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Monday, June 13, 2011

Yes: Alan White Talks "Fly From Here"

"Fly From Here" is the upcoming 12th studio album from progressive rock pioneers Yes.

The album was produced by Trevor Horn, who was the lead singer for the band's 1980 "Drama" album and tour. Horn also produced Yes' next album "90125" (1983) and co-produced the follow-up "Big Generato"' (1987). "He's just one of those attention-to-detail types of people and he's also been a lifelong Yes fan. When you look at the career he's had, it's so impressive," said Yes drummer Alan White during a recent phone chat with Noisecreep.

"Trevor's a busy man, so we didn't think he was going to be able to be involved with 'Fly From Here.' He was originally supposed to just do one track, but then he loved that one so much that it soon developed into him producing the entire album. There's just something about working with Trevor that puts us at ease. We know we can trust him with things. We've known him for so long."

Noisecreep asked White if we could expect "Fly From Here" to follow the stylistic blueprint of the hugely-successful Horn-produced '90125' album.

"I think this new album is a great combination of the symphonic, progressive side of our sound and some of that pop stuff you're talking about. The title track is something like 20-minutes long. It's one of those types of songs that people have come to associate with Yes. You know – the kind of song that has a story to it with all of these different parts to it, like chapters. But then there's also some shorter, more straight-forward songs on the album as well," said White.

"Fly From Here" will be the first Yes release with Canadian singer Benoît David on vocals, who replaced Jon Anderson. Before joining the group, David performed for over a decade as the lead vocalist in Close to the Edge, a Canadian Yes tribute band. "Benoît did a fantastic job on this album. I think a lot of people will be surprised by his performances."

Six decades deep into their career, you would think the members of Yes would be shying away from longer tracks like "Fly From Here".
 However, White told Noisecreep that he's confident they'll have no problems executing it live.

"We couldn't go out on tour and not play those longer songs too. People love that side of Yes. I don't think it will be too hard to get 'Fly From Here' -- the song -- down. Even though we're a bit older now, we still have the stamina to pull it off (laughs). When we recorded 'Fly From Here' for the album, we obviously did it in sections to make sure every detail was right. But for the stage, I don't think that particular song is as difficult to get right at some of our older epics (laughs)."

This summer, Yes will be on the road with arena rockers 
Styx as part of the Progressive US tour.

"In the early days of Yes, before I was even in the band, the guys from Styx would come to the shows and watch the band," White says. "I even think some of Styx's earlier material was a bit fashioned by Yes. I'm talking about some of the harmonies and things like that. Since then, they've had some huge hits and have become quite an accomplished band. I've only met a couple of them in passing, so I look forward to finally be working with them."

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