This is What’s Up! Slash and Satriani Team Up, New Music by Deep Purple, and The Smashing Pumpkins Found a New Guitarist

This is What’s Up! Slash and Satriani Team Up, New Music by Deep Purple, and The Smashing Pumpkins Found a New Guitarist

New music, new band members, and a whole lot of fun. That’s the news this week in the magic world of guitar playing.

Firstly, two guitar legends join forces with an Emmy-winning musician to bring life (and breathe some virtuoso fire) to an epic track. I’ll tell you everything about this incendiary reunion.

Secondly, one of the pioneers of heavy rock, Deep Purple, is back on the road again, like the Phoenix, but with their new guitarist. We’ll talk about everything, the song, the album, and the player.

Finally, after receiving 10,000 applications (and allegedly reviewing them one by one) the Smashing Pumpkins are a three-guitar band again. Who is she? I’ll tell you in a minute.

Keep on reading and find out what’s up in the guitar realm.

Slash And Satriani Escape from The Machines

Bear McCreary is an Emmy-winning composer who scored for productions such as The Lord of the Rings, Walking Dead, and Battlestar Galactica among many others. He’s also releasing a new album on May 10th. This is an all-star record starring some of the biggest names in rock music.

Yes, besides counting these two guitar Gods, the album will have appearances by Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Scott Ian, and Kens Kidman.

These guests help the epic element that’s always present in Bear McCreary’s compositions. He’s regarded as a genius by figures like Slash. He recently said, “This riff was right up my alley. But some of the syncopated melodies I got to play throughout the track are pure genius McCreary.”

Adding to the image of the genius, the song is called “Escape from The Machines” and was written by Bear when he was only 15 years old. The composer said that he “Never would have dared dream that one day I would hear it performed by two of the guitar gods who inspired it."

New Deep Purple Music Featuring New Guitarist Simon McBride

When this band formed, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were still alive and playing. Yes, Deep Purple has been a huge name in rock and roll for the past 50 years and counting.

During that time, they went through several guitar players with very different styles and amazing virtuoso chops. Yes, past Deep Purple members include Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Morse, and even Joe Satriani.

Steve Morse left the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 2022 after the Whoosh album and the band hired McBride as a fill-in gun for the tour. Later that same year, he was already a steady band member.

But the big news is that =1, Deep Purple’s new album is coming on July 19th with production by legendary Bob Ezrin, who produced everyone from Pink Floyd to Deftones.

How does it sound when you get McBride in the same room with Roger Glover, Ian Gillan, Ian Pace, and Don Airey? Well, there’s already a first song to hear online called “Portable Door”.

It is the perfect example of how to blend the heavy strength and pushing tempo of Deep Purple with impeccable blues chops, and great production.

Although almost half a million fans already saw the band playing live with McBride, “Portable Door” marks his entrance to the pantheon only a few players can occupy, those who have a solo in a Deep Purple record.

Judging the record by the single, it’s a great time to be a Deep Purple fan.

10,000 Application Reviews Later, The Smashing Pumpkins Found Their New Guitarist

“Reviewing the work of these incredible musicians was a herculean, albeit worthy effort,” was the line that Billy Corgan used to describe what they went through to choose the lucky player who’s going on a full worldwide tour with these legends starting in June 2024.

The band decided to go the hard way and after Jeff Shroeder left, posting an open call for guitarists on social media. You can imagine the number of videos they got as a response. Well, those 10,000 applicants were screened by 8 people and Corgan personally did the final selection and auditions.

The chosen one is Kiki Wong, a highly skilled veteran instrumentalist with a huge following on Tik Tok and Instagram. She took on the challenge of reviewing and learning the entire Smashing Pumpkins catalog and performing it live in record time and is embarking on a tour that might very well change her life.

She’s not shy to say so and recently stated “It’s been an absolute wild ride, but I am beyond honored and humbled to be chosen to perform alongside some of rock's greatest and most influential musicians of all time,”

Finally, the fact that Wong is joining the Smashing Pumpkins on the road doesn’t mean she’s becoming a band member like Shroeder. On the contrary, her position is that of “additional touring guitarist”. Whether that changes or not in the future might be something to keep an eye on.

Speaking of keeping an eye, Corgan was already Kiki Wong’s fan before she applied for the position.

The Bottom Line

Two legendary rock and roll bands have new guitarists in their lineup. One of them is releasing an incendiary record and the other is touring the world. Moreover, two heavyweight champions of the electric guitar joined forces for the fourth time in their careers in one of the year’s most bombastic rock songs.

The future looks bright and promising for rock guitar; it seems to be more alive than ever.

It’s definitely a great time to be a guitarist.

Happy (legendary) playing!


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