Who is Billy Sherwood? Many people have been asking that very question recently. Billy has been involved with Yes in one capacity or other for nearly a decade. Now that the ink is dry and he is officially a part of the band, it's time we try to lift the veil of mystery surrounding Billy Sherwood and introduce him to those who may not have heard of him before.

Cover of World Trade's debut albumBilly first got involved with Yes somewhere between Big Generator and Union. At the time, Billy was frontman and bassist for his own band, World Trade. Here's the story according to Billy:

"We met in 1988, '89, around there, and I had a band World Trade, and it had its kind of Yesisms about it, and Derek Shulman, who was the lead singerof Gentle Giant who signed our band World Trade was A&Ring Yes over on Atco and said to Chris, "Maybe you should meet this guy, because you might like this stuff," and Chris heard it and dug it, and we ended up meeting each other and I asked him to sing on the record, he sang on one song, and from that meeting we just evolved a friendship and a musical relationship with each other over the years that's blossomed into what we have here."

Billy co-wrote "The more we live, let go" and "Love conquers all" with Chris Squire for the Union album (though the latter was unreleased until YesYears). Billy also co-produced both songs.

Following the Union tour, Chris Squire did several gigs in and around Los Angeles with The Chris Squire Experiment, featuring Alan White on drums and Billy Sherwood on bass and guitar. It also appears that World Trade may have opened for the CSE.

Chris Squire and Billy Sherwood during 1994's Talk tourThe Talk tour provided Billy the opportunity to play with Yes as their all-purpose utility man. Unlike Casey Young, the keyboardist who played beneath the stage for the 9012Live tour, Billy was onstage with the band, singing backing vocals and playing rhythm guitar, keyboards and even bass. He even appeared with Yes for their performance of "Walls" on The Late Show with David Letterman.

After the Talk tour, Sherwood re-formed World Trade. They contributed their version of "Wonderous Stories" to the Yes tribute album Tales From Yesterday and also released their second full CD, Euphoria, which contains another Sherwood-Squire collaboration, "The Evolution song".

Cover of EuphoriaAlong with being a versatile instrumentalist and singer, Billy has racked up a considerable number of credits as producer. Along with his work on the Union album he has also produced and played bass on several tribute albums (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rush, Pink Floyd) as well as World Trade's Euphoria. He also mixed the studio tracks for Yes' Keys To Ascension.

When asked about the future of Yes, Billy responds with enthusiasm:

"I think the new perspective is the right thing, but I think that it's good, because I think that this band could appeal to a whole other generation of kids who could jump on from this different angle of looking at it, and then get into the past and go, wait a minute, there's a gold mine of stuff here. I think that in 1997 heading into 2000, let's face it, we've got to try make Yes grab a generation that can carry into 2000..."

"I want to take this thing into 2000 with guns blazing, and I guess that's my motivation to do it. Musically it's--people can hear it on OPEN YOUR EYES,what I've got to bring to the table along with the KEYS 2 production stuff,but OPEN YOUR EYES is more the songwriter side of it..."

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