JON ANDERSON “Tales of The After” 

By Dark Starr

Jon Anderson is probably best known as one of the founding members of the progressive rock band YES, but that's only one piece of the puzzle. Even when he was still part of that band he worked on other projects from solo albums to discs with keyboard wizard VANGELIS under the name "Jon and Vangelis" and more. He's been known for doing graphic arts and was even involved with a ballet based around one of his albums. In the decade since he was last part of YEShe's continued the tradition of stretching out with more solo work along with projects like Anderson-Stolt (with Roine Stolt of FLOWER KINGS and TRANSATLANTIC fame), YES Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman, THE ANDERSON PONTY BAND(with fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty) and more. I got the chance to ask him some questions about some new reissue recordings, life during the pandemic and other topics in December of 2020.

 WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: You've got a couple new remastered expanded editions of your early solo albums that have been in the pipeline. “Song of Seven” is out now, and “Olias of Sunhillow” is coming. How much involvement did you have with those releases?

JON ANDERSON: I’ve been in touch with the record company for a few months now, just getting to know them, and feeling excited that 40 years later I’m still alive…and the music from the albums sounds so cool..I don't know about you, but my memory of things from so long ago isn't all that great. 

WC: Does hearing this music again and having it released as "new product" bring back memories of the time you spent creating them? If so, are there things that stand out about them?

JA: I was always adventurous about creating “Song of Seven”. I took my time, and slowly evolved ideas with like-minded musicians that lived near me in London, there was no pressure at all.. It was always joyful and exciting.

WC: Are there any other similar reissues coming? I know for me personally, I'd probably rank those two along with “Animation” and “In the City of Angels” as my favorites for your solo catalog. I'd love to see some of your other albums get the kind of treatment these two are getting.

JA: I think it’s that time of my career where my past work will be re-released over the coming years. It’s all a matter of time, really. I do feel thankful that my life work is still sounding good.

WC: I don't need to tell you, but this has been a very unusual year. How have you been getting through it, staying safe, sane and positive? Any advice for the readers?

JA: Stay safe and wear a mask at all times when you're out there in the crazy world. For me it’s been a revelation, being able to work on the many projects that have been building up in my computer over the years. 

WC: What else do you have in the works these days?

JA:You name it, I’m doing it…on so many levels…very powerful times.

WC:What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

JA: I’ve been listening to Beethoven's 6th, and enjoying country music, very funny lyrics…plus rewatching “Pollock”…”Godfather Two”…and many more classics… Oh, and listening to the amazing Jacob Collier…my new hero!

WC:Have you read any good books lately?

JA: Reading wise tales from Native American books..and Rumi.

WC: I wonder if you remember the first concert you attended?

JA: THE BEATLES, April 1963 in Southport…just before they became famouS. They sounded great.. Such a change in my life!

WC: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

JA: Amazing things are happening! AutoTonic changed my musical life so much. Such a wonderful world of new inventions…

WC: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

JA: Sibelius…Nina Simone….Paul Simon 

WC: What would be on the menu?

JA: Just great simple food and a bottle of wonderful wine.

WC:Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

JA: Be safe, be well, be happy, be grateful…cheers…