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“But now we’ve got the situation where people take the music for free because they somehow think that’s their right. And as I said, give me two months of all of those people’s work and energy. I wouldn’t say that I’ve a grudge, but you know, it does hurt. It does grieve me that our rights and our copyrights are abused all the time. And yet, we’re stupid enough to go and make another record, which immediately is put on the internet by somebody. The whole album on the internet!
“I mean, that guy ought to stop and think about giving us two months of his life for free. Do these people do anything for free? I don’t think they do. They get a job, they get paid. Do they walk in to their boss and say, ‘I don’t mind working for free’? The guy would look at him and say, ‘You’re gonna work at my company for nothing?’ ‘Yeah, yeah. I steal records off the internet, and I work for free!’ [Laughs] That would be unheard of. So musicians and filmmakers and authors – we’re all expected to do this for free.
“So the inspiration is quite different. I make time, I make my Homebrew series, I’ve done records with Asia – I do things for quite a few different reasons. But when it comes to a high-profile group like Yes… It’s a very complicated question you ask me. Let’s move on. Don’t comment, just move on.”
On this tour, Yes are performing Fragile and Close To The Edge in their entirety. As great as it is to have a couple of classic albums in your catalogue, is it ever a drag that newer material doesn’t get the same reaction as, say, Roundabout?
“Well, we can’t deny that. We can’t go against the grain. Close To The Edge and Fragile were both made in the same year, and they’re remarkable records with remarkable production, assisted by Eddy Offord. The band is remarkable, with Bill Bruford chopping away at his most creative at that time. I fully understand why they’re not screaming for Open Your Eyes. I know why they don’t want us to play much of Talk. We’re not stupid. We know what went down well, and we know that, for years, Fragile and Close To The Edge were sensational-selling albums. We’re very proud of them. Let’s just talk about how proud we are, not that we’ve got some albatross.” [Laughs]