DREAM THEATER Keyboardist JORDAN RUDESS Interviews YES Bassist BILLY SHERWOOD (Video)
June 13, 2021, a year ago
Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess has uploaded a portion of his recent Patreon interview with veteran prog multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood (Yes, Asia, World Trade) to YouTube. Check it out below. For the full interview go to Rudess' Patreon page here.
In a 2017 interview with music writer Joel Gausten, Sherwood discussed a variety of topics including the legacy of late Yes bassist Chris Squire and issues over use of the Yes name.
Gausten: There are two incarnations of Yes touring and doing things. I’m curious how that has impacted the band in terms of what you’re doing on the road, the reaction from fans about what’s been going on and ultimately how that situation has been working.
Sherwood: "It’s interesting and strange at the same time. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to it because we keep staying on our track and going down (that). As I’ve said before in other interviews, I’m happy to hear as much Yes music in 2017 as possible from the participants thereof and see the music thriving. There’s the obvious political push and pull that goes on in Yes; it’s always been that way and will always be that way. But for me, when Chris asked me to step in and do this and I said, ‘Yes,’ I was serving under the Yes banner. So that’s where my loyalty remains, and I’m happy to be a part of it despite whatever the chaos at the moment is. With Yes, there’s always much chaos and many moments to have it (laughs). It’s really not surprising that we’re in this current state of affairs, but we go forward as Yes doing what we do. I really have nothing but love for the band and want to keep it going. That was the mission statement, and that’s what Chris and I spoke about – keeping it going. So that’s what we’re doing."
Gausten: Obviously, you’re following in the footsteps of a musical giant here. In your mind, what is Chris Squire’s greatest legacy in the history of music?
Sherwood: "It’s multi-pronged. Some of the greatest bass lines in progressive rock, for openers – on a composition level, not just chops. That’s what always intrigued me and drew me to Chris’ playing over everyone else. It was not so much the flash and the speed or the dexterity of things, but it was this idea of coming at the bass as a part of an orchestra within rock ‘n’ roll and really making the bass sing and have its own place inside of the music. Chris was so, so good at doing that.
Another component would be his voice; I loved his texture and his style of singing – that same application of harmony being not the classic thirds, fifths or whatever you would do if you were just thinking harmony, but finding those unique notes and that texture that made the chord just all the more beautiful. Chris was a master of that as well. He knew I was hip to both of those components and loved it, and I think that’s why we had the kind of relationship we had. If you listen to the first World Trade album, there’s so much harmony on there; there’s so much melody going on. That’s when we first met; he was intrigued by what I was doing as well. I think we kind of shared that thing, and he knew that I had a deep love and respect for those components.
Those are the two things, and then obviously his presence on stage was just always entertaining as hell to watch (laughs). You put those three together, and do you have a monster figure up there. It was a bit intimidating to stand in his spot on the first tour; it was extremely emotional and all of the above, but it gave me strength to do it knowing this was what he wanted to happen. What an amazing honor that is."
The complete interview is available at this location.