If you've ever had the itch to pick up an Ibanez electric guitar and shred in outer space, chances are you were inspired by Joe Satriani. The guitar virtuoso has dominated the instrumental rock scene for decades with his unmatched skills and demanding songwriting that has inspired generations of guitar-heads. We had the chance to speak to the man himself about moving forward, staying true to his roots and the albums that have inspired him.
Hi Joe! How are you?
Feeling great, thanks. Looking forward to playing in Singapore for the first time.
You just released your fourteenth album last year. What drives you to keep recording new material?
There's so much to write about, and I've got so much to say I guess. My fingers still itch to play everyday and make some new music.
Mike Keneally's currently in your band. He got to work with Zappa which must've been an incredible learning experience. Seeing how he is experienced on his own, did you learn anything from him while recording?
Mike is a genius and a true creative force. Every night we play, he brings something new and interesting to the mix. By example he leads the way for many, and I stay inspired by his uniqueness.
Looking at your current band line-up, they are all established musicians in their own right. How easy was it to assemble all of them to tour with you?
I'm so lucky to have them! The first time we played together, they just nailed every song, one after the other and brought new and unexpected ideas to the arrangements. We're still having lots of fun onstage and off.
What are some up-and-coming guitar players that have caught your attention?
At this year's G4 experience I met quite a few up and coming students who blew me away. The younger generation is coming on strong with their guitars. I can't wait to hear what they come up with.
There has been a decrease in the presence of guitar music in the charts. Do you think this would affect the amount of young people wanting to play the guitar?
Yes, or, may it will create a desire for more guitar players. Who's to tell? I don't pay attention to micro-trends like that. I just do my thing, the best I can, every day.
Where do you see the future of guitar music going?
I'm planning to go into the studio in January to investigate that very question!
What can we expect from your show in Singapore?
We put on a high-energy rock show featuring material from my entire catalog. And we expect the audience to sing along, scream and shout, stand and deliver like a rock audience should. It will be the last show of the tour, and so it will be a very special night for us.
TOP 5 INFLUENTIAL ALBUMS
FIRST THREE ALBUMS + BAND OF GYPSYS | JIMI HENDRIX
He rewrote the bible of electric guitar playing with those records. I play guitar because of Jimi. He is my main musical influence and inspiration.
EXILE ON MAIN STREET | THE ROLLING STONES
It has all the right mojo, it's just fun to listen to and it has great songs too. The Stones are the best rock 'n' roll band ever!
ANY RECORD BY THE BEATLES
I grew up the youngest of five children and my older siblings were the right age for Beatlemania. Although I was too young to join in, Beatles music filled the house and was the soundtrack to my days as a kid. I started out as a drummer at age nine because I wanted to be like Ringo!
Joe Satriani will be in town on 13 Nov at The Star Performing Arts Centre. For more info, check out the official gig page here.