Interviews & Features

Greg Howe Interview

Guitar wizard Greg Howe talks about a new solo album, joining Simon Phillips’ Protocol and why nothing feels quite like D’Addario

By David Sands
September 1, 2017

Greg Howe has been thrilling fans for decades with his sizzlingly imaginative approach to guitar. Known for his love of tapping, unexpected time signatures and “hammer-on from nowhere” legato technique, he’s seen success both as a virtuosic solo artist and as a sought-after session and touring musician (who’s worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Tim McGraw, Salt-N-Pepa, N’Sync and Enrique Iglesias).

After years of playing clubs with his brother Albert, Howe’s breakthrough came in 1987 when music impresario Mike Varney — who’s known for helping bring shred rock into public awareness — heard one of his demo tapes and immediately signed him to his label, Shrapnel Records. His eponymous debut, Greg Howe, garnered strong sales and rave reviews for its original blend of technical virtuosity and funk sensibility. Since that time he’s released eight more studio albums (including 2003’s Extraction which features Dennis Chambers and Victor Wooten), played in the bands Howe II (with his brother Albert on vocals) and Maragold and collaborated with Richie Kotzen of The Winery Dogs on two albums, Tilt and Project.

FBPO’s Jon Liebman caught up with Howe recently at The Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan and spoke with him about his new album Wheelhouse (which comes out Sept. 1), joining Simon Phillips’ prog rock group Protocol, and more.

Watch our interview with Greg!