Joe Satriani: Phil Collen is a "Total Virtuoso"

(Image credit: Joseph Cutlice)

When Joe Satriani—in addition to announcing his 16th solo album—What Happens Nextannounced a G3 Tour featuring John Petrucci and Phil Collen, many (including many a Guitar World reader) scratched their heads at the choice of Collen, best known as the six-string ace for Def Leppard. Satriani recently—when speaking to Eddie Trunk—defended his choice of Collen, calling him a "total virtuoso."

"It's an interesting little thing about musicianship," Satriani said. "There are players that are known for being crazy and outstanding, but maybe you wouldn't want them in a band like AC/DC, or something like that, where you depend on certain rock attitude and performance."

Discussing how dynamics change when a star guitarist is part of a larger ensemble, he added that (referring to his time as the guitarist for Sammy Hagar-fronted Chickenfoot) "You can't go too crazy because you are part of a support team."

Focusing the discussion on Collen, Satriani said "I can tell by my ear that the guy [Collen] is a total virtuoso, but he's holding back because he's in a different kind of band. But when we got on stage during rehearsal at the G4 Experience, I was pleasantly surprised. But in a way I wasn't too surprised because I always knew that behind Def Leppard stuff was a lot more."

"And there it was. He could just go crazy and shred," he said. "We were up there, me, Tommy Emmanuel, and Phil, just making stuff up in front of an audience. And Phil's got that ability to go right to the edge and jump off."

"But he's also got that special something. Maybe it's years, decades, of being in a super stadium playing rock band. He knows how to keep it together and still put on a great show, even while he's trying something he's never done before."

You can watch the full interview, and check out the full itinerary of the upcoming G3 tour, below.

2018 G3 Tour featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci & Phil Collen itinerary:

  • January 11 The Moore Theatre Seattle, WA
  • January 12 Historic Elsinore Theatre Salem, OR
  • January 13 Grand Sierra Theatre Reno, NV
  • January 14 Fox Theater Oakland, CA
  • January 16 Delta Hall at Eccles Theater Salt Lake City, UT *
  • January 17 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, NV
  • January 18 Mesa Arts Center Mesa, AZ *
  • January 19 Orpheum Theatre Los Angeles, CA
  • January 20 Balboa Theatre San Diego, CA
  • January 21 Fox Tucson Theatre Tucson, AZ *
  • January 24 Historic Paramount Theatre Denver, CO
  • January 26 The Pavillion at The Toyota Music Factory Irving, TX *
  • January 27 Austin City Limits - Moody Theater Austin, TX
  • January 28 Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Houston, TX *
  • January 30 Hard Rock Live Orlando, FL *
  • January 31 Florida Theatre Jacksonville, FL *
  • February 1 Pompano Beach Amphitheatre Pompano Beach, FL*
  • February 2 Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall Fort Myers, FL *
  • February 3 Mahaffey Theater St. Petersberg, FL *
  • February 6 Raleigh Memorial Auditorium Raleigh, NC
  • February 8 Toyota Presents Oakdale Wallingford, CT *
  • February 9 Landmark Theatre Syracuse, NY *
  • February 10 Palace Theatre Albany, NY *
  • February 11 The Palace Theatre Greensburg, PA *
  • February 14 Warner Theatre Washington, DC *
  • February 15 Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA
  • February 16 Beacon Theatre New York, NY *
  • February 17 Merriam Theater Philadelphia, PA
  • February 18 New Jersey Performing Arts Center Newark, NJ *
  • February 20 Auditorium Theatre Rochester, NY *
  • February 21 Massey Hall Toronto, ONT
  • February 22 Hard Rock Live Northfield, OH
  • February 23 Chicago Theatre Chicago, IL *
  • February 24 State Theatre Minneapolis, MN
  • February 25 Riverside Theater Milwaukee, WI

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.