What can you say about a group that has so profoundly affected the landscape of modern music and with such songs that end up on most of the playlists that surround and encapsulate our own personal histories…

YES is a band that represents five decades of stellar artistry in music and demands recognition for longevity of course but coupling that with the technically accomplished, wholly memorable list of hits makes them a band for the ages.

I interviewed Geoff Downes about the band’s upcoming live album, ‘Topographic Drama’, their induction into The Hall of Fame, and the upcoming 50th Anniversary Tour starting in the Spring next year.

 

You have such a loyal and devout fanbase internationally, how did you find the tour that led to the album Topographic Drama Live which is released later this month, it must have been an amazing experience…

I think it was an interesting combination, it was kind of a milestone album in a way in terms of the essence of the band.  Its shows a really widespread view of what YES is about and how we managed to put it together.

The album sounds so technically perfect and you can hear the audience eating it up…

YES has always had a special place in terms of live music and with this album it manages to capture that.  It was a tremendous experience recording it on tour in the States.

It was an incredible achievement, and rightly deserved, to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year…sounds like it was a great night (and a memorable acceptance speech!)

It was.  Sadly, Chris Squire was not with us to celebrate.  It certainly was a special night because there had been so many near misses as we should have been inducted many years ago.  It was very fair that the band got acknowledged in the end.

Your 50th Anniversary and tour starts next year…what a celebration of the excellence of your craft…are you looking forward to it?

Any band that lasts 50 years and is still going is an amazing achievement in and of itself.  I think now that we have been joined by another band member, Tony Kaye, who will be on keyboards with me, I think that is going to open a whole new chapter. It really does mean that every single YES album has something that’s extra special.  Fans will appreciate seeing that celebration.  Certainly with a production like this, it’s going to be a spectacular show.  It’s going to be a special show for YES fans.  We are doing about 10 shows I think in the UK.

You also have another group/project you are in, DBA (Downes Braides Association), how did you two decide to come together as a duo?

Well, I met Chris Braide about seven years ago.  Chris was apart of some side projects and was a integral part as a producer.  He was a huge Buggles fan and it was then that he said he particularly liked my contributions.  So, we got to talking and we said we should get together and write some stuff.  It was a very natural fashion that we put together our first album.  And this new album is a little bit of a departure for us after the previous albums(For more about the DBA Project along with my interview with Chris Braides, see the article ‘The DBA Project Interviews’)

 

Get tickets to the YES upcoming tour here!