Kick off your summer with some YES!
As I’m sure most of you all know, the Vina Robles Amphitheater has been completed and they are kicking off their summer concert series with none other than the legendary band YES on July 6th. If you haven’t heard it isn’t going to be your run of the mill concert either. YES will be performing three albums in their entirety, The YES Album, Close to the Edge, and Going for the One. This is an evening you will not want to miss!
For all the young bucks out there that may not know who YES is, I highly suggest looking them up and giving some of their music a listen. They were formed in 1968 and topped the charts all throughout the 70’s with hits such as Roundabout, Close to the Edge, and I’ve Seen All Good People just to name a few. Great bands like Yes didn’t just disappear going into the 80’s though. They continued to crank out great tunes and recording new albums all the up until right now as I write this. Over the years life has happened and original lead singer Jon Anderson had to leave the band due to the health issues. Peter Banks, who was a guitarist when with the band when they first formed, passed away earlier this year. Replacing Jon Anderson as lead vocalist is a very talented young man by the name of Jon Davison, who’s music can also be heard with the band Glass Hammer.
Jon Davison was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions leading up their show here in Paso next week.
PRDN: Hey there, how’s it going? I’m writing an article for Paso Robles Daily News about your upcoming performance at the Vina Robles Amphitheater on July 6th. It always makes me happy to see great musicians such as yourselves still together and performing for the fans after all of these years. Not sure if you are aware, but Vina Robles Amphitheater is a brand new venue here in Paso Robles and you will be the first to play it. Are you all on the road as we speak or resting up for the kick off of the summer tour?
Jon: We’re currently off the road but gearing up for the start of the tour in beautiful Paso Robles.
PRDN: On the summer tour I see where you are performing three albums in their entirety all in one show. I love it! Where did the idea for doing this come from?
Jon: I believe it was initially Steve’s concept, one which the rest of us quickly and wholeheartedly agreed to. We’ve been enjoying the experience a lot from the stage and it does seem to have a powerful impact on audiences.
PRDN: I saw you just wrapped up the South American tour recently. Can you tell me a little bit about that experience? How different is it touring in countries like Brazil and the fans there compared to here in the states?
Jon: The South American fans are really passionate and expressive about the whole experience. I figure it’s because a Yes show is truly a rare and special event in that part of the world. It was really fun and exciting from the stage hearing the South American audiences faithfully sing along. They seem to know perfectly all the words, despite the language barrier.
PRDN: It’s no surprise that over the years you have influenced many other great musicians and bands. Can you tell me who were influences for y’all growing up?
Jon: There are so many great artists that have had and continue to have a big impact on me, from all across the musical spectrum. To try and mention all those names would be an overwhelming task.
PRDN: I think I speak for all of the Yes fans in saying that Jon Davison, you have been doing an amazing job as the current lead singer for the band and are loved by all. How exactly did you guys discover Jon?
Jon: YES’ manager, Paul Silveira was aware of my work with Glass Hammer and had approached the band with the suggestion that they consider me for the part. Also, Chris (Squire) and I share a mutual friend in Taylor Hawkins. Apparently Taylor was always filling Chris’ ear about me, should Yes ever need a replacement singer. When that time finally came, Chris had given Taylor a call asking for my number. The rest is Yesstory!
PRDN: Were you nervous at all stepping up as the lead singer for Yes? I know you have been around music your entire life and are also lead vocalist for the band Glass Hammer based out of Chattanooga, which is near my hometown of Athens, TN, but how has your life changed since joining Yes, if at all?
Jon: I don’t recall feeling very nervous in the beginning. I preferred as I still do, to call it excitement, which motivates me. If I was to call it fear, it would most likely at times terrify me. I’m certainly a lot busier now and with greater responsibility, but these are small sacrifices to pay for the marvelous experience that I’ve been given.
PRDN: There are rumors of original lead singer Jon Anderson and the band getting back together soon to record a new album. Is there any truth to that?
Jon: I’ve not heard anything about that.
PRDN: Do y’all have any current or future projects you can talk about?
Jon: I am currently tracking vocals on a new Glass Hammer song which will be part of a new album to be released most likely this Fall. Come October, Yes will be convening in the studio to begin work on another record. At present, I’ve been working diligently on getting all my ideas ready to bring to the table, some of which the other Yes members have already heard and have expressed interest in.
PRDN: I know that Jon Anderson lived here in the area, still may I believe, and I’m sure you have passed through the area many times while touring over the years, but have any of you ever had the opportunity to stop and take in the beautiful Central Coast?
Jon: Being a California native, I’ve explored the state’s beautiful coastline with my family on several occasions.
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. Looking forward to what I know will be an amazing show and wish each and every one you an amazing summer as you tour the country.
Thank you, Russ!