“I’ve been naively home schooling,” says Trevor Rabin with a laugh as he discussed time spent since he last worked with members of the famed rock band Yes. “I’ve done 50 film scores and a 2012 instrumental album which was most enjoyable but I did it backward; I finished the record first and then I placed it with a distributor. The fans didn’t seem to like it but that was fine, not all goes well in life.”
Today however, Rabin and Yes luminaries, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman have combined forces to form ARW; a five piece unit to which he refers as aggressive and “Tough.” “Yes; you know what? I’ve just got to come out and say it; for lack of a better term, we are tough sounding. That’s the best description that I can come up with. We are loud at times and we play with aggression but it’s all extremely musical; if that makes sense (laughs).”
Formed somewhat by chance after the unfortunate passing of Yes bassist Chris Squire; ARW is the creative outlet that the threesome seemed to have been searching for. “After Chris died,” explained a now somewhat pensive Rabin, “We tossed around the idea of a reunion tour of sorts; especially after the success of the “Union Tour.” That tour was the first time for me with Rick Wakeman and we formed a great allegiance; it was such fun. At the time it was just him and I on stage and then we started writing together and we said, “We’ve got to do something.” ” Jon and Rick had toured together with Yes of course and then it was suggested to include me and I went along for the ride and here we are now.”
“Now,” is 25 years later and the tossed around idea has definitely caught on. Rabin states that he enjoys writing new material but the band is cautious about debuting it or testing it out on the road; the reason? Social Media. “So far I’ve been writing much of the new material. Rick and Jon are definitely involved but we’re going on tour and the new album is not done so we won’t be playing any new songs off of it just yet. We’d love to test the waters but the problem is that it would wind up on You Tube and we’re still not done revising some things and we just didn’t want that. We don’t want the wrong versions getting out there that’s all but eventually, well, hopefully we will be debuting them shortly after the tour starts.”
October 4 sees the tour kick off in Orlando, Florida at Hard Rock Live and Trevor is excited to hit the road again and perform the reinvigorated versions of the Yes catalog. “Even though I have absolutely nothing to do with the current Yes band; I look forward to performing the material. When I left the band, I gave up my rights to the group; Jon and Alan White own the rights but combining the two different eras is always great fun. We rehearsed a lot and really worked hard at trying to decide what songs to perform. We have six hours of material and we pulled each song apart and re-worked and revised and we have enough to make each show a bit different. We can’t play six hours in one night (laughs); or can we?”
Several more shows in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina are on tap before the band turns north and east with stops in New England and Pennsylvania before an October 24 show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ and Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre on October 26; followed by a stop at the Borgata in Atlantic City on October 28.
Rabin is a man with a full schedule and despite the tour, plans on continuing his work in the film industry as he still receives offers and scripts. “This tour, the band; they are the priority at the moment but I’m still getting offers to do film scores. Once we take a break from the road I’ll visit those and keep writing music.”
Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)