First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
Usually the first 10 questions are..ahem..standard (as in given to every artist/band!) But bear with me, questions will increase on a more personal level...as we go along!!
1. Great band name, how did that come about and what does it mean ?
Thanks Tonny, glad you like it. It was a name I came up with when I was about 15. I had just bought my first synth, an ARP AXXE (2 years of saving pocket money!) and was in a band called "Acid Fantasy" at the time. This was a short lived experimental band with guitar, drums and my synth - I recall we made quite a racket in the local village hall on several occasions!
I can't recall who came up with the name 'Acid Fantasy' – I thought it was John the drummer & he thinks it was me – but in any event I liked the name. Generally, choosing a name for a band was always a difficult one and I think the name is critical for it becomes the very identity of the band – and this is particularly so where the music is instrumental.
So as to YAK... well I was very interested in Tibet and the whole idea of the Himalayas and remote wild places, so it wasn't long before I settled on the name 'YAK' as being, what I thought was, a good name for a band. I guess too there is a bit of homage to 'Camel' in there for good measure.
At this point however the band only existed as a 'concept' – well, several doodles on my school pencil case actually - and a few more years were to pass before a band called YAK was actually formed – December 1982 to be precise.
At this point in my life I had not heard of 'progressive rock' as such, although the bands I was mostly listening too would be classified as such. So YAK was not formed specifically as a "Prog" band – just a band that would eventually be the conduit through which to present my musical ideas.
2. Do you find it important to be classified as a progband and /or do you see yourself as a progband? Or you couldn't care less about classification genre wise - as long as people recognise/like your music?!
Well yes, this is a good question. When I released my first CD in 2004, I did a lot of research on the web to see which prog sites might be interested in reviewing it. It was only then that I encountered the whole world of "classification" and "genres". To be honest I was a little taken aback as to how many different genres of progressive music there are. However, I think the majority of what people tend to class as the 'Main Prog Bands' tend to fall into the sub genre of "Symphonic Prog", and I guess this is where I see YAK falling too. Most of the reviews of the material tend to categorise YAK in this way. Categorisation is however not an exact science & can be generally quite annoying !
As to its importance...it's a bit of a catch 22 really as clearly at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what category is applied to the music as long as people like it, however I do think it is important for a relatively unknown band to be categorised correctly on the various websites, as the best chances of people actually finding us - when they search - will be if we are correctly categorised. People will search for bands listed under 'Symphonic Prog' if that's the kind of thing they like and if we are listed elsewhere....
Progarchives.com had us categorised initially as "Prog Related". They have now changed this to "Neo Prog". So I guess the moral of the story is to 'check out all the sub categories' – just in case!
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