Joe Satriani When Alex Van Halen & David Lee Roth Called About the EVH Tribute Concert: “I heard myself saying “yes” before my better judgment kicked in” – 2022

Joe Satriani:

“Oh, man, I can’t believe I’m on tour, that I’m out of the house & I’m actually playing music in front of audiences… every night’s an explosion of this positive emotion that’s been sort of pent up.”

The Earth Tour comes to Northfield, Ohio this Friday and Joe checked in with to talk about ‘The Elephants Of Mars’, being back on the road and more.

You can read the entire article @ this location. An excerpt from the interview has been provided below.


Joe Satriani came back this past April with “The Elephants of Mars,” a 14-track mostly (as usual) instrumental set filled with flashy playing not only by Satriani but also a tight-knit band that includes Australian keyboardist Rai Thistlethwayte, bassist Brian Beller and drummer Kenny Aronoff. It’s a diverse set with nods to Satriani’s jazz roots (”Night Scene, “E 104th St. NYC”) as well as his hard rock virtuosity.

You’ve made some news recently as the guitarist for the rumored Van Halen tribute concert or tour. Where are you fitting in all of this?

Satriani: I was shocked to get a call from Alex (Van Halen) and Dave (Lee Roth) and getting their invitation to be part of a tribute tour for Eddie and Van Halen. I jokingly told them on that first phone call, “If I had half a brain I’d hang up right away and not accept such a crazy offer,” ‘cause nobody can replace Eddie and whoever tries to do it is gonna get a whole lot of negativity from the world of social media. But I heard myself saying “yes” before my better judgment kicked in because I am such a fan of Eddie and his work, and I thought it would be such a great labor of love to dive into that and try to understand the essence of what he was doing.

Do you expect anything will actually happen?

Satriani: Everyone’s got their own idea about how to do it best, and I’m staying out of that. I have nothing to do with that kind of decision-making. I think it’s really up to Wolfgang (Van Halen) and his uncle Alex to figure out what to do. When I saw Wolfgang playing (Van Halen songs) at the Taylor Hawkins Benefit I thought it was the most natural, beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time. It was such a wonderful thing to see him play his dad’s music like that, and he’s such an incredible musician I thought, “Well if the thing is ever gonna happen, he should do it.” It just seemed more natural than reaching out to somebody like me.

Your pal Sammy Hagar, of course, is thumping the drum for something that would include both him and Roth.

Satriani: I can’t imagine that ever happening, ever. That happened once, and it fell apart. It’s so complicated; once you sit down and start talking about it, there are so many roadblocks that you can’t imagine just how it’s gonna happen. I think Wolfgang…the world should just wait for him to make up his mind how he wants to do it, and we should leave him alone. Let him figure out the best time and place for it. Whatever he comes up with will be the best way to do it, I think.

You can read the entire article @ this location.