Joe Satriani shares funk-infused new single, Pumpin’

Joe Satriani
(Image credit: Rick Kern/WireImage via Getty)

Joe Satriani has shared Pumpin’, the third single taken from his imminent new album, The Elephant of Mars, which is due April 8.

Following the oversized hooks of the expansive Sahara and the Gilmour-esque lead work of Faceless, the electric guitar icon offers up even more variety in Pumpin’, which, rather than continuing on the path set by the previous singles, veers off towards a far more upbeat, funk-infused direction.

A slinky opening melody follows a pumping bass guitar line and some classically Satriani-style soloing, with the shred legend dialing in a gain-laden tone for a healthy dosage of blues blends and tasty vocal-style phrases.

Following a brief keyboard solo interlude, Satch returns with a renewed sense of purpose, reaching into his big bag ‘o tricks for a tapestry of surgical, whammy-tinged soundscapes, fuzzy chordal flourishes and a smorgasbord of show-stopping finale licks.

In Satch’s own words, Pumpin’ is a “high energy, funky celebration about the visceral side of being alive. Heart pumpin’, living large, moving fast, and feelin’ good!”

Pumpin’ is another example of just how Satriani plans to take on the tropes of instrumental guitar music, with the virtuoso saying The Elephants of Mars will “show people that an instrumental guitar album can contain far more creative and entertaining elements than I think people are using right now”.

Of his attempt to create a “new standard” for the genre, Satriani – who began work on the record in 2020 – recalled, “We did everything. We tried the craziest idea. And we entertained every notion we had about turning something backwards, upside down, seeing what could happen.”

As such, the album represented an opportunity for all the musicians involved in the project “to take liberties”, and “share a side of themselves they hadn’t previously been able to”.

When it arrives, The Elephants of Mars will be Satch’s 19th studio album, and his first since 2020’s Shapeshifting. It will also be his debut record for his new label, earMUSIC.

Joe Satriani

(Image credit: Joe Satriani / earMusic)

Satch recently discussed The Elephants of Mars – which he recorded over the pandemic – with Guitarist, and revealed that all the guitar sounds on the album were conjured up using one digital plugin, a decision he said “goes against everything I’ve spent my whole career developing”.

The Elephants of Mars is available to preorder now via Joe Satriani’s official store.

In other Satch news, the guitarist recently announced a new Crystal Planet NFT collection, which will accompany the fourth issue of his ongoing sci-fi comic book series of the same name.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.