William Wyman Sherwood (born March 14, 1965, Las Vegas, Nevada) is an American musician, record producer, and mixing engineer.
He is mostly known for his time as a member of progressive rock band Yes, first from 1997 to 2000, including for their albums Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999). He re-joined Yes in 2015, covering for (and eventually replacing) original bassist Chris Squire who was on hiatus from the band due to health issues shortly before his death on 27 June 2015. He was asked by Squire, before his passing, to replace him and keep Yes going. He is known for working with former and current Yes members in other capacities as well.
In 2017, he joined Asia alongside Yes bandmate Geoff Downes after the death of original singer and bassist John Wetton, having been chosen by Wetton himself. He is also an accomplished solo artist, having released nine solo studio albums between 1999 and 2015.
Sherwood in 2014
|Birth name||William Wyman Sherwood|
|Born||March 14, 1965|
|Origin||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, engineer, producer, songwriter, guitarist, composer|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, vocals, guitar|
|Labels||Frontiers Records, Cleopatra Records, Cherry Red Records|
|Associated acts||Yes, Conspiracy, Lodgic, Toto, Circa, World Trade, Air Supply, Yoso, Chris Squire, Carmine Appice, Edgar Winter, William Shatner, Nektar, Paul Rodgers, Great White, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, Steve Morse, Rick Wakeman, Dale Bozzio, Asia|
Sherwood comes from a musical family which includes his father Bobby Sherwood, who was an actor, musician, and big band leader, his mother Phyllis, a singer and drummer, and brother Michael, a keyboardist and singer. His godfather is the late Milton Berle. Billy has a wife, Michi.
Sherwood's music career started when he joined a band called Lodgic formed by Michael. Billy played bass and sang, while Michael played keyboards and sang back up. Lodgic also included Guy Allison on keyboards, Jimmy Haun on guitar and Gary Starns on drums. They eventually moved the band to Los Angeles in 1980. After many years of trying to get things together, they recorded their debut album Nomadic Sands, released in 1985.
Lodgic eventually broke up, and Billy Sherwood put together a new band with Guy Allison. They recruited guitarist Bruce Gowdy and drummer Mark T. Williams to form World Trade. They recorded their self-titled debut in 1989, with Sherwood taking on the roles of engineer, mixer, and producer again, along with his band duties as bassist and lead singer.
Then, Sherwood and Gowdy were asked to come and jam with Chris Squire, Alan White, and Tony Kaye of Yes. Singer Jon Anderson and guitarist Trevor Rabin had left the band and the idea was for Sherwood and Gowdy to replace them in the band. Rabin returned to the band, but demos were recorded by a line-up of Squire, White, Kaye, Rabin and Sherwood. However, Yes were to merge with Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and Sherwood was relegated to the role of side musician, appearing on one track of the subsequent album Union. Like Trevor Horn before him, Sherwood was uncomfortable with the idea of replacing Anderson as the front man of Yes, but he struck up a friendship with Squire that would lead to work with him throughout the next 20 years.
During the hiatus of Yes, Squire put together the Chris Squire Experiment, having Sherwood as the lead singer while playing some guitar and keyboards. Sherwood then went on to record a project called The Key with guitarist Marty Walsh, though they would not release the album until 1997.
Behind the board, Sherwood worked with Motörhead, Dangerous Toys, and Paul Rodgers (formerly of Bad Company) as producer and engineer. Sherwood also guested on Toto's Kingdom of Desire album, singing and playing bass. He also produced a couple of tribute albums, including Jeffology, a tribute to Jeff Beck. Sherwood then joined Yes on tour as an additional musician, playing guitar and keyboards for their tour in support of Talk.
Sherwood got back together with his bandmates from World Trade and released Euphoria in 1995, with Jay Schellen replacing Williams on drums. After this, he worked with a multitude of artists. Most of his work was as producer, mixer and engineer, including on more tribute albums: Dragon Attack, a tribute to Queen; Salute to AC/DC; and Crossfire, a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Sherwood would co-produce, engineer and mix the new studio tracks for Yes's Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2 albums. Sherwood started work on a third album by World Trade, but the band would fall apart. He would later use much of that material as his debut solo album The Big Peace, released in 1999.
After the two Keys to Ascension albums, Rick Wakeman left Yes. Sherwood's friendship with Chris Squire would then lead him being asked to join the band again. The material that they had written together was used as the basis of what would become Open Your Eyes, released in 1997 by Yes. Sherwood played guitar and keyboards. Igor Khoroshev would join the band before the tour as the keyboardist leaving Sherwood to playing guitar and supplying backing vocals.
After the tour, Sherwood and Yes returned to the studio to record The Ladder. During this time too, Sherwood and Squire started putting the finishing touches on their album Conspiracy, largely based on the Chris Squire Experiment material, which was released while Yes was on tour in support of The Ladder in 2000. Billy also took time to perform on his brother Michael's album Tangletown, released in 1999.
Yes recorded a show during The Ladder tour in Sherwood's hometown of Las Vegas at the House of Blues. This was released as an album and DVD titled House of Yes. Then after the tour, an announcement came that Sherwood was no longer a member of Yes.
After his departure from Yes, Sherwood worked with Chris Squire to release the album Conspiracy, which includes some work they composed together some years before. Following that, Sherwood composed his first solo album called The Big Peace in which he played most of the instruments and also produced. The album was a sort of back to basics of his progressive roots.
In 2003, Sherwood released The Unknown, another album with Chris Squire as Conspiracy.
More recently, Sherwood has been working on further tribute albums, notably Back Against the Wall and Return to the Dark Side of the Moon, tributes to Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon respectively. The latter includes a new track recorded with Tony Kaye.
In 2007, a new band with Sherwood, Alan White, Tony Kaye and Jimmy Haun was announced, called Circa. With the release of their debut album Circa 2007 and a live DVD concert, Circa has played various live dates. White left the band and was replaced by Jay Schellen.
In August 2008, Billy Sherwood's released his third solo album, At the Speed of Life, for which he received an award that year as the best Progressive Rock Producer.
On January 14, 2009, Circa self-released on the Internet its second studio album, Circa HQ. This time, White was not available due to his commitments with Yes (who had begun a new tour). Sherwood's long time friend, collaborator and drummer, Jay Schellen, replaced White on the album. After a short international tour, Sherwood and co. started another project with former Toto singer, Bobby Kimball. Kimball, Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Jimmy Haun formed new band, Yoso, with a debut studio album in April 2009. Haun later abandoned the line-up (in order to focus on his work for adverts). He was replaced by Yes tribute band guitarist, Johnny Bruhns. Schellen chose to focus on his work in Asia Featuring John Payne and, after a number of other drummers, the band toured with Scott Connor on drums. Yoso then disbanded. Sherwood also released his fourth solo album, Oneirology.
In 2011, Circa returned with a new line-up of Sherwood, Kaye, Bruhns and Connor, while Sherwood released his fifth solo album, What was the Question?. In 2012, Sherwood wrote, produced, arranged and performed on The Prog Collective, an album featuring vocal or instrumental contributions from many of the progressive rock artists he had worked with over the years. He reprised the concept with a similar collection of artists for Epilogue, released in 2013.
On October 8, 2013, they released the official video to William Shatner's record Ponder The Mystery, followed by a sold out tour with Circa. Ponder The Mystery also features appearances of Steve Vai, Robby Krieger, Al Di Meola, George Duke, Vince Gill, Dave Koz, Rick Wakeman and Edgar Winter. He also played with Alan Parsons Project.
On May 19, 2015, it was officially announced that Chris Squire would be undergoing treatment for Acute erythroid leukemia, and that Yes would continue their 2015 North American tour with Sherwood filling Squire's role. After Squire's passing on June 27, 2015, Sherwood (along with other former and current members of Yes) made a public statement expressing his grief. In regards to his new role as the now-permanent bassist for Yes: "Chris said to me, 'play the music, be yourself and make me proud'. It’s my true desire now [to] live up to his wishes."
On July 8, 2016, Sherwood regrouped with Circa to release their fourth album titled Valley Of The Windmill.
On 11 January 2017, it was announced via Asia's Official Facebook that Sherwood would be filling in for John Wetton for tour dates in the spring of 2017 while Wetton underwent chemotherapy. Wetton died on 31 January 2017.
In the same year, Sherwood reunited World Trade to record a third album titled Unify, which was released on August 4, 2017.
Sherwood mainly plays Carvin guitars, 6- and 12-string; his main guitar, which he's played since his first stint in Yes, is a red Carvin, Telecaster-shaped, with a Roland V-guitar pickup. His acoustic guitars are made by Babicz. He uses Line 6 amplifiers with 4x12" cabinets.
'92 Tour EP is the final EP by the band Motörhead, released in 1992 on WTG, their last with the label.Back Against the Wall
Back Against the Wall is an album released in 2005 by Billy Sherwood in collaboration with a number of (mostly) progressive rock artists as a tribute to Pink Floyd's album The Wall. A year later, Sherwood followed it with the release of Return to the Dark Side of the Moon, a tribute to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.Circa (band)
Circa (stylized as CIRCA:) is a progressive rock supergroup founded by four musicians associated with Yes: current Yes member Alan White (drums), former Yes member Tony Kaye (Hammond, keyboards), current Yes member Billy Sherwood (bass, vocals), and guitarist Jimmy Haun, who played on the Yes album Union.Heaven
Heaven, or the heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive.
Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a World to Come.
Another belief is in an axis mundi or world tree which connects the heavens, the terrestrial world, and the underworld. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka, and the soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world (heaven, hell, or other) is referred to as otherworld.Keys to Ascension 2
Keys to Ascension 2 is the fifth live and sixteenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes. It was released as a double album in November 1997 by Essential Records as the successor to the previous live/studio album Keys to Ascension. After guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman returned to the band in 1995, the group relocated to San Luis Obispo, California and started to write new material. The reunion of this particular line-up was promoted with three concerts at the city's Fremont Theater in March 1996, the five's first live performance together since 1979. Keys to Ascension 2 features the remaining half of the live set from the 1996 shows and five studio new tracks including two ones which marked a return to the group writing long-form pieces.
Keys to Ascension received mixed reviews from music critics. It reached No. 62 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 169 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. A promotional North American tour was scheduled to start in June 1997, but it was cancelled after Wakeman had already been booked for other projects which led to his departure from the band. The studio material from the Keys to Ascension albums was compiled on Keystudio (2001), and both albums were reissued in their entirety in 1998 and 2010, the latter with the concert video as a bonus disc.Keystudio
Keystudio is a compilation album released by Yes in 2001. It is made up of the studio tracks from both Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2.Mabel Greer's Toyshop
Mabel Greer's Toyshop are an English progressive rock (initially as psychedelic rock) band formed in London, active from 1966 to 1968 that was the precursor to the rock band Yes. Their music was marked by a combination of psychedelic, American blues and classically influenced arrangements with poetic lyrics. Members included Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Clive Bailey, Robert Hagger and later Jon Anderson. The band reformed in 2014 with original members, singer and guitarist Clive Bayley and drummer Robert Hagger, along with Hugo Barré, Tony Kaye, and Billy Sherwood.March ör Die
March ör Die is the 10th studio album by the band Motörhead, released 14 August 1992, on the WTG/Epic label, their second and last with them.Open Your Eyes (Yes album)
Open Your Eyes is the seventeenth studio album by the English rock band Yes, released in November 1997 by Eagle Records in the UK and by Beyond Music in the US. Following the departure of keyboardist Rick Wakeman and the addition of guitarist, keyboardist, and producer Billy Sherwood in 1997, Sherwood and bassist Chris Squire started to develop songs for an album by their own band, Conspiracy. They caught the attention of their new management who suggested to use some of their material for a new Yes studio album. Jon Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe's late involvement caused their creative input to be limited.
Open Your Eyes received mixed to negative reviews from music critics and became one of the band's lowest selling albums, reaching number 151 on the US Billboard 200 and failing to enter the UK Albums Chart. Its lead single, "Open Your Eyes", reached number 33 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart which was followed by a second, "New State of Mind". A limited edition with a surround sound mix was also released. Yes supported the album with a 12-month world tour from October 1997 that coincided with their thirtieth anniversary. The band were joined by Russian keyboardist Igor Khoroshev who had played on the album as a guest musician, and became a full-time member at the tour's conclusion.Return to the Dark Side of the Moon
Not to be confused with the covermount album of the same name with Mojo magazine in 2011Return to the Dark Side of the Moon is a tribute album organised by Billy Sherwood, and released in 2006 on Purple Pyramid. It is a re-creation of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and a sequel to Sherwood's Back Against the Wall, itself a re-creation of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Return to the Dark Side of the Moon, in addition includes an original piece composed by Sherwood (and recorded with Tony Kaye and Robby Krieger) in the style of the original album.
The album features guests mostly from the world of progressive rock, including former Yes members Peter Banks, Geoff Downes, Rick Wakeman, Kaye and Sherwood himself.Topographic Drama – Live Across America
Topographic Drama – Live Across America is a double live album by English progressive rock band Yes, released on 24 November 2017 by Rhino Records. It is the first Yes release not to feature bassist and founding member Chris Squire, who died in 2015. He was replaced by American multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood. It was recorded in February 2017 in several locations across the United States during their 2016–2017 world tour that featured Drama (1980) played in its entirety plus half of their double album Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973).Yes (band)
Yes are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968 by singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford. The band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history; nineteen musicians have been full-time members. Since June 2015, it has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, singer Jon Davison, and bassist Billy Sherwood, with no remaining founding members. Yes have explored several musical styles over the years, and are most notably regarded as progressive rock pioneers.
Yes began in 1968, performing original songs and rearranged covers of rock, pop, blues and jazz songs, as evident on their first two albums. A change of direction in 1970 led to a series of successful progressive rock albums until their disbanding in 1981, their most successful being The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972). Yes toured as a major rock act that earned the band a reputation for their elaborate stage sets, light displays, and album covers designed by Roger Dean. The success of "Roundabout", the single from Fragile, cemented their popularity across the decade and beyond.
In 1983, Yes reformed with a new line-up that included Trevor Rabin and a more commercial and pop-oriented musical direction. The result was 90125 (1983), their highest-selling album, which contained the U.S. number-one single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart". From 1990 to 1992, Yes were an eight-member formation after they merged with Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe for Union (1991) and its tour. Since 1994, Yes have released albums with varied levels of success and completed tours from 1994 to 2004. After a four-year hiatus, they resumed touring in 2009 and continue to release albums; their most recent is Heaven & Earth (2014). In 2016, a new group of former Yes members began touring and named themselves Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman.
Yes are one of the most successful, influential, and longest-lasting progressive rock bands. They have sold 13.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the US. In 1985, they won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with "Cinema", and received five Grammy nominations between 1985 and 1992. They were ranked No. 94 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Yes have headlined annual progressive rock-themed cruises since 2013 named Cruise to the Edge. Their discography spans 21 studio albums. In April 2017, Yes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which chose specifically to bestow the honour upon current and former members Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Kaye, Howe, Rick Wakeman, White and Rabin.