The clip was directed by his son, ZZ Satriani, who directed the 2018 documentary Beyond the Supernova about his father’s 2016 and 2017 tours. In addition to footage from the studio, the video also features material shot on a soundstage as they attempt to recapture the mood of the titular year.
“The year that American Gigolo, The Shining, Raging Bull and Caddyshack came out, I just wanted to rock,” Satriani said. “‘Nineteen Eighty’ is my high-energy, throwback instrumental soundtrack to that year.”
Satriani previously said he wrote “Nineteen Eighty” to sound like his first band, the Squares. That group “dialed back the guitar solos and histrionics to try to create a cooler New Wave vibe.”
But the guitarist also put enough flash in there to pay tribute to one of his guitar heroes at the time. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen,” he said. “In my mind, he just crystallized that era. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s — he kind of saved rock guitar. So that’s what I would have been doing.”
Shapeshifting arrives on April 10. Five days after its release, Satriani will begin a 42-date European tour that runs until June 11. U.S. dates are expected to be announced soon.
Last year saw the release of a collection of demos by the Squares, a trio comprised of Satriani, singer Andy Milton and drummer Jeff Campitelli. “We would bring in elements of old rock ‘n’ roll, punk, New Wave, heavy metal, classic rock, just about everything you could think of,” Satriani recalled to UCR at the time.