Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth on March 28, 2023. In the chat Roth talks about his new book entitled ‘In Search of the Aplpha Law’. Watch the interview below.
Uli Jon Roth was asked about his upcoming US tour and how he plans on integrating his new book during his 3 hour performance, he said,” The show is different from any tour I’ve done before. The show consists of two very different halves. It’s a three hour show which sounds scary but I been doing three hour shows for a long time we always have an intermission in the middle. I will also integrate like a 15-minute Ted Talk which I’ve never done that before but where I’m just introducing the book because there’s a lot to talk about in the book. The book is 560 Pages plus a thousand photographs. The book is called ‘In search of the alpha law’. It’ not about my life on the road or my life. it is about my philosophy. Ever since the early Scorpion days I was a closet philosopher. I love Deep Thoughts. A lot of that has to do with the inner spirit and architecture of Music the laws of Music which I found are the same laws that govern pretty much everything else that we see and perceive. If not the whole universe. I think these laws are fundamental laws of nature and even beyond that because they also apply to our mind and in our spirit our soul. These laws are very fascinating to look at and try to understand. So the first half of the show has this Ted talk but it has also quite a few new music pieces which don’t really fit into the band format, they’re more orchestral,They are very melodic, where the guitar is leading and I have orchestra backing. Second half of the show after the intermission a full-on band show. because I know most of my core audience wants to hear my earlier musical existence including of course the Scorpions and Electric Sun.”
Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to Ex-Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on April 16 2019 at the Piranha Bar. Uli Spoke about his Triple Anniversary tour and did a deep dive into the making and recording of the classic live Scorpions album Tokyo Tapes. Uli Spoke about Tokyo Tapes set list, the choice of cover songs, adding the audience from Peter Frampton’s famous live album, Frampton Comes Alive. Uli also spoke about archival Super 8 film footage he has in his vault from all his years in the Scorpions whereas 70% of it has not yet been seen.
Watch the interview here:
When asked on why they chose to have cover songs on Tokyo Tapes
“They were just accidents, for me that wasn’t Scorpions. The band came from a Rock and Beatles background and we did used to play Johnny B Goode occasionally but that was because I was a Hendrix fan and we copied the Hendrix version. Why Long Tall Sally and Hound Dog how they made it to the album I’m still not sure and I don’t want to necessarily disown them but somehow maybe these songs should have not been there because we had more suitable ones. One song I do like off the album is taken from the Scorpions debut Lonesome Crow In Search of Peace of Mind, one that Micheal Schneker wrote, it’s is a masterpiece with beautiful lyrics by Klaus Meine, I love that song.”
When asked if there was any fixing of Tokyo Tapes Live album in the studio
“No, in fact there wasn’t enough of it because I was quite upset when I first heard the recordings because there was a mistake. Apparently the Japanese sound engineers recorded all the pre-sets with EQ’s and you don’t do that because after words you don’t get a chance to tweak the sounds as much and I was not happy with the sound of the album. I remember what it sounded like on stage, it sounded phenomenal particularly in that hall but what I heard on the album was a shadow of that. So that is why I never listen to the album. I never listened to the whole album in one go. ”
“I did the playing on the album and there were no overdubs afterwords we just left everything as it was, except for the audience clapping because we forgot to record the audience so we had no audience sound. I don’t know who’s idea it was in the studio, it wasn’t mine there was this massive album Frampton Comes Alive Album at the time, so somebody took the clapping from that recording and they put it on a loop so suddenly Sun Plaza hall becomes Stadium rock. There is your dirty little insight and it’s a true story nobody will deny it. So the audience of Frampton Comes Alive is on Scorpions Tokyo Tapes. We had a great audience but they weren’t recorded.”
When asked about the song if there was any left over material from the recording of Tokyo Tapes
“There were some and I am to blame for a couple of things that got left out. I didn’t think the song Catch your Train was good enough and I didn’t think Hell Cat was good enough. Then when I heard them recently when they did the re-release and I thought what was I thinking they were good enough I should have had them on. I was actually being a bit too critical at the time. But today I am really glad we did the album and we can be proud of.”
When asked if there was any video of his era with the Scorpions
“I loved taking Super 8 Film footage from day 1 with the Scorpions until my final days in 1978 I chronologically have all the footage from all the tours including Japan and some stuff has been released on the Tokyo Tapes revisited DVD but most of it is unreleased. It’s not live footage it’s all on tour behind the scene footage, about 70% is unseen. It’s the only footage that exists from the 70’s.”
To celebrate his upcoming 50th Stage Anniversary, he will perform concerts across North America this spring.
The two hour-plus programme will consist of carefully selected highlights from Uli’s entire musical career The 50th Anniversary set will naturally include the best of that timeless material, including The Sails of Charon, In Trance, Fly to the Rainbow and many other songs.
As a logical continuation of Uli’s journey into his own musical past he will also be reconnecting with the second very important part of his unique musical journey – that of his ground breaking Electric Sun period – during which he took the art of electric guitar playing to a completely new and unprecedented level.
Also a pre-show V.I.P. Uli will play excerpts from his stunning Metamorphosis of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concerto as well as several pieces which feature him on classical, acoustic and flamenco guitar.
16 – Montreal, QC – Piranha
17 – Quebec, QC – L’ Anti
18 – Ottawa, NB – Brass Monkey
19 – Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House
20 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall
21 – Hartford, CT – Infinity Music Hall
23 – NYC, NY – Gramercy Theater
24 – Asbury Park, NJ – Wonderbar
25 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater
26 – Syracuse, NY – Sharkey’s
27 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom
29 – Pittsburgh, PA – Jergels
1 – Plymouth, MA – Spire Center for the Performing Arts
3 – Newton, NJ – Newton Theatre
4 – Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub Concert Hall
5 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
6 – Atlanta, GA – City Winery
9 – Dallas, TX – Trees
10 – San Antonio, TX – Rockbox
For The Metal Voice former Anthrax Singer Neil Turbin spoke with Uli Jon Roth in Los Angeles California during on his opening night on his North American tour. Uli Spoke about his different types of guitars that he uses in his during his 3 hour show, talks about working on his new studio album, how he was offered 7-9 million dollars for a Jimi Hendrix guitar and how he finds today’s music uninspiring.
Watch the interview here:
When asked about his triple anniversary tour
“There are three anniversaries that we’re celebrating the first one would be 40 years of Scorpions Tokyo Tapes which was basically in 1978 (we started this tour last December 2018). Then after we recorded Tokyo Tapes I left the Scorpions and did Electric Sun which started in the same year and we recorded the album Earthquake and then the third anniversary is my 50th year on stage which started in 1968. ”
When asked about the Jimi Hendrix guitar Black Stratocaster (nicknamed Black Beauty by Hendrix) that Roth’s former wife Monika Dannemann owned and who was also Jimi Hendrix’s last girlfriend
“A lot of people were after that guitar. Paul Allen the number two guy in Microsoft called Monica up once and offered a million dollars for it but she turned him down. Another guy called me up, some kind of Arab arts dealer offered like seven-eight-nine million dollars for that guitar, I then asked him tell me good reason why we should sell this guitar? And he said, well for the money. I said that’s not a good reason. I said the guitar should stay with Monica’s paintings and it’s not my guitar, it now belongs to the Dannemann’s estate. It’s in a vault as there were too many people after it but one day I think it’s going to be exhibited as it should be. Of course Exhibited with Monica’s paintings because Monica’s paintings are extra special and they tell the story by themselves unlike any other thing that is out there connected to Jimi Hendrix. Monica understood Jimi’s lyrics. I think one day Monica’s paintings will be seen for what they are they’re gonna live on and of course Jimi’s music will live on. I also played that guitar a couple of times when I was in the Scorpions but I was afraid of breaking a string but it was just for a few minutes and then I never played it again as they were the original Jimi Strings. ”
When asked when he will be releasing a new studio album and what the musical style will be
“I know I am long overdue, I have written at least an albums worth of new of material. But making an album there’s always a logistical problem, it takes time you know. I’m always on the road and I always take a long time when I’m in the studio unfortunately. It’s a personal problem that I have, the recording process is fine but I don’t really enjoy finding the sounds because I’m never happy, to me it never sounds as good as I think it should. Every album I’ve ever done was completely different from every other album that I’ve ever done and I’ve never planned it that way. I don’t really like repeats, I always like to explore new territory.”
When asked about his thoughts on the music that is coming out today and if he follows any news bands
“I can see a lot of talent out there but I’m not really seeking new music out. I don’t feel drawn to it. I prefer to explore music in my own way but if somebody comes up with a great idea I’m happy to steal it. I do keep an open mind but I have to say and this may sounds a little negative but the music that I hear whenever the radio is on usually really sucks nowadays. In my mind the music today is completely uninspiring and the one thing it misses is melody. Hit songs of nowadays just got a groove and people are repeating a phrase mindlessly, the songs don’t mean anything. I’m really getting older because it’s not how I grew up, when I grew up I listened to the Beatles and they had melody, harmony the songs were sophisticated and amazing. I listened to what’s out there on the radio and then I just want to turn it off because it’s so boring, it’s painful for me. I’m not mocking the whole scene but in general I think it`s the end of the world as we know it. It’s like so mind-numbing and then I think to myself what’s going on in these peoples musical souls. The problem today, the kids don’t get a chance to wake up because they’re on their iPhones all day, doing the snapchat chat thing and social media is basically like a massive drug. They’re all hooked into it and the result is that it’s almost impossible for them to find themselves, there’s never a quiet moment where they can reflect. So it’s it’s a real problem and then the result is suicide rates go up and a lot of kids are depressed and they don’t know why because they don’t find any answers. Why they don’t they find answers is because they are numbed by the drive of of empty music and of cell phones. That kind of lure them into into a feeling of connectedness when it is all like superficial and shallow and there’s no real touchy-feely connectedness with real people anymore. It sounds pretty cataclysmic and dystopian and some of it is but you never know you know maybe it’s just some weird phase of mankind, I’m still hopeful.”
ULI JON ROTH is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players ever. He is one of the last greats who is still around to present his magical style of playing which he already forged in the late Sixties when he was still in his teens. Uli played his first ever show in December 1968 – at the age of 13 – and to celebrate his upcoming 50th Stage Anniversary, he will perform concerts across North America this spring.
The two hour-plus programme will consist of carefully selected highlights from Uli’s entire musical career, which – by now – is spanning no less than 5 decades! The amazing thing is that Uli Jon Roth keeps on getting better, as we have seen amply demonstrated by his astonishing and powerful recent appearances at the G3 Tour of Europe and the UK with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci.
In recent times, Uli has successfully revisited the early music of his celebrated Scorpions days which resulted in the superb “Scorpions Revisited” double CD and “Tokyo Tapes Revisited” DVD/Blu-Ray releases.
The 50th Anniversary set will naturally include the best of that timeless material, including The Sails of Charon, In Trance, Fly to the Rainbow and many other songs.
As a logical continuation of Uli’s journey into his own musical past he will also be reconnecting with the second very important part of his unique musical journey – that of his ground breaking Electric Sun period – during which he took the art of electric guitar playing to a completely new and unprecedented level. In those early days, Uli was already forging the path and laying the ground work for later virtuosos such as Malmsteen, Eddie van Halen, Vai, Satriani, Jason Becker and a generation of younger players who came after him, with his novel use of highly melodic, classically inspired arpeggios and scales.
Virtually singlehandedly, Uli pioneered a unique style of guitar playing which – for the first time in the history of the electric guitar – combined complete technical mastery of the instrument with an intensely melodic and emotional appeal.
Thanks to Uli’s innovative and ground-breaking guitar playing and interesting compositions, Electric Sun became artistically influential and presented a unique blend, which was sometimes likened to a strange mixture, located somewhere between Beethoven and Hendrix. Back then, Electric Sun had many fans in the UK and on both sides of the Atlantic, but Uli decided to move on, and the year 1985 saw the end of Electric Sun as a band concept.
It has been more than 30 years since Uli performed the music of Electric Sun in the UK in an unforgettable series of shows which included Hammersmith Odeon, Manchester Apollo and Newcastle City Hall. After all these years, Uli has now taken a fresh look at this unique material, drawn from the altogether three Electric Sun albums: Earthquake, Fire Wind and Beyond the Astral Skies.
Uli is reconnecting with his Electric Sun music after all this time and will bring that music to life in the here and now. Electric Sun and Uli fans alike will be delighted to finally hear these songs played live again by the master himself. Don’t miss this chance to witness an important part of rock history!
As a guitar player and artist, Uli Jon Roth is in a league of his own as legions of guitar players will attest. Joe Satriani has recently stated in one of his interviews that – of all the guitarists who ever played in the G3 – Uli impressed him the most. Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker and other top-league players agree. Uli’s playing and onstage presence is always inspirational and each concert is a unique event, because of his ability to make his instrument soar and sing emotionally and his spur of the moment improvisations. His musical scope is enormous and ranges from vintage Jimi Hendrix and Cream to the technically much more demanding world of classical music, yet somehow Uli manages to create exciting bridges between these seemingly musical opposite languages. Uli has written classical concertos and symphonic pieces and is equally at home in both worlds, which makes him a unique phenomenon and very rare breed among guitar players.
The 50th Anniversary Concerts are going to reflect that, as Uli will play excerpts from his stunning Metamorphosis of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concerto as well as several pieces which feature him on classical, acoustic and flamenco guitar.
No Uli concert would be complete without some of his interpretations of the guitarist who inspired him the most in his early days – Jimi Hendrix. Because of Uli’s deep understanding and inborn affinity with the artistry of the trail blazing musical genius from Seattle, many see Uli as the perhaps most qualified on-stage persona to imbue Jimi’s original music with the right kind of vibe and true spirit. And to hear Uli step into Jimi’s artistic footsteps live is always an eerie and unforgettable experience.
Uli Jon Roth will hit the UK stages with a superb band consisting of younger, extremely talented and accomplished younger musicians, each, a virtuoso in their own right. Together they are a powerful band – capable of playing anything – as we have clearly witnessed on the recent G3 Tour. Niklas Turmann, will be sing lead vocal, in combination with Corvin. The other young talent is guitarist David Klosinski, and together with Uli, those three are performing rare and very exhilarating triple harmony leads, thus doing complete justice to the sometimes-intricate guitar arrangements from Uli’s albums. It speaks volumes for their musical prowess that on the recent G3 tour, both David and Niklas were asked by Joe Satriani to contribute a solo each during the highlight of the G3 evening – the final Jam session. A rare honor indeed.
Uli’s voice is his legendary Sky Guitar which is his own invention, and which surpasses all current guitars on the market in terms of range and versatility. It is this instrument which allows him to play with a nigh-on six-octave range. Due to their ingenious design, Sky Guitars are the only guitars which make it possible to play Vivaldi’s celebrated violin concerto “The Four Seasons” at concert pitch, but with the sound of an electric guitar. Uli has recently founded his own personal company designed to produce these guitars exclusively – UJR SKY-GUITARS – and he will play a range of his new guitars during these shows.
Uli has launched the official UJR SKY-GUITARS website, featuring a range of new Sky Guitars built for discerning guitarists and collectors.. The guitars come in three ranges – Pegasus, Aquila and Unicorn Sky Guitars. Visit http://www.sky-guitars.com to see the latest models.
Confirmed North American tour dates :
W 3/20 in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky
Th 3/21 in San Jan Capistrano, CA at Coach House
F 3/22 in Ramona, CA Ramona at Mainstage
S 3/23 in Las Vegas, NV at 172 @ The Rio
Su 3/24 in Ventura, CA at the Ventura Theater
T 3/26 in Redding, CA at The Dip
W 3/27 in Santa Cruz, CA at Moe’s Alley
Th 3/28 in Oakland, CA at The Parish
F 3/29 in Sacramento, CA at Holy Diver
S 3/30 in Portland, OR at Bossanova
Su 3/31 in Seattle, WA at Club El Corazon
M 4/1 in Vancouver, BC at Venue
W 4/3 in Calgary, AB at Country Line Saloon
Th 4/4 in Edmonton, AB at Starlite Room
F 4/5 in Regina, SK at The Exchange
S 4/6 in Winnipeg, MB at The Park Theatre
Su 4/7 in Fridley, MN at Route 47 Pub
W 4/10 in Milwaukee, WI at Shank Hall
Th 4/11 in Edwardsville, IL at Wildey Theatre
F 4/12 in Joliet, IL at The Forge
S 4/13 in St. Charles, IL at Arcada Theater
Su 4/14 in Detroit, MI at Token Lounge
M 4/15 in Toronto, ON at Rockpile
T 4/16 in Montreal, QU at Piranha
W 4/17 in Quebec, QU at L’ Anti
Th 4/18 in Ottawa, ON at Brass Monkey
F 4/19 in Pawling, NY at Daryl’s House
S 4/20 in Derry, NH at Tupelo Music Hall
Su 4/21 in Hartford, CT at Infinity Music Hall
T 4/23 in New York, NY at the Gramercy Theater
W 4/24 in Asbury Park, NJ at Wonderbar
Th 4/25 in Sellersville, PA at the Sellersville Theater
F 4/26 in Syracuse, NY at Sharkey’s
S 4/27 in Cleveland, OH at Agora Ballroom
M 4/29 in Pittsburgh, PA at Jergels
W 5/1 in Plymouth, MA at Spire Center for the Performing Arts
F 5/3 in Newton, NJ at the Newton Theatre
S 5/4 in Louisville, KY at the Diamond Pub Concert Hall
Su 5/5 in Nashville, TN at The High Watt
Mon 5/6 in Atlanta, GA at City Winery
Th 5/9 in Dallas, TX at Trees
F 5/10 in San Antonio, TX at Rockbox
It is without a doubt that Uli Jon Roth has certainly earned his legendary status – with a career spanning five decades, Uli is set to celebrate his 50th anniversary of performing on stage, since starting out aged 13 in December 1968. His career has been a colourful journey, from the early days of the SCORPIONS to ELECTRIC SUN and a successful solo career, notably an innovator in the music world. Not forgetting Uli‘s creation of the unique and visionary Sky Guitar!
Uli is about to embark on a special six date UK tour, starting 29th November, celebrating his career by playing many favourites from over the years. Check for more information here. Metal Shock Finland Senior Manager Alison Booth recently spoke to Uli about the forthcoming tour and much more besides, for her Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show. The whole show can be heard at this location.
Some excerpts of the in depth chat with Uli can be read below, with the full interview on the audio player.
Discussing the forthcoming 50th anniversary shows, Uli stated:
“I haven’t done such an ambitious programme in many years. I’ve got such a big repertoire from over the years, so I had to think hard about what not to play. There’s certain contenders that are always there like ‘Sails Of Charon’, certain Scorpions tracks, but I haven’t performed any of the Electric Sun stuff in years and that will be very interesting for me because that music is very demanding to play – although it should sound easy when you’re listening to it.
So we’re basically playing a best of Electric Sun, a best of my period with the Scorpions from the seventies, to doing some of my Sky Of Avalon, which is a little bit more adventurous, more melodic symphonic rock I guess. And it’s a long show, it’s a mission, so it’s an evening’s worth. I’m also playing a little acoustic set, just solo on my eight string Flamenco Sky guitar and I’m going to play some new pieces that I’ve written this summer which I love playing. And we’re also playing something that I particularly look forward to – some music of my deceased brother Zeno, who you may know, he died earlier this year unfortunately. He was a great songwriter and great guitar player himself, so we’re going to honour his memory and his legacy by playing two of his best songs.
So that’s basically in a nutshell what we’re going to do.“
Mentioning the fact that there seems to be no sign of Uli slowing down, he remarked:
“No, actually on the contrary. I was just saying to my daughter today that I have so much on my plate sometimes that I wish for longer days! (laughs). I’m a bit of a workaholic and recently it seems to be increasing, don’t ask me why.”
Looking back over his long career, Uli expressed:
“Innovator is probably true because I’m always interested in coming up with new ideas and I prided myself in loving each solo that I’ve recorded on albums, different from the other ones you know – trying to break new ground, technically, musically or whatever. So for me, it’s been largely a journey of discovery and also seeing how far you can push the guitar, unlocking some of those mysteries and there are still so many in the guitar. It feels like sometimes I’ve barely grazed the surface, because each time I pick up a guitar I have new ideas and it feels completely fresh and new, it’s just great.
I think the secret to that is that I play really very rarely, you know, I don’t play very often these days. Lots of the time it’s just on stage so that’s why I guess I don’t get bored and it doesn’t get repetitive to me ever.”
Regarding the future, Uli revealed:
“Next year will be very busy because I’m also working towards some orchestra shows, which is very labour intensive with score writing. We’ll probably have to spend some time in the studio editing the DVD and making that. I have written by now a considerable amount of new music and to my eternal shame and disgrace, I’ve recorded very little in recent years and I know a new album is long overdue.
Having said that, it’s not an easy undertaking for me because I’m not so keen on recording studios, because I don’t like the medium as such. I prefer writing music, maybe even writing it down, that as a score I prefer playing it live. But actually making it so that you have an album, you know the final like pinning down the butterfly once and for all. I’ve always had a problem with that you know, so we’ll see. I’ll do my best to come up with a new album.”
Corporation, Sheffield Thursday 29 November ULU, London Friday 30 November Kasbah, Coventry Saturday 1 December Academy 3, Manchester Sunday 2 December Òran Mór, Glasgow Monday 3 December The Stables, Milton Keynes Wednesday 5 December
The new album “Triumphant Hearts” from JASON BECKER will be released on December 7th, via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. The album features Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, Uli Jon Roth, Richie Kotzen, Gus G., Jake Shimabukuro, and many more.
Watch the lyric video for the stunning ‘Valley of Fire’ ft. The Magnificent 13 here:
The Magnificent 13 are: Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Steve Hunter and Ben Woods.
Mascot Records are extremely excited and honored to present the new album ‘Triumphant Hearts’ from Jason Becker, which will be released on 7th December 2018.
Jason Becker’s story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the technical guitar duo Cacophony, with his great friend Marty Friedman. In 1989, at only 19 years old and after wowing audiences all over the world, the young virtuoso became the guitarist for David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded on his 3rd solo album ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ and was poised for superstardom when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.
That was 29 years ago. He lost the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. But never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. His inspiring music and life story have been the subject of countless news articles, magazine cover stories, and an award-winning documentary, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.
The album’s 14 tracks showcase Jason’s gift for melody and his deep knowledge of classical composition and orchestral arrangement. Many of the guitar parts are performed by a who’s who of 6-string gods including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, and many others. And, in what will absolutely delight his fans, Jason’s amazing guitar playing—recorded in the ’80s and ’90s—features throughout.
The first song to be released from the album is the beautifully mesmerizing 9 minute and 5 second instrumental ‘Valley of Fire’ that features The Magnificent 13 – Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Steve Hunter and Ben Woods. A phenomenal cast to feature on a single song.
The album opens with the title track, featuring Jason’s old bandmate Marty Friedman and an astounding violin performance. “I wrote ‘Triumphant Heart’ and it made me feel triumphant,” says Becker. “When Marty found out I was making this album, he told me he would play anything I needed. I sent him this, and his wife, Hiyori Okuda, who is a cellist, also offered to play on it. The great violinist, Glauco Bertagnin, recorded my violin parts in Italy. That fast solo section I wrote is way too hard; I don’t know how Glauco pulled it off. He put so much soul in the whole song.”
‘Hold on to Love’ is the first vocal song on the record, although it didn’t start out that way. “It was going to be an instrumental,” explains Jason, “but after I wrote the chorus with lyrics, I knew I had to tell my story, to explain how I can continue living without feeling hate. I hadn’t written many lyrics before.”
In addition to its beautiful, gospel-tinged choir, the heartfelt song features Bay Area singer Codany Holiday on lead vocals.
‘Fantasy Weaver’ displays the 4-string magic of world-renown ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro and harp arpeggios that were written back in his Cacophony days. ‘Once Upon a Melody’ not only features two Jason Becker guitar solos from his Cacophony era, but also audio of him as a three-year-old. The full-circle nature of having little boy Jason, guitar virtuoso Jason, and modern-day composer Jason all on the same song is a breathtaking accomplishment while ‘We Are One,’ features soulful Flipsyde vocalist Steve Knight, and more Jason Becker guitar delights.
Uli Jon Roth appears on ‘Magic Woman,’ along with ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick who counts both Uli and Jason as big influences. Fans of Jason’s work with David Lee Roth will be thrilled by the inclusion of two previously unreleased outtakes from the ‘A Little Ain’t Enough’ sessions, the hard rocking ‘Taking Me Back’ and the blues-infused ‘Tell Me No Lies.’ There are also performances by Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse, Trevor Rabin, and many others.
“Some people feel sorry for me,” he concedes, “and I understand that. I really feel lucky though. I don’t miss playing guitar anymore. I’m sure that’s out of necessity, but I am grateful for so much more. I am surrounded by loving people, and I can still make music.”
Triumphant Heart (feat. Marty Friedman, Glauco Bertagnin, Hiyori Okuda)
Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday)
Fantasy Weaver (feat. Jake Shimabukuro)
Once Upon A Melody
We Are One (feat. Steve Knight)
Magic Woman (feat. Uli Jon Roth & Chris Broderick)
Blowin’ in the Wind
River of Longing (feat. Joe Satriani, Aleks Sever, Guthrie Govan, Steve Morse)
Valley of Fire (feat. The Magificent 13)
River of Longing (feat. Trevor Rabin)
Taking Me Back
Tell Me No Lies
Hold On To Love (feat. Codany Holiday) [Chuck Zwicky Remix]
You Do It