I'm not a music writer for Louisville.com. My "cool" factor is usually pretty low for the folks I know. I'm what most would call "old school" in my tastes. Not "Beastie Boys" old school...I'm talking Genesis, Kansas and Boston old school. If a band didn't have album that involved placing an arm with a needle on it to make it play, then I probably don't know who they are.
So when I heard that Yes, my favorite band, was coming back to the Louisville Palace this Saturday, March 26, and that I could land an interview with their legendary guitarist Steve Howe, I could not pass up the opportunity.
Howe began playing with Yes in 1970, and has been a fixture on most of their albums throughout the years. He broke away for a while in the 80's to start Asia ("The Heat Of The Moment"), GTR, and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. He's collaborated with Lou Reed, Queen and the Bee Gees. And he has had a solo career that is unequalled.
We talked about the upcoming show, his relationship with the band, and some personal reflections. Here's Part One of my interview with Steve Howe:
CW: What can fans expect from this show?
SH: It's a kind of wrap up of the last few years. There were some titles we were doing early on in Reformation in 2008 that we haven't been playing so much. So we kind of tilted the set around to keep it fresh until we come in the Summer, of course, when we'll be playing our new music from the new album. But at the moment, we're not quite ready to do that, so it's kind of a wrap-up of the era.
CW: What can we look forward to from the new album in regards to type of music?
SH: It's a hard thing to describe…I'm really not prepared to describe it, really. It is something we're going to be really proud of, something we'll like very much. It's produced by Trevor Horn, so it has a definite sound and stylistic approach which I think Yes fans will enjoy, and we'll benefit from, because we attempted some records over the last 15 years, and I wouldn't say they're on my hot list very often! This will have very solid material and collaborations, and also solo opportunities. It's a nice collective of an all round great Yes album…I hope.
CW: How has your relationship with Chris Squire and Alan White changed over the years?
SH: (Laughs) With all long term relationships, they fluctuate, and this is part of the strength. You can look at it like a weakness, but it's a strength. We don't quiver when we have a problem; we have a problem, and then we get over it, and then find that we're much better for it. The real upside of these long term relationships is that you can weather storms, and come out of it feeling stronger, and I think that's what Alan, Chris and I have been doing over the years.
CW: Yes has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How does Yes, How does Steve Howe, feel about that?
SH: I don't care. There's so many other marvelous performers that haven't been inducted. They don't particularly surprise me. I think it means a lot to our fans, and to a lot of people who care about music generally. But much like the Oscars, and the Grammies, there's so much of that, and I don't know what it means. I think it's more important to us to have the respect of our fans than to have the academicness of these situations. It's all very well, all very nice, and sure we wouldn't turn it down, but we're not going to go milking, looking, for it. We're just going to see what happens. One can't go around with a grudge on his shoulders.
Part Two of the interview tomorrow, with personal reflections from Steve on influences and family.
Ticket prices: $25, $35 & $49.50
A Steve Howe solo.