When I was first getting into the guitar, I played it incessantly. I lived it, breathed it, ate it, and slept it. I was also extremely self-critical, so from early on, I made sure to develop good playing habits - I constantly strove to sound in tune and have a great tone, and to play cleanly and in time.
The business has changed dramatically from what it was even just a few years ago. Music isn't even distributed the same way anymore. Even CDs are becoming a thing of the past. The Internet has made it easier to get my music out to anyone who wants it, but at the same time, I feel like we're losing the mystique.
A lot of people probably get the idea that I'm this extremely calculated kind of guy, and in a lot of ways, I am. But when it comes to music or artistic expression, I'm very uncalculated and do things very spontaneous. If I didn't do that, I wouldn't want to do this anymore. I can't just play the same thing over and over; it would drive me crazy.
You cannot be worrying about what other people think. You have to be sure that what you do is what you love to do, because if you love it, maybe another hundred thousand people might love it, too. Some other people might not like it, but it doesn't matter, because you have to express what you want to express. You only live once.
When the glam metal thing of the late '80s became too glammy, then instead of having two bottles of hairspray in your hair, it became better not to wash your hair at all. To me it's all trend stuff. I don't follow that stuff. I just do what I feel is the right thing. I don't know what the reason is for that. It's not fashion.
A lot of people don't know this, but I started out as a blues-based player, and then, when I realized after playing 18 hours a day that there's more than five notes per scale, that's when my stuff became what it was. I started listening to violinists and flautists, and that's how my style evolved.
I listened to all those blues records. They were great - Clapton, John Mayall. Then eventually I heard Genesis with Peter Gabriel, and I didn't really understand the difference then, but something struck me about the inversions and the diminished chords... they weren't as bluesy, and I loved it. I found out, that was very baroque-influenced.
I am so extremely busy with what I am doing myself. When I am not playing music, I am usually doing other things. Playing around with my Ferraris and playing tennis and things like that. What I understand, there is a new group of kids that are very serious about playing, which is great; I think that is a good thing.