- Vital Stats:
- Web Site Nickname: Joe Satriani
- Birthday: July 15th
- Nicknames: Satch
Since his guitar skills often sound like they come from
another planet, its no wonder that Joe Satriani seems the
ideal person to ponder Is There Love in Space? Joining such
Satriani classics as Not of This Earth and Surfing With the
Alien, his latest Epic Records endeavor further explores
his extra-terrestrial mastery of the instrument - albeit
while working in a more comfortably grounded environment.
"People have heard my bluesy side, my metal side and my
techno side," he says. "I guess this is my ROCKIN' side."
The 11 diverse cuts on Is There Love in Space? range from
the pulsating, brash opener "GNAAHH," to the drop-tuned
menace of "Hands in the Air" to the poignant ballad "Just
Look Up." Yet all the tracks are unified by Satriani's love
of old-school hard rock.
"I've taken a lot of my cues recently from live performance
more than anything else," he says of solo tours and those
shared with fellow virtuosos in the evolving project G3.
"Standing on stage has made me feel freer to explore some
places I've been before and to look for some avenues I
One of those avenues that is rather novel to Satriani is
vocal duties. Is There Love in Space? includes two compositions
that feature the instrumentalist taking command of the mic.
"I usually try to find a character to sing through as a
method of creating a vibe on the song," he explains.
Over the hammering riff of "Lifestyle," Satriani summons
the same style he adopted when covering Neil Young during
the G3 tour. While on the swamp-rocker "I Like the Rain,"
he dons a ZZ Top hat "like a junior Billy Gibbons."
"My fans know I'm just using the vocals as an effect to
create an interesting song," he says. "Just like if I'm
playing slide guitar, they know I'm not a dedicated slide
player. I'm not going to make it part of my signature. What
we arrive at is somewhat cathartic for someone who doesn't
"I Like the Rain" also features the album's most eccentric
moment, when the engine revving of a Harley Davidson becomes
an integral part of the song. ("It's a little synchronicity
combined with serendipity," Satriani says of the circumstances
that spawned the recording.) Apparently, while waiting for
a guitar tech to return to the studio with a piece of gear,
the band could hear his motorcycle's rumble signaling the
arrival. The crew ran some cables out the control room doors
and into the street to pop the sound onto tape.
"It was perfect because it went with the attitude of the
vocals," Satriani says.
Another notable guest appearance involves the musician's
young son, who turns up on the moody - and downright spacy
- closer "Bamboo."
"I coaxed him into lying on the floor with an electric bass
and playing a couple notes with his violin bow," he remembers.
"It turned out to be great. It was the first thing that we
had really done together that I knew would wind up on a
record, so it was exciting for me. Obviously, he couldn't
Is There Love in Space? is produced by Satriani, recorded
by longtime collaborator John Cuniberti and mixed by Mike
Fraser. The album features the performer's core trio of
Matt Bissonette on bass and Jeff Campitelli behind the
With this release, the New York native now boasts 11 solo
albums to his credit - and a staggering 13 Grammy nominations
to go along with them.
His records have sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In
fact, his sophomore effort Surfing With the Alien became
the first instrumental guitar album to crack the Top 40
charts. While also scoring on sales for his latest DVD
releases with Live in San Francisco hitting the gold mark
and the first G3 Live in Concert DVD going platinum.
In addition to his own material, Satriani has recorded and
toured with such artists as Mick Jagger, Deep Purple, Alice
Cooper and even Spinal Tap. While even before his 1986 debut
Not of This Earth, Satriani had become something of a cult
legend as the guitar teacher to such future stars as Steve
Vai, Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Counting Crows' David Bryson
and jazz artist Charlie Hunter.
Satriani has also become a hometown hero in the Bay Area
where he resides, which has led to his being recruited to
render the national anthem before San Francisco 49ers and
Giants games, as well as for across-the-bridge neighbors
the Oakland A's.
It's no wonder he is listed at No. 8 in Guitar Player
Magazine's "Top 50 Greatest Guitarists Poll."
"My ultimate goal is to continue playing forever," Satriani
says. "I hope to never be tired of it and to always be
searching to express the life I lead by taking those
experiences and turning them into music. Hopefully, the
guitar will be my ongoing instrument of expression."
©2004 Sony/Epic Records