Yes Names Jay Schellen as Permanent Drummer
Yes announced that Jay Schellen has become a permanent member of the band following the death of veteran drummer Alan White in May 2022.
Schellen has been working with the group since White missed a tour due to back problems in 2016. On White's return two years later, Schellen remained on board to share live duties.
“Jay will fulfill Alan’s wishes in becoming the new drummer with Yes,” the band said in a statement. “[He] had previously played alongside Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes and late bassist Chris Squire together with long working relationships with Alan and Yes bass guitarist Billy Sherwood. This gave Jay a deep insight into the workings of the dynamic rhythm section that drives Yes’ music.”
Guitarist Steve Howe noted, “We're all delighted to welcome Jay officially into the fold! He's been a great support throughout the last seven years, and we couldn't have found a better all-round team player.” Schellen added, “I am thrilled to become the new drummer with Yes. I grew up playing along to Yes records and I am proud to have worked so closely with my musical hero and great friend Alan White these past few years. I will strive to honor his memory as we drive towards the future with the band.”
White had been the longest-tenured member of the British prog band when he died at age 72. He also worked with John Lennon, George Harrison, Joe Cocker and others. "Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world, bandmate to a select few and gentleman and friend to all who met him," his family said in a statement.
Yes begins their next tour in Europe in May, performing the 1974 album Relayer in full.