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Billy Sherwood

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Billy Sherwood from 2015
MSJ: You have a new solo album on the way. (Editor’s Note: The album has been released since this interview was conducted). What can you tell us about that?
It’s called “Citizen” and it’s coming out November 6th. It’s a concept album about a lost soul that’s reincarnated at various points in history. It has a lot of unique guest artists, as well. I’m very excited about it. I’m looking forward to people getting to have it and hear it.
MSJ: Also, there was some talk about a new World Trade album in the works. Can you fill us in on that?
Yeah, I’m working on a new World Trade album. We are in production right now after a very long time in between making records. That’s another record that’s going to be very exciting to see coming out, but it’s very early production right now. Right now Citizen is the main focus because it’s coming out so soon and we’re looking to get Citizen out on the stage, but in between all that stuff and what’s going on with Yes, World Trade is in production.
MSJ:
So you are going to get out for some live shows for the solo album?
With Citizen that’s what we’re talking about right now – getting some formation of a band and getting on the road with it.
MSJ:
Talking about Yes, how pleased was the band with the performances on the fall tour?
I think all things considered, it went very well from every aspect – from playing the music to the reception to the ticket sales and all of the above. It was all very positive.
MSJ: You heard the reaction from a lot of the fans, then?
Yeah, it’s been really nice to hear all the well wishes for the band and the future of the band, especially with what’s happened here with this bad transition and everything. It’s been really amazing to see the support and all the rallying around us.
MSJ:
I know you were really good friends with Chris Squire. You were in Yes before, but not in the same position. I imagine when you were onstage there was a real mix of emotions. Could you describe that?
In a word, it’s surreal. It has a lot of emotional aspects from losing a friend to playing this music you loved as a kid to being in it out of it. It just makes it, after all these years, having popped up here and there in different roles within the band to do this one is very surreal. It’s sad, exciting and at times. So, it all comes back to that word surreal to me.
MSJ: I remember before it was announced that Chris was sick, there was talk about the band wanting to get started on a new album. I remember something being said about an epic that was in the works. Do you know what has happened to plans for a new album?

It’s always my desire to make new music. That’s what I love the most about the whole experience of being a musician. I mean, I love playing live, and I love making records and producing other people’s stuff. So, I hope that it happens. Yes runs at its own pace. So, we shall see. I’m never at a shortage for musical ideas. And so forth. It’s all about seeing how it fleshes out with Yes in the future. I would hope so.

MSJ: Do you think being in Yes is going to slow your other work?
No, I never really get slowed down. I multi-task. I have a mobile studio. I stay up a lot of hours in a day. I tend to get a lot of things done because I enjoy doing it. I’m able to work anywhere I am.  There’s a lot of time out there in the day when you are on the road, too. There’s the time on stage, but for the most part you’re kind of sitting in your hotel room waiting for the event, so there’s a lot of time to get things done and technology affords you that now – being able to drag little units around and have virtual plug ins and what not. So, it’s not going to stop my creativity.
MSJ: I know you are a gamer, too. What games are you into these days?
That might stop my projects for a while. (laughter) I’m waiting now, and I’ve pre-ordered “Battlefront,” which is the new “Star Wars” game. It looks amazing, and I’m a gamer junkie, so I’ll be in there.
MSJ: You are a “Star Wars” fan, too, right? Are you looking forward to the new movie?
My fingers are crossed that it’s great because I want it them all to be great. I’m one of those people who likes all of them. A lot of people don’t like the last three, I guess. I enjoyed the whole series.
MSJ: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Just a “thank you” to all the Yes fans for rallying around the transition. I’m happy to have the support of the fans. That’s for sure.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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