After four decades into their singular career, Yes have been enjoying an unlikely renaissance. Back in 2011, the iconic prog-rockers released ‘Fly From Here,’ their excellent 20th studio LP — and their first since parting ways with founding singer Jon Anderson.
Sure, the lineup has shuffled a bit, but the drama has now subsided: The band’s long-running core trio (bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White) are currently joined by a reliable former keyboardist (Geoff Downes) and an engaging new frontman (Jon Davison), whose high, piercing voice is both eerily familiar and impressive on its own merits. Progressive rock — a genre so often slung through the critical mud over the past few decades — is finally cool again.
Over the past couple years, both Genesis and Rush have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — and now Yes have been nominated for the 2014 class. Overall, it’s a great time to be in Yes: Earlier this summer, they headlined their own prog festival (named, you guessed it, Yestival), and next April, they’ll take their intricate tunes to sea for their second-annual Cruise to the Edge.
We recently caught up with Yes drummer Alan White. Along the way, we chatted about the cruise, their Rock Hall nomination and their plans for a new studio album.
First off, huge congrats on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination. I spoke to Chris Squire a while back about the possibility, and he said he didn’t have much of an opinion about it. What about you?
Sure, man! Everyone ought to be excited about it, but we just carry on being musicians and just get on with it. At the same time, it’s a great experience to get recognition on the public side when you’ve been in the business for such a long time.
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