In an interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bill Bruford reflected on the details of his decision to leave Yes.
Bill Bruford has a remarkable career as a prominent drummer. After departing from his role in Yes, the drummer joined King Crimson and recorded several studio albums with the band. Then, he toured with Genesis and U.K. In the following years, he even ventured to start his band, Earthworks. However, his departure from Yes is still the question on everyone’s mind.
Bruford’s decision to leave Yes back in the day was the talk of the town. He was a part of the five early studio albums, starting with their self-titled 1969 debut. Even though his impact on Yes was tremendous, he was still in his early twenties and didn’t see himself being a part of the band until the end of his career.
Bill Bruford stated that he loved Yes so much, and he didn’t leave because of anything other than he wanted to try something new. He was young when he started and hadn’t been in any other band besides Yes. He had been occupied with the same sound for many years, so Bruford wanted to explore what more there was possible for him. Bruford added that he wanted to see how he worked with other people. Even though he knew his career might have suffered from his decision, he still wanted to try, and luckily, everything worked out in the end.
Bill Bruford’s words about his departure from Yes:
“They were great days, and I loved the band very much. I didn’t leave the band because I was not too fond of it. I loved the band because I almost loved it too much, and I had to go into something else.”
“I was a young kid. I was only 22 or something. I’d only been a professional musician for four years, and I barely played anything at all before Yes. All I’d seen for four years in front of me was the same four rear ends, which were delightful rear ends, but I’d only seen those four guys. I only heard myself in one musical context my whole life. I wasn’t going to stay in that my entire life, so I wanted to get out, see some other guys see some different faces hear some other sounds, and watch how I worked with other people. I might have been terrible it turned out okay.”
You can watch the interview below.