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Thread: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

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    Mid-Atlantic Chapter Starguard's Avatar
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    An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    So, this was my first time ever interviewing another human being. I was pretty nervous to begin with, but I anticipated it. Hopefully my next interviews will seem less scripted! It went really well. Some highlights:
    • New material for the 2008 tour!! (?)
    • New album
    • No Tempus Fugit :(
    • Possibly more material from Tormato and post-Tormato
    • The boat is doing well
    • Spinal Tap!
    So, without further ado: the interview!

    Look for some of the questions you posted. They're in there!


    Please alert me to any spelling mistakes or grammar issues!






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{font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:1; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> Interview with Alan White by Joseph Chapman<o:p></o:p>
    April 4<sup>th</sup>, 2008<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Hey Joseph!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Hey, Alan!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: How are you doing?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: I’m excellent, how are you?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Very good, thank you.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Alright, so: I’m doing this article for my local newspaper called “A New Generation of Yes Fans.” It’s an awesome project, to be honest—I’m sixteen and I’m getting this opportunity to interview my favorite musicians—I’m infatuated with Yes—and I’m going to get around and tour with the band, not all the concerts, but I’m going to Quebec and Toronto and I’m going to photograph the band. But anyway: A new generation of Yes fans. The fact is, kids are starting to get interested into the classic era of rock and roll, and Yes’ new population of fans is no exception. So why do you think that Yes’ music has become so popular to the young generation?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: [Laughs] Because I think they’re brain works, basically.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: [Laughs]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: I think a lot of kids now days, which is very surprising to see at all the places I tour, because I’m playing in a few different bands now—like Circa and those kind of bands, and I see a lot of Yes fans coming out to see what I’m doing and what we’re doing, and a lot of the young kids know the songs almost better than we do. I think it’s a challenge for them to actually do that, and it’s not just like the regular bands—it makes you work to listen. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Yeah. Progressive rock definitely retains that almost ambiguous nature. I think that’s the reason why popular music doesn’t have the longevity of music like Yes.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, well, I guess. Unfortunately, we spent all that time creating that stuff and funnily enough, last night, I’m in Seattle, and I played with a band here and there’s not very many Yes tribute bands. It’s not like you can go around every night and there’s a band playing and their covering all our stuff. But there’s a band here called Parallels, and I just went to see the show, and I got up to play a couple of tracks, but they’re very good. They’ve obviously studied everything. They’re actually really good. I was sort of jamming with them. Jamming on music that people don’t usually play.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: I can’t imagine the technical challenge for a band to cover an album like Relayer.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, exactly. All those songs—especially the rhythm section from the computer, it was some of the best stuff we ever did. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: So, I was talking to a few people about this interview… and they told me: If I’m going to interview Alan, I have to ask him about his boat. So, tell me about your boat.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: My boat?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Yes, your boat.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: [Laughs] Well, it’s in my yard right now. I’m about to put it in the water. I guess that comes from the DVD, I did an interview, and I was bobbing up and down the entire time. The camera was on the dock and I was on the boat, and my head ended up going up and down on the screen the entire time. But the boats fine. We’ve got it repainted and it’ll be in the water in a matter of weeks—just enough time to put it in the water before I go on tour. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: I heard a quote from Steve Howe… “Yes isn’t Yes without Rick Wakeman.” Oliver coming on board is kind of symbolic of the new generation, and I was just curious about how you feel about Oliver.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: I think it’s great. We’ll work it out, and actually, he plays just like his dad. It’s kind of bizarre.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Yeah, Jon said he’s better looking.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: The doctors said [Rick] wasn’t up to going on the long tours anymore, so I’ll guess we’ll have to do without him. I think it was a good move, a good positive, kind of ‘switching over’ to jumping into [Rick’s] shoes. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: What about the other members of Yes? Are they skeptical at all about Oliver’s technical ability or him coming on board?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: No. I think everybody’s good. I talked to Chris Squire yesterday and he said he had a meeting with him and I talked to Steve, and Steve had a whole rehearsal with him before he went and toured with Asia. So no, I think everything’s fine in that area. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: So is Rick out of the band?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Well, he’s not really out of the band—he’ll never really be out of the band. He just doesn’t want to push himself. He’s got a bunch of things going on and he doesn’t feel like touring. The travelling really wears you out and it really wears at you. And I’m fine—I’ve been doing this all the time, even though I’ve not been playing with Yes, I’ve been doing other things with other bands and travelling everywhere—And he just wanted to do that, so Oliver stepped up and jumped into his shoes. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: What songs are you looking forward to possibly playing in the upcoming tour?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: That’s a well kept secret [Laughs]. But I’ll through a couple in there—I personally, myself, don’t like playing the obvious music that people want to hear. I love playing songs like Perpetual Change and Close to the Edge. I’m one of the guys that likes the more diverse stuff, but at the same time, you have to please the public, and eventually, we’ll have to play Roundabout. We’ve tried to do so many tours and not play it, and after the first week, we have to play it. I think I can play it in my sleep.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: I think it’s become the Freebird of Yes.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, the Freebird, exactly.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: It’s obligatory. You have to play it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Well, you just have to play it, unfortunately. You get the diehard Yes fans who say ‘please don’t play Roundabout!’ It becomes a vicious circle. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: As far as upcoming material for the tour, Jon has said that he is pretty confident that the set is going to be Fragile, Close to the Edge, a few others—he mentioned Awaken. A lot of fans feel like Yes has abandoned their work after Tormato. Why has Yes been so reluctant to pull songs from its later work?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: [Laughs] That’s interesting, because the band has never felt that Tormato was one of our strongest albums, but you get, especially in America and not Europe, you come here and everyone wants to hear everything from Tormato. It’s bizarre. In fact, the band last night, was playing stuff from there—and I went ‘Wow. You guys picked some really strange stuff—we never actually play some of this stuff.’ It’s a good thing to look at for the set list. I’m going to go back and look at that.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Is there maybe a division in the band on how each one of you feels about each album—like does Jon absolutely hate one album, while you love it, or what?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: No. No I don’t. I don’t think Jon hates any of the stuff—we all created it. But the band last night, by the way, played Magnification, and they played it really, really good. They played the song Magnification. I forgot how good that song is, and it’s really hard to do without the orchestra, but they pulled it off really well. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Is there an album that is your favorite or least favorite?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Is there a favorite? Well, you’re talking about a lot of music here. I don’t know, I love playing some of the songs from Going for the One, or playing songs from Relayer, I love playing songs from Drama… Those are the kinds of areas that I really like. Some of those songs—Tempus Fugit, Machine Messiah… <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Yeah, it seems like Tempus Fugit is a song that—At Yesfans.com, there was a poll taken about a song that they haven’t played that they really, really need to play—and everyone wants Tempus fugit.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: I know—everybody loves Tempus fugit. The problem with it is that Jon doesn’t sing on it, so he’s got a bit of a mental block against it. You don’t want to play songs that somebody’s not going to enjoy. I have my own band here, called White, in Seattle, and we play it—we play that, Machine Messiah, and actually, the band plays it really good. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: How did you get into Yes? I know that’s a huge question, but when you were a kid, how did you come to the drums? What inspired you?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Well, I was a keyboard player. I played the piano from year six, and my uncle was a drummer and my father was a pianist, and basically, when I was around twelve, he said… ‘You know, you’ve got a real percussive style, maybe we should chip in together and get him a set of drums,’ and they did, and three months later I was playing on stage. It was a natural progression for me. It was bizarre.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: As for the future of Yes, what do you see? Any new material? Maybe a 50<sup>th</sup> anniversary tour?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, we’re definitely—well, we’re thinking about new material. Jon’s got a couple ideas and things are being passed around, but nothing concrete yet. I guess we are working on some—some—new material to go with the tour.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: What do you think the new material’s going to be like? Yes has such a huge range and variety of music—are you maybe going to go back to the Fragile style?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: I know—I have that kind of stuff, myself, in my studio. I think a combination of us all together will come up with something pretty good. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: What about your future? Any work from you, specifically, like maybe with Circa or…?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, I’m playing with Circa. I’m coming to the east coast in May with Circa. We’re doing shows in Virginia, Philly, and then New York. I think we’re playing B. B. King’s or something like that. And we’re playing some festival in Philly, Rose Fest or something like that.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Alan, have you seen the movie, “This Is Spinal Tap?”
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Well yeah, I’ve seen the Spinal Tap movie, yeah.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Do you feel like Yes has ever had a moment like in Spinal—
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Don’t tell me you read it. Somebody sent the email to me. If you go to… Ah, what’s it called? That website you go to?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Notes From the Edge?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: … Wikipedia! They’ve got a whole segment where they said the whole thing that inspired their part where the bass player gets locked inside of the thing and he can’t get out aof it on stage, was due to the fact that Alan White had the same experience with Yes on the 70s—I couldn’t get out of my drum booth. I just had to sit the whole time in there because it wouldn’t open. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: That’s incredible!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, go to Wikipedia and punch in Spinal Tap and it comes out with something like that. I do recall an incidence, and it only reminded me of it when somebody said—‘No, it was you!’ That’s what inspired them. So, I said ‘Ok.’<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Alan, thank you so much for this interview. I can’t wait for the Close to the Edge and Back Tour—maybe I’ll see you back stage!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah, yeah, come and say ‘hi.’ <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    JC: Thanks, Alan.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    AW: Yeah man, bye. <o:p></o:p>

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    Last edited by Starguard; 04-09-2008 at 10:53 PM.
    “The idea is to unravel the onion and let go of the ego and evolve to that place where you perceive everything to be a beautiful experience rather than a daunting experience.”
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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguard View Post
    ....
    Please alert me of any spelling mistakes or grammer issues!
    ....

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:p></o:p>
    AW: [Laughs] Because I think their brain works, basically.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    .....

    <o:p></o:p>
    AW: Yeah, well, I guess. Unfortunately, we spent all that time creating that stuff and funnily enough, last night, I’m in Seattle, and I played with a band here, and there’s not very many Yes tribute bands. It’s not like you can go around every night and there’s a band playing and they're covering all our stuff. But there’s a band here called Parallels, and I just went to see the show, and I got up to play a couple of tracks, but they’re very good. They’ve obviously studied everything. They’re actually really good. I was sort of jamming with them. Jamming on music that people don’t usually play.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    .....
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    AW: Yeah, I’m playing with Circa. I’m coming to the east coast in May with Circa. We’re doing shows in Virginia, Philly, and then New York. I think we’re playing B. B. King’s or something like that. And we’re playing some festival in Philly, RoSfest or something like that.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    JC: Alan, have you seen the movie, “This Is Spinal Tap?”
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    .....

    AW: … Wikipedia! They’ve got a whole segment where they said the whole thing that inspired their part where the bass player gets locked inside of the thing and he can’t get out aof it on stage, was due to the fact that Alan White had the same experience with Yes on the 70s—I couldn’t get out of my drum booth. I just had to sit the whole time in there because it wouldn’t open. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>.....</o:p>

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    Great interview, can't wait for the others! Transcription errors noted above.
    Carol

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    Icon7 Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Quote Originally Posted by Starguard View Post
    Please alert me of any spelling mistakes or grammer issues!
    Should read: "Please alert me to any mistakes in either my spelling or grammar..."

    Where would you like me to start - assuming you meant grammar and not 'grammer'?

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Cool interview!

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Well Done!!!

    Ray


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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Quote Originally Posted by Full Tilt Boogie View Post
    Should read: "Please alert me to any mistakes in either my spelling or grammar..."

    Where would you like me to start - assuming you meant grammar and not 'grammer'?
    Hey, thanks for stopping by and taking in the thread as I intended it!
    “The idea is to unravel the onion and let go of the ego and evolve to that place where you perceive everything to be a beautiful experience rather than a daunting experience.”
    Jon Anderson

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Very nice. Not a lot of people know that Alan spent 7 years in a Mexican jail for trying to smuggle drugs in that boat.

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Quote Originally Posted by luvyesmusic View Post
    Very nice. Not a lot of people know that Alan spent 7 years in a Mexican jail for trying to smuggle drugs in that boat.
    Haha, really? THAT'S BADASS!
    “The idea is to unravel the onion and let go of the ego and evolve to that place where you perceive everything to be a beautiful experience rather than a daunting experience.”
    Jon Anderson

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    That's an excellent interview, Joseph. I really, really enjoyed it! Great job!

    Spelling correction:

    AW: That’s a well kept secret [Laughs]. But I’ll throw a couple in there—I personally, myself, don’t like playing the obvious music that people want to hear. I love playing songs like Perpetual Change and Close to the Edge. I’m one of the guys that likes the more diverse stuff, but at the same time, you have to please the public, and eventually, we’ll have to play Roundabout. We’ve tried to do so many tours and not play it, and after the first week, we have to play it. I think I can play it in my sleep.

    So Parallels played in Seattle and Alan joined in. How frigging cool is that! Parallels is from Sacramento. I've seen them many times and they are, indeed, excellent! Jim must have been psyched as hell to get the thumbs up from Alan!
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    Usa Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Great job Joe...Excellant questions!
    Maybe Alan after seeing "Parallels" perform, will get Yes to play something rare!
    ...On The Silent Wings Of Freedom.....would be my fav!
    Have you seen Parallels and do they perform OTSWOF?
    Thanks again!
    Last edited by BEE; 04-09-2008 at 11:38 PM.
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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    It’s not like you can go around every night and there’s a band playing and they're covering all our stuff.

    A minor error but still one to be noted. Great interview!

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Fun read, Joseph. What a cool thing for you to be able to do.
    Nice job. Thanks for posting it for us all.

    Mike
    I Support Explanation C

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Thanks for the good read! I'm vicariously excited for you. The only time I was assigned to Yes as a journalist was during the Drama tour, and my editor only wanted the new members interviewed.

    You might want to clarify the following: When White says the band played Magnification the previous night, I assume he means that Parallels played it, but you might want to parenthetically remind the reader of that, since the story is about Yes, and the mention of Parallels is much earlier in the story.

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    That's a great interview - really enjoyable. Well done!

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Great interview! Thanks for posting!


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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Enjoyed your interview Joseph,

    a very good read, well done,
    muff


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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Great interview
    Kathy


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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Good job, your lucky to be able to do this.

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Great work!

    Glad it kept the Yesfans pedants entertained too

    Who's your next subject then?
    C

    "Do you want to cruelly and thoughtlessly wrench apart God's own United Kingdom which stood up against the Nazis in WW2 and be cast into utter darkness without heat, food or light forever and have to worship Alex Salmond like he was Kim Il-Sung? Do you? Do you? Eh? Because if you do you're just letting Hitler win. Plus your football team will still be rubbish, you'll make the Baby Jesus cry, and this little kitten will drown. And that's a fact."

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    Re: An interview with Alan White! Details about 2008 tour inside!

    Great job!

    You asked him about the boat! I had that conversation with him in 2004 - too cool! Do you think that helped the interview become more casual?
    The storms of life They came
    as we made our way towards home
    and foes, they rose to strike us down

    These are not the Truth
    though they threaten
    they are soon swallowed by Time
    and matter not when the end is come

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