Joe Satriani put together an all-star band for his new album, "Unstoppable Momentum," including ace drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and former frank Zappa keyboardist Mike Keneally.
But the rock guitar virtuoso says the quartet wasn't assembled by grand design.
"I didn't make the decision until very late, when I started getting messages from my manager, 'Hey, who's in the band," Satriani, 57, says with a laugh. "After a year of G3 tours (with fellow guitarist Steve Vai) and a bunch of Chickenfoot stuff, I'd had a lot of great experiences, and when you're a musician mixing it up with lots of different musicians, it opens your eyes to some other possibilities and other things you might want to do, aspects of your musicianship you might want to explore and accentuate.
"So I was thinking, 'I've got to do something different.' I had music that I felt represented new, giant steps in my evolution, and I knew I'd need certain players to do that. This band really elevated my chops and really challenged and reinvigorated me."
Satriani will be touring to support "Unstoppable Momentum" through late October. Meanwhile, he's eyeballing a fourth album with Chickenfoot, the all-star troupe that also features Sammy Hagar, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, which Satriani says is just starting to come into focus.
"We're trying to figure out when all four of us can pencil in time to get together again, which looks like will be at the beginning of next year," Satriani says. "We're a busy group of people, but we're also tight enough that we can get together for a few days and make a lot of music. We just work really hard to take advantage of the limited time we have to do it."
Joe Satriani and Steve Morse perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Macomb Music Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mt. Clemens. Tickets are $30-$75. Call 586-541-1107 or visit www.macombmusictheatre.com.
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