Rob Shanahan/MSO PRYes recently wrapped up a North American summer tour during which the band debuted some material from its latest studio album, Heaven & Earth, the prog-rock legends’ first with their new lead singer Jon Davison. Guitarist Steve Howe tells ABC News Radio that the record is “a different sort of album” for Yes.

“It’s an unusual album in a way. It has a light element to it,” Howe explains, noting that he agrees with some fans who have described the record as being “accessible.”

Davison has only been an official member of Yes since 2012, but he played a big role in the creation of Heaven & Earth, co-writing six of the project’s eight songs with the other Yes members and writing a seventh tune by himself. Howe explains that the singer took the initiative when it came to collaborating with his new band mates.

“Jon Davison, being a new guy, put his hand up and kind of said, ‘Well, I’d be happy to circulate,'” he says. “And, basically, ’cause we all live in different parts of the world, Jon visited everybody and found out what he could do with them a little, and then compared notes.”

Howe says he was very pleased to find out that beyond coming up with catchy song ideas, Davison was able to create complex parts that challenged the Yes members’ abilities, and while also displaying his own musical talents.

One such tune was “Light of the Ages,” the song Davison penned alone.

“I think ‘Light of the Ages’ is the kind of song that Yes needs to play,” Howe maintains. “I play just steel guitar on that one, and Jon plays rhythm guitar. I like his rhythm work. It’s really good to have a great rhythm guitarist in the group.”

Another song Howe enjoyed was the album closer, “Subway Walls,” a nine-minute-plus epic that Davison wrote with Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes.

“There’s a song [that’s] got lots of complexity,” Steve points out. “As we got to know each other and as I got to know [Jon’s] available material, that piece was really scary — complex, almost, like, ‘Where is the beat? Where’s the beat gone in this?'”

Howe explains that Davison’s musical talents aren’t just limited to vocals and rhythm guitar, noting that he also “wrote massive bass lines for this album, which you wouldn’t expect.”

The multifaceted aspects Davison brings to Yes seems to fit in with what Howe wants the band to strive for moving forward as a recording entity.

“If Yes make albums where none of us have to think, it must be…really appalling,” he tells ABC News Radio, “because it’s only when you have to work on music that you’re doing something of value.”

Yes will return to the road on November 10, when the band kicks off a tour of New Zealand, Australia and Japan with a concert in Auckland, New Zealand. As on their North American trek, the new outing will feature Yes performing the Close to the Edge and Fragile albums in their entirety, plus selections from Heaven & Earth and various hits by the group.

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