THE HOWES’ OTH­ER­WORLDLY DE­LIGHTS

Yes gui­tar vir­tu­oso teams up with his mul­ti­in­stru­men­tal­ist son for an al­bum of cos­mic pro­por­tions!

Prog - - News -

Steve Howe has teamed up with his younger son, Vir­gil, on a new in­stru­men­tal al­bum, called Nexus. It’ll be re­leased via In­sid­eOut on Novem­ber 17 and, says Steve, the record­ing will sur­prise a lot of fans.

“I’ve done a wealth of dif­fer­ent things but I haven’t done any­thing like this be­fore. I feel it’s steer­ing me in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion,” he tells Prog via the phone in the US, where Yes are cur­rently on tour. “It’s a full-on col­lab­o­ra­tive al­bum, not a duet. It’s been re­fresh­ing to work with Vir­gil and we’ve pulled this beau­ti­ful al­bum to­gether. Although it’s got shades of mel­low mu­sic, it doesn’t sit still. It moves across elec­tronic mu­sic and my gui­tars – this is an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover what Vir­gil’s been do­ing on the side of his drum­ming with Lit­tle Barrie. He’s got a hard rock and funk side but this has to­tally dif­fer­ent shades.”

The idea for the record­ing came about last year and is based around pi­ano and synth pieces that the rock drum­mer has been send­ing his dad over the last few years. When Howe Sr re­alised the tunes weren’t be­ing used any­where, he picked out his favourites and added gui­tar parts, which Vir­gil then re­worked into full songs.

“I tried to bring a dif­fer­ent style of gui­tar, both in the in­stru­ment and the styling of my gui­tar work,” he ex­plains. “Some have my fa­mous ES-175 sound, for others, we moved

LUCKY MAN: CARL PALMER. onto acous­tic gui­tars and used things like Do­bros. I got the colour­ful gui­tar ap­proach onto the al­bum, that’s what I call gui­tar tex­tur­ing. Vir­gil then brought in more or­ches­tra­tion and that started building the strength of the al­bum. I would say it has a cur­rent feel. We didn’t need any­one else, we didn’t need any­thing else – that’s why it’s just Vir­gil and Steve Howe.

“Most of the credit goes to Vir­gil on this; it’s Vir­gil’s bed and melodies but I’ve come in to add a lit­tle bit more. The pro­por­tion that he wrote is re­flected in the way that my name is sec­ond on the writ­ing and the per­form­ing be­cause he’s the one putting the big stamp down here. What I like about [the songs], and the rea­son I’ve put this to­gether, is that he has a melodic virtue in his mu­sic and that’s some­thing I can never ig­nore. When some­body comes to you with a tune, it’s a tune – it’s not a hodge­podge of ideas or beats, it’s ac­tu­ally a tune and I think that’s a great strength he’s got.”

Although Vir­gil’s synth play­ing can be heard on Howe’s Spec­trum, this is the first time the pair have fully col­lab­o­rated on a stu­dio al­bum. The fin­ished record­ing com­prises 11 in­stru­men­tal pieces with spacey ti­tles such as Pass­ing Ti­tan, Moon Ris­ing, and Dawn Mis­sion – which at just over five min­utes, is the long­est track on the al­bum. Then there’s Nick’s Star, a song that Vir­gil wrote in mem­ory of the gui­tarist Nick Hirsch, his band­mate in The Dirty Feel, who died in 2012.

“Vir­gil played it to me and asked what I thought. I said, ‘I think it’s beau­ti­ful and let’s play on it’,” re­veals the Yes gui­tarist. “All the ti­tles are slightly cos­mic be­cause that’s the kind of mu­sic it is.”

In ad­di­tion to Nexus, Steve Howe has re­cently re­leased An­thol­ogy 2: Groups & Col­lab­o­ra­tions via Rhino. The three-disc col­lec­tion spans more than 50 years of the gui­tarist’s ca­reer.

See www.steve­howe.com for more. NRS

“I’ve done a wealth of dif­fer­ent things

but I haven’t done any­thing like this be­fore.”

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