|Jason Yates, internationally popular musician|
Carol Forsloff---For some people music is that arena of discovery, of making new journeys and developing pathways for improving performance and for achieving a level of excellence that brings fellow musicians to look at the achievement as a model for their own. Jason Yates is one of those who offers an example of the best, for that is the level of his skill.
This journalist has known Jason for more than a year, listened to many of his solitary performances, collaborations, original music and productions and has observed how he interacts with fellow performers in a musicians community known as Fandalism. Jason is one of the most respected musicians on the site for his talent and also for his interpersonal relationships.
An interview with Jason allows that window to the mind and soul of a true artist, one who like many of exceptional talent, knows the meaning and price of the artistry. That price can sometimes be personal pain, the kind that allows a depth of understanding that is forged into the music to communicate to others the feelings many people share. It provides the avenue of communication that enlightens while entertains. Jason Yates is someone who shares his feelings through music and thereby embraces many people with his words and melodies in ways that others might not be able to do because of his life experiences.
The following narrative is a response to questions Jason has answered that allows us to understand the challenges he has faced along his music path and how he has managed to achieve and create great music in spite of early personal pain. It is the mark of the man that he extracts from his experiences the best of learning, that patience and perseverance can make a difference.
My first performance was at the age of 12 in a band of 4 lads, but I first picked a guitar up when I was 5 years old and got hooked. The lead guitarist in the band taught me some chords, and then I taught myself from then on, so I had a little instruction and then continued to teach myself the basics.
In my early years as a musician I really had to be self motivated, no one seemed to be in the slightest bit interested in my music. Later in life the examples of long-time performers became an inspiration. Gordon Haskell, for example, who has been writing excellent music for years and who falls under the radar a lot has been one of those who has inspired me.
I have been in various bands over the years as a bass guitarist, rhythm guitarist, lead guitarist and vocalist,.but in recent years I have been a solo performer, which I find very rewarding and far easier to arrange rehearsals. Presently I am rehearsing with my friend Alex for us to perform as a duo.
With respect to music reality shows, I started watching these type of programs many years ago, but soon felt that it was a cattle market for singers. Most of my friends who are really into music have no time for it and neither do I. I can't help feel that it is more about promoting the presenters more than anything else.
In childhood I had no natural bond with my mother. She suffered from schizophrenia and rejected me from birth, and I think music became my way to emotionally connect with myself and others. I soon fell in love with beautiful chords and sounds. They made me feel whole.
I love acoustic music, soft rock, jazz, blues, and classical music genres. I also love Latin American music. In particular I enjoy listening to Justin Currie, a great songwriter who used to front the band, Del Amitri. He is solo now and writes meaningful songs with a passion. I am particularly fond of my songwriting partner, Darcy Jeavons and especially enjoy listening to her singing.
If I am not working on composing a new song, I get “withdrawal” symptoms. It's almost like a drug for me. My late Father and late step mother were both opera singers, so music is virtually in my blood.
These days I am involved with several groups that involve music uploads, but because there are so many of them my time gets very limited. In fact I can I go through a set of guitar strings in a week. I listen to other music when I can, from some of the groups I am involved with and also a radio channel called AVR from Indiana who is one of my sponsors.
In todays world of music I think one of the barriers is what I would call a type of “fashion police.” This is where we are told what you should be liking by way of music, and other forms of entertainment, instead of being allowed to make up our own minds. A song with a certain type of beat sells, so we get a proliferation of these types of songs. This might be changing soon, however, because of the many Indie internet radio stations appearing.
I think the music business would benefit from appreciating the music first and foremost instead of a "package" including age and looks. When I was a kid, music was about the ears. With the ears you can appreciate all good music. With the package you are confined to the package.
I am with PRS, Performing Rights Society to be part of the traditional music community and protect my work. I would also encourage people with their music but advise them not to pin all their hopes and dreams on it. It's important to be able to earn a living just in case those dreams don't come true. I would also tell them, 'There are some amazingly talented people who are never noticed, so don't think that that couldn't be you too.
Music will always be here for all of us, and it will change as it has always done. No one can predict the future. We have gone from three generations listening to the same music to music changing every five years or so. Only time will tell where it takes us.
My goals are simple. I want to get better at what I do. I want to perfect my craft to the best of my ability. I want to connect with people on an emotional, meaningful level, and just try to get my music heard and known. Then perhaps one day one of my music creations might be used for a film or some other great, creative venture. But no matter what,I love what I do.
Find Jason Yates on a variety of music sites like his page on Fandalism and his webpage at jasonmarkyates.com