Following the sad passing of YES longtime mainstay, Alan White on 26th May 2022, it has been revealed that it was his wish that Jay Schellen become a permanent member of the band, and the band has now officially made public recognition of this placement, with him as drummer.
“We’re all delighted to welcome Jay officially into the fold!” said guitartist Steve Howe. He’s been a great support throughout the last seven years, and we couldn’t have found a better all-round team player.”
Jay Schellen became Alan White’s choice to stand in during the Topographic Drama tour, in 2016, and shared drumming duties with him from 2018 onwards. Schellen had previously played alongside YES’ keyboardist Geoff Downes and late bassist Chris Squire together with having had long working relationships with White and current YES bass guitarist Billy Sherwood. This gave him a deeper insight into the workings of the dynamic rhythm section that drives YES’ music.
“I am thrilled to become the new drummer with YES,” said Schellen. “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 honour his memory as we drive towards the future with the band.”
American drummer, Schellen, broke into the Los Angeles session scene and played local stages with original YES guitarist Peter Banks’s band back in the early 80s, subsequently leading to him joining Badfinger, whose then keyboard player was also an original YES member, in Tony Kaye. The subsequent years led to him playing with heavy rock bands such as Hurricane, and progressive bands such as Asia, co-founded by two YES members.