Interview:An Interview with Joe Satriani
by Lisa Sharken
In the mid '80s, Joe Satriani was one of the first primarily instrumental rock artists to break through into the mainstream. Satriani first made his way onto the radar when his former student, Steve Vai, hit the big time and credited him in guitar magazine interviews as one of his greatest influences. At the time, Satriani had released a self-titled debut EP (1984), which was soon followed up by the acclaimed full-length disc, Not Of This Earth, released in 1986. Since then, Satriani has released eight additional studio albums that have earned him guitar hero status.
Having always maintained a strong dedication to promoting music and guitar playing, Satch formulated G3 — an annual concert tour which showcases three guitarists. With Satch as the headliner, his longtime pal Steve Vai has been a constant participant filling the second spot, while the third has been filled by a wide variety of top-notch players such as Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Adrian Legg, and Uli Jon Roth. This latest incarnation of G3 featured the fast and furious Yngwie Malmsteen opening the show.
Guitar.com spoke with Satriani shortly after the last G3 tour had concluded. Satch provided us with some dirty details of what went on behind the scenes during G3, and filled us in with the specs on his new live setup, which includes his recently developed Peavey JSX Signature Amp and the latest generation Ibanez JS1200 guitar equipped with its DiMarzio Fred and new PAF Joe model pickups. We also chatted about Satch's new and upcoming CD and DVD releases, including his new studio disc that's set for release sometime in April. It looks as though there'll be a lot of good music and cool videos for fans to look forward to throughout the coming year!
Guitar.com: How was this year's G3 different from the previous tours?
Joe Satriani: It was different on many levels. Some of them are really funny, some of them are just technical, and others are obvious. The obvious one is that we had a different lineup, Steve and I being what added a bit of solidity to it with the five or six that I've done. Steve has always been there with me, but this time we had Yngwie Malmsteen, which was really sort of a left-field choice, as it was viewed by some people. For me, he one of those guys that was always on my list going all the way back to '95, when we started thinking about this. It just took a long time to pull it all together. So that part of it was musically very different. It changed the dynamic of the evening's performances and we had a different kind of exchange when we did the back-and-forth jams, mainly because of the raised intensity and the style in which Yngwie plays. It's one of those things where if you've done a lot of them — and of course, I've done all of them — I can say I've traded solos with Robert Fripp, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. It's always different. When those people are on stage, it changes thing. It changes the way everyone's playing, and the way the audience reacts because of what they're expecting. It's a cool thing because that's what makes it fresh and new for me every time I put one of these together.
On the funny technical side of it, I started this tour with a bunch of ideas about changing a lot of things, like the way that I would walk onstage, the equipment that I would use, the clothes that I would wear. I just did everything different, and it went from wearing Spongebob boxer shorts to not using a certain distortion pedal. I had new guitars, new amps, a new pedal arrangement, and new speakers. I changed my attire and how I would approach doing everything. It was really weird. I'd given up coffee a number of months before, so it was the first tour I was going to do without having a couple of espressos throughout the day. I remember when we started off, I thought that this was really different. I should have just done one thing the same, at least, to make myself feel comfortable. I sort of got into the whole thing of just trying to change as much as I could. But I routinely try to change a lot of things about my life, from the small and silly all the way to the paramount.
Guitar.com: How has your audience changed through the years?
Satriani: We'd started out on the Strange Beautiful Music tour in Bulgaria and ended up in Hong Kong, and I'd done North and South America in between. One thing that we noticed was that the audience was getting more mixed. This was especially true in Europe and in Asia. We just found that all of a sudden, the audience was including kids going down to 13 years old, and there were more women and young women in the audience than on previous tour. When you see that happen without television exposure, it really makes you think, because if you ever get on television, you instantly draw this huge diverse audience. It's just the power of tv. If you have a video single on MTV or something like that, it has this profound effect on who shows up as your audience. And of course, what we do is a step removed from that whole media and it's still a sort of fan-to-fan, word-of-mouth, computer-to-computer thing going on. So when you see a shift in the audience, you know that it's pretty powerful because it's not been wrenched out of the world via advertising or something like that. That was the first thing we noticed that was quite different and it seemed to be evident wherever we were. We did more shows in all-age venues and that's when you get to see your theory really put to the test because you go and you play the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and you see lots of kids there, well then you know it's really happened. On Crystal Planet, a lot of venues that we did were 18 or 21 and over, and I remember thinking that it was kind of a drag because back then, I knew there was kind of a resurgence of young people getting into guitar playing. But if the tour excludes them, then you lose a chance at playing your music in front of an audience that is actually waiting for it and hungry for it. So we had a better run of venues this time because of what we were doing. Being a G3 tour, we got ourselves into more theaters and arenas that had all ages, and they came, which was great.
Guitar.com: What were some of the highlights of this year's G3 tour? What would you consider to be some of the best shows?
Satriani: I'd say every show was pretty amazing. Speaking for the other players, I felt that Steve and Yngwie were really pretty remarkable right from the very beginning. I walked onstage with everything different and I just remember feeling that it wasn't until we played Los Angeles that I actually felt like I had a handle on what I wanted to do. So through the first two weeks, I wasn't feeling too comfortable about myself, only because I had just spent a good amount of time recording a new record. I was purposely putting myself into a new space creatively and then all of a sudden, this tour popped up in the middle of working on the record. I'd never done that before, where I really had to stop thinking about being in left field and start thinking about being in right field. It really kind of threw me for a loop and I didn't think it would until I got into that first gig and I started playing. What are these songs? Then I realized this is the other Joe, before I started getting into this new record. I literally felt uncomfortable. I still had a good time, but I wasn't completely mindless, which is the way I usually am. For some reason, the uncomfortable feeling lasted until I stepped on the stage at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, then all of a sudden I completely lost my mind, which is what I was trying to do. I was just trying to forget about everything and just let it all happen. So my recollection of the tour is sort of filtered through that period. It definitely got better because what I learned to do as the tour progressed was take those things that were part of my new record's mindset and get them into the set that I was performing every night. Then it became even more enjoyable for me.
But the memorable point, as always, is seeing the reaction of the fans during the other artists' performances. It's always a great thrill when you're backstage and you peek out and you see, in this case, Yngwie playing faster than anybody in the universe, throwing his guitar up in the air and spinning it around his body, and just looking at the audience in total disbelief as to how anybody could do that. The same thing with Steve's set. I thought he probably had the best Steve Vai set out of any G3 tour. They just seemed to be in a zone from the very beginning of the tour, and that was really cool. It was just great to see that, and I've seen Steve since he was 12 years old. It's just really cool to see the continuing upward movement of his playing and his performance. Then, of course, the jams. You just can't beat it. It's the reason why I put it together, and every time I do one of them, it's confirmed that it was a crazy idea, but it was a great idea. It's such a thrill to be able to walk onstage and play with really great players, especially because they do so many things better than me. I get to sit there and sort of play with them while they're doing it. There's a special thrill to that, especially since most of the time I'm sort of on my own during my set, attending to the melody of the solo, song after song. It's a very unique and special experience when suddenly you can relinquish all that to a bunch of other players. If you saw us in New York, then you saw us play with John Petrucci and Neal Schon as well, so it was sort of a "G5."
Guitar.com: Why were Tony MacAlpine and Billy Sheehan excluded from the jam?
Satriani: On this tour, it was impossible to get the other guys onstage for the jam. Sometimes we've done that, where we've had the other players come out for the last night. We had a bit of a problem focusing the jam on the three players. When we started out, we and we had a four-song jam, and Billy would come out and sing the ZZ Top song "La Grange." But we had to tighten things up as we got closer to our Denver and Kansas City dates, which were about two-and-a-half weeks into the tour and were the days that we were filming and recording. So it was my job to focus the band into understanding that if we wind up jamming too long, that means there's going to be an edit problem when it comes to reviewing the show. Putting my producer's hat on, I knew that if everybody knew that there were four songs to apply their talent to, they would spread it out. I knew that four songs would not make it to the DVD. We only had time for something that stayed within 30 minutes — preferably about 24 minutes. When you're dealing with a DVD, you're also dealing with multiple camera angles, interviews, and all sorts of stuff that eat up a large amount of time that's available on a DVD. Of course, the label had told me exactly what they wanted. They didn't want a jam that was 40 minutes long. So while I was working, I was thinking that when I produce this thing, I've got to keep an eye on when it gets too long and when things somehow stray from what it's really about. It's G3, not G3 plus extra bass player. I was also very sensitive to the fact that when the DVD comes out, I want it to be like the other G3 DVD, in that you see each player lead a song. So we had that within the three songs we chose. We had Yngwie doing "Voodoo Chile," we had Steve doing "Little Wing," myself doing "Rockin' In The Free World." The fourth song wasn't as potent as the others and so I made a decision that we had to tighten it up a little bit. It was actually a good idea because the three songs that we wound up with wound up being a little more open and more exciting. We were able to stretch them a little bit and everybody played better.
Guitar.com: Did you have any disastrous things happen onstage?
Satriani: Oh, of course! The funniest disaster we had was in Detroit. We were starting to play "Starry Night" and the kick drum starts that off and I noticed that it really didn't sound that big. Then I thought, well, maybe it's because we're in an arena. As always, the showbiz ethic is to just keep moving forward, no matter what happens. So we played the whole song, but at the end, I noticed there was a group of people piling up on the side of the stage and that usually means that there's something wrong. So somebody waved me over and said that they've lost the drums in the house and the monitors. They told me to do something for 10 minutes. So I just went out and said that the drums were acting up and I just happened to have this song. I played this blues song that was really kind of fun and I like doing on my own. But really in my mind, I thought I'm going to do this blues song and then after about two choruses the rest of the guys are going to join in. They wouldn't dare leave me onstage alone? But wouldn't you know it, there I am like six choruses down the line, and I'm thinking this song's really dragging for a solo guitarist in front of 8,000 plus people. And sure enough, they just left me out there! I didn't get any help from anybody else! They just figured let Joe do it! So finally, I just had to finish it. When I turned around, luckily, they had everything fixed. It was a snake where all the microphone cables go out into this one large cable called a snake. It just got somehow dislodged from the input. So they got it all back in time. But I just remember thinking that was a pretty mean trick to play on old Joe! I figured at least someone would come out there with a tambourine or Matt would come out with a bass to save me.
We had other things happen, too. Coming back into the U.S. from Vancouver, they brought the narcotics dogs on the bus. We spent a couple of hours there in separate rooms while they interrogated us and told us we were going to jail. Of course, we're a very clean band. You know what it was, when we went to Canada the night before, they wouldn't let us stop at the border. They waved us through, so we never had a chance to declare what we had, and we just happened to have some extra money from a show that had paid us in cash. So on our way back, they decide to stop us. The dog finds the cash on the bus and the cash had residue of narcotics which made the dog crazy. So it took us a little time to figure things out. Of course, these days, borders are very intense. You look at these guys with all their weapons out, and they're looking at you like you're Al Quaida drug dealer people, and we're like, no man, we're just musicians.
We also had a bus go down on the way from Montreal to Toronto, but that wasn't such a disaster.
Guitar.com: Other than John Petrucci and Neal Schon, were there other guests who participated in this year's G3?
Satriani: Well, Neal Schon came four times. He came to Concord, Nashville, and he played two shows in New York. Petrucci played in New York twice. Johnny Hiland, who's sort of a country picker,
came onstage in Nashville and played with us. Zakk Wylde was supposed to come and play with us in Los Angeles, but he never showed up.
Guitar.com: It must be somewhat intimidating for players to come onstage with the three of you.
Satriani: Most of them are very comfortable. Others get a little freaked out, I can imagine. I've got to say, it's the hardest thing in the world to walk onstage at the end of a show — when the audience is going crazy, when all the other musicians are totally warmed up and in touch with the audience, and you're just sitting cold, on the side of the stage, not yet plugged in to the scene. It's very very difficult. It takes a special talent and a lot of guts to walk out onstage, and turn yourself on. No matter how much you warm up on the side of the stage, you are not prepared for the energy that is flying around the stage and coming back at the stage from the audience. I've done that a few times over the years, where I've gone onstage with Deep Purple and Journey, and it's really intense. It's a great rush. You just feel like you just can't quite catch up — like you're running after this locomotive and it won't slow down for you. But the guys who come up and jam with us always like it. In the past, we've had guys come on repeatedly like Brian May from Queen, and he always loves it. Of course, he's a special guy. When he walks on, he creates a whole higher level of excitement, just by being there. It's a wonderful thing to see and experience. He brings the level up and you're just kind of swept up by it.
Guitar.com: Tell us about your current live setup and the elements that have changed.
Satriani: Everything was different. Well, the main difference was the amplifier. What you saw onstage were dummy amps in Peavey Triple XXX head cases. The Peavey cabinets I'm using are Triple XXX cabinets, but I have two different ones. One has 75-watt speakers and one has some 30-watt Peavey speakers in them. At the time, we were basically still in the development stage of a Joe Satriani signature amp and cabinets. What you heard me play through looked like a Triple XXX head, but it had quite a different amp inside of it. It's something I was working on with Peavey, and just as the tour started, I decided I was just going to take it out because that's the best way to test it. The cool thing is that with engineer James Brown at Peavey, he was able to get me just what I wanted, which was a very clear clean channel. I wanted an amp that was very much like their Peavey Classic 50 as my middle channel, and as my lead channel, I wanted something that was somewhere between the Classic 50 and the Triple XXX head with some different elements. I just basically wanted it to be much more punchy and have a different EQ curve. We've also got chime switches and all sorts of cool stuff that we came up with. And the great thing was that I wasn't using any sort of solidstate pedal distortion. It was all tubes and it just gave me a more singing, more emotive tone, which is what I was looking for. Then the guitars, of course, were all new ones — pretty much off-the-rack guitars that I had collected over the last nine months. Some of them were quite fresh and young, especially the red one that I played most of the time. That one is a JS1200 and that was released at the January NAMM show, as well as this Peavey amp that we're going to call the JSX. It's a 100 watt all-tube head.
Guitar.com: What types of effects were you using onstage?
Satriani: It was pretty minimal. Since we didn't have "Cool #9" in the set, I wasn't using the Digitech Whammy Pedal to make whammy effects. I just used it for a shallow detuning setting. It's kind of like somewhere between a chorus and a flanger. I like it for the one song "Crystal Planet." It just somehow works better than a regular chorus pedal. I don't think I ever used my Fulltone Ultimate Octave, but it was there. For most of the tour I was using a Real McCoy wah wah pedal, but it was becoming more and more problematic as the tour went on. So eventually, I replaced it with a regular Dunlop Crybaby. Other than that, I used a Boss Chorus and a Boss Delay, and that was it.
Guitar.com: Are you still using Chandler delays?
Satriani: No. I was sensitive to the fact that we were going to be recorded, and it's always better to go totally flat or just use the smallest amount of any effect because eventually, when it gets mixed, it sounds so totally different from what you hear onstage and you're always wishing you had turned the effects down. So I figured I'd take that out of the chain and I'd just use the one Boss delay for a little ambience.
Guitar.com: Have you retired your Marshall amps?
Satriani: Yeah, they were very problematic. Through the last two or three tours, they'd make weird noises all of a sudden and they wouldn't work, and we couldn't get anyone to really understand the amp problem fully, especially Marshall. Every time we were in England, they would service the amps for us, but it would never quite be the same. It started to really bother me and so did the fact that they routinely said they were not interested in making a modified version of that amp for me. I finally said this is ridiculous. I've only got two of them and they're almost impossible to find. The 6100 model wasn't a very popular Marshall amplifier, and they weren't anywhere near interested in trying to revive it. So I finally said, do I really want to play through amplifiers that have a dwindling supply? There were some problems about it and I thought I could get a better version of it somehow. Once I started talking to Peavey, I realized that I had the ability to do it through James Brown. The largest problem I'd had was that I always record with tube amplifiers in the studio, but when I went out on tour, I was using the smallest tube section of a Marshall head. I was using an orange Boss distortion box to get my gain, and it helped on a number of levels, but there was always this sort of negative that I always tried to circumvent. Then James Brown and the guys at Peavey had a way of giving me the things I was looking for with an all-tube head. So it was like, wow, if you could do that, I'd gladly retire the Marshall stuff.
For a while, I was wondering if maybe I should become a collector of the 6100s, if that's what it's come down to. So James really saved me from that fate because I never really wanted to be a collector. I don't like that whole idea of playing things that are old and antique, and there are only two of them. It gets to me after a while and I thought all these things that I grew up listening to that were great, and you think about Hendrix. The guy would play a Fender guitar and when a new pedal would come out, he'd plug into it. And so I kept thinking that if Jimi were today, he'd be playing some new stuff.
He'd be taking advantage of this. So I thought it was better to try and change the world than to try to hold it in some old space and try to cling. It's sort of an egotistical thing to say I'm going to make an amplifier with my name on it, and it's going to be great. It makes you kind of laugh at yourself. But practically speaking, if there's an amp that I know does exactly what I want, and I can get as many of them as I need wherever I am in the world, that's practical.
What made you switch to new guitars for this tour? Were the older ones just too roadworn?
Actually, it was the theft of my third favorite guitar on the Dream Theater tour in Clearwater, Florida. On the last tour. I just suddenly realized that my guitars that I've been touring with consistently, they were getting old. They were like 10 and 12 years old, and they were getting extremely special to me. The thought of having to replace that particular chrome one that had been on so many records and so many tours? I babied those guitars and brought them on countless tours so that they would break in. Then to have it stolen, that was really awful. So I'm not bringing any of my favorite guitars around anymore. I just can't do that. I can't stand to lose things that have been part of my history.
When that had happened, Ibanez — through a local dealer — got me two JS guitars right off the rack. One of them had to be given back. I didn't want to, but I had to because it was spoken for at the local retailer. It's not like Ibanez has got a warehouse with a million of these things. Since they couldn't get another in a timely fashion, the retailer wanted it back. They were doing me a favor and I was happy that they were able to help me out because literally, we had less than 24 hours to come up with two guitars. But the other one that they let me keep turned out to be one of my favorite guitars. I reminded myself of Hendrix, where he was buying a guitar and playing it that night. That's another reason not to get so attached. I should be playing off-the-rack JS guitars. They do sound really great and that's what I should be doing. So when the G3 tour started up, I just asked Rob Nashida at Ibanez to help me put together some new ones. So I brought the JS1200 prototype out with me and I had a couple of others, too, like the motorcycle flame kind of thing done by Nicholas DelDrago in Florida. It had a new neck and a new pickup in it. It was about nine months old, but it was pretty much redone. The chrome guitar was actually an aluminum one that Ibanez had put together for me a few months earlier and they had given that to me when my other chrome one was stolen. I think I'd only brought that to South America, so it had only been out for about three weeks touring wise.
It was those three guitars that I centered on. But I had another one — a blue JS1200 prototype. We decided to pass on that color for this year, and that one ended up as a backup. I also brought the white guitar that I had gotten earlier, but that also wound up as a backstage guitar because I figured I've already used it on a tour. It's already getting slightly old, so I just kept it backstage. The chrome one that you saw me play was actually a wood guitar covered with aluminum, and it was made in Japan for me about a year ago.
Guitar.com: Which pickups are in all those guitars?
Satriani: The DiMarzio Fred is in the bridge position. It's the pickup that Steve Blucher and I designed. It's been around for about 10 years. The neck pickups are a new design. I'd asked Steve Blucher to take a look at their PAF Pro and see what he could do to make it a little less bass heavy, a little more tubular and throaty sounding. So he developed this pickup which he's calling the PAF Joe. I really love the way it sounds, especially when you have a high gain setting and you flip into that neck pickup. It makes you feel like it's still big and bold, but it still has a tonal quality like a Strat neck pickup. So it's pretty expressive and it's not too boomy. When you're in a clean setting it's really nice. It's got a tighter low end to it
Guitar.com: How are your guitars set up?
Satriani: I use D'Addario .009-.042 strings, and the action is a bit higher on most of the guitars, except for any guitar I'm going to be playing a lot of tapping on with high gain. On the guitar that I use for "Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing," the action is a bit lower than I would like it for tone. But it helps to lower the boominess of the low strings when you're doing tapping across all six strings, which is something I always noticed. When I played that song in the studio, I tied a scarf around the upper part of the neck so my left hand was just doing the tapped arpeggios, but my right hand was muting the low strings to sort of balance the volume between the low strings and the high strings. But when I perform it live, I can't do that. I've got to reach over with my right hand to mute the strings on the upper part of the neck, and I just do the arpeggio, but there's no dampening of the strings down by the bridge. And over the years, I've realized that if you play with a kind of a standard action, it allows for a lot of sustain. Those low strings just are so loud and the high strings seem sort of anemic. I play with a slightly lower action on that side of the guitar so it just sounds more even sounding when those arpeggios fly by.
Guitar.com: What kind of picks do you prefer?
Satriani: I use regular heavy picks made out of the standard pick material. The guys at D'Addario make them for me.
Guitar.com: How do you warm up and get yourself psyched up for a gig?
Satriani: I run through a bunch of simple exercises, but I don't go too crazy. I don't really like to plug into any amp or headphones. I just like to hang out with the guys and just lightly warm up. I've found that playing during the day is a better thing for me, rather than spending an hour right before the show and shredding. I really do like to save it for the show. I like the idea of walking onstage and feeling like it's a bit intense. You feel like you have to figure out what to do with all this energy flowing through your veins. The first song is always pretty intense. I'm not always feeling like I've got control over any finesse yet. It's like playing with a big fist, and then eventually, I calm down somewhere around the third song. But that's part of the experience that I really like.
Guitar.com: Tell us about your new and upcoming CD and DVD releases.
Satriani: Back on November 18th Sony released the Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology. It's a 30-song retrospective. 28 songs are from the catalog, two songs are bonus tracks that were part of the Strange Beautiful Music sessions. Everything was remastered from the original tapes, which was something that was just fantastic. They spent the money to do that for us. Bernie Grundman did the remastering and I love the way this record sounds. Wow! To hear some of the songs, finally sounding ten times better than they did with the original mastering, it was a great thrill because it will remind me of what it sounded like in the studio when you turn it up really loud. So I'm really happy about that. I'm also happy that those two bonus tracks got on there. Thematically, I just couldn't fit them on to Strange Beautiful Music. But as time went on, I kept thinking, why didn't I put those on there? I couldn't remember what was wrong with them or why they didn't fit. Then all of a sudden, this opportunity came by and there was a place for them, which is great. You know how we are. We want all of our songs to be heard by everybody, regardless of how it might backfire in the marketplace. It's just one of those things that when you write a song, you just want everyone to hear it. So a package like this really helps. Then I wound up writing little stories for every song on the record. So there are 30 good-size paragraphs about either how I wrote it, why I wrote it, anything weird or funny that happened during the recording, and any of the background — technically or emotionally — about the material.
The other piece they released was the Satch Tapes, which is finally out on DVD. Looking back, it's pretty freaky. That's what we call our "almost MTV" period, where we tried to get on MTV and were successful to a small degree. But we wound up with a great collection of videos, and we did a bunch of interviews surrounding the putting together of that package. And of course, for me, the highlight was having Christopher Guest, the actor, come in as Nigel Tufnel. He basically improvised a skit, just making fun of us throughout the whole video. So as you're watching this DVD, you see me being serious, [producer] Andy Johns being serious, and some other musicians being serious. Then all of sudden, there's Nigel, and he just kind of takes the piss out of the whole thing. So the over all effect is that it's a humorous look at that era, which is what I think it should be.
Of course, we can't forget to mention the G3 DVD and CD, which we be out in February and March, respectively.
Guitar.com: What advice can you offer to other players who are trying to develop their own sound and style?
Satriani: It's conflicting advice: Don't listen to anybody else, and listen to everybody. Don't try to be like other people, but I know very well that if you're a guitarist out there trying to make a living, for the most part, you make a living well because you can play like everybody else. But then at some point, when that spotlight shines at you, they're going to ask you to be totally original. It's a bit of a dilemma that every up and coming player is faced with. But you do just have to continually work at trying to be original, and I think that means exploring your own personality and developing strong opinions about every chord, every scale, every progression, tempo, temperament, and guitar tone. That's what it is. Eventually, the kind of music we write and how we play reflects our roots, our influences, and our opinions about music.
Guitar.com: What do you listen to for inspiration and enjoyment?
Satriani: I listen to just about everybody. I have a really weird bunch of CDs that are just sitting on my desk right now. I mean, they don't make any sense together. I've got Linkin Park — Meteora, which is sitting right on top of Jethro Tull, Beck's Sea Change — I still really like that record, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Tommy Emmanuel, and a couple of my own records. I've got John Williams, Mahavishnu Orchestra, which is an old one — an oldie, but a goody! There's some Coldplay, Eric Clapton From The Cradle — I still love jamming with that one. It's a real cool one. I've also got the new Dream Theater record and a Rob Balducci record here, too. I guess that's what's floating around.
Guitar.com: Do you listen to your own music on a regular basis?
Satriani: I listen to it for reference. I don't listen to it for pleasure! That's just too strange. It's just like looking at pictures of yourself. But before the tour, I put a lot of them on, and then when we were doing the remastering of the anthology, I had to go back and forth to make sure I liked what was happening. But every day since I got back from the G3 tour, I've been listening to my new record because I'm in the middle of production. I load into the studio tomorrow to finish it. I've got about six more songs to put some guitar on, and then I'm done. Then I'm into mixing. It should be released around April 1st, maybe a little earlier. I'm very excited about it. It's just a really rockin' record. It's a lot of fun and it's got a great sound to it. It might be called Is There Love In Space, which is a very profound question, when you think about it. Because people are always talking about whether there is life in space. Is there water on Mars? But I think more importantly, the reason only why people are on this planet is because of love. Otherwise, we'd really be killing each other — more than we do on a regular basis. But what if we get out into space and there's no love out there? That would be an entirely different thing.
Guitar.com: Captain Kirk always seemed to do ok finding love in space.
Satriani: Yeah, I guess so! But I doubt we're going to find there's a love planet. Remember that Star Trek episode when Spock falls in love? I just don't think that's going to happen. There will not be girls in bikinis on planets all over the galaxy ready to fall in love with starship captains. Too bad!