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Interview:
Joe Satriani celebrates 30 years of shredding, "Surfing"
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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There are some days when Joe Satriani feels like the 30 years since his debut album, "Not Of This Earth," has flown by."

And others..."When you're stuck in an airport or something, that's when you think it's been a 300-year career," the guitarist says with a laugh by phone from Denver. "But when you're walking off stage it feels like it's just been 30 microseconds. It goes by in a flash."

Satriani did release a new album, "Shockwave Supernova," last year, but the anniversary is giving him a chance to be reflective on his Surfing To Shockwave Tour (referencing his 1987 breakthrough "Surfing With The Alien"). But Satriani, 59, says it doesn't feel like an entirely nostalgic exercise.

"Every time I'm playing one of the old songs I feel like I'm still working on it," he explains. "That's the great thing about live performance; You keep the art alive. It's never really dated. It's always something that's got a fresh element to it. It's a living, breathing cathartic thing every time I play a song on stage.

"So being able to celebrate it with that sort of evening, that (full-album) format, is something special to me. I'm really enjoying it."

Satriani is, of course, continuing to look towards the future. He's working on new music of his own, while Chickenfoot -- the supergroup he formed wtih Sammy Hagar, Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and founding Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony -- has written a new song that will be released at some point soon. Satriani is hoping the group -- which will be performing a one-off show May 7 in Lake Tahoe -- will also make a full-fledged third album as well, but he's learned not to hold his breath for that.

"It'll always be upsetting to me, the fact (the band) is under-realized," Satriani says. "That befuddles me still. However, the other guys do have plenty of things to do, and I suppose maybe I get it. But when I think about it from an artistic point of view, it just seems ridiculous that we didn't do more. It just seems completely wrong."

Meanwhile, Satriani also had his brush with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year by dint of his short tenure with Deep Purple during 1993-94 as an emergency fill-in for guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Satriani doesn't feel that he deserved to be inducted with the band last week in Brooklyn, but he takes some satisfaction from his eight-month association with it.

"It's a very talented band and they've had a lot of talented members over the years," says Satriani, who`s also toured with Mick Jagger and played sessions for Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult, Spinal Tap and more. "My brief period playing with those guys taught me a lesson about how people do have a hard time getting along with each other in general, and in rock 'n' roll bands it's pretty much the same as in an other part of life. It's unfortunate, but I think there'll come a time when they'll probably look back and say, 'Why were we disagreeing so much?'

"But as a fan, I'm just happy they listened to the fans worldwide and finally allowed them to get their due, 'cause they should have been in there a long time ago. So good for them."

Joe Satriani

Wednesday, April 13. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $35-$75.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.




Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

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