Shredmaster Joe Satriani has been busy in recent weeks preparing for the release of his new album, The Elephants of Mars.
To that end, Satch recently sat down for a chat with our friends at Guitarist, during which he was asked if he had ever written a song that had proven to be "impossible" to perform live.
“When you have a phrase, you have to investigate how many different ways you can play it," Satriani responded. "When we put out Shockwave Supernova, I entered into a really bad phase of tension with the little finger of my fretting hand. It was because of that [Shockwave Supernova's] title song.
"When I was writing it, I figured out all the different places to play it and came up with one version that sounded unique – but my hand didn’t want to do it live. It started to really hurt.
"That tour, I had to rewrite so many fingerings. I’d sit down before a show and figure out, like, which notes had to be legato or could I pick three of them instead? When I got off tour, my chiropractor discovered I was just tight and solved my issue in a week. Once in a while, you write something you probably shouldn’t have written [laughs].”
The first three singles from The Elephants of Mars – which is set for an April 8 release – have shown the wide variety of styles at work in Satriani's always-engaging playing. Sahara, as hinted in the title, shows Satriani's sub-Saharan influences, while Faceless prominently displays the guitarist's enduring love of David Gilmour.
The album's third single, meanwhile, takes things in a much funkier direction.
In the same Guitarist interview, Satriani also revealed that – in a decision that went "against everything I've spent my whole career developing" – he used just one plugin for all the guitar tones on The Elephants of Mars – and it wasn't his signature AmpliTube collection.
To read Guitarist's full interview with Satriani, pick up a copy of the magazine over at Magazines Direct (opens in new tab).