Satriani finishing album, planning tour


NEW YORK -- Guitarist Joe Satriani is near completion on his 12th studio album. While an album title and release date are still pending, tickets for an album-supporting U.K. tour are moving briskly.

"Yesterday was a great day -- we officially finished recording," Satriani said. "This is definitely a rocking record. We set out some parameters, and when I say 'we,' I'm working with longtime collaborator John Cuniberti, he's engineering and co-producing with me. Jeff Campitelli is playing drums, Matt Bissonette is back playing bass on eight of the 10 songs, and Eric Caudieux came back to do some digital editing and sound design."

As expected, the release will showcase Satriani's six-string talents, but also will incorporate different approaches for the guitarist. "I decided once again to push the envelope with how expressive we can get the guitar to be. And how unusual we can get the guitar playing from song to song. It's a record that's eclectic -- we've got some straight-ahead rocker songs," he said.

"For the first time ever, we've got a 15-minute, four-part, really intense song that involves some ensemble playing and some out-and-out jams," he said. "It has to do with traveling through Asia and western Europe, and trying to reflect the differences of music from some of the more important figures of that area of the last few hundred years musically. I took on some heavier musical concepts to bring to people."

Among the tracks are "I Just Want To Rock" ("I think that pretty much explains it. It's got a crowd of what sounds like a thousand people on it," he said) and "a funny song" called "Professor Satchifunkalous."

With or without an album title, the forthcoming European tour -- which sees Satriani teamed with Paul Gilbert -- figures to showcase many new tracks, and will total 35 dates, nine of which are in the U.K. "We wound up with a longer tour of Europe this time, which is really nice, instead of a shorter run during the hottest season," he said.

The artist will visit South America, Australia and New Zealand booked in the summer, with a domestic tour on tap for the fall. Also in the works is a line of Satriani pedals through Korg and Vox, the prototypes for which were used on the new album. The devices should be available by "the middle of next year," he said.

Here are Joe Satriani's U.K. tour dates:

May 12: Birmingham, England (Symphony Hall)
May 13: Newcastle, England (City Hall)
May 14: Glasgow (Royal Concert Hall)
May 15: Manchester, England (Apollo)
May 17: Bristol, England (Colston Hall)
May 18: Bournemouth, England (Pavilion Theatre)
May 19: Cardiff, Wales (St. David's Hall)
May 20: London (Hammersmith Apollo)
May 21: Nottingham, England (Royal Center)