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G3 '03: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen

Feb 23 '03 MSN Chat Transcript

Dish Diva says: Welcome to MSN Live. This afternoon we are pleased to welcome G3-Guitarists Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. This afternoon we'll be talking to them about their latest DVD "G3: Live in Denver" and their latest CD "Rockin' in the Free World."

Dish Diva says: Guys, welcome to MSN! It's great to have you here!

G3 says: It's time to rock!

Dish Diva says: There are so many audience members here from around the world so let's get started!

Dish Diva says: Rock on!

VRockG3 in Onstage_1 asks: Mr. Vai, I love your music and I want to play like you in the future (I don't know if I can.) Do you have any hints that you can tell me to play like you?

Steve Vai says: First, you should strive to play better than me. (laughs) We're just trying to set good examples. You could practice until you're blue in the face. (laughs) Try to discover in yourself that what you do on the instrument that is unique to yourself and not like anyone else. Then work to cultivate them into your own style and of course, love music.

Ibanick_nikos1 in Onstage_1 asks: Joe Hi, it's THE Nikos, Athens Greece, would love to see you again. Coming anywhere near us?

Joe Satriani says: Hi, Nikos, how ya doin? I think we won't make it too close, but maybe one country away so you may have to jump on a boat.

Ya-Yo-Gak in Onstage_1 asks: Steve, are you a big "Halo" (the video game) fan? Considering youÕre making music for "Halo 2". - David, Texas

Steve Vai says: I thought I was half way decent at video games until I played against my son who kicks my lilywhite little ass. I didn't know "Halo" before I performed on it, but I certainly know now.

G3_Live says: I've been around the world and my kids are like, "Yeah, yeah whatever." But now that IÕve played on the "Halo" soundtrack theyÕre like, "What?!!" Now they think I'm cool.

Joe Satriani says: We think you're cool now too. We were on the fence before. (laughs)

mpg555 in Onstage_1 asks: This one is for Yngwie. Are you looking forward to the tour with George Lynch? That's a lot of fire power in one room!

Yngwie Malmsteen says: George is great. We'll have a good tour for sure. Since I'm not used to going out with other guitar players this G3 was a new and great experience. It taught me a lot of new things.

G3_Live says: This tour I'm doing now I'm headlining for my "Attack" album. George will go on before me and we've talked about it and it will be cool. A lot of guitars. (laughs)

EstimatedCobra99 in Onstage_1 asks: Joe, do you have a time frame that you will start your U.S. tour? Thank you Steve St.Petersburg Fl.

Joe Satriani says: Well there's a possibility it will start in August but if it doesn't it will start in October.

Ijustdontknowwhattodo1 in Onstage_1 asks: Hey Steve and Joe, someone said that they saw you backstage and said that you guys are in awe of MalmsteenÕs abilities. Is that true?

Joe Satriani says: Yes.

Steve Vai says: (laughs) Inequitably yes. His ability to yield that instrument is freakish. And I mean that positive.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: Thank you, brother.

ImprovedAxlrose in Onstage_1 asks: Joe, how did you learn Guitar theory? Any suggestions on a young guitarist trying to learn theory and do you like Guns N' Roses?

Joe Satriani says: Everybody likes Guns and Roses. I learned from Bill Westcott, my high school music teacher. He was inspired and genius like and somehow got through to me, a teenager that played Black Sabbath and Hendrix. He was able to teach me music theory that related to my band. I hope you can find something at your school or on the net on beginning theory.

GodGunsGuitarsG3 in Onstage_1 asks: Joe, Steve, Yngwie: What are the reasons you use Marshall amps live?

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I've been using it since I was in my mother's womb and I've been seriously disturbed since then. (laughs) When people ask me why I play loud, how my ears are. . . My answer is "What?" (laughs) All my heroes played Fender Strats. So that's what I started to use and now it's part of my own thing. I'd rather pay for a Marshall than get another amp free. Jim Marshall is a force to be reckoned with. I used the old ones. They have been sticking with me for so long. They are really simple.

Joe Satriani says: I'll be releasing "Is There Love in Space?" on April 13th.

KostasDel in Onstage_1 asks: Are there plans for a new studio album in 2004 for any of the three of you?

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I'm in the studio right now and just finished my 42nd track. Maybe that's why I'm sick.  (laughs) Well I've always been sick. (note: Yngwie has a cold)

Steve Vai says: I've been working on a project in Holland in May. The minute I finish here I will start working on my next album that will come out in September. The working title is "Real Illusions" . . . in space. (laughs)

jaredpresley in Onstage_1 asks: Why did you tape the show in Denver?

Yngwie Malmsteen says: Mine is "More is More." (Laughs)

Joe Satriani says: When trying to pick a place to record we had to think about the size of the venue for the cameras, the shape, the backstage, outside for the truck, a union or non-union hall and we had to find a place that we could use the following night. We had to try not to find a place at the beginning of the tour when we didn't know what we were doing or at the end when we were tired so we picked in the middle.

next_big_rock_star in Onstage_1 asks: Satriani, can you explain in your own words more about your "pitch axis theory" and thanks soo much for everything -alex j.

Joe Satriani says: Alex, pitch axis is key signatures evolving around one tonal center. In case that's too technical it can be expressed as different scales played off one bass note. They both share the same primary note.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: There are relative scales and relative keys. They start on the same note but have a different root, so to harmonize you can look at it like that.

MarimariSRV in Onstage_1 asks: I know you all are often asked about the titles of the songs. Do they reveal themselves to you as the song develops or do you start with the idea 1st?

Joe Satriani says: That would be a little of both for me.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: For me I can be on a plane, reading, or watching TV and I write things that I think are cool. Then I pick a theme that is fit for music. I can't say anything comes first, whatever feels right.

Steve Vai says: Similar to the other guys. I was brushing my teeth the other day and I was listening to what it sounded like in my head and if you listen to things in that way. You have the volume of your mouth (making brushing sounds) and I thought I'd transcribe those sounds. Then I heard all these other things going on like the faucet dripping. In my head I hear the outcome but I wouldn't call the song "Brushing Your Teeth." Maybe "The God Eaters." You can apply the title after the song.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: That sounds crazy to me, but I love you, Steve.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I have a story. I was listening back to a song with the drummer in the studio and I had my cell phone on one of the hard drives and then it just jumped in the air and the hard drive fell on my cell phone. Things were moving in there. It was haunted.

Steve Vai says: How loud were you listening to it? (laughs)

Yngwie Malmsteen says: Not loud. It was haunted. So that song that we were listening to is now called "Ghost in the Machine" now. So either it was haunted or I'm stupid. (laughs)

IncapableStratMan in Onstage_1 asks: Guys, what's the best way to work on melodic PHRASING? How can we avoid playing predictably and play very rhythmically precise intricate patterns like you do?

Yngwie Malmsteen says: People lose sight of what they are doing because they think everything can be taught. I can only speak for myself because I've never had a lesson. If it sounded good it was good if it didn't it wasn't. There's not always a theory that will fix everything.

Steve Vai says: Try to listen to melodies in your head rather than what is on paper.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: You don't always have to feel it. You have to hear it.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I think that's the point people miss. You have to listen to what you do and you have to work at it.

katkoolatta in Onstage_1 asks: Yngwie, what's your most favorite scale to use? Katkolatta,Milford,CT

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I guess my signature sound is the harmonic minor. I apply that a lot and I do pedal notes and linear scales. I tend not to stay in pentatonic mode. I don't avoid it on purpose. I just fly around on arpeggios notes and pedal notes (singing). That's what I do most.

frantic_11 in Onstage_1 asks: Steve, on average how long did you practice in your teens? Gary from Toronto

Steve Vai says: It varied. I enjoyed a social life with my friends but I had a schedule that was no less than 9 hours a day and tried to stick to it. I was anal. It helped me stay on target.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: That's why you're good. There's no shortcut.

Steve Vai says: I've always had to work hard and I always felt that if someone with talent put the time in that I did would be so great. It's true. I can't play another instrument but it was never a discipline or a chore. When I wasn't playing I was in pain. Everything revolved around playing. It was something that I could relate to and you know when you're a teen you go through some heavy stuff, or you can, a lot of them do. When you have an instrument you can pour your thoughts into, the instrument doesn't segregate you. It gives back what you put in it.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: You get out of it what you put into it. It will always give it back lovingly. Just like you Steve I sacrificed everything. I was the most anti-social person in Sweden. I didn't care about anything, just playing guitar.

Steve Vai says: When you're obsessed with something you don't miss what's going on around you.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I didn't feel I missed anything.

Steve Vai says: When you're absorbed, there's nothing to miss.

pinoguy4321 in Onstage_1 asks: Joe,  did you start off with just "open garage concerts"? How did you become known?

Joe Satriani says: That sounds like a good idea. I started in high school in the gym where they had "Battle of the Bands" with neighboring high schools.

Steve Vai says: It's as simple as this: he made a couple incredible records.

Joe Satriani says: It's a combination of hard work, and something else that doesn't get revealed to us when we're alive.

ShredfromVenezuela in Onstage_1 asks: Regarding guitar lessons: do you think that this is a key step towards becoming a great shredder and/or virtuoso?

Steve Vai says: I've always been an advocate of education but when it comes to playing an instrument there's no right or wrong way. If you feel compelled to try different formats then do that, but if you don't then don't. To be either a shredder or virtuoso you have to practice a lot and perfectly.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I'd like to differenciate. Virtuoso doesn't mean you play fast. You have perfect phrasing, technique, perfect emotion to play fast. Shredder is just to play fast. When asked how to make it in the business I ask, "Do you want to be good or do you want to be famous?" You can play well and not always be famous, or you can be famous and not be able to play at all. Which one do you want?

Joe Satriani says: When you make mistakes you have to listen to see if it's better than what you've been slaving away on. Students can get into a rut, and it's bad for morale to play the same old stuff. Very often doing something different, even for a goof can be what the doctor ordered. I take a little from every method to see what works for me.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: I don't have a formula, just what worked for me. I never practiced, I always just played. Never played the same thing over and over. I started playing 33 years ago and never done it. Either it's good or bad, that's it. That's the only way it works for me. I'm not disciplined. I know some cats that played orchestra and they would play scales for hours and they weren't all good.

Floyd_Gilmour in Onstage_1 asks: What is, for you, the most enjoyable part of being on stage?

Steve Vai says: Being a psychological extrovert, putting something out there that people enjoy and invite them into that intimate realm of music sharing. Then to imagine that they are there and it's real. It's quite an honor and a thrill and I don't take that for granted.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: There's nothing that compares to it. Some people are misguided. It could be 35 people at a clinic or 10,000 people. The energy and the give and take, it's hard to describe. It's an unbelievable feeling to have people get their ass in their carsi and pay money to see what you're doing. It doesn't matter how many.

Joe Satriani says: It's just the experience of writing music and playing it and being in front of people. It's the full on experience of being alive and the more we get to travel around the better it gets.

Dish Diva says: Guys, from all of us here on MSN Live--thanks for joining us on MSN Live this afternoon. There were so many questions from all around the planet. Incredible.

Yngwie Malmsteen says: It's all that we get back, it's beautiful.

JuneBugHunter in Onstage_1 asks: Are there any special features on the DVD to look forward to aside from seeing a great show?

Joe Satriani says: I think what we did on this one. We allocated all the memory to the sound of the recording and the quantity of music on there. Rather than having less music and more backstage we decided to keep that at a minimum and provide the entire show. It took some doing because fans will remember the last DVD had more music and this one has twice as much music. So it's longer, louder, better, and more.

Dish Diva says: Thanks to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen for joining us today on MSN Live. Pick up their latest DVD "G3: Live in Denver" and their latest CD "Rockin' in the Free World."