“Very early on in my life and career, my musical life, so to speak, I actually leaned away from the guitar players and was very much into classical violin.
“That’s in 99.9999 percent of my influences, especially [Niccolò] Paganini, but I hear guitar players, I’ve heard guitar players since then, of course, that I admired greatly, like Alan Holdsworth — many other things.
“I like guitar players you probably wouldn’t think, like Angus Young and Brian May. They’re all great. I think there’s a lot of great guitar players out there. As far as influence? No.”
On his forthcoming album:
“It’s a funny thing. I’ve been told by people since as long as I can remember, ‘You’re just noodling around onstage.’ They would go, ‘You should do a blues album.’ I always said, ‘Nah. I don’t think so.’ But, about a year ago, Mascot came to me and said, ‘Hey, blues album.’ I said ‘Maybe bluesy.’ That’s what we did.
“We picked some classic songs and we originally said we’re going to pick them together, but I picked them, and they liked it. That’s how we did it. I was basically touring the ‘World On Fire’ album, then going into the studio for a bit, then going out on tour, so it wasn’t one shot in the studio. I quite enjoyed it, actually. I had a lot of fun doing this.”