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Yoso

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Billy Sherwood of Yoso from 2010

MSJ:

How did the concept for Yoso come together?

Bobby Kimball was a guest artist on several tribute records I produced over the years. At one of those sessions I suggested to Bobby "we should write some new songs and form a new band.” From there it evolved into what we are today...Yoso.

MSJ:

There's Bobby Kimball and Tony Kaye bringing (along with yourself) the Toto and Yes links. Tell us about the other guys in the band.

Johnny Bruhns on guitar...we had been friends through the LA music scene and when the time came to get a new guitar player for Yoso he came to mind. I knew he was a great player and would fit in perfectly with the band. Scott Conner on drums...Scott plays in a Genesis tribute band here in LA and I had seen him play before - tremendous drummer and a great guy. I knew he would fit in perfectly to Yoso too.

MSJ:

How has audience reception been?

The crowds that gather enjoy the show and feel an energy from the band. It's been great to get the band out there and play, and we hope to do a lot more of it in 2011.

MSJ:

 Do you consider the group a studio or live band - as far as which one is more vital - or are they equal?

Both are important. That said, we have done two tours now and have more planned. It's very much a band.

MSJ:

You guys cover both Yes and Toto songs. How do you decide what makes the list and does it change a lot?

We wanted to play the music from the Yes/Toto side of things that related to us directly in some form or another, "Open Your Eyes" was from my time in Yes as "Hold On" and "Changes" are from Tony Kaye's era of Yes. Bobby’s choices reflect the same thinking. The main goal is moving Yoso forward so we play as much Yoso as anything else. There will always be a desire from promoters and fans to play this that or the other from the collective history, but Yoso is the main thing.

MSJ:

It seems you actually promote (and possibly even upload yourself) live footage of the group making it out to youtube. How do you feel about fans recording and trading shows?

In this new age of instant media I think it's a good thing. It lets the people who for what ever reasons {regional limitations etc...} see the band on stage as well as some of the goings-on on the road. I have no problem with the fans recording and or trading it.

MSJ:

Have you read any good books lately?

 I read more manuals than books and most of them are gaming manuals. (laughter)

MSJ:

What CDs have you bought recently or what have you been listening to lately?

I enjoy the band Paramore a lot, but for the most part I am a creature of habit when it comes to my music listening pleasures. I have my Ipod loaded with all my favorites, Yes, Genesis, Floyd, Weather Report, Gentle Giant, UK, Crimson, XTC, and many, many more - all music I grew up with and can't let go of.

MSJ:

What was the last concert you caught for your own enjoyment?

Peter Gabriel with the orchestra - it was amazing.

MSJ:

If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, with whom would you be eating?

Jaco Pastorious, Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney

MSJ:

What would be on the menu?

I'd say we meet at the Cheesecake Factory and go from there.

MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why?

"Anitgrooveman" For me music is all about the grooves of things.

MSJ:

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Working on the next CIRCA: CD whilst also planning the next sets of shows for Yoso. I love music and I love working on as much of it as I can. Scheduled to produce John Wetton’s solo CD in January of 2011, also working with a great local LA prog band called "Mars Hollow", starting November.

Don't forget to check out all the websites: www.yosohq.com / www.circahq.com / www.billysherwoodhq.com / www.jimlaqddheadsets.com  

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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