EXCLUSIVE JENNIFER BATTEN INTERVIEW

Guitarist currently touring with Jeff Beck and former lead guitarist toured with Michael Jackson on 3 world tours

JENNIFER BATTEN

TRIBAL CONQUEST Insight with Jennifer Batten:
Another Exclusive interview by Dave Roberts
Copyright 1999 Dave Roberts, All Rights Reserved.

Guitar virtuoso Jennifer Batten has quite an impressive resume. Since her emergence from the guitar underground in the late 1980s, her elaborate guitar presence and trademark two-handed guitar tapping technique has gained her more musical experience and praise than most musicians will ever have the chance to experience. Despite being a woman in a male dominated profession, Jennifer's skills supersede her rivals, earning her numerous high profile gigs, including 3 world tours with Michael Jackson (BAD, DANGEROUS and HISTORY) and her current gig, touring as part of guitar legend Jeff Beck's band.

Some of Ms. Batten's many other accomplishments include her many CD releases (shown below in "DISCOGRAPHY) and her video credits on Natalie Cole's "Wild Women Do", Michael Jacksons "Moonwalker", Sara Hickmans "Take it Like a Man" among several others.

Batten even had the honor of playing in front of the largest audience in television history alongside Mr. Jackson on January 31, 1993s Superbowl 27 half-time show, playing in front of 1.5 BILLION people in 80 nations.

Jennifer Batten displays her craft on her many projects, but it is her solo releases that intensively demonstrates her virtuosity as a guitarist on many levels as she plays a wide scope of diverse musical stylings. This range is flaunted on all her albums, but is more apparent on her solo recordings; especially her most recent; 1997 JENNIFER BATTEN'S TRIBAL RAGE--MOMENTUM. Fellow TRIBAL musicians Ricky Wolking on bass (Gary Hoey, MaCalpine, The Nixons) and drummer Glen Sobel (MaCalpine, Saga) help Ms. Batten incorporate her progressive moods along with numerous cultural ingredients, including the Australian Didjeredoo, African percussion, trumpeting elephants, Bag Pipe and steel drum sounds and more to produce an amazing exotic "World Music" guitar instrumental album.

TRIBAL RAGE-Momentum earned acclaim and praise from fans, reviews and musical peers alike including Eric Johnson--"I saw her playing some two-hand stuff and she is great at it in a musical way. She uses it to where it would sound different than normal guitar"; Jeff Beck--"Incredible stuff, very impressive. She's very dedicated. I just see her playing away in her little house somewhere, doing nothing else. Because you can't get that good unless you do."; Terry Bozzio--"Jennifer Batten has unique and special talents. Of particular interest to me is her two hand hammering technique which expands conventional guitar playing to new and exciting levels. Tribal Rage is a wonderful showcase for her"; Carmine Appice--"The CD's fantastic! Glen sounds phenomenal. It's (Momentum) one of the only CD's I listen to in my car right now." and numerous other musical praises.

You can sample Jennifer's guitar craft and find other information including Jeff Beck tour dates, purchasing Batten merchandise and other news at www.batten.com.

Recently as she takes a brief, well deserved break from her exhausting tour with Jeff Beck, Ms. Batten took part in my guitarist survey where she was asked questions submitted to me by her fans concerning her latest solo release, tours, guitars and life..

Exclusive Jennifer Batten Guitarist Survey: DR: Ms. Batten, Thank you for taking time out of your heavy Jeff Beck touring schedule to answer these questions submitted by other guitarists and fans. First, How's Life Treating you?

JB: NEVER BETTER

DR: Let's start with some tech-talk; What is your current rig setup?

JB: 3 ROLAND JV1080'S, GI 10 SYNTH MIDI CONVERTER, DIGITECH 2101, PEAVEY POWER AMPS, PEAVEY 5150 HEAD, 5150 CABS, PEAVEY KEYBOARD AMPS, DIGITECH WHAMMY PEDAL, ROLAND STEREO VOLUMES (3)

DR: Of all your guitars, which is your favorite; why?

JB: THE WASHBURN MAVERICK WHICH IS MY OWN MODEL THEY'RE RELEASING THIS YEAR. IT'S COMFORTABLE, SOUNDS GOOD AND HAS A SYNTH PICK UP IN ALL OF THEM, WHICH I NEED TO GIG WITH JEFF.

DR: What type of strings and tunings do you normally use?

JB: I TUNE DOWN 1/2 FOR JEFF, DEAN MARKLEY 10--50 BLUE STEEL. STILL EXPERIMENTING WITH GAUGES THOUGH

DR: Besides your guitar & amp, what is the one piece of your rig that you cannot live without?

JB: DIGITECH WHAMMY PEDAL

DR: What do you think was the greatest invention for guitars?

JB: FLOYD ROSE TREM BAR

DR: I agree! Now let's dig a little into your history ...What was your first guitar?

JB: I THINK A SEARS ELECTRIC. THERE'S A PHOTO OF IT IN MY MOMENTUM CD

DR: Who or what first inspired you to pick up the guitar?

JB: MY SISTER HAD ONE AND I DIDN'T---JEALOUSY!

DR: Do you still remember the first song you ever learned to play?

JB: I THINK A MELODY OFF A CHICO HAMILTON RECORD MY DAD SHOWED ME. MAYBE "FOREST FLOWER"?

DR: How about your first concert performance?

JB: I PLAYED A JAZZ DUET WITH A FRIEND FOR $12

DR: You have been involved with many high profile tours. Other than the sheer honor of playing onstage alongside musical legends including Michael Jackson and currently Jeff beck, among many others, are there any defining moments at a certain venue that stands out as your highlight of highlights?

JB: DOING THE SUPERBOWL WITH M.J. WAS A GREAT HIGH AS IT WAS AIRED TO BILLIONS OF PEOPLE. BUT I'VE NEVER BEEN SO TRANSPORTED AS PLAYING WITH JEFF. ONE GIG IN PARTICULAR WAS ON A BEACH IN SARDENIA ITALY. THE ENERGY WAS OUTSTANDING.

DR: Most embarrassing moment?

JB: HAVING MY AMP BLOW UP WHILE PLAYING WTH SLASH ON AN MJ SHOW.

DR: What would you be doing if you weren't a musician?

JB: EITHER FORESTRY OR SPIRITUAL WORK.

DR: What job would you definitely NOT be doing?

JB: BURGER KING (I'M A 3 YEAR VET)

DR: What advise would you give beginning guitarists?

JB: STAY EXCITED ABOUT PLAYING. IF A TEACHER IS MAKING IT A DRAG, KEEP SEARCHING.

DR: If you weren't doing this interview, what would you be doing right now?

JB: WRITING.

DR: briefly describe your songwriting process.

JB: VERY HAPHAZARD. SOMETIMES I'LL HEAR A MELODY IN MY HEAD FIRST AND DEVELOP FROM THERE. MORE OFTEN LATELY I'LL LAY DOWN A DRUM LOOP AND REACT TO IT IN SOME WAY. NOW THAT I'VE GOT ACCESS TO ALL KEYBOARD SOUNDS THROUGH A SYNTH, I MAY START WITH A BASS GROOVE OVER IT, OR A GUITAR GROOVE. FROM THERE, I JUST LAYER AND LAYER THINGS UNTIL I DRIVE MYSELF NUTS, AND HAVE TO ESCAPE TO A MOVIE!

DR: How did you find and develop your trademark two-handed guitar tapping technique?

JB: I WAS IMPRESSED BY WHAT STEVE LYNCH (FROM "AUTOGRAPH") HAD BEEN DEVELOPING WITH IT. HE WAS A CLASSMATE AT G.I.T.

DR: You seem to always incorporate various ingredients into your sound; your latest TRIBAL RAGE--MOMENTUM solo release accentuates many varying cultural elements, sounds and stylings. Are there any certain styles or tracks on this release that you favor above the others?

JB: I LIKE SCOTSMAN THE BEST BECAUSE OF THE SOUNDS AND SOLO DEVELOPMENT.

DR: One of my personal favorites on TRIBAL is "UNPLUG THIS". Could you tell us the story behind this tune?

JB: GETTING INUNDATED WITH MTV'S TRENDY UNPLUGGED SERIES. AS JEFF BECK SAYS "I'LL UNPLUG FOR NO ONE!"

DR: What's next?

JB: MORE WRITING WITH JEFF. I'M OFF TO LONDON NEXT WEEK.

DR: What is the meaning of life?

JB: STAYING HAPPY VIA GROWTH AND WORK.:

DR: What is the best guitar advice ever given to you?

JB: STAY TRUE TO YOUR HEART

DR: What type of music or bands do you listen to, what CDs are currently in your CD player?

JB: VERY WIDE VARIETY OFFSPRING, LIMP BIZKIT,WILLIAM ORBIT, PRODIGY, NINE INCH NAILS, TLC, JANET JACKSON,MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO

DR: Thank you for your time and I wish you the best on your tour, TRIBAL RAGE and life.

JB: COOLIO

DR: Be sure to check out Jennifer's tour dates at www.batten.com/tourdates.htm and buy her newest release as well as other Batten Merchandise at www.batten.com.

DISCOGRAPHY

GUITARS PRACTICING MUSICIANS ('89 Guitar Recordings) (JB'S got one track>

"Giant Steps: JENNIFER BATTEN'S TRIBAL RAGE~"MOMENTUM""('97 Mondo Congo Records

JENNIFER BATTEN ~"ABOVE BELOW AND BEYOND" ('92 Voss)

CARMINE APPICE'S ~"GUITAR ZEUS 1"('95 FEMS) Ms. Batten plays on the title track.)

THE BLUESAHOLICS ~FOGGY MORNING (95 PHONAG Switzerland) (JB'S on "Crawling in the City")

MICHAEL SEMBELLO ~ "HEAVY WEATHER ('95) (JB has one solo)

CARL ANDERSON"Heavy Weather Sunlight Again"(JB played on "Black Rain" /GRP Records)

SARAH HICKMAN "SHORTSTOP" ('96 Elektra)-(JB's on one track "Take It Like A Man")

THE IMMIGRANTS ('96 USG Germany)

DOC TAHRI ~"EINSTEIN WAS A BULLFIGHTER"(97 Cash Only Records) (JB's on 6 tracks: Arrest This, Dirt Cheap, Brain Dead Endorsee, There Was A Time, Sex Attack revisited, Watch Your Step)

CINDY CRUZ (Front Line Records) only in Japan~Dave Rogers (Sun City /single)

V6 (Made in Japan, Music For the People/singles) Live at the Tokyo Dome ('96 Avex dbl CD + Video) with Dave Rogers + Queen of Hearts

All materials are Copyright Dave Roberts, All Rights Reserved. All articles are available for use or reprint ONLY by Permission.

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