Joe Satriani: "This Is Just Pure Music, and I Love It"

Joe Satriani credit-david-burke.jpg
David Burke
Over nearly 30 years as a solo artist, Joe Satriani has fused rock with blues, funk and world music among other styles (remember his 2000 electronica-meets-rock release, Engines of Creation?), all in an effort to do something new with each successive album. Given the sort of influences he had growing up, this should comes as no surprise.

"I grew up listening to early rock 'n' roll, Motown, British Invasion, funk and soul music," Satriani says. "And my parents were Jazz Age music listeners, so I also grew up listening to Miles Davis, swing music, Sinatra and Coltrane. It was a very eclectic upbringing."

Satriani continued to keep his interests broad during high school. While he took theory and advanced music courses from a former concert pianist, and learned about everything from Gregorian chant to sight reading, Satriani could not shake the rock 'n' roll bug.

"At the same time, of course, I was playing Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Stone, The Doors," Satriani says. "That's what my high school band was always playing, and I was always in a band from age 14 until I left high school. I was always playing in rock bands. So there was this double education going on."

With 14 studio albums to his credit, including this year's Unstoppable Momentum, Satriani's work continues to intrigue outsiders in part because he rarely sings on his albums. In his mind, it almost makes more sense not to.

"I suppose it's because I grew up listening to so much instrumental music," he explains. "There was a lot of classical as well as jazz music in my house, so it never seemed to me that you needed to have lyrics. The music that was played in the house made me feel like instrumental music was just as powerful."

And some of his early and current favorites are not necessarily what you might expect from rock 'n' roll royalty.

"When I listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, I don't say, 'Hey man, where's the singing?'" Satriani laughs.


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93 comments
François Saja
François Saja

i saw him at paris two years ago.just beautifull...

Shane R Scott
Shane R Scott

Joe Satriani. Who else compares? I cannot think of one. I'm a fan since 1987, and I've been surprised and delighted when I get each new release. Always new musical directions. Every release has gems. My favorite though always will be Flying in a Blue Dream, the song. (old one, I know, I know.) He manages to say more with single notes than some of the 80s generation of shredders, Tony Macalpine et al, could say in a flurry of notes. My wife and I saw Joe the last time he came to Calgary. We'll be there next time too. Thanks for the music, Joe.

Benjamin Wright
Benjamin Wright

You know, it is weird because I would describe Joe as a very "pure" guitarist. You could describe him as a minimalist composer, yet he is complex at times. Joe is the best!

Bruno Duchemann
Bruno Duchemann

just listen to your sound n feel this good flow... what else Lol

I like Joe
I like Joe

like us too please.. www.facebook.com/ilikejoeandstuff

Darcey Houle
Darcey Houle

Can't wait to see you in Edmonton!! SATCH BOOGIE BABY!!

Heat Man
Heat Man

we want to hear some woodstock songs played by you

Stair ClimbLunatic
Stair ClimbLunatic

**"When I listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, I don't say, 'Hey man, where's the singing?'" Satriani laughs. ** Well said Joe Satriani!!!

Jože Horvat
Jože Horvat

Všeč mi je, ker sodi med najboljše kitariste na svetu!

Kathy Wray
Kathy Wray

He grew up listening to the same things I did. I also like albums with no vocals ; they are restful.

Stephen Crome
Stephen Crome

The show at the Orpheum Theater on Sat. was amazing!

Maria Cristina Lauridsen
Maria Cristina Lauridsen

My love darling Joe I sent you my swetiest thoughts on you my love and to your brods bandmates and all Have a great day my darling and enjoy very well Cheers ! Yours forever music friend very sweet caresses sweetheart Joe we love very happy greetz babe girl Maria

Elis Soebroto
Elis Soebroto

I love pure music too,, Mr Satriani... Ruk n rull & dangdut

Bel Rodriguez
Bel Rodriguez

The best music is the best, thanks. By making this heavenly music for the soul

Bob Fielder
Bob Fielder

..THANKS for another great show tonight guys! That drum solo was really kick-ass!Joe wasn't too bad either. Don't stay away for so long; look forward to next time. HAPPY TRAILS!

Melody Nani Diessner
Melody Nani Diessner

Joe what you said about growing up with many kinds of music, was my background also....a very beneficial background to grow from.

Frederick Stanziale
Frederick Stanziale

Joe you've always been great. I ran into you back in Ct. In the late 80'S. keep it up ill keep listening. FS.

Enzo Vita
Enzo Vita

grazie Joe per tutto quello che ci regali

Ty Leigh
Ty Leigh

epic show at Talking Stick thank you very very much

Betty Nemet
Betty Nemet

Great interview,just finished listenig to "The Essential Joe Satriani. Like very much :)

James Barrett
James Barrett

Love me some Satch music, but what a left wing ragsheet of a newspaper this article is in. Couldn't stomach their website.

Kathleen Mikos Bickert
Kathleen Mikos Bickert

Awesome show at Talking Stick Casino AZ last night "AMAZING" thank you!!!! Cant wait to see you again just an amazing Performance.

Maria Cristina Lauridsen
Maria Cristina Lauridsen

My darling love Joe very early am hour w are awake already me and baby cat i think of you i love you sweetheart maybe you are onstage while writing i listen and also i listen your tunes again i love you with all my very heart we cheers very with sound Have a great fun my very loveable friend beloved you are very tight hugs i love you great am very yours music friend babe girl Maria cute

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