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Met het concert in het Tilburgse 013 in het verschiet kreeg uw metalen en digitale parochieblad de gelegenheid om een afgevaardigde van de band Yes te interviewen. Chris Squire? Steve Howe? Ik koos voor de nieuwkomer, iemand die een hele moeilijke baan overnam van de helaas mislukte eerste Jon Anderson opvolger Benoit David. Zijn naam is Jon Davison en die zou je kunnen kennen van Glass Hammer. Een zanger die ik, als uber-Yes fan al meteen had gekozen om Anderson te vervangen. Na wat moeite van terugbellen, in gesprek zijn en weer terugbellen kreeg ik hem dan toch aan de lijn.

Door: Winston | Archiveer onder prog / sympho metal

Hello Jon, good that finally caught you on the line, it was funny because I heard the voice of Chris Squire on the voice mail so I was wondering who I would get to speak to, hahaha.
Haha, yeah I see. Well I borrowed Chris his UK phone so that is why you heard him, the previous interview took a little more time than expected, sorry about that.

No problem at all, so you are in the UK right now, writing for the new album, preparing for the upcoming three album tour too?
I am in Wales, at Geoffs place and we are doing some demo work. The band is all writing frantically right now and we try to get every on fire, creatively. So we are focused on that here. When we get to do the tour we’ll do our homework just before the tour starts.

Well it isn’t just a normal rock and roll or blues type material you have to rehearse.
Hahaha, yeah that is right Winston.

Because of your involvement with Glass Hammer I already heard of you before you stepped into Yes, following Benoit David. And I was glad that it happened after all, I think they should have asked you in the first place. You seem to be accepted more widely by the Yes fans than Benoit, agree?
Yes I did and I did not expect that in the first place really. I just hoped that I had a role to play to help forward the band and I focused on that. And then there was this overwhelmingly positive response and that was very moving for me.

I once said that replacing Jon Anderson must be the toughest job in the world. You are a Yes fan yourself so you know what I mean right?
Oh I do, sure! I am in full sympathy with the fans. I understand that the loss of Jon Anderson was huge and continues to be an issue for some people. And I understand where people are coming from; I have been there as well.

So you know that Yes fans are always very demanding. As you are working on new material for a new album; is your role still as Jon Anderson’s replacement or as the new singer; Jon Davison?
Good question. I think it is my time now to step forward and reveal who I am. I have tried to do that in the context of the tour and that was balancing; performing the great Works of the band yet rendering and adjusting myself. I could not be a clone and knew I had to make it my own. It is a fine line balance. On the new material I can play around more and explore my own expressions, my uniqueness. The new music is very Yes-like but shows a lot more of my individuality.

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That would be great if you could do that, almost every new band member that stepped into the band brought something unique…
Yeah, you said it perfectly and I really hope I can do that too. We will be in the studio from early January to March and we will be focusing on consolidating the material and we will record it too in that time. Then we go back on the road for the three album tour (‘The Yes Album’ – ‘Close To The Edge’ – ‘Going For The One’ –WA) so I am predicting a fall release for the new album. But we never know for sure, hahaha.

Can you indicate the style of the new Yes album? 70’s 80’s?
It will be more 70’s sounding but we are touching on all that is Yes. It is predominantly 70’s sounding, but we have a wide variety of music. Actually we have more music than we can work with, so we have to consolidate what we have. It is hard what to say the final result will but we will see along the way.

Trevor Horn is not the producer this time as far as I understood?
No, Trevor will not be producing. I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you but I will anyway, hahaha. It is going to be Roy Thomas Baker.

Oh wow, that is a scoop then! If I’m allowed to tell this?
Haha, it’s no problem, but you didn’t hear it from me! Hahaha.

Well rumors have to start somewhere, so; rumour has it that blabla.
Hahaha, yeah that would the best way to do it!

You have never been to Europe before as a touring musician have you?
True, I vacationed a bit in Ireland mainly, but I always wanted to go and see the rest of Europe. It has always been a dream of mine but something has always come along. But it is finally going to happen and what better way than to celebrate the best music with the best audiences. Can’t wait to see you all.

As our 15 minutes are almost over; anything else you like to say to our readers? Are you still in Glass Hammer?
Oh yes I am! Steve Babb and Fred Schendel are great guys and we are doing a very special thing; a 20 year anniversary album. And every musician that was ever involved with Glass Hammer will participate. That is really exciting and they are working on it right now. I already tracked some vocals and everything is moving forward.

That is special indeed! Well, our time is up Jon; see you in Tilburg, thank you for taking the time.
It was a pleasure Winston, come and say hi in Tilburg. See you next year!

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