Our chat with the rockstar who stole the show at The Eye Ball
From a flower wall to streamer swings to a 15-foot-tall Día de los Muertos character, there was lots to take in at The Eye Ball this year. But the long-haired guitarist who magically appeared above the crowd for a solo performance left everyone asking: “Who was that guy?!” We had to find out. Meet Yayo Sanchez.
What was your favorite part about playing The Eye Ball?
It was hands down one of the sickest shows I’ve ever played. The hidden lift from inside the bar was awesome, not only for me, but for the crowd, too. The event was a total game changer for me and I’m really proud of how it turned out. I felt like I was performing at a serious rock show with the smoke and lights, but at the same time it was like being at the coolest backyard party.
You did look cool playing up on that platform. How would you describe your style?
Hmm…Yayo style? I honestly don’t think about it much. It’s all about the hair!
Did you head to any after-parties?
Yeah, some new buddies from the party took me to Wheelhouse in the Design District for a bit, and then we ended up at some super slick house. I touched a Picasso! I mean, only in Dallas is a night like that possible. I didn’t get back to The Joule until 9 a.m. the next morning. It was one of the most epic nights.
How did you get into playing rock ’n’ roll?
Rock ’n’ roll chose me, and there was nothing I could do—ha! Nah, my ma raised me on nothing but blues and oldies. And like most young Austin kids picking up guitar, I grew up practicing Stevie Ray Vaughan licks. Then one day my pa took me to a KISS concert. It was all over after that.
Who else has influenced you?
It changes all the time. Lately, I’ve been really into Giraffe Tongue Orchestra. That album helped inspire me to get my shit together creatively and professionally. I’m also a huge EDM fan. I’ve played with a ton of greats like Jack Bruce and Spencer Davis. Omar Vallejo is also a good friend and we jam together all the time back home in Austin. And of course, Slash and Dave Grohl were massive influences on me in my younger days.
But you’re still young!
I’m 24 now, I but started playing guitar when I was 9. I was playing in clubs with Quiet Riot and LA. GUNS before I was old enough to be there. And I was touring the states by 16—nothing fancy, but we were out there gettin’ it. Rock ‘n’ roll was life. Still is!
Like any serious musician in Austin, I’m in about 5 bands. I’ve really focused on music production and studio work for the past few years. I’m most excited about my new experimental live guitar/EDM “Wall of Sound and Light” performance piece. It’s been in the works for more than three years and is a hybrid of the two worlds I tend to live in. It isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen or heard before and should be out before the end of the year.
You garnered some new Dallas fans in after The Eye Ball. How do we keep tabs on you?
I’m not so good at social media honestly. I just set up an Instagram at the insistence of my manager and friend Brent Hinds. It’s @yayosanchez333. I guess I should get on it, eh?
Um yes, Yayo. We want more of you.
And I want more of you!