Long before he joined Yes, Trevor Rabin was a superstar in his native South Africa with the band Rabbit. Moving to London and eventually to Los Angeles in order to break out to a wider audience, it was several years and solo albums before the pieces came together to form a new band Cinema with Chris Squire, Alan White and Tony Kaye. When Jon Anderson entered the picture, the pressure from record execs to recapture the Yes name was too great, and Rabin found his new band had morphed into an old band, albeit a re-invented version. Several chart-topping hits later, Rabin was seen by many as the man who had saved Yes in the 80s, but his ambitions continued to progress.
Starting in the 90s, Rabin would switch careers to scoring Hollywood blockbuster film soundtracks, a world which consumed him for decades. Aside from a brief pause to record the instrumental genre-hopping “Jacaranda”, Rabin didn’t dabble in the rock world much until 2016’s reunion with Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman for a series of live shows featuring Yes music. 200 concerts later, Rabin’s voice and fingers were primed to record his first solo rock album since 1989’s “Can’t Look Away”.
The resulting album “Rio” is jam packed with fretboard frenzy, multi-tracked harmony vocals, masterful production and an extremely diverse range of styles. It’s a wonderful release, both a return to form and a stab at breaking new ground all at once.
In this engaging interview with Rabin, Sonic Perspectives correspondent and Yes-aficionado Scott Medina goes into “Rio” in depth, giving a greater perspective on the inspiration and arrangement approaches. There are also several questions and stories involving Yes over the years, along with Rabin’s time with Roger Hodgson, as well as inquiries about ARW’s recorded output – live and studio. A guaranteed fun time for all fans of Rabin!
Listen or watch to this in-depth interview below, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Flipboard, where you can be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.