Yes

Tag: Rock
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Formed in London in 1968, English rock band Yes has been playing over the past 4 plus decades with worldwide success with their progressive and symphonic style of rock music. The current lineup of the band includes singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and Keyboardist Geoff Downes.

I had the pleasure of interviewing bassist Chris Squire as he was preparing for their US tour.

Chris: Hello, how are you doing?

Full Access: I’m doing good and you?

Chris: Fine just sitting up here in Canada getting ready to do our first show tomorrow.

Full Access: Wonderful! And then Friday you start the US tour.

Chris: Yes, that’s right were just doing this Canadian show up here and then we move down to Atlantic City.

Full Access: What are you looking forward to most for this tour?

Chris: Well, as you may or may not know we have a new lead vocalist Mr. Jon Davison, who is going to be singing for the first time in the US. We have already been performing earlier in the year in Australia, New Zealand and Japan with him and we did do a couple shows in Hawaii. And I’m very much looking forward for the Yes fans to hear Jon live. He is a really an excellent singer and is fitting into the band extremely well. We are all very happy that he is with us.

Full Access: That’s great, how did you find him?

Chris: A couple of ways actually. My tour manager Paul Silveira who has been with Yes for years knew about him from a Yes tribute band in Orange Country called The Round About, but a part from that, my buddy Taylor Hawkins from the Foo fighters has also been telling me for years that he knew this guy and should we ever need someone to sing, he would be great for the job. And as it turned out, Taylor was right and he has fitted in real well and we are very happy.

Full Access: After so much success in your career what drives you to keep making music?

Chris: I guess it’s something that’s a passion for me. You know it was really gratifying last year to be back in the studio again with Trevor Horn producing the “Fly From Here” album, which is going to be pretty much going to be the set piece of this tour. We are also going to do our version of Paul Simons’ “American Tune,” so we can freshen up the show.

Full Access: Now that is your first studio album in over 10 years, is that correct?

Chris: Yes, since “Magnification” in 2001, actually and surprisingly the time has gone by rather quickly. I don’t think we will ever have that long of a gap between albums.

Full Access: Why the long gap?

Chris: Well, a lot of it was relevant to Jon Anderson’s health problems. Of course we took a few years off while he was dealing with his aggressive respiratory, which have been pretty documented by now and we were hoping he would of made a full recovery from that, and I believe he has now. But in 2008 when we were going to go back out with Jon Anderson, unfortunately, he had a bad attack with his breathing problems and we had to cancel the tour that we had that summer. It was at that point, we decided to bring in someone else, which of course was Benoit Davis, who had been singing with the band that last 3 years and I will say he did a very good job of the vocals on “The Fly From Here” album. Then at the end of last year, he didn’t think it was the best fit for him in life to be doing this and other personal reasons why he decided not to carry on with us and we’ve ended up with Jon which has been really, really lucky. It’s been an interesting time period during the course of all that changing around the last 11 years.

Full Access: What do you feel has kept the band together for so long, obviously it seems that you have been the glue in the band!

Chris: Well, yeah, that’s the reason I have always been there. it’s more by default than by design really. People have just said, “I want to go off and do a solo career” and “I want to come back” and then I want to go off and do a solo career again and I want to come back again and I guess meanwhile I was just like ok and if you want to come back that’s ok too. So that’s just been the pattern of Yes’ history. And let’s not forget as many people do, that Alan White has been Yes’ drummer since 1972, so he has been there most of the time.

Full Access: What do feel has been your greatest accomplishment of your career to date?

Chris: You know over Yes’ career, which has spanned over 44 years, we have had so many great moments and great albums we’ve made. And of course along with the live shows we have done over those many years, we’ve had great live experiences with audiences in the US and all over the world. There are so many good memories, it’s hard to isolate just one, you know. It’s just been a great career in music for me and a great learning curve for me as well. And with all the member changes we’ve had over the years and with a new member coming into the band, they usually bring fresh energy with them and I have benefited that in a way and I have learned a lot.

Full Access: What do you feel is the hardest part when bringing in a new member?

Chris: The hardest part strangely enough was actually when Alan White came into the band, because as I mentioned before he has been with us for 40 years. He was a totally different style of drummer than Bill Bruford who was Yes’ original drummer for our first 5 albums and that was the most difficult transition. All other member changes have just been more like an addition to the future of the bands ongoing development. It’s mainly all positive, it’s not really a problem to deal with as I said. Now with Jon Davison coming in, it has been almost seamless and not at all stressful.

Full Access: When you were growing up who inspired you?

Chris: Well, of course when I was learning my craft. I had so many great influences around the time when I was a teenager. Of course, there was Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Jack Bruce, and the late great John Entwistle was a huge influence on me. In fact, when I was 15 I was a huge “Who” fan, and of course I lived in London and I would pretty much was used to seeing The Who once a week play at the Marque Club in London. So I was very influenced by John Entwistle playing, so it was a great time for me to have been at that age and have so many of those great influences to absorb from and the rest is history really.

I had the pleasure of seeing them play on July 28th in Clearwater at Ruth Eckerd Hall and it was a very enjoyable show. You can visit their website at www.yesworld.com.

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