By Mark Fisher
(Photo by Robin Kauffman)
One of the most recognizable voices in music, the legendary Jon Anderson, best known for his work with Yes, Vangelis, Kitaro and other notable music artists, as well as his innovative solo efforts, is preparing to release one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, ‘Survival & Other Stories’. Featuring eleven new luminous songs with themes about love, life, understanding, healing and survival, Jon’s new CD has an inspirational message for all who will listen!
Recently Colossal Pop’s own Mark Fisher caught up with Jon and here is what transpired…
How are you feeling these days Jon?
- VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY AND LOVING TOURING AS A SOLO ARTIST, VERY COOL THING TO DO…
Having been through so much recently, how do you feel it has changed you? How different is the Jon Anderson of 2011 from the Jon Anderson of 1980?
- I JUST READ A MELODY MAKER ARTICLE FROM 1980, AND I THINK THE SAME WAY AS I DID THEN ON ALL LEVELS, IT REALLY SURPRISED ME, I DO FEEL REBORN AFTER MY NEAR DEATH EVENTS…
You have a new solo record out at long last, aptly titled Survival & Other Stories. At this point in your career, making a new record certainly isn’t for financial gain or for the prestige among your peers. What motivated you to write this record? What is left to prove?
- I LOVE MAKING MUSIC, WRITING SONGS, AND I AM WORKING WITH PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD VIA THE ‘INTERNET’…THEY SEND ME MUSIC , I SING, AND WRITE LYRICS, IT’S VERY ADVENTUROUS..
I understand you found the musicians you worked with via your website. Can you tell me a little about how that idea came about and how it met (or did not meet) any expectations you may have had?
- IT WAS JUST AN IDEA I HAD, AND IT WORKED, THERE ARE SO MANY TALENTED PEOPLE OUT THERE, AND IT’S A GREAT WAY TO LEARN ABOUT DIFFERENT STYLES OF MUSIC…
Is there a particular moment or song on Survival & Other Stories where you just sort of lay back and say “Yes!!! That was EXACTLY what I heard in my head!”?
- MOST OF THE TIME, I JUST ENJOY WHATEVER IS HAPPENING, I ALWAYS FEEL THAT MUSIC IS OF THE ‘NOW’..SO IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING AT THE TIME..
Was any thought given to the idea of using these songs for a possible new album with Yes? Why or why not?
- NOT REALLY, I HAVE SO MANY NEW SONGS I WANT TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE….. ‘YES’ IS NOT ON MY RADAR…I’M MORE INTERESTED IN FINDING NEW WAYS OF CREATING
If you don’t mind me asking, how is your relationship with the current touring version of Yes?
- WE ARE NOT IN TOUCH, SIMPLE AS THAT…
I’d also like to ask about your new album with another Yes pioneer, Rick Wakeman. Can you tell me a little about how The Living Tree came to be and what made it the right time to do an album like this?
- RICK AND I HAD TALKED ABOUT TOURING IN THE ‘UK’ LAST YEAR, SO WE STARTED WRITING SONGS FOR THE SHOW, AND FINISHED UP WITH ENOUGH FOR THE ALBUM, GREAT FUN TO DO, AND TO SING ON STAGE..
I read once that many people, by nature, define themselves by the job they do or the work experience that they have had. Do you feel this holds true for you?
- MY LIFE HAS BEEN AMAZING…SO I FEEL VERY CONTENT AND HAPPY
Although I’m sure you get asked this all the time, I’d be lynched by our reader’s if I didn’t ask it. Is there a chance we will see you return to front Yes sometime in the foreseeable future?
- NOT THESE DAYS, MAYBE WHEN WE GET INTO THE ‘HALL OF FAME”..
Thanks so much for your time Jon. As a fan of about thirty years now, I want to let you know that I truly appreciate what you do and what you have brought, and continue to bring, to music. Are there any parting thoughts you’d like to leave our reader’s with?
- GOD HAS NO RELIGION, AND IT WILL HAPPEN WHEN IT HAPPENS…WE ARE ETERNAL BEINGS…