Paul Gilbert is one of the great guitar heroes who need little introduction. Whether you first discovered his insane shredding mayhem in the speed metal band Racer X, his pop-music-that-totally-rocks work with super-group, Mr. Big, or any number of solo recordings and collaborative projects, there’s no denying Paul Gilbert’s role as an influencer of thousands of guitar players across a wide range of rock disciplines. He’s also a regular magazine columnist and instructor, spreading the gospel of guitar at every turn.
Ever thoughtful, funny, and forthcoming, we recently caught up with Paul to talk about Stone Pushing Uphill Man—his latest solo release, on which he’s reinterpreted a wide range of classic songs and ditched the lead vocalist, replacing that essential position with… his guitar! Of course, the conversation includes all sorts of random goodness, so allow me to direct the focus of your green-tinted, sixties mind here:
Even though the guys in Rush were very welcoming, I didn’t really know how to talk to them.