Live preview: Yes

Steve Howe

Did you get the chance to say a proper goodbye to Chris Squire before he passed away? We had some nice email conversations, but once he went into the clinic and it [his health] started going up and down it became very difficult.

There’s been heated debate over whether Yes should continue without him.

Chris made it very plain that he didn’t want the band to end, so why should we not honour that view?

And where do you stand on the possibility of Yes making new music without Chris?

Since Keys To Ascension [1996] there have been five albums. The question I ask myself is: are we getting anywhere? We didn’t have a lot of luck with Heaven & Earth [2014]. So for now I’m in a “no comment” position on that.

Yes have played albums in their entirety before. On this tour you’ll be playing 1971’s Fragile and 1980’s Drama.

We’ve never done that in the UK with Fragile, so it will be fun. And with Geoff [Downes, keyboards] coming back, it’ll be interesting to revisit Drama.

Drama was made when Yes included the ex-Buggles duo of Geoff Downes and vocalist Trevor Horn. Do you think the negative response that record drew from some Yes fans was a knee-jerk one?

To me, from the first minute to the last, that record is a solid as any other Yes record. That having been said, the hatred on the British dates was very difficult for Trevor. We had to console him a lot.

When you left Asia for the third time, in 2013, you said: “I couldn’t do it much longer without feeling that I was running on autopilot.”

[Laughs] Did I? It would be more accurate to say that there was too little space for my other work outside of Asia [see sidebar].

Asia announced the title of their next album, Valkyrie, at the same time as you left. That carries all sorts of implications, including musical differences.

I had suggested the announcements be staggered, but, lo and behold, an hour later they put up their post.

What did you make of Valkyrie?

I only heard one track, and it made me realise that when I’m not in Asia the guitar element is much more controlled by everybody else [in the band].

Yes’s 10-date tour begins in Glasgow on April 27.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.