Kieran just couldn’t say no to Joe

A guitarist from Galashiels who posts his fantastic “shredding” skills on social media says he was “shocked” when guitar legend Joe Satriani spotted his talent and asked him to join him in a new project.

Thursday, 19th November 2020, 4:15 pm

Kieran Johnston, who’s 25 and now resides in Edinburgh, where he has his dream job as a salesman at guitarguitar, is more often found playing with heavy metal outfit Perpetua – named “Best Metal” winners at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in 2016.

The band had finished most of the pre-production for their first full-length album, but it was halted by Covid-19.

However, it’s his latest collaboration with Satriani which has made him smile widest.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The chance to perform on guitar legend Joe Satriani's latest album project was a dream come true for Galashiels shredder Kieran Johnston.

Kieran told us: “Some of the opportunities I’ve been afforded through posting to Instagram is just mind boggling to me, really.

“The thing with Joe came around after his manager messaged me on Instagram on Joe’s account.

“Joe has been following me for the past six months or so and it’s safe to say I was shocked when I received the message.

“He’s literally one of my guitar heroes so I can’t even explain how crazy it is.”

Joe Satriani.

Satriani – a 15-time Grammy Award nominee who’s sold more than 10 million albums, making him the best-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time – asked Kieran, and several other shredders from around the world, to perform on his “Stripped x Three” project, which features full backing tracks from the complete “Shapeshifting,” “Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards” and “Is There Love in Space?” albums.

Kieran had the task of putting together an fret-melting solo for the track “Perfect Dust”.

He said: “With the guitar solo I decided to make something that was as close to ‘my sound’ as possible, as I knew I’d be being shared to a wider audience as a result of this.

“I’m really happy with how it turned out and the response has been amazing!”

This week, Satriani posted a clip of Kieran in action on the track, saying: “Kieran jumps into some ‘Perfect Dust’ seamlessly switching between modern, blinding-fast runs and tasteful classic rock phrasing.

“He always shreds with taste and style.”