Alan White has been a member of YES for over 44 years and is now the longest surviving member (Steve Howe has left as few times and returned to the fold again) after the sad loss of founding member and bass player Chris Squire last year
DPRP's John Wenlock-Smith caught up with alan in Glasgow for a brief talk about te upcoming tour that kicks off in Glasgow on Wednesday and proceeds via Liverpool and Manchester and ends up at the Royal Albert Hall in early May before embarking on European dates thereafter Alan was in fine form as you can see from this conversation.
Tuesday, 26th of April 2016
How did the shows that Billy (Sherwood) stepped in to cover work out for you?
Alan White (AW): Those shows at the end of last year (2015) were really very good indeed. We played Drama and half of Topographic Oceans to great responses everywhere
How did Billy work out?
AW: You have to remember that Chris and Billy were friends, Billy saw Chris as a mentor, and he knew all of Chris's lines and parts. Billy handles backing vocals too. Plus of course, he had a spell in the band in the late 90s and early part of the millennium [playing on the Magnification, Open Your Eyes, and Live From The House Of Blues albums).
What is the current mood of the Band?
AW: Very positive and focussed! Everyone is ready and willing for these shows. It's going to be great to play Fragile and Drama in full.
Whose idea was it to do these two albums? And why Drama? It is still a pretty divisive album even 35 years on from its release.
AW: Well, we have played songs from Fragile for many years, but less so of Drama, as Jon (Anderson) didn't want to perform those songs. So collectively, we thought it would be a great thing to do, as we feel Drama is very underrated indeed and deserves an outing as such.
Is Drama difficult to do live?
AW: Yes, it's a very demanding album to play especially Does It Really Happen and Tempus Fugit, both with lots of changes in rhythm and pace
On Fragile, obviously, each member had a solo piece. Will those be covered?
AW: Yes they are all being done as well.
What's next after this tour?
AW: We have a few songs that we want to work on. Then in November we have a tour of Japan, so that should keep us up to the end of the year.
Are you going to document these show? The last Yes tour, performing the Yes Album and Going For The One, was covered on a live CD/DVD set.
AW: I think we may record it later on, once we've got it down and have fine-tuned the show a bit more. Probably on the European dates, I guess.
How are the rehearsals going thus far?
AW: They are going really well. It is sounding really good and full. Everyone is really excited and eager to play these shows for the fans. We are especially looking forward to the Royal Albert Hall show, as we had a great show there on the last tour we did of the UK. Hopefully it will be as good for us this time around!
Alan, thanks for sparing the time to talk to us, good luck for the tour as it kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday 27th) in Glasgow.
AW: Thank you too!
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