Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - 19

and another G3 tour is in the works featuring Def Leppard's Phil
Collen.
How did you find time to write songs for a new album?

I wake up slightly nervous every day when I'm going to write
a song; that's where the energy usually comes from. I'm sitting
with an instrument, thinking, 'What do I feel strongly about, and
what would it sound like if I had to communicate it to
somebody through music?'
Did you change anything in your approach to
making the album?

I wanted to use fewer moving parts, and arrangements focused on the energy between Chad, Glenn, and me,
and our performance in the studio, rather than getting super
clever with production. That helped me focus on the writing.
Halfway through my last tour were two Chickenfoot gigs (with
Sammy Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony, and Smith on drums),
and I was reminded of what a crazy and fun band that is. I kept
thinking, "Wow, that's what happens when a drummer and guitarist
are looking at each other, trying to figure out where everybody's
going." It makes a great show and there's so much that gets created.
It popped into my head that it could be a foundation, and Glenn's
name came up right away because he's such a great rock-soul singer.
And his playing is like his voice - there's no separation between
the singer, the performer, and the bass player. He's just so musical.
Once I happened on that, I sent a message to Chad: "You, me, and
Glenn. All I need is 10 days in the studio." Glenn thought it was
the craziest thing ever because no one had ever asked him to play
bass on a record and not sing.
People forget what a great bass player he is.

Exactly. In every take there was so much wonderful stuff - even
the scat singing. I got some of those scat melodies down because I
reminded him that he was singing between my guitar notes. I asked
him to play it and of course he could play it on bass right away.
What sort of gear did you use on this record?

Part of the charm was to say, "I'm going to play what's making me
expressive and hand over the really hard work to [producer] Mike
Fraser." I wanted to use guitars that were friendly to my hands. We
had 15 Marshall heads - some vintage, some brand new like my
signature heads. We had some new heads like my Mezzabarba and
a couple of my old Fenders. I think I used five guitars and maybe
10 amps, tops. One thing that makes a session drag on is when
you're searching and searching for a sound, then before you know
it, you've lost the idea or your enthusiasm.
You're in the prototype stage on a couple new Ibanez guitars,
right?

Yes. One is an alder body we'll finish in a new Muscle Car Red.
It also has a new Satriani pickup from DiMarzio and comes stock
with a Sustainiac in the neck position. I wound up using my orange
and purple versions of the same guitar. Also, my black 2014 guitar
outfitted with the same pickups.
Phil Collen is going to be part of the next G3 Tour.

Phil is a real virtuoso player and most people are unaware of the
depth of his ability. He's an exciting performer. To do what he does
takes a high degree of musicianship and a love of professionalism.
G3 is a tour, so we have to show up every night and give 100 percent.
You can't have people who don't embrace that. What I didn't know
was that he was going to play faster than me (laughs). People will
be pleasantly surprised. They'll be overwhelmed with how good
he is, and he's a great singer, as well. It's going to make the whole
evening very special. - Oscar Jordan

March 2018

19

VINTAGE GUITAR


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - IFC
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