JOE SATRIANI - "SAMMY HAGAR Always Says The Reason Why I’m Not Rich And Famous Is Because I Have No Ego"
March 29, 2020, 3 months ago
Guitar.com caught up with guitar legend Joe Satriani to discuss his new album, Shapeshifting. An excerpt from the interview is available below.
Q: When you look at how your playing has changed over your career, how do you feel you’ve evolved?
Satriani: "I love to move on and, after I play something, I don’t really analyse it. I like to keep moving forward and keep finding new cathartic experiences to dive into. I know that, on the one hand, I have more control over more techniques now than I did before – but I’ll be 64 in July and I can definitely feel it. My fingers felt quite different when I was 21 to how they feel now; that’s just nature taking its course.
There are so many lessons you learn if you are lucky enough to hang around for a while and keep doing what you’re doing. So, when I listen to the early records, I just hear this young and inexperienced kid – but he’s very enthusiastic. But I’ve realised the songs would have been so much better if I’d known they could have been shorter, or should have been longer, or should have used a different amp or different guitar…"
Q: It doesn’t seem like you’re concerned with legacy as much as you are with staying creative and enthused by your work.
Satriani: "I truly believe that. I believe that once you’re gone, you’re gone. Really, it’s about creating the experience, the art and the love while you’re here. There’s no reward, you don’t get a medal at the end – as a matter of fact you drop dead at the end! I like to turn to the people at the clinics and say, ‘Wake up, everybody, this is it! It’s not happening tomorrow, it’s happening right this second!’ When I walk into my room and pick up a guitar, I tell myself that it’s now – now is the time to play something good, to write something about what Joe is experiencing right now, and share it with people. Whether they like it or not doesn’t matter: while they’re busy critiquing it, I’ll just start writing and playing another piece of music. It’s a funny way of dealing with it. Sammy Hagar always says the reason why I’m not rich and famous like him is because I have no ego, and sometimes I go, ‘You know, you’re right!’ I should drink from the Sammy Hagar cup once in a while.”
Read the complete interview here.
Satriani has released a new track-by-track video in support of his upcoming new album, Shapeshifting, out on April 10 via Sony Music/Legacy Recordings. Watch Joe discuss the track "Big Distortion" below:
In addition to the CD and standard black vinyl editions of Shapeshifting, the D2C store will offer an exclusive translucent blue colored, signed vinyl. Additional offerings will include stemless wine glasses, coffee mugs, koozies, crew socks, guitar picks and a t-shirt - all featuring Joe’s original artwork. Also available, an autographed CD via pre-order with Newbury Comics online retails store.
Pre-order the album here.
Shapeshifting was co-produced by Satriani and Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) with longtime associate John Cuniberti on board handling the mastering duties. Satriani enlisted a wide range of collaborators, both old and new, to help him bring the songs to life. Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux were the core musicians on the new album with additional contributions coming from Lisa Coleman (The Revolution) and Christopher Guest.
The retro feeling sounds of first single, “Nineteen Eighty” finds Satriani spiritually revisiting the time period when he was working with his first band, the Squares. The future guitar hero the world came to know less than a decade later, would have to wait. He recalls that in those early days, they “dialed back the guitar solos and histrionics to try to create a cooler new wave vibe.” Decades removed from those goals, he was free to go forward and attempt to recapture what was on his mind in 1980.
Staying true to the sounds of the time, he even used a vintage MXR EVH phaser. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen,” Satriani says. “In my mind, he just crystallized that era. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he kind of saved rock guitar. So that’s what I would have been doing.”
"All For Love"
"Ali Farka, Dick Dale, An Alien And Me"
"All My Friends Are Here"
"Spirits, Ghosts And Outlaws"
"Here The Blue River"
"Big Distortion" visualizer:
“Nineteen Eighty” video: