MR. BIG Guitarist PAUL GILBERT Talks New Solo Album - "Letting Jazz Elements Into My Playing Scares Me A Little"
November 10, 2018, 5 months ago
During a recent interview with Guitar World, Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert discussed the making of his new album, Behold Electric Guitar. Following is an excerpt from the discussion.
Q: Compositionally, what was your overarching agenda for your new record, Behold Electric Guitar?
Gilbert: "My initial ideas are just a starting place. As a record goes along, it becomes more about making discoveries and getting excited about new songs. I guess the main discovery I made this time was how well it worked to write melodies from a vocal perspective — even writing pages of lyrics — and then to use those vocal ideas as a framework for guitar to take over and play the melody instead.
It took me a long time to accept the idea that the guitar can take the place of a singer. Since I grew up listening to the Beatles, I always thought that singers should handle the melody, and that the guitar should play chords, riffs or bluesy solos. Blues is like the 'gateway drug' that lead to digging jazz. I really enjoy jazz now, which is totally surprising to me. Letting jazz elements into my playing scares me a little, because I still respect my 16-year-old self as well as all the kids out there who want to rock. At the same time, if I love something, I have to love it. And it’s really exciting to me to have opened doors into these new worlds and to be moved by what I find."
On September 27th, The Iridium and Guitar World presented Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert live at The Iridium in New York City. The show was streamed live and can be viewed below in its entirety.
The setlist on the night was as follows:
"Blues For Rabbitt"
"Let That Battery Die"
"Sir, You Need to Calm Down"
"I Own a Building"
"Everywhere That Mary Went"
"Every Snare Drum"
"Love is the Saddest Thing"
"A Snake Just Bit My Toe"
"A Herd of Turtles"
"Mercedes Benz" (Janis Joplin cover - instrumental)