Paul Gilbert unleashes howling slide guitar on funky, fusion-y new song Werewolves of Portland

Hot on the heels of the technical tour-de-force Argument About Pie and the blistering A Thunderous Ovation Shook the Columns, electric guitar master Paul Gilbert has shared a third single – the title track – from his forthcoming album, Werewolves of Portland.

You can check out the video, which also features an appearance from Gilbert’s six-year-old son Marlon, for the funky, fusion-y cut above.

Explaining its origins, Gilbert said Werewolves of Portland "is actually two songs put together. The first song is based on a short lyric, ‘I've got to look out for the werewolves... I'll take a deep breath... ah-woooooooo!’ which allows me to play some dramatic slide guitar. 

“The second song was originally titled Dad Metal. It's full of fast guitar riffs, percussive picking, and modulating dominant sus4 arpeggios. This section is very ‘busy’ musically, so I was happy to join it with the sustaining ‘ah-whooooo’ howling part for contrast. I played a melodic blues guitar solo, with some jazz chord changes in the middle, to let the song breathe even more."

As for the video, he continued, "I brought the idea of ‘Dad Metal’ to life by having my six-year-old son, Marlon, play guitar, drums, and dance together with me. Marlon brought great energy (and mischief, in general) to the video, and I tried my best to keep up with him. I'll admit that my legs were sore for about two weeks after the shoot. Dancing is hard! Of course, we stayed true to the ‘Werewolves’ theme by wearing wolf masks and tails, and doing plenty of howling.”

Guitar-wise, Gilbert said, “I decided to play my Ibanez double-neck guitar for the silhouette sections of the video, and Ibanez built a matching double neck (in two days!) for my son to use. He could barely lift it, but he tried his best! (It's an awesome guitar, that I plan on using myself, at least until he's old enough to play it.)”

Gilbert previously revealed that he played every instrument on the new album, and that includes the title track. “Since I played all the instruments on the recording of the song, I also wanted to play some drums in the video. I didn't own a drum set, so it gave me a good excuse to buy a small kit, which I now use for jamming in my studio. I'm thinking that the wolf masks and tails will come in handy around Halloween.

"Mostly, I'm happy that I could make a video of my "Boy Wolf" and me rocking out and having the best time. ‘Ah-wooooooo!!!’ ”

Werewolves of Portland, Gilbert's 16th full-length solo studio album, will be released on June 4 via The Players Club. It’s available for preorder here.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.