Interview date

May 2007


Yann G


Thanks Paul for accepting this interview for http://www.auxportesdumetal.com/

You're in Paris today. Have you already played in France ? If yes, with which bands or projects ?

I did some guitar-clinics here with Ibanez some years ago. I also played with Mr Mig. But last time was a guitar clinic, I think about 7-8 years ago.

You're here to promote your new DVD "Get Out Of My Yard - Guitar Instructional DVD". Could you please present us this DVD ?
Is it an instructional DVD for guitar players or can it reach a larger audience ?

The main part of the DVD is instructional, it is for guitar players. There is some concert footage in it but mainly it's for guitar players I guess. I demonstrate a lot of things from my CD. I did some instructional videos before. My first one was about 17 years ago called "Intense Rock". And this one was recently re-released on DVD. A lot of people responded very well to this DVD from the beginning. Over the years, I did "Intense Rock", "Intense Rock II", one called "Terrifying Guitar Trip" and my new one is this "Get Out Of My Yard" DVD.

This DVD includes some live songs played with your quatuor. Can you present us your line-up ?

On the drums, Jeff Bowders who is also a drum instructor at the Musician Institute (I teach there as well).
Mike Szuter is the bass player. He's played on one of my solo album over the years.
On keyboards there's my wife Emi. She also plays keyboard on my "Get Out Of My Yard" CD.

Some months after your first instrumental release "Get Out Of My Yard", are you proud of this album ?
If you had to record it again, what would you change on it ?

I don't think I would change anything on it. I'm really happy with the result. I didn't know what to expect because I hadn't done any instrumental album before.
And it was more challenging than I thought. I think I'll probably do another one, I really like this one. I like it but I felt I was just beginning to learn how to make an instrumental album, and I wanna learn more and more about that art. I'm like a kind of beginner.

How did you get the idea to do this european tour ?

Well, it's been a long time that I didn't come to Europe so I was feeling guilty. A lot of people wrote me by e-mails to ask me "Where are you coming to Europe ?".
My label, Mascot, kept encouraging me, saying "You can do it !". I think this year because I was very happy with my live-band, we played in Japan, we played in USA, that makes this year the european tour.

Tonight, the date in "La Boule Noire" is already sold out but don't you think it's very financially challenging to do a tour in 2007 with only instrumental guitar songs ?

For me, it seems that since I make instrumental music, my career is growing up. On this tour, I'll play about 50% singing songs and about 50% instrumental ones.

You were a member of the last G3 in USA with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci. How were you contacted ? How did you get that deal ?

Joe Satriani is the leader of G3, he organises every one. I did a cupple of jam sessions with Joe. He played a show in LA and invited me for a jam, it went very well. At that show, I gave him my instrumental CD, he liked it very much.
As it was an instrumental CD, he knew that my music could fit with G3.

Which songs did you play together at the end of the show ?

We had one rehersal before the tour begins. We played a kind of medley of Hendrix songs : Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile. We also did "Going Down", and a song of the Rolling Stones called "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

If you could decide the songs for the jam, which ones would you choose ?

I think these songs I mentioned are great. Jimi Hendrix songs are always great for jamming. You can play solos whenever you want and it always works.
I would also like to play some Robin Trower songs, he's one of my favorite guitar players.

I'm going to tell you some G3 combinations, can you please tell me the ones you prefer and why ?
a) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + Eric Johnson
b) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + Yngwie Malmsteen
c) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + John Petrucci
d) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + Kenny Wayne Shepherd
e) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + Adrian Legg
f) Joe Satriani + Steve Vai + Robert Fripp
g) Joe Satriani + Michael Schenker + Uli Jon Roth
h) Joe Satriani + Michael Schenker + Patrick Rondat
i) Joe Satriani + Michael Schenker + Brian May

I didn't know Brian May did one.

Some dates in England only.

I'd be very curious about this one because I love Brian May. And I would be curious to see how he sounds as a solo artist.
I'm also a huge Eric Johnson fan, and I'm also a big Yngwie fan too.

Do you know if one CD or DVD will be released for the latest G3 tour including you ?

I don't think about this tour. I've recorded the audio of my set but we didn't do any video footages for the jams. I don't wanna speak for Joe but I think that he used up his songs through the 3 CD/DVDs of the G3 already released. Maybe he wants to wait for new albums to have some new material before releasing a new G3 CD.

Let's talk about your set list tonight. Which songs do you plan to play ?

50/50 singing and instrumental songs. The singing songs will come from my solo albums, also some Mr Big or Racer X songs. We'll do one Beatles tune (Let It Be).

Do you plan some jams with other guitarists (like Youri) ?

Oohh... today it's the first show of the tour. Usually in my own shows, I just play with my band but I really liked jamming with G3.

I have a question about your website. Most artists have a very professional website with Flash movies... You don't, you chose a very simple website, kitsch, very funny, very 70s fashion, totally unserious. Why ?

To me, I'm a rock n' roll musician, not the most serious job in the world. I didn't grow up with the Internet, it's like a new thing for me.
The Internet is very free, you can do whatever you want. My site is very visual, it's all pictures. Visually I have a sense of humour but I think that my music is more serious. Visually, the site makes me laugh, I hope you'll enjoy too.

Some hours before the first date of your european tour in Paris, how do you feel ?

I feel good actually, I got a lot of sleep yesterday. My voice feels good, my hands feel good. I love my band. We have a lot of new songs we haven't played since a while before.

How would you convince people to come to see you on this european tour ?

I think that the songs are interesting. I had a long career, I did my first album when I was 19 years old with Racer X, then Mr Big, then over 10 solo albums.
Hopefully you don't have to be a guitar player to come to see me live, if you're just a rock fan, if you like hard-rock music, I think you'll like the show. Don't see it as a guitar demonstration, come to see it as a rock show.

Thanks a lot for your time Paul.