The Voice, Perth community newspaper
- Some virtuoso musicians have so much technical ability they can lose the
audience in a flurry of notes, but you and Joe Satriani consistently
beguile and captivate your audience. What’s the secret? Is melody king?
S- Thanks, not entirely sure what the “secret” is but the things that both Joe and I share are our deep passion for the guitar and the music that we hear in our heads. We are also very confident in what we do and never did it with fame or money as the driving factor. I know that sounds cliché but I believe it to be true as far as I can tell by searching myself.
- Jimmy Page’s solo from Heartbreaker allegedly inspired you to pick up
the axe. Would you like to do a collaboration with him? Have you ever
jammed or met with him? It would be an amazing project.
S- I always wanted to play the guitar since I was 5 years old but when I 12 I heard that solo and that’s when my desire to play becamse stronger than my insecurities.
Of course I would very much like to jam or do some kind of thing with Jimmy Page someday if the opportunity ever arose, but then again, so would millions of other people.
When I was younger I often imagined what it would be like to just sit one on one with him and just play together anything that came out of our minds and fingers.
I did meet him on several occasions and he was always the kind of person that I had hoped he would be. Kind, loose, funny and understanding of my stunned amazement.
- You played with Frank Zappa in your early 20s. What’s your abiding
memory from playing with him and his band?
S- Always do what your inspiration guides you to do without making any excuses or expecting someone to do it for you.
- Fans still drool over your guitar duel at the end of Crossroads – it has
become iconic. Was it fun to do?
S- Yes, working with Ry Cooder was a life experience. He is tremendously creative and focuses. He moves quick, knows what he wants and it was so great to work with him.
The acting part was OK too but it involved a lot of waiting around in-between very short takes. You just get going and the director yells cut.
I have always enjoyed great actors but when I’m doing it myself I feel odd because it’s fake. I feel weird acting. I much prefer the stage. It’s real and nobody is yelling cut.
- What kind of music and setlist can audiences expect on your Australian
S- It’s a diverse dynamic show. I put the type of show together that I would like to see. First and foremost I want to be the best entertainer I can be because people are spending money and taking their time to come to a show so I want to give them the best thing I can. That involves presenting something that has a great degree of musicianship, unexpected moments, everything from intense and dense walls of sound to very intimate and delicate moments, we do an acoustic set and a very engaging section of the show where I invite some people on the stage to help build a song with us.
I like to reach out to people and put the melodies right into their souls. It’s not about just wailing on the guitar for 2.5 hours, although I do some of that for sure.
When people leave I want them to feel as though they are walking about 4 inches off the ground and that they saw something that they feel was unique that they will remember as a fulfilling experience and one that made them feel good.
I feel that’s my job as an artist and also my responsibility.