Joe Satriani Says ‘Everybody’s the Star’ on His New Album

Joe SatrianiTheo Wargo, Getty Images

Joe Satriani said there were no struggles for dominance during the making of his upcoming album What Happens Next, which features Glenn Hughes on bass and Chad Smith on drums.

Instead, he explained, it was the combined work of three equal contributors that helped bring the album to completion. He admitted he was surprised at how little coercion was required to bring the respective Black Country Communion and Red Hot Chili Peppers members aboard for the project.

What Happens Next is Satriani’s 16th solo work, and is set for release on Jan. 12. The instrumental album was produced by longtime collaborator Mike Fraser, and was recorded during breaks in Hughes’ and Smith’s schedules.

“Just before [Glenn] put out his last solo record, I had it in my mind that he would be a great bass player,” Satriani told Eddie Trunk (via Blabbermouth). “But I thought it was a crazy thing to think of, because why would he ever say yes to just play bass on an album, because he’s just this incredible singer? But it was sort of circulating in my head, and I was thinking, ‘Yeah, that would be so cool, because if he did that, I could do this.’ And then Chad’s drumming popped into my head, then I realized, ‘You know, they’ve played a lot together, they’ve recorded together. I wonder if they would be willing to be the rhythm section for an all-instrumental record?”

Satriani noted that he “innocently” sent out invitations to Hughes and Smith. “I got an immediate response from both of them that they were totally into it,” he recalled. “The scheduling was crazy – I was really working round the schedule of the Chili Peppers and Black Country Communion, trying to figure out when I could get 10 days.”

He added that the sessions were “so cool” and delivered the “celebration of rock, soul and groove” that he’d been hoping for: “I couldn’t have picked a better rhythm section. They wound up being, you know, when you’re got three guys recording, everybody’s the star? That’s what I got, and I’m so happy.”

Satriani released the album’s first single, “Energy,” earlier this week. Black Country Communion released their comeback album, BCCIV, on Sept. 22, while Smith and Satriani could reunite in the supergroup Chickenfoot next year.

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