but it would be an intimate live
version of that and it would be the same thing but a live
version but the framework is the same.
Schorr: Alan knows this I would love to do another one with him. But the thing, maybe the second time would be to get the three guys in the room. So we talked about that but he is so slammed with Yes and other stuff that he does. This is kind of almost like a once in a life time opportunity to get something with this.
2012 interview asked White about a follow-up album. He
replied: "we're talking about it, right now. I'm not sure when and
where but we're talking about not doing something similar, but
just move on. Probably we'll not do it until early next year
." In a Feb
2014 interview, asked about doing a new album, White said,
"They want us to make another album – I'm not sure whether David
Torn but Tony and myself want to make another album whether David
does or not, I'm not sure but it's in the back of our minds."
Meanwhile, there is a sort of follow-up now out in the form of Levin Minnemann
Rudess (Lazy Bones), produced by Schorr and Levin: details under
Sonic Elements (Facebook; SoundCloud) is a group of progressive/classic rock projects led by Dave Kerzner (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud; ex-Sound of Contact, Lo-Fi Resistance, working with Billy Sherwood, worked with Francis Dunnery, Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, ex-Giraffe), founder of the music software development company Sonic Reality. Kerzner is the main producer and keyboardist of a number of "virtual bands" involving several guests, including often Billy Sherwood, that are recording various covers (including of Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis and ELP) and original songs for upcoming releases, but where some of the instrumental tracks are also available through Sonic Reality's sample libraries. Plans have evolved over time. Back in Dec 2011, Kerzner described to ProgressiveEars.com a plan consisting of:
Sonic Elements Fantasy Interactive
Dark Side of the Moon w/ Alan Parsons
Sonic Elements XYZ Fantasy Band Tribute to Rush featuring Neil Peart Drums
Sonic Elements Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Fantasy Soundtrack Tribute to Genesis
Sonic Elements Trifecta (original music with Billy Sherwood and drums from Terry Bozzio, Rod Morgenstein, Neil Peart...)
Sonic Elements TBA fantasy progressive rock project featuring...
... all involving Sherwood in some capacity. The tribute to Rush
and 'Trifecta' serve to explain the model for these projects. The
original track "Trifecta", previewed
here, features newly composed material performed by Sherwood
(bass, guitars) and Kerzner (keys) to an existing drum track for
Rush's "YYZ" that was recently recorded by Neil Peart for a sample
library at Sonic Reality with producer Nick Raskulinecz
(worked with Rush), while the Rush tribute consists of
covers of Rush songs, again using Peart's drum tracks.
In Feb 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "So that no one has to
wait too long for these wonderful projects to make their way to
full album releases... a decision has been made [...] to release a
variety of singles and EPs spanning originals and covers."
Full-length albums will follow. A 5-song EP, XYZ—A Tribute to Rush,
produced by Kerzner, came first on download and as a limited
edition CD from esoundz.
Pre-orders included a bonus, downloadable 6th track. Details
in Yescography. Tracks:
In Apr 2012, Kerzner explained that there:
will at least be another EP of
different material (the "keyboard era" stuff) and then
eventually a full album and that will have different versions of
some of these songs on it as well.
Plus there's going to interactive versions of the songs similar to Jammit except they can work inside products like AmpliTube where you can play guitar through modeled amps and pedals or inside Garageband and play anything you want. That's coming along with Neil Peart's isolated drum tracks. But these interactive versions are more for musicians to interact with.
We're also thinking about putting XYZ out on limited edition vinyl. Just 300 of them.
However, in an Oct 2012 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said the
next Rush-related release will be the full-length album Moving
Signals & Waves, covering tracks from the Rush albums Moving
Pictures, Signals and Permanent Waves.
The album is due, digitally and as a CD; mixing was going on in
May 2013. Confirmed tracks for the album include "Digital
Man" with Sherwood (vocals, guitar, bass), Kerzner (keys)
Perdomo (Dreaming in Stereo, worked with Mika; guitars);
of Radio", with Sherwood (bass), Kerzner (keys), Mike Keneally (ex-Frank
Zappa, ex-Stanley Snail, worked with Robert Fripp; guitars),
Nick D'Virgilio (Mystery,
ex-Spock's Beard, Big Big Train, ex-Genesis, ex-Tears for Fears,
worked with Chris Squire; vocals); and "Subdivisions",
with Kerzner, John Payne (ex-Asia,
Asia Featuring John Payne, GPS; vocals), Erik Norlander
(Asia Featuring John Payne). Another song on the album
features Kerzner (keys), Sherwood (bass, guitar), Steve Hackett
(Squackett, ex-GTR, ex-Genesis) and Keith Emerson
(ex-ELP), while either that one or another features
guitar from both Hackett and Francis
Dunnery (ex-It Bites, ex-The Syn, worked with ABWH).
The album will also include the 4 Rush tracks on the XYZ
EP, but in different versions. At various times, Kerzner or
others have described covers of further Rush songs:
Dunnery is also singing on some of the Rush songs.
Glass Hammer's Steve Babb said in this Dec
2013 interview that the band is "slated to contribute a
track on Sonic Realities' Neal Peart Project." Kerzner said on
Facebook in Feb 2014: "I'll be mixing a unique track from the
progressive rock band Glass Hammer next week! This song will have
a very interesting new "element" in it." I asked Steve Babb about
their contribution in a Mar 2014 interview (available
here) and he explained the track consists of Glass Hammer
(here, Babb, Fred Schendel, Alan Shikoh, Carl Groves) playing
along to a drum part by Peart: "Fred composed most of the music
for this track, and I did the lyrics. Alan added a good deal too.
Carl Groves is singing this one. We were given many of Peart's
tracks to choose from, then asked to write music to his drumming
and to incorporate his ideas into the Glass Hammer sound. [...] We
just wrapped up this song, which for now at least is called
Also expected is a Genesis tribute. Again, plans have evolved. The latest from Kerzner (Jul 2014) was that there would be a 40th anniversary tribute to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway on 4 Nov (the actual anniversary), featuring Kerzner, Sherwood, Dunnery (vocals, guitar), D'Virgilio (drums), Steve Rothery (Marillion), Dan Hancock, Stan Cotey (ex-Giraffe), Martin Levac and others, plus samples of Tony Banks' keyboard playing. Previous reports have mentioned McStine and Mark Hornsby (worked with D'Virgilio). A Peter Gabriel cover, "Rhythm of the Night", with Dunnery (vocals), using Sonic Reality's Jerry Marotta drum library was also mooted.
Seemingly referring to the 'Trifecta'
album project, in Jan 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "Among the
various music releases you can expect this year  from Sonic
Elements are some original tunes, many of which have been done
with ex-Yes-man Billy Sherwood along with SR sampled grooves of
great drummers such as Rod Morgenstein of the Dixie Dregs."
However, this release has yet to appear There is an accompanying
clip to a piece entitled "Razors Edge" with Sherwood and
samples from Morgenstein. Then there's "Racing Through Time" (sample),
another original piece by Sherwood, this time using a sample
library from Alan Parsons.
A Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon project also involves
Nick Mason (ex-Pink Floyd), Nick Davis
(worked with Genesis), Dorie Jackson (works with
Dunnery, ex-The Syn; vocals), Guy Pratt (worked
with Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson; bass), Colin Edwin (Porcupine
Tree; bass), Natalie Azerad (vocals), Durga McBroom-Hudson & Lorelei
McBroom (worked with Pink Floyd;
vocals). The Sonic Elements Facebook page in Jan
2013 said: "I've assembled a Sonic Elements band in LA this week
to work with the McBroom sisters (former backing vocalists for
Pink Floyd). Billy Sherwood, Randy McStine, Fernando Perdomo and
myself (with Pink Floyd's rhythm section already
recorded/sampled)". An update in Jan 2014 announced The Dark
Side of Sonic Elements album for 2014 with Sherwood,
Dunnery, McStine, McBroom-Hudson and McBroom and "utilizing the
brand new Sonic Reality 2014 sample library releases from Nick
Mason, Guy Pratt, Alan Parsons, the McBroom Sisters and more."
In 2005, Kerzner (keys) led a live performance of "Long Distance
Runaround", with an instrumental intro taken from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,
with Jon Anderson (vocals), D'Virgilio (drums), Hornsby (bass) and
Cotey (guitar), briefly available on Sonic Elements' SoundCloud.
Kerzner has worked with Anderson since. He said on Facebook in
I also WROTE a song with Jon
Anderson that's absolutely beautiful. It's not finished yet but
he sang a rough and it's really cool. Stylistically between old
Yes, Vangelis and something futuristic/film soundtrack-like. Not
sure if that will end up on his albums or one of ours but at
some point we'll be able to share something!
The demo for this piece, "Shell Sea", was made available to Kickstarter backers of New World. (Kerzner also talked of how another piece, initially called "Don't Leave Me Now", that he had intended for possible collaboration with Anderson ended up being used on Sound of Contact's Dimensionaut album as "Beyond Illumination".)
Records tribute/covers projects
Cleopatra Records continues to release multiple albums—generally tribute and covers albums—featuring multiple guest artists, including in some cases multiple Yesmen. Several of these were projects led by Billy Sherwood and these are covered in his section.
Days Between Stations
In Extremis was the second release from Los Angeles prog band, Days Between Stations, consisting of guitarist Sepand Samzadeh and keyboardist Oscar Fuentes Bills. The album is co-produced by the band and Billy Sherwood; Sherwood also performs drums and lead vocals and mixed the album. The music was written by Samzadeh/Fuentes, the vocal melodies and lyrics by Samzadeh/Fuentes/Sherwood. Other guests on the album are Peter Banks (who contributed to the album before his death in Mar 2013), Rick Wakeman, Tony Levin (bass throughout the album) and Colin Moulding (ex-XTC, works with Sherwood). Details in Yescography.
New Progmantics (Mentalchemy Records), out Jun 2013, is by Sarastro Blake (Facebook, ReverbNation, MySpace), a project by Paolo Pigni (ex-Mogador) with Luca Briccola (Mogador, Trewa), Mirko Soncini (Trewa), Marco Carenzio (Trewa), Serena Bossi (Trewa) and Richard Allen (Mogador). Guests on the album include Billy Sherwood on guitars and keys on "Flaming June", and Rick Wakeman (piano) and David Paton (ex-Camel, ex-Alan Parsons Project, ex-Pilot, worked with Rick Wakeman, Fish, Kate Bush, Elton John; vocals) on the multi-part "Stanzas for Music". Other guests include Dave Lawson (played on "Run with the Fox", worked on 90125, ex-Greenslade; electric piano), Richard Sinclair (ex-Caravan, ex-Hatfield and the North), Nick Magnus (ex-Steve Hackett, ex-The Enid) and Amanda Lehmann (Steve Hackett, Squackett). The album was produced and mixed by Briccola. A preview of the album is on YouTube. See details on Yescography.
Guitarist Marcelo Paganini (Facebook; ex-Kamikaze, ex-Tribo de Solos) released his solo album 2012 Space Traffic Jam (Guitar Player Magazine Records) on 25 Jan 2014, with guests including Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Eumir Deodato (worked with Milton Nascimento, Björk, k. d. lang). Gary Husband (UK, John McLaughlin, worked with Allan Holdsworth, Billy Cobham, Jack Bruce, Gongzilla, Level 42) plays drums on the whole album. Tracks:
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.