Joe Satriani’s new album, What Happens Next, won’t be released until January 12, but you can hear songs from it right now by listening to the guitarist's extensive interview on episode 62 of No Guitar Is Safe podcast.
Presented by D’Addario—makers of Satriani’s strings, cables, custom straps, and custom picks—this episode finds Satch with one of his Ibanez signature-model guitars in his hands throughout, plugged into a Marshall half-stack, demonstrating the riffs, tones, and techniques he employed on the new record. (Album samples used with permission from Sony/Legacy.)
Satriani also jams on various tunes with No Guitar Is Safe host Jude Gold.
“For me,” says Satriani, “the idea with guitar is no matter what you play—whether it’s a wild solo or a simple scale—you’ve got to make it sound musical.” It’s a philosophy that has made all 16 Satriani solo albums stand tall as some of the most musical, song-based rock instrumental records of all time.
“That’s the only point of what we’re doing—to make music,” Satch adds. “We’re providers of music to people. No one will pay to watch you practice, or play music that sounds like you’re practicing.”
While What Happens Next features plenty of spectacular guitar pyrotechnics occurring over huge grooves laid down by drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) and bassist Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath), Satriani’s guitar parts always retain a vocal quality, and embrace lyrical sounding melodies and bluesy timbres over technique.
“A true test of a part is if you can deliver it using just one guitar,” says Satriani. “It’s tempting to fatten things up by doubling the part, but every time you add an overdub, the guitar’s personality takes a step back. Before you know it, you’re in the next room! And at that point, your listener is like, ‘That’s guitar, and a lot of it, but who is it?’ But if it’s one guitar, they hear your fingertip on the string. They know it’s you playing.”
To hear Satriani’s complete interview, stream No Guitar Is Safe on your smartphone’s podcasts app, or on iTunes, Google Play Music, or wherever you get your podcasts.