JOE SATRIANI Looks Back On First Band, THE SQUARES - "I Was A Firm Believer That I Should Really Dial It Back, Not Do All The Shredding I'm Certainly Capable Of Doing"
July 10, 2019, 12 days ago
Guitar legend Joe Satriani recently guested on the Eddie Trunk Podcast and discussed his first band, power-pop trio The Squares, and the upcoming release their early '80's demos. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Satriani: "The Squares wound up being the first band where I was not just a teenager playing whatever; this was something we really thought about and we had designs on getting a major record deal, which unfortunately never happened, but that was our goal. I'm reminded when I listen to this album that I was a firm believer at the time that I should really dial it back in terms of older stuff that I can play. I needed to edit myself down, not to do all the shredding I'm certainly capable of doing, but to really try to stay more focused into the material that we were doing and not to overplay.
I made such a radical shift right after the band; I finally said, 'I'm just gonna play what I can play.' To tell you the truth, I think that came from - one night, Steve Vai was in town, I think he was playing with David Lee Roth, maybe recording at Fantasy. He stopped in to rehearsal and he just sat there all night and I think at one point he said to me, 'Why don't you play all the stuff you can play?' He was just sort of impressed with how the whole band sounded but wondered why I had dialed it back, and I think it probably planted the seed in my head and later on gave me the excuse to just play all I can play."
Joe Satriani has had a long and acclaimed solo career, his awards and accolades from fans and the industry alike are unending. Yet, through all of that, Satriani has often mentioned in interviews the musical trio that launched the next step in his musical career, his first band, the Squares, formed in Berkeley, CA in the late '70s. Until now, no recordings of the inception of the legendary Satriani sound was available. Now that is all about to change!
As Satriani explains, “We were part Van Halen and part Everly Brothers. A mix of heavy metal, rock 'n' roll, punk and new wave. We were hard to pin down and categorize, which is most likely why we never ‘made it’!”
However, Satriani never lost his love for that time or that music.
What remains today are the original, early '80's demos recorded and mixed by the bands then live sound engineer John Cuniberti. They have restored the original recordings, brought them into the digital world, and with loving hands and ears, John has remixed the best of what the band created in studio.
According to Satriani, “They sound better than ever. John was careful to preserve the band's original intent with regards to song arrangements, sound and vibe, and in some cases, extremely creative mix ideas.”
Squares is produced and mixed by John Cuniberti, with Satriani as Executive Producer. The album features lyrics by Neil Sheehan, Satriani on (of course) guitar, Andy Milton on lead vocals & bass, and Jeff Campitelli on drums, all three lending vocals to the mix.
“I’m so very excited that my early ’80’s power-pop trio Squares will finally have their much-deserved international release this July 12th on earMUSIC. This release represents the best of the band’s recordings featuring Jeff Campitelli on drums, Andy Milton on bass and lead vocals, and yours truly playing guitar and doing a bit of singing too. Engineer and long-time collaborator John Cuniberti recorded, re-mixed and mastered all the material for a stunning album debut, albeit 38 years late! Turn it up and enjoy!” - Joe Satriani
"Give It Up"
"I Need A Lot Of Love"
"Can't Take It Anymore"
"So Used Up"
"You Can Light The Way"
"Never Let It Get You Down"
"Follow That Heart"
"I Love How You Love Me"
"You Can Light The Way":
"Give It Up" video:
"So Used Up" video:
"Never Let It Get You Down":
"I Love How You Love Me":
Joe Satriani - guitar, vocals
Andy Milton - bass, vocals
Jeff Campitelli - drums, vocals