John Yelland

Influences

  • Blind Guardian
  • Triptykon
  • Grateful Dead
  • Iron Maiden
  • Dio
  • Ayreon
  • David Bowie
  • Carcass
  • Bruce Dickinson
  • Nile
  • Ur Draugr
  • The Beatles
  • Miles Davis
  • John Carpenter
  • Helloween
  • Nekrogoblikon
  • Queen

John began playing the piano and guitar as a child, and went on to play trumpet and trombone throughout his schooling. His exploration of music led him from The Beatles, Yes, and Led Zeppelin to Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica. “But when I discovered Iron Maiden it was all downhill from there,” John said. “I would watch Rock in Rio almost every day. That’s when I knew I couldn’t stand on the sidelines of the metal scene. I had to get involved.” 

During high school John became friends with Tyler Gipson. The two began playing and performing music together, and eventually found themselves joining a cover band led by Austin Bentley, called Rakkenheid. John’s first performance with a real metal band was with them. “We played typical beginner songs like ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ even the Power Rangers theme song,” John said. “It was super corny, but the crowd loved it. I couldn’t have asked for a better first performance.” 

John and Tyler later formed their own band Prophecy, which would later become Shadowseer. John recorded two singles and an EP with Shadowseer before separating with the band under tense circumstances. While John’s time in the band didn’t last, his lyrics and songwriting did, and can be heard on their debut full-length album.

John joined Disforia and completed two EP’s before starting work on a debut full-length album with the band. During this time John befriended Blind Guardian vocalist Hansi Kursch, who would later record guest vocals for the album. Disforia would promote “The Age of Ether” on their Galactic Justice Tour before putting the band on hold later that year.

In 2010 John met Tony Cordisco at a Blind Guardian concert in Tempe, Arizona. The two exchanged information and later collaborated on a cover of Helloween’s “Ride the Sky.” The cover was well-received on social media, so the two discussed turning it into an actual project. The rest is Judy history.

In addition to Judicator, John keeps himself constantly busy with other musical and adventures. He sings for Dire Peril with longtime friend Jason Ashcraft, and Principium, which was formed by ex-Disforia drummer Casey Frederick. John enjoys recording guest vocals for bands and projects of all kinds, and is an avid proponent of local and underground music.

Outside of music, John enjoys spending time with his wife and dog (named Ripley). He likes to study history, religion, and film analysis. John earned a bachelor’s degree in TV/film production from Utah Valley University and is currently working toward a master’s degree. He is a journalist/producer in the news industry and runs his own business.

Equipment