“Joe and I have done a few records together. For the Black Swans album, he wanted to assemble a band that he would then tour with.
"I don’t know if he felt this way because of the success of Chickenfoot, but I thought it was a great idea.
“We set up at Skywalker Sound in California, and I could tell right off that there was going to be a different vibe to this album than on some of his other ones.
"Having a keyboard player, Mike Keneally, allowed Joe to weave the melodies in a new way. He still played like crazy, but he didn’t have to fill up every measure of the music.
“My role with Joe is to get him the sound he wants and allow him to explore his creativity as far as he can go. He’s got the songs pretty worked out before we get in the studio, so I never really have to give him input on arrangements.
"There’s only a few times where I might say, ‘This section goes on a bit long, how about we get back to the riff a little faster?’
“It can be hard for an instrumental artist to tell different stories album to album, but this one was a real giant step forward for Joe. It’s darker in some ways, but I think it was great to see him get inside some of those emotional areas.
“He had a few kinds of amps with him, but overall, the main sound on the record was from his Marshalls. They really delivered a wide array of tones.”