Hi Jon! I have been a huge fan of your singing and I would like to know who your greatest influence was to become a singer. Was there a certain band and/or singer that truly influenced you! Yes was a true inspiration of mine to start a band! Thanks for sharing your talent with the world!
I’ve always been moved most by singers who possess the gift of conveying great emotion through their singing – singers like Bono, Bjork, Jeff Buckley, and Peter Gabriel, around the time he did ‘So’. Obviously Jon Anderson and the other members of YES have had a great impact on me. Keep it up with Youth Be Told. You’re making beautiful music and are going to do great things with your talent!
Hi Jon, Thank you very much for your excellent performances with Yes. I would really like for Yes, with you, to make a new album and release it. I feel that you have the heart and soul needed to create yet another fantastic Yes album. My question: what has been the most challenging for you since taking on the role of the lead singer/musician in Yes?” Sincerely, a true “Yesaholic”…that’s me! cheers
Thanks for the kind words, Rob. You are indeed FANtastic! The greatest challenge I’ve met with is keeping my voice in good form, which consists of several aspects. While off the road I continue to sing nearly every day to keep my voice conditioned. I exercise moderation when it comes to what I eat – most of the time avoiding sweets and dairy products. Beyond the obvious health benefits of physical exercise, it’s important for me because it helps give more stamina when moving about on stage for two plus hours. Last but not least, I regularly meditate to try and keep balanced on all levels.
I’ve been a Yes fan since 1971. I seen you guys in KC this past March and loved the show! Do you play any instruments other than Guitar? What do you do to get ready for each show?
I also play bass. In fact, for the near thirty years that I’ve been a musician, I’ve probably spent the greatest amount of time on the bass.
I always do my vocal warm-ups before hitting the stage. Also, a COLD shower really gears me up!
Now that your lead vocalist for Yes, how do you project the sound and style of the next Yes album? Will it be more laid back or aggressive sounding? And will you be playing an instrument on the follow up album?
I hope that we’ll find a nice balance between mellow and semi aggressive/aggressive. The YES albums of the 70′s achieved this equilibrium so perfectly. Since I compose a lot on the acoustic guitar, I imagine my playing to some degree will make its way to the record.
I saw you twice so far on this tour you are an amazing singer, as well as the other band members brag about your writing ability. have you written anything new or from the past that you showed the guys that can possibly be used on a new album? i give you all the credit in the world, you are a brilliant musician/singer and are the new sound of yes and it’s better than ever. are you writing alot on this tour in your rare spare time?
First off, a sincere thank you for all your kind words. I’m writing a lot during the interim of life on the road. So far, there’s been an enthusiastic response to my ideas from the rest of the guys. We’ll have to wait and see what eventually conspires. I only believe that I’m in this position to serve and help forward the band. This means putting what’s best for YES before any personal ambitions.
Jean-Paul Jean II
Yes’ best live singer yet! Beautiful voice, so inspiring! Anyway, Chris Squire mentioned in his interview last week that he’s excited to bring you in to the new album as a composer to try for some new sounds and directions…What kind of new approaches might you bring to the new album? Perhaps Yes will incorporate some “symphonic-progressive rock” trends like the Glass Hammer albums you recorded?
Thank you for your kindness! As I mentioned above in the form of another answer, I’d love to find that balance between heart and edge. Because composing for me is not so much a cerebral thing as it is inspirational, it’s hard to convey much more with words. I only hope to bring something that is truly original and heartfelt, reflective of my spirit, yet which honors and upholds the true spirit and magical essence of YES.
Paul Michael Moon Rogers
I must say thank you for the great preparation, effort, energy, composure and obvious love that you put into your work as the lead singer of Yes. It is clearly obvious from the faces of Steve, Chris, Alan and Geoff over this past year that they too feel this is a very special lineup that is begining to make a very special mark in the history of this band. A strong new album and world tour in 2014 can only further cement this. In the meantime, have a great South American trip.
So wonderful to feel the love coming from your words. They help and inspire me more than you realize.
One of the things that always made Yes music so interesting is the phrasing of the lyrics and how the singing plays against the instruments and the rhythms in certain pieces… are there any songs that you found difficult to “get the feel” right early on?
I found the syncopated phrasing of Awaken particularly challenging. There’s some of that going on in CTTE as well that initially took time to gel with.
Hi Jon, I have seen you with Yes twice now – in San Jose in August, and in SF in March, and I will see you in July in Saratoga. I am so moved by your voice and your presence. As you’re a writer, what processes do you use when writing lyrics? From where do you draw inspiration? Thank you so much Jon for being part of the continuing Yes story. You have a Yes soul, if I may say so.
Thank you sincerely, Matthew. Blessings to you and your loved ones. Like most lyricists, I tend to draw from whatever I’m going through at the time. Above all else, I aspire toward spiritual concepts. They are what inspire my life most.
Would yes ever do a Bond theme?
Also I love this lineup – when are you guys going to get in the studio?
Also I heard you got into yes through the 80′s lineup is there any 80′s yes music you want to do?
Would Ian Fleming have ever imagined such a thing? If you sing the Bond theme over The Fish it kind of works… or not.
The plan so far is that come Fall, we will lock ourselves away in the studio.
Of the Yes 80′s music, I think it would be really fun to perform Changes, It Can Happen, and/or Shoot High Aim Low.
Are the band going to do any uk dates this year?
No. Look for us next year, though. We’ll definitely be there!
Read previous #askYES Q&As here.
Next week… Geoff Downes.