We invented Progressive Rock”
Chris Squire: Hello?
Wikimetal (Daniel Dystyler): Hi, may I speak to Mr. Chris Squire, please?
W (DD): Hey, Mr. Chris Squire, this is Daniel and Nando, calling from Brazil, how are you?
CS: OK, where are you in Brazil?
W (DD): We’re located in São Paulo.
W (Nando Machado): That’s great, Mr. Chris Squire, we’re all very excited with the upcoming YES concerts in Brazil. Can you talk a little bit about the show, what the fans can expect and what a challenge it is to play three full albums on a concert?
CS: Well, we’ve already been doing this show in the US for a couple of months, so you’re going to get a good version, now that we know how to play everything. And, of course, we’re playing the “Close to the Edge” album, from 1972, and the “Going for the One” album, from 1977, and also the “Yes” album, from 1970, so you’re getting a good history of YES, from the 70s, and people seem to enjoy listening to the music played exactly in the same sequence as the original album. So, yeah, we’re looking forward to playing in São Paulo.
W (DD): Excellent, excellent. We heard you guys will record the next studio album, the first one with the new singer, Jon Davison. Are all the songs already written?
CS: No, it’s very just ideas right now, and we’re going to be working on that towards the end of this year.
W (NM): So, Mr. Squire, can you share with our listeners what you remember about the first stages of the band, in the late 60s?
CS: What do I remember about it? Well, you know, it’s a long time ago now, 45 years since we first got together, but you know, it was very exciting to be working with Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford, and Tony Kaye and Peter Banks, our first guitar player. And we didn’t really know then that there would be YES in 45 years time. But, yeah, those were very exciting days for us as a young band learning our music, and figuring out what we were doing, and I guess we invented progressive rock somehow.
Jon Anderson and I used to listen to a lot of classical music, and we would take some ideas from that, to make it a part of YES”
W (DD): You did, you did. And in those days, did you receive a formal musical education? How important do you think musical education is, considering that YES is such a sophisticated group?
CS: Well, I mean, different members of the band have had different kinds of education. My education was from church music, when I was a boy. And then, of course, when I started to become a teenager, I started to understand rock N’ roll, because of the Beatles and all the bands that were becoming big pop stars then. And then also, of course, I was listening to classical music as well, and as you know, different members of the band, over the years, have had different… Wakeman had classical training, Steve Howe has a good background of flamingo guitar, and various different styles of guitar that he brings to the table. And as I said, Jon Anderson and I used to listen to a lot of classical music, and we would take some ideas from that, make it a part of YES’ look.
W (NM): And Chris, did you have any idea of how important the music that you were creating at the time was?
CS: No, not at all.
W (NM): And do you like the term “progressive rock”? Do you agree with this, is the kind of music that you play really progressive music?
CS: Yes, I would say so, yeah. Because I guess the real definition of progressive rock is when it’s a little bit more than three or four chords, and a melody… You know, we’ve had all kinds of different intercut rhythms and melody lines interweaved with different instruments, so if anything deserves to be named progressive, I guess that style does.
W (DD): And Chris, we have kind of a classic question on our show, that we ask every special guest that we have, which is: imagine you’re listening to a music player, or a radio station that’s playing tons of rock music, and all of a sudden, a song starts that makes you kind of lose your mind, you can’t control yourself. Which song is that, so we can listen to it on our show now?
CS: Oh… From any artist?
W (DD): Yes, from any artist.
CS: Oh, God…
W (DD): It’s a tough one.
CS: Yeah, anything from Jimmy Hendrix is like that for me. Play “All along the Watchtower”, how about that?
W (DD): That’s a great one!
From Paul McCartney to Jack Bruce, Bill Wyman and John Entwhistle I combined a lot of influences from those people, and then also made it my own”
W (NM): OK. First time we play a Bob Dylan song, but now played by Jimmy Hendrix! How did you develop your unique style of playing and how did you come up with your unmistakable bass sound?
CS: Just because that’s the way I heard things. You know, I went to a lot of different concerts when I was young, from Paul McCartney and Jack Bruce, and Bill Wyman and John Entwhistle and I combined a lot of influence from those people, and then also made it my own after that. So you know, I just liked a certain sound and the way I was doing it, and just carried on developing it.
W (DD): And still on that theme, what made you decide for the Rickenbacker while the mainstream was the Fender bass?
CS: I just liked the way the Rickenbacker looked, and I liked the way it sounded, especially because of what I said about John Entwhistle, he was a big influence on me in The Who, and when he was originally playing with them, he played a Rickenbacker bass quite a lot, as well as Fender, but I really got to like it.
W (NM): Chris, can you talk a little bit about the project you had with Jimmy Paige, XYZ? What was it like to play with Jimmy?
CS: Oh, we’re very good friends, and we had a good time doing that project. It’s a shame it didn’t go a little further, but it wasn’t meant to be, and you know, maybe one day it’ll happen again.
W (DD): We look forward, I would love to see XYZ again. Can you now choose a song from YES that you feel really proud of having written, so we can listen to it on our show?
CS: Oh, there are so many, but if you want to play “Heart of the Sunrise”, play that, from “Fragile”.
W (NM): Can you invite all the Brazilian fans and music lovers to these great concerts of YES playing three legendary full albums in their entirety?
CS: Yeah, what is the name of the venue again?
W (NM): It’s HSBC, like the bank, HSBC Hall.
W (NM): Yeah.
CS: Hi, this is Chris Squire from YES, and I’m inviting everyone to come to HSBC Hall to see YES play three classic albums: “Close the Edge”, “Going for the One” and the “YES” album. Hope to see you all there, have a good time.
W (NM): OK, we’ll be there for sure, Chris, thank you so much for your time, and look forward to seeing you.
CS: OK, bye, bye.
W (DD): Thanks, bye.
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