Billy Sherwood: Lead & Backing Vocals / Guitars / Drums
“Citizen: In The Next Life” is Billy Sherwood’s second release in the Citizen series, which follows the concept that he started with the “Citizen” album released in November 2015. The songs describe the individual experiences in a journey through time and space of a character, “The Citizen” through his own eyes: from an appearance in the Berlin bunker as Adolf Hitler in the final days of WWII to the Impressionist painter Monet, then as Stephen Hawking exploring the depths of the mind and the universe, Wyatt Earp, the legendary sheriff of Tombstone, Christopher Columbus, Romeo Montecchi and Mata Hari, among other real and fictitious characters.
Of the first single “The Partisan” and other songs on the album, Sherwood says, “the song is about Adolf Hitler and follows his rise to power and eventual fall. “Sophia” is about the first ever A.I. to be formally recognized and declared a citizen of a nation, Saudi Arabia. The song explores the notion that perhaps this isn’t such a great idea and “just because we can does not mean that we should”. “Monet” finds the citizen as the famous impressionist painter and expresses the beauty within the paintings themselves, “painting for all our eyes”. “We Shall Ride Again” has the citizen as the famous lawman Wyatt Earp as he takes care of business, along with his brothers Virgil, Morgan and comrade Doc Holiday. “By Design” is a song where the soul of the main character is Romeo, expressing his love for his Juliet. “Mata Hari” is about the infamous spy who used her seductive ways to get vital information to the governments she worked for. The double agent would eventually find herself in front of a firing squad after being found out.”
For the first album in the Citizen series, Billy amassed an impressive list of guests, including the last recorded performance of original YES bass player Chris Squire, this time he wanted and managed to work on the concept on his own. The result is another splendid ride in human history, with an exceptional storyteller like Billy who is bringing us on a fascinating musical ride through the centuries. The album also includes an impersonation of the character “The Citizen” as Chris Squire. “Amazing Grace” is a famous bass solo that Chris used to do on stage and so it seemed a fitting tribute to him.
“I’m looking forward to this record coming out and having people take these jumps through time. The citizen is your guide and there are many interesting places this lost soul appears. I think of it as a sort of movie for your ears. I recommend a good set of headphones and let the stories take you on a journey,” continues Sherwood.
Billy Sherwood is a current member of YES, handpicked by original founding member Chris Squire, before his untimely death in June 2015, to fill in for him. Billy was also asked by legendary progressive icon John Wetton to replace him in ASIA. Billy started his career in the band Lodgic and then World Trade, with whom he released two albums. He joined YES for the first time as touring member on the “Talk” tour in 1994, before becoming a full time member from 1997 to 1999. He also recorded two albums with Chris Squire on the “Conspiracy” project and released six albums with CIRCA, the band he formed with another former YES member, Tony Kaye.