Paul talks to GT about Addicted To That Rush...
What inspired the song?
Billy had the main ideas for the song. I think he got some inspiration from Heard It On the X by ZZ Top.
What equipment did you use? Either an orange Ibanez PGM prototype with a scalloped fingerboard and three blue humbuckers, or a stock Ibanez RG, which also happened to be orangish red - my main guitars at the time. I used 11s, because I wanted to calm down my vibrato and sound less metal. I had some Metaltronix heads and an ADA pre-amp running through an Ampeg SVT bass head.
Did Billy inspire some of your parts, did you inspire some of his?
Both. I used to go see Billy’s band TALAS, when I was a teenager, and I would go home afterwards and try to work out licks like his. But it was all from memory, so I didn’t get exact phrases, just things in the spirit of what he was doing. When I started playing with Billy, I’d use my ‘Billy Licks’ to come up with parts that we could play together. But he’d usually say, “I’ve never played it that way.” Of course, after about three takes, he could play it, so it worked out fine in the end.
it's a great marriage of hard rock groove and technique flash, marriages that mr Big excelled at just like Van halen
It’s an interesting groove because it doesn’t swing, but it might have the tiniest flavour of it in there. Sort of like what would happen if you played Jailhouse Rock really fast.
each mr Big album seemed to have a strong 'flash' song (Daddy Brother on Lean into it, Colorado Bulldog on Bump Ahead); was Addicted the 'chops' song that fans were expecting from Billy and you?
I don’t remember talking about expectations. We just wanted to write songs that we liked, and that would be exciting to play live. Of course, this was the era when ‘blowing people away’ was still something that was assumed you were supposed to do. Definitely pre-grunge.
your solo starts with speeding sextuplets using several techniques; how long did that take to create?
It went really fast with the writing and preproduction of that album. I think the recording itself was a first take. The ballads were a lot trickier for me. I remember the solo in Had Enough took me all day, and some song on another record took hours just to get a G chord to sound right.
The second section then moves into unison tapping ideas with Billy and you...
It just brings the sound of the intro back in. Again, these are licks that I thought I stole from Billy, but turned out to be a little different.
The call and response breakdown section works great, like a steroid rock take on old blues songs - first take ideas?
I just tried to bounce off of what Eric was singing.
The song is quite bluesy; did you aim to infuse songs with a bluesy vibe?
It’s more bluesy than Iron Maiden, but less bluesy than Robin Trower. In general, we kept our 3rds minor, and didn’t really bend them the way blues does. But we also didn’t form many songs around the strict Natural minor sound that a lot of 80s metal had. I was into Pat Travers and Robin Trower, so that gave me blues ideas to work with. Check out paul’s online guitar school at www. artistworks.com/paul-gilbert.