Joe Satriani’s 1987 album, Surfing with the Alien, set a new standard for instrumental guitar playing. Looking back, the pioneering guitarist credits Eddie Van Halen for ushering in a new renaissance period for the instrument. “I came along at the end of that,” says Satriani, in a forthcoming interview with M Music & Musicians. “Eddie had already brought more positive energy to electric guitar playing. I was an early fan. He was playing what every kid my age wanted to play. Things were closing in for music in the ‘70s. There was disco, there was punk, and there was a sort of a refinement of the electric blues movement of the ‘60s. Fusion had run its course. But suddenly there was Eddie, smiling and laughing while he was tearing up the fret board. That’s what I had been waiting for, the reemergence of that.” Satriani’s latest album, Unstoppable Momentum, was released May 7th.