Jill Yan: I was eight years old when I first felt attracted to it, but I didn't actually start to play until later, I don't really know why. I think it's when I saw the AC/DC movie "Let there Be Rock" and I heard Van Halen that I really knew I had to start. At this time, I just tried to play a little bit, but it was like a hobby, you know, playing a few chords and that's it. I became more involved into it when I discovered the instrumental-rock and fusion. I remember the first time I listened to "Blue Powder" by Steve Vai, I asked myself, "Is this guy playing the same guitar that I do, I mean a piece of wood with some strings on it?"
At that point, I became more "obsessed" with guitar and started to take lessons. I played in a few bands, tried different styles of music, but I felt I needed to deepen the subject: I then flew to Los Angeles, California and spent one full year studying there at G.I.T. with great teachers such as Scott Henderson and Joe Diorio.
Jill Yan: My main guitar is a Vigier Excalibur, for effects we have a Bad Horsie wah-wah, two tubes screamers, a Boss compressor for clean sounds, Eventide H3000SE and a Rocktron Intellifex for reverb. The amp is a Hughes & Kettner tube 100.
Jill Yan: Compared to the first CD, I tried to vary the tunes more and except for a song called "Dog's Way", I tried not to put in too many different parts. I think the hard part when you are composing is to try to be as diverse as you can, but without losing yourself. It would be easy to do a record with a rock tunes, a blues one, then a Latin one and so on. For me, it's more interesting to try to focus on what I do, which is basically a mix of heavy and fusion.
Jill Yan: I really don't know, since I like both. I don't hear the music differently if it's instrumental or with vocals.
Jill Yan: Sometimes, not too often. The problem is I don't fall into a category. It's either too heavy for the jazz stages, or without vocals for the rock stages so everybody is telling you how great and cool is your music but at the same time, they tell you it's not for their club or audience. I think it's a shame, because the few gigs
I did were really appreciated by the public. At each show, people came to see me after the gig, and asked me lots of questions. At the same time, I had some great compliments from people who don't play music; they tell me that when listening they could imagine a story and/or some images or movies in their mind. For me, that's the highest compliment I can get. Maybe, that's the beauty of instrumental music, when listening to it, you can imagine or feel whatever you want.
Jill Yan: I don't know, since I do not read them anymore, but it's certain they don't help instrumental music or artists - unless you are Vai or Satriani.
Jill Yan: To be able to record the music I hear in my head. Nobody else was interested, so I did not have a choice.
Jill Yan: The advantage is you can record and/or play whatever you want. The disadvantage is you have to do it all by yourself, and you don't have any help for promotion, and you have to pay for everything.
Jill Yan: The only publicity I have is from guitar oriented web sites with reviews, a few radio stations (both Internet and "normal" radio stations) and, of course, Guitar9. Unfortunately, like I said, it's quiet difficult to play gigs to promote your music - here's an example: I went to see Allan Holdsworth in a club in Switzerland. At the end of the gig, I spoke with the club owner to see if I could play in his club. So, without even listening to my music, the guy said I could not play in his club because I was not known, so I said to him, okay, what I do to get known. His answer was, "You have to do more live shows!" So, what can you say, except, "Thanks for the information."
Jill Yan: No, but I'm really not up to date, and I'm pretty sure that all the guitarists I listen to are well known.
Jill Yan: I will try to get a few gigs, anything I can do to promote my new CD, "B4". In the music field, I'm going to start a jazz duo playing standards with a friend of mine (this can maybe evolve into a trio and/or quartet) and we're talking about making an instrumental CD with Pascal Alba (the bass player who played the solo on "Ab & Co"). I have some gigs with another band called the Red Hot Minute where we play only Red Hot Chili Peppers covers. And last, but not least, I have enough songs to record my third CD. Lots of fun to come.
Jill Yan: Without any hesitation: Allan Holdsworth.