It’s a question every artist has to grapple with: If you’re not pushing yourself creatively, how can you grow? And that’s exactly what acclaimed guitar maestro Paul Gilbert tackles with fervor on his new solo album, ‘I Can Destroy’, coming out May 27 via Ear Music / Edel. “One thing I’ve always struggled with as a writer is I don’t think I’ve written a lot of songs that make it easy on the improviser,” the consummate soulful shredder admits. “Coming from a heavy rock background, that’s been a real challenge. But I worked really hard to rework all my fingerings so I could emphasize different tones the way my ear hears them. I’m still working on it, but that was a major step forward for me as a guitar player — to be able to get that sound on purpose, rather than by accident.”
It’s no accident that Destroy cuts a wide swath of styles and textures, from the full-frontal assault of “Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal” to the jazz-blues lament of “One Woman Too Many” (which also features Gilbert’s patented four-pick Makita drill-bit riffery) to the radio-friendly balladeering of “Love We Had” to the smoking-hot gut/heart punch of “I Am Not the One (Who Wants To Be With You),” the latter track’s title a playful reference to the ubiquitous #1 hit Gilbert enjoyed as part of his gig as lead guitarist for the still-going-strong Mr. Big.
Gilbert enjoyed coming up with “I Am Not the One (Who Wants To Be With You),” which pokes gentle fun at the storied legacy of Mr. Big. “It’s been amazing to put the band back together and have a second life,” he readily acknowledges. “That one is an ‘anti’ song — me just being angry, going, ‘Really? I’ve gotta do this?’ It’s kind of like me saying, ‘I Am Not the Walrus’!” Gilbert laughs. “But the other emotion there was the appreciation of what [Mr. Big vocalist] Eric Martin and I have together as people and as bandmates. It also made me think of relationships when you’re younger and you have that first love or first marriage or first band, and all the things that you go through. Nothing is ever quite like that first time.”
This September PAUL GILBERT is set to play a string of live dates as part of the ‘Behold Electric Guitar Tour’.
16th – The Fleece, Bristol
17th – Riverside, Newcastle
18th – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
19th – Academy 3, Manchester
20th – Sub89, Reading
21st – Engine Rooms, Southampton
22nd – o2 Academy Islington, London
23rd – The Mill, Birmingham
24th – Crawford Arms, Milton Keynes