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Thread: Arc Of Life, new band featuring Davison, Schellen, Sherwood, Kerzner and Haun

  1. #101
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think therein lies the issue. The prog association sets up certain musical expectations that that are unfulfilled. It's like they are making an album for a different audience, but only the prog one really knows them.

    Just my take.....
    Agreed. The lineup and the marketing for this isn't really in-line with the first single. When reality doesn't meet expectations, that's usually a fault of marketing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I don't think that is a problem. I believe that most people are open to other kinds of music than prog if the music is good. This new song from Sherwood and the company clearly is not very good effort on any level.
    That's a matter of opinion. I thought it was fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    I wasn't sure what I expected from this lineup. I did not expect a prog masterpiece - Frontiers is not known for that. They are a label that specializes in '80s rock and rockers from that era with a strong slant on melodic rock or melodic metal. They obviously released records also from Asia and Alan Parsons - two proggy-pop bands that I adore and was kinda thinking that AOL might fall in that realm. This song kinda leaves me baffled. The vocals (as have been mentioned) are clearly not a strong suit on this song. I see Squids playing keys, but darned if I can hear what he is playing. It is also sounds like it is missing something - not sure what - keyboards maybe? - but it feels "demo-ish" to me. It sounds like it might have fit on a Conspiracy record? As a fan of bands like Asia/APP/GTR/World Trade, I was looking forward to this a lot.

    The press blurb that they threw out there says:

    "The concept behind Arc Of Life is, in keeping with the progressive rock philosophy, to craft creative, challenging and ear-pleasing music that pushes boundaries.

    Sherwood describes the music as, “interesting, with well-crafted songs, performed with precision and grace. All songs feature memorable melodies and lyrics that take the listener on a sonic adventure. Dynamic arrangements with peaks and valleys ... it's all there.”
    The other idea behind the band is that YES would be a clear point of influence. But while YES is clearly the main point of comparison, a lot of musical similarities can be drawn to describe Arc Of Life’s grandiose and epic approach to music.
    In Davison’s words, “Each YES member understands and supports when others may desire to explore and thrive along new artistic avenues. We then each find further inspiration to bring back to the YES fold.”
    But all the descriptions are best left to the listeners to discern for themselves as repeat listens will reveal more layers.
    A press release said, “Arc Of Life is a true garden of delight for progressive rock fans, and the band is looking forward to performing live.”
    “Once the world gets over the COVID hump, Arc Of Life will be planning as much touring as we can fit in between YES and our other projects. Quite honestly, we’re all chomping at the bit to be out performing again!” Davison said."


    I don't know. I am looking forward to hearing a well-crafted song that features memorable melodies from this band.
    Totally agree, Dan. If this sounded like Asia or Alan Parsons, I'd be perfectly happy.

    Though, I would look forward to something more collaborative from this lineup that included more contributions from Squids.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  2. #102
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    I'll add my tuppence-worth that it all sounds very Circa-ish and, for me, that's OK in small doses.

  3. #103
    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    I think everything Sherwood produces sounds like it could have been made around 1986 and this song continues that unfortunate tradition. Ironically this actual pop song from 1986 sounds far less dated and locked in the 80s: https://youtu.be/lf6vCjtaV1k
    "It was a cruel song, but fair."-Roger Waters

  4. #104
    I don't know if this band is the next Yes, but this thread is looking more and more like a Yes thread. It may be a sign.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
    I don't know if this band is the next Yes, but this thread is looking more and more like a Yes thread. It may be a sign.
    and this is just... the beginning...

    I do not care who sings in that song... May be David thought... "better you sing that song". Being creative is the hardest part... they are very talented per sure.

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    I'll add my tuppence-worth that it all sounds very Circa-ish and, for me, that's OK in small doses.
    I'd say that Circa tends to be way more traditionally Yessy than this. And if you go by Heaven & Earth, more Yessy than Yes.

  7. #107
    It sounds like I thought it would. A real departure these days would be an album produced in the studio with no reverb. Just that warm studio sound a la Fragile. Compelling production has sorely been missed in this genre for a good 25 years. There a moments here and there, but it's always the same. I like this song so the production is not that big of a concern here. Most of the time songs are not good. :-)

    Edit: The best thing from Yes/Sherwood in years was that tune Steve and Chris were on as part of the second Prog Collective album.

  8. #108
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I'm psyched. I love Squids!!!
    I'm kind of looking forward to hearing him just play keyboards (and some backing vox I'm guessing), without having to steer the ship. It will be interesting to hear an album where he's just contributing that way. I think he's a really good songwriter, and judging from the first single, they'll need his songwriting chops on a sophmore album, but for now he just gets to hang out , and sometimes get his chance to wail.

  9. #109
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Dave posted the teaser with the photo on his FB page, but didn't give any names.
    I guessed Billy, Jon, Jimmy and Dave. I love the fact that Jimmy is in the band, he is very underrated in my opinion, and I love his playing with Circa.
    Thanks for posting this, I didn't see any update on my FB feed this morning.
    Is a release date mentioned for a first album>

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I'm psyched. I love Squids!!!
    I really like Calamari, but I need cocktail sauce to go with it. Or something similar.

  11. #111
    It's a very catchy, if lightweight song, and its now in my head! Doesn't Sherwood sound like Chris Squire?

    So how would modern Yes be any different from this, apart from Steve Howe guitar?

    Yes should knock it on the head now, but this band is fine.

  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by bRETT View Post
    I'd say that Circa tends to be way more traditionally Yessy than this.
    The most recent CIRCA: album, Valley of the Windmill, is proggier and also good. But earlier CIRCA: was more like this. The single and iTunes samples remind me most of CIRCA:'s second album, HQ. But then 3/4 of the band on HQ are in Arc of Life.

    Henry
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  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Is a release date mentioned for a first album>
    12 Feb 2021. See http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wnyesm.htm#arc for details.

    Henry
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  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    So how would modern Yes be any different from this, apart from Steve Howe guitar?
    My guess (and hope) is that modern Yes would be substantially different from this because Howe, Downes and White would have significant -- probably dominant -- compositional input.

    Henry
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  15. #115
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    Someone has already set up a Facebook fan page for this band: https://www.facebook.com/groups/302251431091641/

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by zumacraig View Post
    A real departure these days would be an album produced in the studio with no reverb. Just that warm studio sound a la Fragile. Compelling production has sorely been missed in this genre for a good 25 years. There a moments here and there, but it's always the same. I like this song so the production is not that big of a concern here. Most of the time songs are not good. :-)
    I'm with you on Fragile and also Close To The Edge. Those two albums sound so good! There are a lot of factors and I've been studying it recently as an engineer. I'm working with Jeremy Stacey from King Crimson and he has some of the original channels out of the Advision console where they recorded and that's part of it. But, also, they recorded whatever was processed through the console and outboard gear directly to tape (with the great sounding analog gear of that time too... and not all "analog gear" is great-sounding btw. You're better off mixing inside the box digitally if you're not going to actually improve the sound mixing analog. IMO mostly only the stuff from the 50-70s and modern recreations of stuff from the 50-70s sounds THAT good!).

    Anyway, I love that dry sound. Eddie Offord did an amazing job on those albums. All the instruments and vocals just sound so good! It deserves another thread of discussion really but when I saw you say that I had to comment. I'm totally into that and agree. I was thinking the same thing. But, even getting a drum sound like Bruford, Jeremy was explaining (and here's a drummer who plays alongside Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison!!!) that a lot of it is just the way Bruford hit the drums so... unless you ARE Bruford... you know... but still. There are "sonic elements" so to speak and I for one love them all. Those keyboards, Chris's distorted fuzzed Ricky, Howe's gorgeous acoustic guitars and gritty hollow bodies (and RIFFS!!! My favorite Yes albums are the ones where they do riffs and rock tf out! That's one of the reasons I like Drama and 90125... just not as much as TYE, Fragile and CTTE which is my favorite Yes). Anderson sounds great mixed more dry too. I wonder what mic he used on those early albums. I need to study the pics some more. But, anyway, as I said I can only speak for myself and even though I'm just the keyboard player in this band, I am still a producer/engineer and artist myself so I actually already have planned to do some tunes with this approach. Maybe even to analog tape! That's how into it that vintage sound I am.

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I really like Calamari, but I need cocktail sauce to go with it. Or something similar.
    I don't if it's grilled. Have you ever tried a grilled giant Squid in the Mediterranean or at a Japanese restaurant with a great menu? It's really good!

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I'm kind of looking forward to hearing him just play keyboards (and some backing vox I'm guessing), without having to steer the ship. It will be interesting to hear an album where he's just contributing that way. I think he's a really good songwriter, and judging from the first single, they'll need his songwriting chops on a sophmore album, but for now he just gets to hang out , and sometimes get his chance to wail.
    I think anyone who knows me knows that I really do like to "steer the ship" so to speak. I mean, that's what I normally do. People don't know this but before we got Marillion's manager for SOC, I was the manager of the band and even got us our record deal! Although I don't like being a band manager and I have to say it's fun being in a band with Yes's management QEDG! Plus an agent and a record deal ready to go and seasoned players with way more road experience than I have (plus they're cool guys and friends I enjoy hanging out with). So, for a change, I get to walk right into it... AND walk right into this endless YES controversy stuff too and man... it can make one's head spin! Now I know why Juano doesn't even bother going on line! He's smart! Billy gets way too much flack and for as hard as he works and as great a job as he does at filling Chris's shoes in Yes (and what he's done other projects including mine whenever I've hired him) it's a bummer to see that. It's sad seeing people pounce on any musician because, as some kinder more respectful people have pointed out, music artists are just doing what THEY like and putting it out there for whoever lines up with it. You might not but others will! As for me, well, I do like poppy stuff sometimes but I actually prefer it when things are more proggy. It depends. To understand my taste, really, all you have to do is listen to my songs.

    But, I love Yes and I love these guys so I hope it does evolve into something where I can contribute creatively. I keep imagining what this band will be like live and I think it could be powerful. Any Yes tune we play would kick full and complete ass (that's such an non-Yesish thing to say!!! Haha. Peace and love. Sorry! All we are saying is give Squids a chance!). Sometimes songs are modified a bit in the live version of a band. Kind of like the way Thud played "Joytown" live vs. how it sounded on Kevin Gilbert's album Thud. It got Proggy with lots of new keys. Well... you think I've changed that much since then? I still have my Mighty Wurlizer and Mighty Mellotron. We just need to get rid of this annoying Covid first!

    Oh by the way speaking of Covid, have you heard the song Steve Porcaro put together called "Covid Kid"? That has Billy singing lead and I think he did a fantastic job too!

  19. #119
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    I think anyone who knows me knows that I really do like to "steer the ship" so to speak. I mean, that's what I normally do. People don't know this but before we got Marillion's manager for SOC, I was the manager of the band and even got us our record deal! Although I don't like being a band manager and I have to say it's fun being in a band with Yes's management QEDG! Plus an agent and a record deal ready to go and seasoned players with way more road experience than I have (plus they're cool guys and friends I enjoy hanging out with). So, for a change, I get to walk right into it... AND walk right into this endless YES controversy stuff too and man... it can make one's head spin! Now I know why Juano doesn't even bother going on line! He's smart! Billy gets way too much flack and for as hard as he works and as great a job as he does at filling Chris's shoes in Yes (and what he's done other projects including mine whenever I've hired him) it's a bummer to see that. It's sad seeing people pounce on any musician because, as some kinder more respectful people have pointed out, music artists are just doing what THEY like and putting it out there for whoever lines up with it. You might not but others will! As for me, well, I do like poppy stuff sometimes but I actually prefer it when things are more proggy. It depends. To understand my taste, really, all you have to do is listen to my songs.

    But, I love Yes and I love these guys so I hope it does evolve into something where I can contribute creatively. I keep imagining what this band will be like live and I think it could be powerful. Any Yes tune we play would kick full and complete ass (that's such an non-Yesish thing to say!!! Haha. Peace and love. Sorry! All we are saying is give Squids a chance!). Sometimes songs are modified a bit in the live version of a band. Kind of like the way Thud played "Joytown" live vs. how it sounded on Kevin Gilbert's album Thud. It got Proggy with lots of new keys. Well... you think I've changed that much since then? I still have my Mighty Wurlizer and Mighty Mellotron. We just need to get rid of this annoying Covid first!

    Oh by the way speaking of Covid, have you heard the song Steve Porcaro put together called "Covid Kid"? That has Billy singing lead and I think he did a fantastic job too!
    Hi Squids, what a great post, thanks for hanging around today.
    I love and respect every member of present day Yes, and for the most part, and as I've written here before, I have always been a big Billy Sherwood fan, but I can understand and respect other's view of not getting in to his music or performance. It's when comments are personal in nature towards a musician, I get a little upset, because as you've noted, many are hard working, trying to make a living and for the most part put the best product out there. It's also part of a musician's nature to express those emotions of either a personal or creative and artistic expression.
    In doing so, you connect with some and others may think it pure rubbish, but in the end, it's usually a personal opinion and a matter of what one likes and doesn't like. That line sometimes becomes blurred when people comment about an artist, a song, album, etc.

    In the course of this thread I've read the suggestion that because the musicians in this are Yes related(and the marketing DOES promote that), that it should have some Yes similarities, and also a new Yes type band should sound like Yes.
    I wouldn't want to see that. Writing music because you are influenced by Yes, that's fine, but any new progressive Yes like band, should be fresh and not copy or try to sound like Yes unless you're a tribute band.

    I've watched the video(not the whole thing, I think it's too long with similar chorus, etc), but the beginning is rather catchy, and I can hear that thing Billy does with his voice, and his phrasing that is unique, but it's got a bit too much processing for me to hear it. But everyone is different.
    I, like others can barely hear if at all your keys, and I wish they would revisit the mix and bring you up a bit.
    I haven't heard any other songs, but hope Jimmy H's guitar is more present and his talent on guitar gets to shine more than I heard in the middle break.

    I have the concert on DVD that Billy, Jimmy H, Tony Kaye and Alan did for the Circa show. It's a bit raw DVD, but the energy on that is off the charts, and they play a 20 minute balls to the walls Yes melody that would make any YES fan pee their pants.
    So I can really see this band in a live setting kicking butt, Billy seems to really shine when he's playing live.

    Best to you Dave, and looking forward to seeing you with Arc if you come to the Gulf area.
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice YouTube: [https://www.youtube.com/@richardhermans4457

  20. #120
    Thanks Richard. Yeah, I mean as for the way it's mixed, the volume level of the keys and other creative things, it does not reflect what I would do. That's hopefully clear given I didn't produce or engineer on this. But, when you hear it live is when you'll get more aggressive keys I'm sure and any Yes songs that are played will also be well executed (or my name ain't Squids! haha).

    I think this does have some similarities to Yes but not too much and it's totally understandable considering Billy and Jon ARE still in Yes as well so when they really want to sound like Yes they can just BE YES! haha. I think they're working on a new album. I know as much as anyone else does reading or hearing interviews with them. But, these things are kind of obvious. It's only when people impose their own expectations on what they want it to be that it starts to get all over the place. At the end of the day, each person can decide if it's their cup of tea or not. I can be critical too! MORE KEYS AND PROGGGG!!!! hahaha. But, I prefer to just see the positives and plow ahead. Lots of potential with this line up.

  21. #121
    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    I don't if it's grilled. Have you ever tried a grilled giant Squid in the Mediterranean or at a Japanese restaurant with a great menu? It's really good!
    Love grilled Calamari the Greek way...
    20200518_132202-01.jpg20200518_132202-01.jpg
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    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  22. #122
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    I think we all agree that a bunch of Yes people starting a different band probably aren't going to want to sound just like Yes (although some might argue that YES hasn't sounded like Yes for some time.) It then makes sense that this would be an outlet for the band member's "less proggy" songwriting (although -- again -- it seems recent Yes albums have become that anyways.) But at the end of the day good songs are good songs, and this is... Well, new "poppier" songs from DBA and Robert Berry have just appeared on the forum, and the general consensus seems to be that this song takes the Bronze.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  23. #123
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    Sorry but listening to "You make it real" shows me that we are discussing a band trying to copy the sound of the worst phase of ASIA (who weren't
    really good at their best Phase) and end up beinig worse.

    So why is this discussed over 5 pages when there are several hundred better Prog band out there (and thousands of other Rock styles)?

    Even if every member of this has something to do with YES, that dosn't make it interesting.

  24. #124
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Sorry but listening to "You make it real" shows me that we are discussing a band trying to copy the sound of the worst phase of ASIA (who weren't
    really good at their best Phase) and end up beinig worse.

    So why is this discussed over 5 pages when there are several hundred better Prog band out there (and thousands of other Rock styles)?

    Even if every member of this has something to do with YES, that dosn't make it interesting.
    A wise man once wrote, "opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one".
    We get it, you don't think this thread should exist, easy fix, just drive by it next time you visit, end of problem.
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  25. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    It's only when people impose their own expectations on what they want it to be that it starts to get all over the place.
    I want to interrogate this question of who is doing the imposing.

    So, expectations are a huge part of how we hear music. At a very basic level, most of us here have grown up with the Western scale system, so we 'understand' music that fits that and can get unnerved or confused by music that doesn't. Music appreciation, psychological studies say, rests on how predictable the music is (with a balance needed between not being too predictable or too unpredictable), and how predictable it is depends on one's expectations.

    OK, enough musicology. Arc of Life... people have clearly brought a lot of expectations to the project, as the discussion before we'd even heard anything showed. (Isn't that part of the fun of being a fan? Speculating on what will come?) But the promotional text from Frontiers absolutely leans into many of those expectations. The blurb for the YouTube video is 7 paragraphs long and mentions "YES" 7 times. It opens by describing Arc Of Life as "a new progressive rock supergroup", and continues, "The concept behind Arc of Life is, in keeping with the progressive rock philosophy, to craft creative, challenging, and ear-pleasing music that pushes boundaries." Or, "Arc Of Life’s grandiose and epic approach to music."

    If someone hearing "You Make It Real" brought with them expectations of some Yes-like, progressive rock that is "challenging", "grandiose" and "epic", whose fault is that? The listener for believing the promotional blurb, or the band, management and label for writing that blurb? Or maybe it's the choice of a song that isn't representative of the album as a whole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    At the end of the day, each person can decide if it's their cup of tea or not.
    That is very true. I think the expectations shape how we first react to a song (and you don't a second chance to make a first impression), but the music comes to speak for itself. Listen to anything more than a few times, and you hear it differently. So... just watched the video yet again and, sorry, that's not my cup of tea... and the video's imagery is somewhat confused.

    Henry
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