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Prog rock yes full of energy |  Pulse 24

Prog rock yes full of energy | Pulse 24

More than 50 years after their debut album, there’s no end in sight for Yes. on the contrary. Less than two years after the excellent “The Quest,” the influential progressive rock band built around guitarist Steve Howe released their next album: “Mirror To The Sky” is No. 23. And though the Yes lineup has changed so often, it seems no Dress it up as the iconic combination symbolizing strokes of genius like “And you and you” or “I’ve seen all the good people.”

“The band has a story that everyone knows, and the group members are proud to be part of that story,” says bandleader Steve Howe (76) in a good mood in an interview with the dpa in London. “No single ingredient is important,” he said when asked about the recipe for the unmistakable Yes sound. “Everyone in the band brought something, and now we’re bringing new things to the band,” he says. “We can’t do anything else.” Singer John Davison looks a lot like original frontman John Anderson which is definitely an advantage.

Work on “Mirror to the Sky” began after the band finished “The Quest”. The Brits, who had to cancel the European Tour this year for insurance reasons and put fans off until 2024, have been raring to go for a number of years. Howe describes the current album as particularly important because his band got a new impulse with “The Quest”. This was the first album on which Howe was – as now – in charge as sole producer.

The album “Yes” is developing organically. The prog veteran’s amateur focus is not on individual songs, but on the entire work. “I always see the album,” he says. “So there has to be a form and a curve. It has to have continuity — with ups and downs. It has to come at the right time to make it interesting. You don’t want all the ups first and then all the ups.”

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“Mirror To The Sky” opens with the uptempo, psychedelic-leaning ballad “Cut From The Stars”, which is still relatively straightforward. On the other hand, “All Connected” and “Luminosity” show the full progressive bandwidth of Brits over nine minutes each. The epic title track with orchestral passages is about 15 minutes long. In terms of quality, yes, it tied directly to its predecessor with the new LP.

The cast that recorded the incredible Yes debut album 54 years ago no longer exists. Even Howe, who left the band in the 1980s and early 1990s, wasn’t around at the time. joined in 1970. Longtime drummer Alan White, who had been with the band since 1973 and the album Tales From Topographic Oceans, had died a year earlier.

White’s successor is Jay Shillen, whom White had previously represented for health reasons. Recently, the two shared a drum function at Yes concerts. “We used to have Jay and Alan take turns,” Howe says. “And then it was more and more the case that Alan only played the backs at the end. Jay was always great and helped us a lot through these difficult times.” Schellen is now a permanent member.

According to Howe, Yes, who were joined by keyboard icon Geoff Downes and guitarist Billy Sherwood, have found a home in German progressive rock label InsideOut Music that fuels their creativity and productivity. “We’re songwriters and we write music,” says Steve Howe, explaining his motivations for being as active as ever at 76. However, a 24th Yes album can’t be expected to follow within the next couple of years. “I can’t predict anything,” Steve Howe jokes, “we don’t have a crystal ball.” “But we’ll keep pushing things and see where that goes. We’re in no rush.”

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(Interview conducted by Philippe Diethelfs/dpa)

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