Unstoppable Momentum isn’t just the new album title track from one of the greatest guitar players the world as ever seen - it’s a suitably soundtrack for the life of axe genius Joe Satriani, writes Graham Walker.
The 56-year-old Grammy winner, who has worked with Deep Purple and The Rolling Stones, as well as maintaining a critically acclaimed solo career, is unstoppable.
And the momentum, including this fourteenth studio album, is driven by his love for music and to play live, which is what the New Yorker will be doing on an all too rare visit to perform at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday, June 15.
In an exclusive chat with The Star’s digital Graham Walker - you can hear it all here online - he revealed what fans can expect and why he remains unstoppable.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Joe’s music video for his latest single, A Door Into Summer.
He said: “We’ve been touring a few weeks now - we started in Istanbul - and we’re having a really great time. I should let everyone know I’ve got a new live band as well, playing all the new songs from the new record. And we’re mixing it up with fan favourites, that we’ve been playing for over 25-years.
“So the set list is pretty crazy. It’s a very high energy show. I guess a bit more rocking than what we’ve had in decades. I’ve got Marco Minnemann on drums, Bryan Beller on bass guitar. Those two guys are from the band, The Aristocrats, with British guitarist Guthrie Govan. And I’ve got Mike Keneally also playing guitars and keyboards. He’s a monster so it’;s a lot of fun, a lot of good improvising but I think now we’ve been out for a few weeks we’re really nailing the new material really well. It’s been very exciting.”
Fans will be treated to most of the new album, he promised.
“Unstoppable Momentum is the title track that came to my head as I was contemplating the fact that since I’ve been about nine-years-old I’ve been obsessed about music and it’s not waning. If anything it’s been growing with the years. I seem to be busier and busier - and my enthusiasm or trying new things and playing live in front of audiences around the world...it just seems that enthusiasm is growing all the time.
“I felt I needed a soundtrack for it so I sat down and this riff came out. It seemed to perfectly capture that feeling that I get when I’m excited about music.
“There are 11 tracks on the record and we’re playing 10 at the moment. We’ve been shifting things around depending on our mood every night. But it’s a pretty long set list. We play for a little over two hours, so there’s a lot of music there.”
Joe, who started out on the drums, was inspired to play guitar at age 14, after hearing of the death of Jimi Hendrix. He wanted to be a guitarist in a rock band, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath of The Rolling Stones. But he soon found there was a bigger public appetite to listen to his solo rock guitar instrumentals. The rest is history.
“Once I put out Not Of This Earth, then Surfing, all my focus changed from being a musician that was trying to cater to the public and I kind of switched it, to cater to myself...and that’s when success came,’’ he said.
Tickets are from £33, may be subject to a booking fee. Buy in person, call 0114 2789789 or online, at www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.