As Joe Satriani gears up to tour with Van Halen‘s Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, he’s doing all he can to replicate the late Eddie Van Halen‘s sound.
“Strings and tuning” have a lot to do with it, he said in an interview with Australian Musician. “Eddie played at 440 and then E flat, and he played light strings. He played nines and even sometimes the lower strings were lighter.” And on top of that… lots of rehearsal.
Satriani says “Eddie was a genius. He was just amazing — period. 'Cause every time he picked up a guitar, no matter what it was, it was amazing. He had the hands and the heart, everything. I'm just catching up.”
Satriani is having special amps built to replicate the ones Eddie used. He explained: “I'm gonna need to feel and hear that sound to convince myself to keep going. Eddie didn't play with the gear I used or Steve Vai or Slash or Tom Morello or any of his contemporaries.”
The Sammy Hagar Tour kicks off July 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida.