‘It’s a long recovery process’: Former Yes frontman Benoit David has his health back, and a new album

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Since splitting with Yes earlier this year, former frontman Benoit David has been spending his time slowly but surely regaining his vocal strength. That process has included appearances in an eclectic Canadian choir and his return to prog as singer with Mystery.

Mystery, led by Michel St-Pere, has just released a new studio album called The World Is A Game, which blends shorter tracks with epic songcraft — very similar to David’s work on Yes’ long-awaited 2011 studio album Fly From Here. (You can stream samples from The World Is A Game above!)

Unfortunately for David, a huge fan who had previously worked in a tribute band called Close to the Edge, Yes’ rigorous touring schedule eventually sidelined the singer with throat problems — in a scenario eerily similar to his predecessor, co-founding Yes frontman Jon Anderson.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: In a shocking turn, Benoit David says he was informed of his ouster from Yes not from long-time band leader Chris Squire, but via news reports.]

Yes has since moved on with replacement Jon Davison. Initially, as they had when David filled in for Anderson, the Yes camp indicated that Davison’s role would be temporary, but they are now said to be readying for another trip into the studio in 2013. Meanwhile, Davison has continued as the frontman for Glass Hammer, an American prog band that just released its own album, called Perilous.

David returned to Canada and began putting his career — and his health — back together. His highest profile project so far is the new album from Mystery, which is rounded out for this project by bassist Antoine Fafard and drummer Nick D’Virgilio.

David tells Andy Burns of BiffBamPop that he’s feeling “much better, thanks. It’s a long recovery process, but the buzz around the new Mystery album and my return to the choir Les Voix Ferrees give me all the opportunities to work my instrument and eventually get back to full vocal shape.”

As for The World Is A Game, David says the process with Michel St-Pere was far different than working with Yes and producer Trevor Horn.

“We are talking about two totally different approaches,” David tells Johns. “The Yes album was a long process that included a lot of sitting and waiting for the others to record their tracks. I also had to be away from home for many months. Trevor Horn was very specific about the way he wanted me to sing, although he thought it was important that I sounded like myself and not like Yes’ previous singer. When recording with Mystery, I do whatever I feel like doing.”

This is David’s third project with Mystery, following 2007’s Beneath the Veil of Winter’s Face and then One Among the Living in 2010. David was a member of Yes for two albums — both issued in 2011: the studio project Fly From Here and the concert recording In the Present: Live from Lyon.

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