Exclusive Interview with John Cuniberti
Joe Satriani's album Surfing With The Alien (1987) made a big impact in the world of instrumental rock music. What was it like working with Joe in the studio and why do you think the album resonated with such a wide audience?
JC: Joe heard the music in his head and made some simple demos on a 4 track cassette machine. He asked me to make it “real”. That is, transform it into a professionally recorded album he could enjoy. We had no idea at the time if anyone would like it - honestly. Joe and I just wanted to have fun in the studio and make something that gave us pleasure to listen to. The fact that others like it is a bonus.
What is your philosophy behind engineering and producing?
JC: I see myself as a facilitator who walks the artist through the production of his/her recording project step by step. Because I have learned the process of record making by making hundreds of records, I can help avoid expensive mistakes and keep the project on track and on budget. I work best with artists or bands that have their songs written and well rehearsed but are in need of support to get their music recorded or mixed professionally. I can also help with song selection and arrangements. I will only work with artists or bands whose music I understand and appreciate but who also appreciate me. Some are very narcissistic and give little back but are great talents and sell tons of records. Then there are other artists who I feel good being around and enjoy the process of making the album that know one will ever hear. If I can't make a significant contribution to the project I will not take it on.