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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Affirmative Action Figure: Chris Squire Just Says Yes

Chris Squire rarely takes no for an answer. After all, he's a Yes man, seemingly forever.
That's Yes with a capital "Y." A founding member of a group so progressive that the label "prog rock" wasn't even invented when the group formed in 1968, Squire continues to persevere long after others have come and gone.
The steady-handed bassist in an ever-changing British lineup of synth-laden, guitar-driven classical rock isn't averse to having an old-fashioned reunion, though. Squire leaves the door open to working with fellow co-founder Jon Anderson, the band's first singer, who departed because of respiratory problems that led to a cancellation of their 40th anniversary "comeback" tour in 2008.
"Of course, he would want to have to do it," Squire said during a recent phone conversation while dealing with triple-digit heat in Phoenix, his American home when he isn't living in London. "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 (keyboard whiz) 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."
Yet, Squire is a forward thinker who wants the group to continue in that direction as they approach Year No. 45. He's getting ready to embark on a tour of America with Procol Harum that begins July 13 in Atlantic City, N.J., with longtime members Steve Howe (guitar), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Alan White (drums). yes_flyfromhereThe latest twist is the addition of lead singer Jon Davison, who replaces Benoit David, the voice on last year's long-awaited album,Fly From Here, the group's first in 10 years.
After recently touring New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Indonesia and Hawaii, Squire likes what he's heard of Davison, still a member of Glass Hammer who came recommended by longtime tour manager Paul Silveria and Squire's Foo Fighting friend, Taylor Hawkins.
"(He) has been saying to me for years, 'Hey, if you every need a singer, I know a guy,' " Squire said of Hawkins, a drummer who has been Davison's BFF since childhood. "I used to say, 'OK, Taylor, we're doing OK now, but I'll definitely put that in the back of memory somewhere.' ... So Taylor was really happy that we finally got together."
While watching the band evolve over the years has presented certain challenges, Squire said the "new blood" brings a positive energy and finds the creation of new music through technological advancements beneficial -- even to an old pro.


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