's new album, Silence Before A Deafening Roar
, is bursting at the seams with sweeps and astonishing legato lines, alternate string jumping and massive and turbulent rhythm chops. It would be hard to find any other single collection of guitar instrumental tracks performed so flawlessly and with such mind numbing technique.
But the element that really makes this record work, and the piece that sets Mr. Gilbert
apart from just about everyone else, is something he calls humanity. That's a perfect word for it; another one might be personality or heart. The 42-year old musician from Chicago has the ability to play as fast and as clean any other set of 10 fingers in the world. It's the heart that he brings to the performance, a sense of, I don't want you to be astonished; I just want you to dig the groove.
He's a simple guy with a sense of humor and all of that comes pouring from every note he picks. He laughs at the idea of sweep picking. To Gilbert
, it's a funny technique, it's a funny thing to be famous for. And in the following conversation, he talks all about that and a lot more. And if you're not laughing by the time you finish this, you're just not listening close enough.
UG: Paul, you've obviously been in the middle of this guitar thing for all these years. Can you look at the way guitar has changed? Are guitar players better today than they were, say, 10 years ago?
There are two ways to look at it. One is the guitar players who are who you hear when you turn on the radio. And the others are the ones that you run into when you try to form a band or when you're giving lessons, people who you run into in the local scene. And I say, because I do a fair amount of teaching, I'm really, truly fortunate enough to be able to stay a little bit connected to what the newer guitar players are doing. And I really think there's a huge improvement. There's so much available now with the Internet and DVDs and just the fact that rock and pop music is an older, more experienced art. When I was a kid, you know there was sort of the 60s and 50s to pull from and that was about it. And now there's so many more generations of music to be influenced by and sort of get inspiration from. In general the students that I jam with, usually I do private lessons so that way I can hear the student. I prefer that a lot more than doing a clinic where I'm just the only one performing. But if I can hear people, it's a lot more enjoyable for me. And from hearing people, they're great! It's really a nice surprise to hear so many good guitar players when I go down to Musician's Institute.
And what about in terms of character and personality? You said the technique is improved and the overall musicianship level has been raised. But what about in terms of identifying some new kid who is gonna come out of GIT and be the next Paul Gilbert or Steve Vai or Jeff Beck or Brian May? Can you see personalities developing?
I think that's the kind of thing you need in order to project yourself to that kind of level. In a way that's hard to project in a one-on-one room where you're just talking about scales. And I think if you took some of the best, most renowned guitar players in the world and set them down in a little room and say, Okay, let's go over C major the magic would might disappear and so that what I'm doing in a one-on-one lesson is valuable tools to play guitar. But I think the ingredient you need to make it happen on a stage or in a recording studio is a lot more obvious on stage or in a recording studio.
So, you think it's something separate that needs to be learned in creating a guitarist's personality?
Especially in the old days 'cause there were no Protools or no easy way to record with multi track, your only option to be a musician and make music was to have a band and growing up in the '70s as a teenager that's all I wanted to do. It was a constant hunt to try to find a good drummer and then from there to try to find a bass player and singer.
And these days you can go to Guitar Center and pop down a couple hundred bucks and get a decent multi-track work station and you can make a pretty good sounding record at home. Which is great but if there's anything missing it's that people miss out on that process of doing a lot of live playing, whether it be in a rehearsal studio or really live.
So, if you had never had those sorts of band/live experiences with Racer X and Mr. Big, you might have been a completely different type of player?
Well, even before that I was in about seven copy bands when I was a teenager. And that's really where my technique came from was not so much playing in the bedroom, although I did as much as I could. The playing I did in the bedroom was always focused on you know, I'm gonna rehearse with the band tomorrow and I got to be prepared with this song. Or Yesterday I rehearsed and I couldn't play the solo right so I want to work on it in my bedroom so when I go to the rehearsal tomorrow I'll get it right. And we'd rehearse five days a week and it was just because we loved to. And it was my teenage passion.
You kinda have a tongue and cheek approach or at least it feels like that to the things you do. It seems that you don't take yourself as seriously as a lot of players tend to do. Was this something that you developed early on?
I think it was. I can't help it but be aware that my job is being a loud rock 'n' roll or heavy metal guitar player. And I'm very happy that's my job but it's an unusual job and there's so much Spinal Tap in every day of my live that you really have to take yourself seriously to not notice that. And I just feel no shame about it and probably to my detriment, I can't help but tell the truth about what my unusual job really entails.
I remember growing up in the '80s and that was a really silly time. You know, just everybody had this giant hair and songs about dragons and that sort of thing. And again, I loved the music but I thought so much of the posturing and singing about dragons was kinda silly. And sort of that's where it started.
It was very recently I ran into this thing where I was working with a friend of mine to make this tablature for this new instructional DVD that I just finished up. And we were working on some of the techniques and one of the things I actually did was sweep-picking in one of the songs. And I wanted to put a small note that the sweep-picking was ironic and then I realized that I composed these sweep-picking things ironically because to me sweep-picking is just sort of silly sounding technique but you know what? When I perform it, I really perform it sincerely. When it comes down to the music and laying it down, performing it in the studio or live, I am dead serious about playing it well and playing it emotionally and trying to make it sound good. But sometimes when I'm putting it together I think, This is ridiculous; my job is to sit here and do this bloo-loo-loo-loo, bloo-loo-loo-loo (imitates a sweeping lick), do this silly sounding sweep-picking thing. So, I ended up putting nothing but I thought if I did have to put a note it would be Composed ironically, performed sincerely.
In the new issue of Guitar World, The Fifty Fastest Guitarists of All Time, you are actually mentioned in the intro: Les Paul to Paul Gilbert, etc. etc. And they pull out Scarified and they mention that Paul Gilbert is a reluctant guitar hero. Is playing on that song representative of what you do and who you are? Are you proud to be associated with these other players like Yngwie, DiMeola, and Dimebag?
|"For me, it's a heroic effort of trying to do this new art form - an instrumental guitar music record."|
Well, of course. I mean, again I can't help myself. I always step back from my daily work and music and realize that I can be easily working at Burger King. And so for me just being in the business at all is stunning good luck and certainly to be mentioned with other great players is a huge honor.
But, as far as Scarified, it's funny 'cause the original studio recording was really all right but I was kinda unsatisfied with it 'cause I didn't think it was clean enough. I listened to a lot of Yngwie at that time and to me Yngwie was just the king of really, really spot-on, accurate playing. And I thought Scarified came out a little bit sloppier then what my standard was. So whenever I listen to it, it's got a good vibe and it rocks, but I wished I'd had time to hook up more takes and clean it up a little bit.
Is that how you approached the new album, Silence Followed By a Deafening Roar? Did you think, I have to have my technique at 100 per cent - I better practice.
Well the first thing is kinda fear and terror, because when you're doing a studio record, at least when I do, it comes after you've done your last record and you've toured on it. And for me, it's a heroic effort of trying to do this new art form - an instrumental guitar music record - and doing it quickly and then going out on the road and being able to deliver the songs live. And then we did a long tour and at the end of the long tour, we've really reached a high point of technique and really knowing the songs and it's a physical state that is really different then sitting around strumming Beatle songs. So as I finished doing that, I got home, had a couple of months where I get booted out of where I was renting and had to find a new place to live. And move the studio and dealt with bad plumbing for two months and then suddenly I had to become a guitar player again. And I pick it up and I listen to the Get Out Of My Yard solo from my last record and think, I have to compete with this?
I sort of remembered what the tour was like and I've got to raise myself to that standard again. That style of guitar is sort of like being an Olympic athlete; you have to train for it. So the first thing I did was I picked a Bach piano piece that I'd liked and the nice thing about Bach piano pieces is that you don't have to write them - the notes are already there. There's no compositional effort what so ever; it's a copy song. All I have to do is learn how to play it and that's a fairly uncreative job. The more time I put in it, the further along I get; it's very rewarding. Creative work, sometimes you put in time and then you get absolutely nothing out of it. So I just spend a few days working on the Bach piece and then I really feel I got something done, so that's sort of inspiring. And it gets the fingers moving. After that I can start writing, so Bach gives me a little bit of boost of confidence I need.
The title track is the first song on the CD - is that meant to tell the listener what to expect musically from the rest of the record?
I wish I could plan it out that much. I mean, the creative process for me tends to be, just throw out as many ideas as I can and from that point take a look at them and organize them in some kind of order that'll sense. And that one felt good as an opening track. The title was the first thing I wrote for it. The title frightened me as well because Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar obligates me to somehow create a deafening roar. Silence is easy enough to create - you just stop playing. And the deafening roar I ended up using a violin bow, ala Jimmy Page, and I liked that. I thought it was a provocative title, get people interested to hear what the deafening roar might be and it built nice from there. It was a nice tune.
Eudaimonia Overture was really interesting because at the very beginning of this pristine track, you hear that crackling white noise.
It's nice to have some humanity to it. If you go back to and listen to the Beatles' record or anything that was recorded when recording technology was limited enough where you couldn't edit that much, there's so much humanity in those recordings. And the ones that don't have a lot of humanity are amazing because the performers had to be so incredibly good that they still manage to make a slick recording without having the slick technology. And of course as you said, these days you can edit until everything is so clean that's it sounds like robots played it.
And because I have played guitar for such a long time and arguably have the ability to play things very cleanly and very precisely, the problem with that is you do start to sound like a robot. And if I can I want to add some noises and clicks and not mistakes but things that might happen only once because you're a human being playing a musical instrument.
I find that there really is a lot of humanity missing from guitar playing these days. A lot of this stuff could be played by robots.
It's funny the way the brain works because I was reading some book about how the brain works with music. And how, just because the equipment you've got as a brain ,you can't help but be nostalgic about what you grew up with. And I know I lost my objectivity long ago and I'm always be in love with the guitar players of the seventies because I grew up with them. As much as I'd love to be objective about the new stuff, I'm stuck thinking that Mick Ronson's guitar playing on She Shook Me Cold on The Man Who Sold The World record is the coolest way to play guitar. Just 'cause that's what I heard when I was six years old and that was the seed that was planted. Because I'm able to be aware of that hopefully it always me to put some effort to growing out of it and to add things to it. ButI can't help but embrace that time and the vibrato and styles that came from that time.
In Eudaimonia, there's some acoustic guitar in one of those sections there? You're not a stranger to acoustic guitar.
Yeah, I think I overdubbed some. Well, the acoustic to me is almost like electric but it's a little harder to play and I'm not a good acoustic player in the sense that I have techniques that are exclusively for acoustic. Basically I play electric style on acoustic and if there's anything good about that, it's that my electric style strong enough, physically to be able to play a single note Bach piano piece and have it come out. I can play hard enough to make that work. To me like a real acoustic player is somebody who can do finger style, use a lot of open strings, you know, really take advantage of what the instrument has to offer. And I don't do that; I wish I could but basically what I do is play as hard as I can and just try to make it loud. And the thing that's nice about acoustic is that it's not distorted; it has a nice clean, resonant tone to it that you probably wouldn't get from an electric.
What kind of acoustics do you use Paul?
I've got kind of a weird one I use a lot. Arnold M.J. Hennig, is this luthier somewhere in Michigan and he made a guitar and it ended up in Tokyo at this little store and I was walking by and saw it and went in and played it and it was one of the easiest to play and best sounding acoustics I'd ever picked up. So I bought that and used that for a lot of stuff. And I've also got an old, well essentially I bought it new but it's old now, aTaylor acoustic; its all koa and I bought that back in the early '90s and that's what I recorded the song To Be With You with and I still got that. And that's really good for just strumming chords.
While we're here, Paul, you will always be known for these stunning guitar techniques. But at the end of the day, will you be forever remembered as the guitarist in Mr. Big playing a love ballad called To Be With You?
It depends on who's doing the remembering. That song, To Be With You, is much more widely known outside of the world of guitar players. So, that brought a little bit of my guitar playing to a much, much wider audience than I would of ever reached otherwise. I think among guitar players, I'd be remembering for other things. So, I'd just have to stick it in those two categories.
I keep referencing back to Burger King, but when I was a student at Musician's Institute when I was 17, I was a student for a year and after that year I realized I really want to stay in Los Angeles. There's a music scene here and there wasn't where the small town where I grew up. And I thought I've got to stay here so I'm going to go down and I'm gonna apply for a job at the Burger King on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland. And I ended up not having to 'cause the day before I was gonna go, I got a call from Musicians Institute and they wanted me to teach. So I never really actually had to work at the Burger King, but that Burger King is still there and I still live about a mile from it. And so when I always contrast that to like thinking about how I will be remembered. And I think I'm just glad I haven't had to go down and apply for the Burger King job yet!
Your main guitar has always been the Ibanez, but just for curiosity's sake, would you pick up a Les Paul or Strat?
|"My job is being a loud rock 'n' roll or heavy metal guitar player."|
Well I definitely do guitar research. One of the new Ibanez's guitars that I've got, which I have dubbed an Ibanez Fireman is a reverse Iceman. And so, the Iceman is sort of one of their vintage designs and I'd took a picture of one and put it in PhotoShop and flipped it upside down. I love the name;actually a fan suggested the name to me because the opposite of ice is fire, but some other details were inspired from other guitars.
Recently I went to see one Frank Marino who's one of my huge guitar heroes from the seventies. And Frank was playing an SG with three single coils on it; it must be a custom guitar because I don't think an SG was ever made with three single-coil pickups. And it sounded great. Besides that he also had the bridge pickup angled like a Jimi Hendrix guitar, like an upside down Strat. Frank's right-handed but he had it angled backwards from the way a stock Strat would be. And on my Fireman I did the same thing with all three pick-ups,I did them sort of the backwards Hendrix angle. And it looks cool and sounds great. And for the neck, one of my other favorite guitar players from the seventies is Pat Travers; he was famous for playing the Gibson Melody Maker. So, as a tribute to him, I bought an old Melody Maker and checked out the neck and it's got this really thick, great sounding neck on it. So for an experiment, I had the Ibanez guys make a thicker neck for me similar to the Melody Maker and that is one of the best sounding guitars that I got because of that thick neck. So that guitar is sort of a conglomeration between a Paul Stanley Iceman, a Frank Marino custom SG, and a Pat Travers Melody Maker all in one.
So what are the main Ibanezes on the album?
I got two of those Fireman guitars; one has three single coils and one has two humbuckers and I use both of those a lot. I also have a new Ibanez PGM; it's basically the same as the PGM301, which anybody can buy. But, I'm always trying to look for new ways to tweak things to make them a little better or different. And this one has some small tweaks to it; the main one probably being that it uses an older style neck joint, which actually uses more wood. It makes it a little bit more difficult to reach the higher frets because there's more wood to get past with your hand. But the result is it sounds better. There's just more wood there and to me the guitars that I found that have bigger neck joints or more wood in that spot tend to just resonate better and have better sound.
Your ears are so finely tuned that you can play guitars with bigger neck joints and hear the difference coming out of the amp?
Well, you can hear it but even more you can feel it when you're the one playing it; you feel the vibration. I have so many Ibanez PGMs; in Japan I think they've release over ten different models over the years. I've got a lot of prototypes; I've got a lot of production models and I've played all of them over the years and I've just found the ones with the thick neck joints are the magic ones. I didn't even know why at first, I just found myself like, Ah, this one sounds really good in the studio. And I thought What is it about these particular ones? And one day I realized that those are the ones with a lot of wood.
Back in the day before the Ibanezes, what were you playing?
My first guitar was a Stella. I bought one on Ebay the other day for like fifty bucks, and because now I know about guitars, I could tell a lot more of what it was. It was a short scale; it was like a three quarter scale, I think. It just felt horrible; the fret on it were like sticking over the edge and I don't know what metal they used to make the frets out of but it was something that rusted instantly. But it was good enough to get me started.
My second guitar I had and my first electric was actually a Gibson Les Paul Custom. I got it really cheap used, and it was like three hundred bucks. I remember I saved up one- hundred fifty bucks from mowing the lawn and my parents kicked in the other half for Christmas and I played that for a few years.
And then I sort of found some cheap copies. I was in a band and my drummer had an old beat up Explorer copy and we put some parts on it, my dad and I, and fixed it up. You know, a lot of times people would just give me guitars 'cause they knew that my dad and I would fix them up, so the very first Epiphone I had was in my drummer's closet. All the parts were taken off, we just painted it pink and made it into something. And I played those in the early days of Racer X. It was like the Epiphone Olympic guitars. And my dad, he actually got a piece of maple and we made it into a flying V. When I was a teenage that was sort of a hot-rod, Frankenstein, you know, Van-Halen period. You know, when it was not cool to have a production guitar; you had to have something that was custom made and kind of junky so I had lots of that stuff.
Paul Gilbert and Mr. Gilbert building guitars like Brian May and his dad did.
Exactly, although Brian kept playing his where I finally found the Ibanez and then they made me the best stuff.
You're a Marshall user, right?
Yeah, when I was in the G3 tour last year, I was doing these jam sessions with Satriani and John Petrucci every night. And I just wanted to get a thicker, beefier tone so I bought a Marshall Vintage Modern Combo and tried that out. It was just great; it's sort of the perfect model for turning all the way up. 'Cause it's just 50 watts and it's got 2x12s so when you crank it up all the way it's about the same volume that you need to match a drum kit. And I love that. To me, having an amp that really hits its resonating frequency when you've got it all the way up is a lot more fun then an amp that you can barely get on two before the soundman starts yelling at you. The power tubes can really work on that amp. So yeah, I used that for the new record. Probably the only thing I had to do differently was because I'm in the studio at home now where I don't have any soundproofing, so I got a Randall isolation cabinet; it just has one 12 in it. And I used a THD Hot Plate and that way I can have the amp on 10 but turn it down a little bit with the Hot Plate and then keep the sound enclosed in the Randall iso cabinet. And I even put that in another room so I can still keep things really controlled in the control room and dial in the tone without having to fight the volume of the amp.
Bronx 1971 is tonally a little bluesier; the feel of the track is a little different. Where did that come from?
It came from two things: The first inspiration was I bought a Boss pedal called Bass Synth and of course it's for bass but it works for the lower strings of the guitar. And I plugged it in and messed around with it for a little bit andjust got this envelope filter sound and immediately started playing the riff. The sound inspired that riff.
The other thing is I really wanted to write a song in Bb just 'cause I hadn't before and Bb is a key that all guitar players are scared of. And I thought there must be something good about B flat and if you played a Bb blues scale, E is in that scale, it's a tritone. A tritone is a fun note to play with so I used a lot of that in that song where the very first note in that song is actually E; then it ascends up to the Bb. So it's just a way of exploring Bb and it was a lot of new territory. And I must admit over the past couple months whenever I have a spare moment I sit down with the guitar and just improvise in Bb because there's a lot of improvisation in that song. And I want to get to know the neck because most guitar players including me, when you first start to play in Bb, you're lost! I can play in sixth position but anywhere else, Where the hell am I? And that's been a really fun challenge and it's increased my vocabulary a lot sort of having to relearn the neck just playing in this weird key.
Suite Modale begins with this very ethereal sounding instrument.
|"I always step back from my daily work and music and realize that I can be easily working at Burger King."|
There's only two instruments in that song: There's acoustic piano and there's electric guitar. I used a Fernandez Sustainer. I used to use those back in the Mr. Big days a little bit. Actually the guitar I used is a Gilbert Les Paul. I can't remember, somebody called me up from a music store years ago and they said, We got this guitar in, it's a cheap Korean copy, we'll sell it to you for $99. But it's a Gilbert Les Paul, we thought you might want it. I went, Hell, yeah! I sent 'em the ninety-nine bucks, got it in the mail, and it needed a lot of work. I put new frets on it, put some DiMarzio pickups in it, and put a Fernandez Sustainer in it and it works great. But of course it's not an Ibanez so recently I had a Sustainer put on an Ibanez; that's what I've been using live. But that's really an interesting and fun song to play; it's so melodic and even though it has a Sustainer, it still requires a lot of technique not to get string noise and to make it really smooth like that recording. It's a classical piece and originally it was played with flutes and pianos. So I really tried to emulate a flute.
I Still Have That Other Girl is another sort of slow, bluesy piece.
Well, it's a Burt Bacharach song; it's from the record that Burt Bacharach did with Elvis Costello (Painted From Memory), which is one of my favorite pop albums of all time. Just every song on that record is amazing. And I loved the song but I was really frustrated with it 'cause I'd learned it on piano and I'd tried to sing it at home and I can't sing as high as Elvis Costello so I'd be just mad at myself for my genetic shortcomings. And finally I thought, Well, I love that song so much, maybe I can play it with guitar. And of course with guitar, the range limitations aren't an issue anymore. So, I raised it up from F all the way to A, so like it was higher. And it was really liberating to be able to not have the vocal range be an issue and play it easily; not have to strain for anything. My only worry was that I would be entering the territory of Kenny G, playing such a soft song and not having a vocal but playing an instrument instead. And so that was the one track that I did live in the studio, just to try to get as much teeth in it as possible. And I used a hollow body and stood right in front of the amp and actually it's a pretty clean sound. But I just used the pure loud volume of an amp cranked up all the way just to get the sustain and get some grind out of it.
I really have to apologize though, we just started rehearsing to play these songs live? And I realized that I told the bass player to play a wrong note. There's one wrong bass note in there and we didn't realize it until we got into rehearsal and then somehow when he was playing it in the studio I didn't catch it. And live I was like, Wait a minute, wait a minute, you're playing that note wrong, and he goes, No, you told me to play that. And then we got out the CD and sure enough that was the note that was on there. It was like, Oh, no! It's not bad but there's one, I think it's an F# or there's a D note but it should be an F# or an F, I can't remember. I know if Burt Bacharach hears it he's gonna cringe, They messed up my chords again. Sorry, Burt. Come see us live, we get it right live.
Were there nights on the G3 tour, for instance, when you could feel your playing rising to another level? When everything worked.
Oh, absolutely! There's a million factors in a performance. One of the main things is the acoustics of the room and that can have a huge influence on how you play. 'Cause you can't help but listen to the music while you're playing and if it's sounding great, that's very inspiring and if it sounds bad, it's sort of depressing. But mostly, during the G3 I was giddy with happiness. First of all 'cause I was back playing music in my home country and I've been almost exiled to Japan for the last 10, 15 years. Mr. Big did well in America for the first couple of years but then Nirvana and Pearl Jam came out and it felt like exile. You know, suddenly we were booted out of our own country because we weren't cool anymore which was really unfair because it took a long time to grow our hair, to have big hair like that. Some people naturally have big hair but to me it was years of effort. And just when I got it big, then it wasn't cool anymore. We weren't cool in the States anymore but we were still lucky enough to have this amazing career in Japan and then after that I kept, in the vein of the last scene of Spinal Tap, I kept it going in Japan for my solo career. But I'd really given up on the States. I just thought, I'll have this career in Japan; that'll be my fate which really isn't too bad. But I had sort of given up hope as to ever coming back and having success in the States.
And so, to do a month of shows with G3 and every night step out there in front of a great audience and a great sounding venue, I was just tearful with joy. It was really something I didn't expect and so inspiring to have that experience.
Did you have a chance to sit and talk guitar with Joe and John?
Every night after we'd do the jam, we'd be really excited. We'd just come off stage after the show so we're all buzzing from that. But we'd just talk about what just happened. Yeah, that was great! And of course there's always stuff that goes wrong so we're always sort of laughing about that. Like tonight this happened, you know, my drill got caught in my hair or whatever the night's calamity was. And then we'd celebrate what went well.
I think my favorite part was the last show of the tour and of course I was the opener. And the experiences I've had on tours before is usually the last show, the headliner will pull some prank on the opener. I was expecting it, Oh no, what are they going to do to me? Are they going to pour a bag of flour over my head or throw a bunch of marbles on stage and I'll trip? I was just expecting something. And so I was already planning my revenge. My revenge was twofold because there was two other acts and John Petrucci and Joe Satriani. So, the first thing I did was, John Petrucci had a song in his set called, Glasgow Kiss, and it was very sort of Scottish bagpipe sounding song. So, a couple days before I found a fabric store and I bought a bunch of plaid fabric and we just cut it up and basically made kilts for my entire band. And so the last show during that song we all came out on stage and did a Riverdance to the song. And it was great; it really matched the music. If you go on YouTube, you can find some video footage of it. So that turned out great and made everybody smile
For Joe Satriani's set, we Stonehenged him. We played my dad's hometown a couple days before the last show, and we found some styrofoam and we built a miniature Stonehenge ala Spinal Tap. And we lowered it on Joe during Always With You, Always With Me. There's no video footage of that but I do have some still photos, so I'll have to put those on my website someday so you can see Joe being Stonehenged.
Now that the recording process is over and Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar is completed, how do you feel? Is this Paul Gilbert playing at the highest level he could have achieved?
It really came out better then I expected. I did it so quickly; I was hoping to have more time to do it but I had to move in the middle of everything. I had to take about two months off from playing guitar, so it was a heroic effort of battling against time and getting my fingers back in shape. And not having any calluses! Being a guitar player that loves left-hand vibrato, it was a little bit of a challenge. But I must work well under pressure 'cause the end result I was really happy with. And to me the only thing that the record, if there's anything I'm disappointed with at all, it's the fact that when we play it live, it gels together better. When I do things in the studio, a lot of times I don't really have the vision of the song until it's done 'cause I'm sort of building it as I go. And so after I can listen to the record and play the songs live, then it really sort of completes itself; That's the final thing. You know to me as a recording, it couldn't have been better and it's just nice to be able to come out and go play the songs live and really take it to that final step.
Interview by Steven Rosen