Preview: JOE SATRIANI
LESLIE WEST & MOUNTAIN
University of Buffalo Center for the Arts
Sunday October 12th
BLACK…..The purpose of this
particular visit is to
the foundation at
The University of Buffalo
this Sunday Night as
will be dishing out a hearty course of shredded string at the
Center for the Arts.
Hairs will be splitting on this double bill as guitar maverick
and immortal road warriors
will unleash a stratospheric
fury celebrating two generations of perpetual guitar Rock.
spent the summer abroad in support
Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock”
released this past April. The string sorcerer and his band,
drummer Jeff Campitelli
are road tested and ready to serve up a savory selection of
songs as they kick it into overdrive surfing the states through
November on the second leg of their tour.
was fortunate enough to catch
on a brief visit home in sunny
Hello Joe Thanks so much for
your time great to talk with you again we really appreciate it,
I know fans in
are thrilled to see that you will be
returning to the U.B.
Center for the Arts this week.
we really had a great time on the first leg of the tour over the
summer in South America and Mexico and we are equally excited
about bringing the new material to the States.
Lets dive right into the latest
album of arresting songs titled
and the Musterion of Rock",
that’s quite a mouth full.
Yes it is; it’s an album that I went
into with this crazy idea of not having a title so that the
musicians wouldn’t be adversely influenced with this
preconceived notion of how I wanted them to play.
When we finished the record I suddenly realized that we
didn’t have a title so I frantically began searching for ideas
for a name. When going through the song titles I came to the
realization that the album was so eclectic that I couldn’t
effectively find a song that could be a sort of flagship song. I
started just taking all the titles and mashing up the words and
names to see if I could come up with something and Professor
Satchafunkulus and the Musterion of Rock came together almost as
if I meant to do it or it had some kind of special meaning but
it doesn’t its just an accident of words.
I found it interesting that the
origin of this album came from a piano chord instead of a guitar
chord, kind of ironic considering your legendary stature as a
I do a lot of my writing on keyboards although I’m not very
good. I’m one of those guys that can see music on the keys in my
head; In my mind I’m one of the best keyboard players ever but
my body just doesn’t cooperate (laughter). I end up just
plunking down chords with my right hand and playing bass notes
with my left; I love the sound of the piano and the fact that it
has such huge range which really helps me get a handle on the
arrangement of a song. More importantly it allows me to step
outside the guitar which helps me to not repeat myself.
The beauty of the instrumental music you
create through the finesse of your fingers is that it leaves the
music open for interpretation. When it’s time to put a title on
an instrumental piece do you worry how it translates the purpose
and meaning of the song?
You always hope that the
story being told from the heart is going to somehow reach the
listener. I certainly don’t do it alone, I write the songs and
come up with what I think are the best arrangements and ideas
for recording them. Then I invite my producer John Cuniberti in
to sort of Rock the boat a little bit; maybe he’ll hear
something I may have missed, or he may approach a certain
arrangement from a different point of view. Actually letting
other people in to help out is really an important step in the
You know what Ross I have someone at my front door can
you hold on for just a second.
Absolutely, take your time.
Hey there I’m back, sorry about
Not a problem. Tell me I just hit the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Jackpot and that was
at your front door ready for rehearsals for this new
SUPERGROUP everyone it talking about?
(Laughter) No sorry not
today, the guys and I will be heading into my studio in a few
days. Don’t scare me like that my schedule is so tight; if any
of those guys showed up “Right Now” it would be utter chaos.
Before I hit you up for the
scoop, I want to talk about a
couple of the tremendous tracks on the new album.
Just Wanna Rock”
is a walloping rocker with lots of cool
nuances and will surely take its rightful place next to
as an amplifying anthem at
stadiums and arenas around the globe.
Yeah I’m glad you like that;
it started out as a funny little idea of what it would be like
if a Robot was let loose on a small town and came across a Rock
I kind of built that song backwards by recording the
Robot voice first using a FRAMPTON Talkbox that I
actually purchased from PETER years ago. I had been
waiting for the opportunity to use it without it just being an
imitation of PETER who revolutionized this amazing
tool. I also wanted to make sure it wasn’t a copy of something
that JOE WALSH or RITCHIE SAMBORA had already
done. I thought if I wrote this from a Robot’s perspective it
would provide me with a unique musical forum to use the Talkbox
because the premise is kind of a tongue and cheek and sounds
nothing like FRAMPTON. Ultimately it allowed me to put in
a gutsy guitar performance with very little intellect which was
“I Just Wanna Rock” has
a comically cool video which can be viewed at (www.satriani.com).
Speaking of your website kudos on being so interactive with you
fans. You really open the lines of communication offering
podcasts from your studio, guitar lessons and all kinds of
really amazing swag at Club Joe. Do you find it beneficial to
have this type of direct connection with fans?
Your absolutely correct,
without having lyrics in my music I’m at a slight disadvantage.
Instrumental Rock is a very small sub category and those
podcasts really help people understand what’s going on in our
heads and helps us to relate.
music it comes from the heart and that
always leads you back home to your family.
is a intensely soulful song and
taps into the emotions involved when losing someone close.
That song actually was
written about a friend’s father passing which lead me back to my
own feelings about my father who passed away ten years ago. When
your willing to reveal yourself, which for me is through music,
the creative journey allows you to open up the heart and
soul. In many ways "Revelation”
was a small cathartic event for
Sticking with the
family theme your son
gets his groove on playing sax on
also dusted off one of dear old Dads fifteen-year old tracks
once again like every
album you profoundly profess the
unwavering love and devotion you share with your wife RUBINA.
That’s right, its no secret that
a lot of my inspiration comes from family.
has been playing guitar since
he was three years old, he just picked up the sax about a year
ago and he’s a natural.
The track came about after he and I where listening to
MOS DEF and he made a comment of how cool it would be if
I did an
instrumental with a similar kind of
One evening I got him out of doing his homework for
about a half hour; we sat in the studio and I said just play
whatever you want to play. He came up with those strange
fluttering sax sounds you hear on the intro, he’s a very
creative kid that way.
And Thank You very much for the kind words about my
wife, I’m truly blessed to have the love and support of my
I would be off my
if I didn’t try to pump you for
some info on what’s going on with
on the highly anticipated project
tentatively and thankfully known as
Yeah I guess I’d have to say
I’m surprised at how people are jumping all over this thing but
I guess I shouldn’t be. We had spent some time playing together
on stage and we really clicked as a band. SAMMY and I have
written 2 albums worth of material already and we will be
heading into my studio to polish up the arrangements in a few
Needless to say it’s a really high energy band as you
can imagine; SAMMY alone is a volcano ready to erupt at
any time and MIKE and
CHAD are always ready to jump in.
It’s been a fantastic few months for me on so many
levels especially having a specific band to write music for,
they are a bunch of talented guys who really just want to Rock
know SAMMY took some heat for a comment that was taken just a
little to serious when he compared this band to
LED ZEPPELIN. As
a musician when your influenced by bands like
JIMI HENDRIX and you’ve
played with bands like
and the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
it’s interesting to see where you go when you step outside of
that. This project is a musical release, its given us a
uniquely creative outlet which has generated a combustible
intensity that is very exciting. I’m looking forward to finally
getting this thing down on tape as they say.
So this collaboration will definitely
result in a new record, will we see this prolific group take the
new material out on the road in 2009?
Yeah everything seems to be on
schedule to have a record out before the end of the year. As far
as touring goes, that really was the ultimate goal when we
started jamming together. SAMMY keeps saying “this is a
stadium band so let’s not think about anything else”. SAMMY
has a personal energy that is so huge that he can take a song
and just blow it up. Besides having an absolutely amazing Rock
‘n’ Roll voice there is a incomparable quality about SAMMY’S
live performances. He touches people with his contagious spirit,
personally I can’t wait to be a part of that raw energy and
enthusiasm on stage.
Ross CAT- Have you come up with
a permanent name for the band yet? Last report on the Rock Wire
was that it was going to be called
Really I haven’t heard that one
yet. There are a bunch of names floating around amongst us and
they are all very secret. What I can tell you is that it won’t
be called CHICKENFOOT.
Sounds like you’ve got a full
plate through next summer, what does the future hold for the G-3
tour and who might we see participate in that venture?
Those tours take about 9-12
months to plan out because of everyone’s schedule. We really try
to keep a tight wrap on whose going out with us on the G-3 tour
but I can promise you it will happen sometime next year.
The Rock Rapport would like to thank
for his time as well as Melissa Dragich-Cordero of MAD,
Ink PR for setting us up.
Check out the
University of Buffalo Center for the Arts
for tickets to other great upcoming events like
on Tuesday October 14th and the
DEREK TRUCKS BAND
on Sunday November 2nd. Tune in as the Rock Rapport
will feature interviews to preview both these amazing shows.
**********PEACE & Harmonies**********