On Record Store Day 2018 (April 21), Grammy-winning East Nashville songwriter/singer/author/filmmaker Scot Sax will release a new LP, Drawing From Memory, featuring contributions from a bunch of talented neighbors, including onetime East Nashvillian cover star Aaron Lee Tasjan.
While prepping for that release, though, Sax had something more immediate to share: "Yoko Said It,” a particularly 2018 single that channels some of our outraged and unhinged public discourse, and centers it, kinda like only Yoko Ono can: in raw, guttural and glottal howls and yelps that don’t leave much room for dissection.
“Firstly, I’d like to say that I have always been a Yoko Ono fan,” Sax says, digging into the song’s inspiration. “I always thought her emoting was such an integral part of the post-Beatles John Lennon thing. When he sang ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ on Some Time In New York City with Zappa on guitar, her voice gave it this indescribable intensity. Like a fire was raging in the background…
“Ya know how when it’s the Super Bowl or World Series, all conversations start to include sports, whether or not you’re a sports person? It’s like that with this, um, presidency. I’m somewhat aware of the big issues but I usually have no idea what someone’s talking about when they start talking politics. I admire that people can even follow the circus that is. So I thought, ‘What if I was asked what my opinion was?’ And I realized Yoko’s expressiveness nails my overall feeling.”
The video puts the vibe in an even more obvious context, with a mix of other musicians deftly deadpanning those everywhere-and-nowhere conversations that got Sax in a Yoko state of mind in the first place.
“All of this cast gave their time and enthusiasm without blinking an eye,” Sax says of his onscreen collaborators, including Tasjan, Steve Poltz, AJ Croce, Nicki Bluhm and BeBe McQueen. “All I did was send them the song, which I recorded at my studio. (Fellow Nashville singer-songwriter) Anthony da Costa added his awesome lead to my otherwise one-man-band recording.”
The process of getting “Yoko” out there, Sax says, ultimately brought a little clarity, too.
“It feels really good to not use words,” he says. “I’ve been making a point to avoid them as much as I can lately.”
Watch the "Yoko Said It” video above, and for more, read the feature on Scot Sax from The East Nashvillian’s pages.