Metalhead To Head takes on a new shape this week, as guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Vinnie Paul take over our attention. The first episode to feature musicians who play different instruments is an engrossing one, as Satriani and Paul delve into their first experiences playing music and the quirks in their unique writing styles. Watch Part 1 above and Part 2 below!
Satriani – who has had a legendary solo career and plays in the supergroup Chickenfoot – reveals that he originally started playing music as a drummer, but says he "sucked" and turned to the guitar at age 14 under heavy influence from his love of Jimi Hendrix. His first band played Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones covers as Satriani developed his own style taking cues from the jazz and classical music his parents played at a young age.
Meanwhile, Paul's father, Jerry, encouraged him to enroll in the school band while he was in the 7th grade, where he was promptly handed a tuba. Imagine how different the shape of modern metal would be if Joe Satriani was a mediocre drummer and Vinnie Paul became a tuba player! Paul's father moved him to the drums, and eventually he and his brother – the late guitar master known as Dimebag Darrell – would start jamming and form one of the most influential metal acts of all time, Pantera.
Both musicians run down their primary influences and talk at length about the specific gear they use to record and while performing on stage. Paul reveals some of the secrets behind how Pantera songs like "Primal Concrete Sledge" and "Becoming" came to fruition. He also fills us in on Hellyeah's plans for the rest of 2014, tells us he's working on a cookbook, touches upon how fans always ask about a Pantera reunion – "I don't want to tarnish that legacy" – and delves into his brother's status as a metal legend.
Satriani recently released Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings, a box set of his entire discography, and published a book called Strange, Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir, in which he gives insight into his youth and every single one of his studio albums.