Paul Gilbert turned 50 over the weekend. Does that mean he's thinking about slowing down a bit? Not a chance.
His latest album, I Can Destroy, which was released in May, has been well received by fans and critics, and with good reason. The Kevin Shirley (Journey, Iron Maiden, Rush, Led Zeppelin)-produced record, which is Gilbert's 17th solo release, is a welcomed return to original material following 2014's Stone Pushing Uphill Man, which was mostly covers.
Gilbert has hit the road in support of I Can Destroy, recreating some of the album's finest moments with the help of Pete Griffin on bass and Thomas Lang on drums. But he also has a secret weapon ... No, not the power drill!
Enter the PGM Micro from Ibanez. It's a 3/4-size version of Gilbert's signature model, which—as he explains in the top video at the 12-minute mark—has only three strings, all of which are tuned to E, allowing him to engage in some mind-blowing "glorious shred." The results are pretty terrifying.
So, what advice would 50-year-old Gilbert give to himself at 15, right around the time of sending of those early demos to Shrapnel Records' Mike Varney? "Don't get a perm!"
See more in the top video below and check out the full album in the bottom clip.
Jonathan Graham is an ACM UK graduate based in London studying under the likes of Guthrie Govan and Pete Friesen. He is the creator of ForgottenGuitar.com, a classic-guitar media website, and is completing his debut album, Protagonist, due for release in 2016. Updates also can be found at Graham's YouTube channel.