During a recent interview with Mixdown magazine, legendary guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani looked back on his new album “Elephants of Mars” and his peculiar choice of gear on it. Well, more like a lack of gear since his main choice was the SansAmp plugin instead of actual physical amplifiers. Although he did record a bunch of guitar tracks with real amps, the ones that made the cut and got on the album were all done with SansAmp.
An unconventional choice for someone like Joe Satriani, the guitarist admitted in the interview that he “felt really bad” for using the plugin. Discussing the matter, Joe said:
“I felt really bad at the end of the project. I called the artist relations guy in New York who I’ve known for many years, and said, ‘I’m really sorry but I need to tell people the truth, I’m not gonna lie to them and tell them I used this product when I didn’t. So I was fine with them telling me to take a long walk off short pier. But they were totally cool with it because the way they saw it was, ‘We want you to stay with the company. This product really does represent your legacy and it makes sense that you move forward and you use whatever you want.'”
However, Mr. Satch couldn’t help but love it, admitting that it was a huge surprise for him to actually prefer the plugin over real amps. He adds:
“What a surprise, because I thought I’d be using all those amps to reamp the tracks the way we’ve done for every record. But what surprised us is song after song, whether the guitar sound was super clean or halfway or super distorted, that SansAmp brought more of my personality into the speakers than any of the other plugins or really expensive modeling suites that we tried, which really just sounded like other people. And it was pretty shocking and we certainly wanted the most original tones possible. And by that I mean we needed to get the sound of my fingertips on the strings to come out, because the songs were original songs. We weren’t redoing blues classics or anything like that. So we needed that original personal touch, that real personality to come out. And that old plugin by AVID just seemed to do it.”