In a recent interview with Total Guitar magazine, Joe Satriani spoke about the the next generation of guitarists. He said: "Seeing all the amazing players at NAMM reminded me how the guitar world is very much alive and well. Look at Guthrie Govan — he's just so good. You can't help but be amazed because he plays so well and comes from a place of pure love. We had the guys from POLYPHIA at Steve Vai's NAMM jam — those guys were remarkable and it was interesting to see them so out of their element.
"You can throw guys like me, Steve and Paul [Gilbert] anywhere and we'll improvise like always we do. These guys come from a completely different discipline but they're incredible guitarists. I was so impressed they were brave enough to stand next to some old guys and see what happens."
According to Satriani, it's great to hear other players think of things he might not pursue himself.
"Players come along and challenge what you thought was possible, coming from new angles," he said. "I was listening to Philip Sayce — I don't think I've ever heard someone go that crazy in that direction for a long time. Yvette Young is another — she comes from an entirely different world of playing, but you can't help be blown away by what she's doing.
"There's room for everybody. There's room for whoever wants to sit in the corner and play something beautiful, and there's room for Zakk Wylde… we need him just as much. You meet new players and realize they have this special gift in areas that aren't part of your makeup.
"What makes me go, 'Wow, this person was born to do this' is when I hear someone with a beautiful yet different form of expression — they find beauty in something I missed and start running with it. Lari Basilio is like that: she has melody and rhythm that come together in a 'wow' package."
Satriani's new studio album, "Shapeshifting", is set for release on April 10 via Sony Music/Legacy Recordings. The disc was co-produced by Satriani and Jim Scott (FOO FIGHTERS, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS), with longtime associate John Cuniberti on board handling the mastering duties. Satriani enlisted a wide range of collaborators, both old and new, to help him bring the songs to life. Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (JANE'S ADDICTION) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux were the core musicians on the new album with additional contributions coming from Lisa Coleman (THE REVOLUTION) and Christopher Guest.