STEVE HOWE - Old hippie ideals with new topicality

10. August 2020

Steve Howe Yes

STEVE HOWE - Alte Hippie-Ideale mit neuer Aktualität

Yes, the Corona crisis has also thwarted the calculation: Their "Relayer" tour had to be postponed until spring 2021. At least now guitarist Steve Howe shortens the waiting time with his new solo album "Love Is". In the interview he talked about love of the earth as a life principle, Alexander von Humboldt and his pleasure in using his voice in addition to his guitar.

Leaving aside the "Homebrew" series, which is more of a demo, "Time" 2011 was Steve Howe's last solo work so far. In 2017 he recorded "Nexus" with his son Virgil, who died the same year. Both albums consisted of instrumental pieces. On "Love Is", after a long break from singing, he now appears again vocally, whereby he has also invited Yes front man Jon Davison to the harmonic singing session.

eclipsed: Did the Corona break help you finish your solo album?

Steve Howe: No, that was done before. The songs on the album mainly deal with the last four or five years of my life. But some of them also deal with more recent events.

eclipsed: What is the underlying idea of the album? Apparently you refer in the title to a kind of universal love for nature and earth.

Howe: Basically it's just my way of thinking, after all I was already a hippie in 1967. I've been avoiding animal products and pharmaceutical drugs and medicines since 1972. I guess that makes you receptive to the beauty of nature and the realization how worthy of preservation it is. But it's also about having children or looking back to simpler times. All this is love and the motto of the album or the principle underlying my actions.

eclipsed: The German geographer and researcher Alexander von Humboldt, who is considered a pioneer of ecological thinking and an early warner against the destruction of the environment by humans, was also an inspiration for you?

Howe: Yes, my wife gave me the book "Alexander von Humboldt and the Invention of Nature" by Andrea Wulf. It is a very wonderful book about his travels and discoveries. He said early on that we were about to destroy the planet, but unfortunately he was forgotten. So I think it's high time to rediscover him.

eclipsed: But "Love Is" is not a real concept album. What are the other songs about?

Howe: Well, lyrics shouldn't be so one-dimensional, but love is already a continuous thread. "See Me Through" is about living your life constructively with other people, no matter what it brings you. "It Ain't Easy" and "Imagination" are about the cycle of life with children and grandchildren. "On The Balcony" deals with the perspective from above on the things in life, chaos as well as calm. But this is also more of a rock song, and the balcony is like a stage on which you as a musician are again watched by the people.

Love Is a River

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