Watch Paul Gilbert’s Q&As for New ‘I Can Destroy’ LP
Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert sat for a series of Q&A sessions surrounding his new solo album, I Can Destroy, offering fans a glimpse at the stories and experiences that went into the songs.
One of the songs Gilbert discusses is the album's first single, "Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal," which he says was musically influenced by listening to jazz and blues records from the '50s. Soaking up those arrangements, says Gilbert, motivated him to veer away from his traditional approach to playing; as he puts it, "It's helped me to completely revisualize where things are on the guitar."
Like the bulk of I Can Destroy, "Turn Signal" was written lyrics first. "When I can do that, it's just an easier way to write," Gilbert explains. "For me, anyway."
Later in the Q&A, Gilbert discusses "Adventure and Trouble," which he says was the first song written for the record — inspired after a meeting with producer Kevin Shirley. For Gilbert, the song reflects "what the rock attitude is about," with blues and gospel influences that truly manifested themselves after he realized the arrangement fit perfectly with Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz."
Even though I Can Destroy is a solo effort, Gilbert stresses that he has "nothing but gratitude for the guys that played with me on this record." As he goes on to explain, the positive feedback he received from Shirley and his band helped him overcome a crisis of creative faith. "I was in a place of self-doubt when I began the record. The record previous to this one was a record of mostly covers, because I was struggling to write new stuff. For this record, I thought 'I don't know how I'm gonna do it.' I thought maybe the well had run dry."
Gilbert also discussed his decision to record "I Am Not the One (Who Wants to Be With You)," a sort of answer track to the Mr. Big hit "To Be With You." "I really genuinely love 'To Be With You.' I don't get tired of playing it," he stressed. "But it was amusing to me to write its opposite, just as a mischievous thing to do. I don't know if the meaning of the song is the exact opposite, but it's close."
Paul Gilbert on 'Adventure and Trouble'
Paul Gilbert on 'Blues Saved My Life'
Paul Gilbert on 'I Am Not the One'
See the Top 100 Albums of the '80s