Incendium and Heavy Metal magazine have announced a new comic book series titled “Crystal Planet.” The series was created by Joe Satriani and Ned Evett and it will be released through a new music-focused imprint called Opus.
“A vivid space odyssey where Satchel Walker, a man out of time, finds himself caught between desperate factions as they battle for resources in the perilous orbit of a dying star. In a bold and brutal saga of sentient storms and Wingsuit armies, it’s music, and more importantly the power and emotion that music can conjure, which could bring an end to the conflict, restore harmony to the timestream, and reveal Walker’s true place in the universe.
“Crystal Planet” begins as a five-issue series. The first print edition of each issue will be released as a prestige format limited edition collectible comic book, featuring cardstock covers, specialty foil treatments, glossy pages, and individual numbering. Each first printing will be limited to 1998 copies at $19.98, and available to order here. The first issue is available to order now and ships March 2021.”
“Funny how things get their start. July 1994 I’m on tour with Deep Purple and I’m warming up with my guitar backstage in a bull’s isolation cell at the Plaza de Toros in Gjion, Spain. Then and there, I start writing the opening riff to a song that will become ‘Crystal Planet’, and a few years later, it’s the title track for my ’98 album release. Fast forward to 2013, friend and fellow guitarist Ned Evett makes an animated sci-fi video for my song ‘Lies And Truths’ using artwork from my ‘Joe’s Art 2013’ book. We projected that video on a 30-foot screen every night of the ‘Unstoppable Momentum’ tour. It was a hit with the fans which got us thinking we could expand the clip into a ‘Crystal Planet’ sci-fi epic. Ned and I formed Satchtoons, a company focused on creating animated content, and we got to work on scripts and demos for the ‘Crystal Planet’ pilot. Seven years later, thanks to Llexi Leon and Heavy Metal, here we are with our first comic book series! Llexi and I had worked together on his awesome ‘Eternal Descent’ comics, and by coincidence we met again when Heavy Metal published a short excerpt of ‘Crystal Planet’ adapted by Brendon Small for the magazine’s 2019 music issue. Both Ned and I love working with Llexi and the Incendium creative team; they bring so much artistry and expertise to our time-traveling adventure. I am thrilled to finally offer our fans the first full issue of what will ultimately be a three-novel trilogy.”
Llexi Leon added:
“‘Crystal Planet’ is a thrilling rollercoaster through space and time, it’s Mad Max vs. Tron — with guitars! This has been an incredibly rewarding project to bring to fruition, digging deep into the lore behind one of the greatest instrumental rock records. Working with Joe has always been a pleasure, having collaborated in comics with Eternal Descent years ago his love of the medium is well known. There was a treasure trove of concepts and character exploration compiled over decades by Joe and his writing partner Ned that formed the basis of this project, with the ultimate goal to take fans on a journey to ‘Crystal Planet’ for the first time. Tony, Richard, Carlos, and Jacob have done a tremendous job realizing an incredible world and telling it’s story. It’s fitting that our publishing venture with Heavy Metal would begin with a space faring time travel adventure!”
In additions to the comics, new “Crystal Planet” toys and collectibles will be available as well. A Joe Satriani “Crystal Planet” action figure can be pre-ordered HERE.
A number of artists will be joining forces for the “Six String Salute” virtual concert. The event will take place on September 17 and proceeds from it will benefit Crew Nation. Here’s the artists that are set to appear: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Steve Vai, Tommy Shaw (Styx) with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), Halestorm, Rik Emmett (Triumph), Joe Satriani, Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), Frank Hannon (Tesla), Alice Cooper’s Nita Strauss, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie with Kansas’ Richard Williams, Alex Skolnick (Testament), Jennifer Batten, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy), Steve Cropper, Jesse Dayton, Steve Hackett (Genesis), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Nick Perri (The Underground Thieves), Sammy Boller, Ross the Boss, and Joyous Wolf. “Six String Salute” will be hosted by Steve Black (“The Chop Shop”) and it can be viewed on Live Nation’s YouTube channel. Limited edition merchandise will be also be available during the stream.
Joe Satriani has shared an animated video for his song “Yesterday’s Yesterday.” This track is from his latest album “Shapeshifting.”
Satriani’s son ZZ Satriani directed the clip and he had the following to say about it:
“First off, it was a fun challenge during these strange times of quarantine. We live in different cities, so Joe had to set up the lights, green screen, and camera, and film the video on his own. Once I put together the footage, I knew I had to add a little more character to the video. I tend to include my own artwork in my videos, and since the song is so cheerful, I figured why not paint each frame, add even more vibrancy to the whole project.”
“ZZ’s artwork, animation and editing really shine here. His introduction of ‘Joe Satriani’s Shapeshifting Club’ at the top of the video is a brilliant story telling device that invites us into a world where we can playfully shift into any shape we want. It’s also a subtle nod to the ‘Shapeshifting’ album from which the song comes. The original recording features special guest performances by Lisa Coleman (Prince, The Revolution) on piano and Christopher Guest on mandolin.”
“Each time I watch this video I find myself stopping at every frame to marvel at all the crazy morphing that plays out over the whole song. I’m hoping ZZ puts all the shape-shifted drawings together in a book soon!”
A special “Rock For Relief” virtual concert will be taking place on Friday (July 3) at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT via rockforrelief.net. The show will be hosted by Lou Brutus and Rikki Rachtman and money raised from it will go towards Feeding America‘s Coronavirus Response Fund. Here’s the artists set to perform: Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Gavin Rossdale (Bush), Don Felder, George Thorogood, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Joe Hottinger (Halestorm), Filter, Lisa Loeb, BJ Thomas, The Dead Daisies, Jesse Hasek (10 Years), Brian Vodinh (10 Years), Chris Robertson (Black Stone Cherry), Starset, Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro), Brandon Saller (Atreyu), Ricky Byrd, Bobby Whitlock (Derek & The Dominos, CoCo Carmel), Joe Grushecky, Bones Owens, Kathy Sledge, Danielia Cotton & Mickey Factz, and Matt Bigland (Dinosaur Pile-Up). Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Melissa Rivers, and Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia) will also be involved in the event.
Joe Satriani has shared a bonus track from the sessions for his latest album “Shapeshifting.” The song is titled “When Trees Walked The Earth” and it can be streamed below. Satriani told Relix the following:
“What music would giant, walking Redwoods be listening to when they would pick and move up and down the West Coast in search of a new home? That’s what got me started on the song ‘When Trees Walked The Earth.’ It’s the soundtrack to an eco-sci-fi film idea.”
During a recent interview with Australian Musician, Joe Satriani revealed that he has been working on two new albums during his coronavirus downtime. This includes one instrumental effort and one with vocals.
The guitarist said the following:
“I got it in my head that I wanted to create two separate records in the next few months. One would be another instrumental album, and another would be a vocal-oriented record, but they would be centered around my live band. The unusual nature of that was because the band is so unique, with Kenny Aronoff on drums and Bryan Beller on bass guitar and an Australian phenomenal musician Rai Thistlethwayte on keyboards and guitar, who’s also a fantastic singer.”
Satriani also added that the band “have been texting each other music almost every day.” He continued:
“We’re all on board thinking that remotely we’re gonna build these records over the next number of months. So that’s what we’re doing with this time at home — we’re trying to be as creative as possible.”
Joe Satriani has postponed his European/UK tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trek will now take place in 2021.
04/09 Zurich, Switzerland – Volkshaus Zurich
04/10 Winterbach, Germany – Salierhalle
04/12 Aarhus, Denmark – Train
04/13 Odense, Denmark – Posten
04/14 Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio
04/15 Stockholm, Sweden – Fryshuset
04/16 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
04/18 Mainz, Germany – Rheingoldhalle
04/19 Berlin, Germany – Huxleys
04/20 Numberg, Germany – Löwensaal
04/21 Karlsruhe, Germany – Tollhaus
04/23 Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma Borgerhout
04/24 Enschede, Netherlands – Muziekcentrum Enschede
04/25 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
04/26 Heerlen, Netherlands – RABOzaal Heerlen
04/27 Oberhausen, Germany – Turbinenhalle
04/30 Birmingham, UK – Birmingham Symphony Hall
05/01 Bexhill, UK – Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
05/02 Manchester, UK – Bridgewater Hall
05/04 London, UK – Palladium
05/05 Gateshead, UK – Sage
05/06 Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy
“The current COVID-19 virus has now reached pandemic proportions and is making daily life for all of us very challenging. As always, my concern for the health and safety of my fans, my band and crew always takes precedence when touring, and now is no exception. I’ve had to make the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the first leg of the European ‘Shapeshifting’ tour and we are working to reschedule the shows that are affected. Please hold on to your tickets for the rescheduled tour date. Let’s band together to beat this virus and rock another day.”