martedì 21 maggio 2013

Joe Satriani, an exclusive interview.

Joe Satriani (Joe Satriani)
Article by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 06/05/13
Hi Gaetano, this is Joe Satriani calling! How are you?

Hi Joe! I’m fine thanks, I am very glad to have you on!

Thank you!

So, everything is ready for the launch of your new album “Unstoppable Momentum” and for the occasion, it will be released in different formats, including a 300 dollars version. Your fans are not going to miss the chance...

I am very excited to have this album out. It took me so long to get the album together: write it, perform it, record it, get the artwork together. To be able to have my music and the artbook together it's definitely exciting, so, I guess my answer is that, yes, it's gonna be a great time!

The new record seems to follow different directions, you opted for a discrete variety of musical influences to make it: would you like to tell us more about it?

Usually, my records are pretty collective, I like mixing things up as much as I can. My music is trying to tell different stories, different experiences I had in my life and I tried to make music that people might find inspiring, that might lift spirits up. It was a sort of “put your story into music”.

Your guitar, as well as all the other instruments on the album, have the perfect kind of sound for what I would describe as a “space rock” album: did you take up the production on your own?

This was a combination, once again, of my music recorded in my home studio and music recorded at Skywalker Sound, George Lucas' studios in northern California. We had such great musicians with us and it was easy to get these great performances out of these guys. They gave us such great stuff to focus on and it was really fun.

Congratulations, by the way, because the album sounds great!

Well, thank you!

It won’t take long until your next six gigs in Italy: the Italian fans are expecting the best concerts of this tour, since you’re one of the best guitarists in the whole world and most of all you have Italian origins. Are you ready for Italy?

Absolutely! (laughs) I think this tour will bring us to Italy for a longer stretch of time we've never had before. Usually, we do two or three shows in Italy, this time we're going to do six concerts. For the first time we will be in Rimini and Napoli and it's fantastic. We would love to spend two weeks or three weeks in Italy, if we could!


Do you love Italy?

Yes, of course. I still have family in Como and Milan and I always feel welcome when I return to Italy.

Fantastic, because I am from Como! I am close to the lake...

Then you're a lucky man!

Let’s take a few steps back in time. It looks like you had a lot of fun with Chickenfoot, a real super-group. Are you already working on a new record?

It looks like we're get together for a new record, but not until next year. Only next year.

Is there anyone among your pupils who surpassed or at least reached your level, in your opinion?

I think that there's so many great players that have a great handle on their technique, they have fantastic ideas. Last year, I spent a good time doing different G3 with John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, they're all fantastic, they do beautiful sounding music as well. I am always very encouraged by them.

Who’s the best between you and Steve Vai?

Oh, Steve's got to be better, because I am really trying to be better! (laughs)

I have been curious about this issue for a while: did you ever expect Kirk Hammett to have such a brilliant career with Metallica? What do you think of the band? Are you still in contact with Kirk?

I saw Kirk two months ago, I attended Kirk's book presentation party. He wrote a book about his collection of horror movies and memorabilia, so we got to hang out and have a drink and celebrate his collection. It was a dream come true for me, to see one of my students achieve what they deserved. Kirk worked very hard and he still does, he's very dedicated to music and to his instrument. It's so great to see him loved by millions of people in the world. 

In 1998 you’ve been asked by Mick Jagger to replace Jeff Beck in Rolling Stones. What can you recall about those times? Do you think this was your biggest achievement?

Well, I'd say that the biggest achievement for a musician is the acceptance of his fans for the original music. Playing with Mick was so much fun and in the entertainment business it was a very important thing to happen to me. But nothing compares to selling 10 million copies of your own solo record, this is the most fantastic achievement for me that no fame or award is able to give me.

Another long time curiosity of mine is about Ritchie Blackmore, since you were asked to jump in and take his place in Deep Purple, during the '90s. Do you think he can be considered the best living guitarist? And if so, why?

Uh, I think there are too many guitarists in the world who are the best right now. Just too many best, you know. I really don't know how to answer this question, because people ask me this a lot and they seem very interested to know who is the best and I honestly don't know how to answer.

Yeah, but what do you think of Ritchie Blackmore?

Fantastic! Ritchie is a very original player I wish he would play more electric guitar music!

joesatriani_intervista_2013_03So, no Reinassance Rock for you?

Well, this is what he loves playing now, and I am glad about that. But I wish he could play more electric guitar music, because that was the genre he introduced so many fans to, he still has so many fans in that kind of music.

Let’s go back to your music Joe. You’ve always been inspired by science fiction books to write your masterpieces. Is there another topic you still haven’t found time to deal with though you really love to?

I read a lot of books about many different things. I really like science fiction, I think it offers a very creative view of a possible future. There are so many brilliant writers Dan Simons, William Gibson and past writers like Philip K. Dick, so the most of my inspiration comes from sci-fi writings.

If I am not mistaken, I’ve heard that another anniversary box set is about to be released. Am I right?

We have been working a lot, we've been remastering the entire catalogue, the studio albums in the past year and I think at the end of this year the release of this compliation will coincide with a book written by Jake Brown, “In The Studio with Joe Satriani” and it will be an extended set of interviews to me, to the people I worked with. And we will discuss all the details about recording songs and the gears we used for those songs and the stories behind them. We have an ambitious schedule this year, but hopefully, at the end of this year this compilation will be released.

You’ve been nominated 11 times at Grammy Awards, but never won a single time: is this the only defeat of Joe Satriani’s carrer?

No, there are many wonderful deceits: and I say wonderful, because winning doesn't teach you anything. It's in losing that you learn mostly about yourself and what you do. I really have to point out at people, that, as I said before, the real success in a musical career is the acceptance in your fanbase. The Beatles, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix never won an award, but they're far from being dead or forgotten.

Thank you for sharing your time with us, Joe. Please leave a message to SpazioRock readers and your Italian fans who are going to read the interview.

I just wanted you to know that from here, San Francisco, Joe Satriani loves SpazioRock and I hope to see you all soon on tour!

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