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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:49 pm 
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For Steve's US fans, this is a big deal. He's been doing symphony and orchestra shows in Europe and Japan, but to my knowledge, this will be the first time he's done it in the States.

I've already got my tickets.

http://tickets.coloradosymphony.org/sin ... spx?p=2778

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Very cool. I wonder if that's a one- off thing or if he'll be bringing the program to some other symphonies across the country. So far that's the only one listed on his site.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:53 am 
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Seen SV a couple of times, the G3 tour alongside Joe Satriani and Steve Lukather, March 2012, and again on his own tour July last year.

Both shows were mind bendingly good.

Steve Vai Orchestral....If he was paying attention during his tenure with FZ, it should be good.....

Hey Trendy, do you think the band will be doing more :?: :arrow: :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:12 am 
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Guilty :)
Was lucky enough to meet him last year in Glasgow (the lady on the merch table must have taken a liking to me and my friend as she sent us over to meet him, I must have stuck out a mile with bright red hair. He read the music on my friends tshirt and pointed out that it had the black page on it. I even managed to get a couple of photos with him, Best concert ive ever been to. can't see me being so lucky again.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:56 am 
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Al DiMeola with special guest Steve Vai - 4/26/2015

https://youtu.be/nXPIfd8Qz7w

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:31 pm 
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coevad wrote:
Al DiMeola with special guest Steve Vai - 4/26/2015

https://youtu.be/nXPIfd8Qz7w

That's awesome, Dave. I can see why you didn't want to pass this show up.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:43 pm 
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I did not go. I have no funds for concerts right now. I just thought it would be cool to share this because I'd heard about SV sitting in while you guys were in Vegas. I was considering the AD Coach House(Apr.25th) show, though.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:55 pm 
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I always see him when he comes to Denmark. It is always great shows, and he always mentions that Denmark was the first place where he played outside the states (in Aarhus kicking off the 1982 tour with Treacherous Cretins on the Coral Sitar).

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:18 pm 
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coevad wrote:
Al DiMeola with special guest Steve Vai - 4/26/2015

https://youtu.be/nXPIfd8Qz7w


That was fucking awesome!

There's another clip in the sidebar of them playing a reprise of Flight Over Rio too!

Thanks for posting! 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:26 pm 
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coevad wrote:
I did not go. I have no funds for concerts right now. I just thought it would be cool to share this because I'd heard about SV sitting in while you guys were in Vegas. I was considering the AD Coach House(Apr.25th) show, though.

It was cool. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:30 am 
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Anybody else been listening to the above new-ish live album? I've had it a month or so and it is not getting any better. Of course, Vai is a technical master on guitar, but the album, the other performers, the MIX, the individual tones, the vocals, the banter... bleah. I'm trying to hold out some optimism here in that sometimes albums can take some time to get used to, but I was expecting to like this right away.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:19 am 
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IMO, I don't know what he can do to top Sound Theories and Where the Wild Things Are.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:51 am 
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I hope Steve will visit Dweezil at one of the Los Angeles area ZPZ shows this winter.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:09 am 
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file under: unlistenable

the alumni curse....


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:36 pm 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
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Anybody else been listening to the above new-ish live album? I've had it a month or so and it is not getting any better. Of course, Vai is a technical master on guitar, but the album, the other performers, the MIX, the individual tones, the vocals, the banter... bleah. I'm trying to hold out some optimism here in that sometimes albums can take some time to get used to, but I was expecting to like this right away.


I saw the trailer on YouTube, and wasn't impressed or disappointed either way. It's Vai. I admire the mechanical dexterity that it takes to play that stuff, but I mostly prefer a guitar used in a more compositional way these days.

But I did find a lesson on the cool picking technique that he uses in Crossroads.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:43 am 
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Guitar legend Steve Vai leads camp in Vail, Aug. 2-6

Next week, guitar legend Steve Vai will bring his second Vai Academy guitar camp — All About the Guitar — to The Arrabelle at Vail Square, with classes, clinics and jams featuring guest instructors from the top echelon of the guitar world. We caught up with Vai to learn more about the camp, as well as his music career and his decades-long love affair with the guitar.


VAIL DAILY: What made you originally fall in love with the guitar?

STEVE VAI: My immediate visceral, first visceral, response to the instrument was, I was 6 years old, 7 years old, and I walked into the auditorium of my school and there was a boy who was 10 years old — and when you’re six, someone who is 10 is like a god — and he was playing the guitar. He was really playing it. The moment I saw it, I had an epiphany, one of those moments of clarity where everything stands still and you become very, very present, and it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. The way it was slug on his body, the sound it was making, the way that it looked — it was my first love affair with the instrument. It was a quiet love affair, though. All those years I fantasized about the guitar, I never felt worthy of playing it; I was afraid or something.

Growing up, I was interested in composition. I learned to compose music — I was fascinated with the little black dots, so to speak. My parents were listening to “West Side Story,” and that had an impact on me — the intense music, the melody, the drama, the story. But then my sister was listening to Led Zeppelin, and once I heard that, it was all over. I had to play the guitar. I was about 12 years old when I decided I wanted to play the guitar. I had a friend who had a guitar on his wall in his lonely teenage Long Island bedroom. He never played it. I thought it was beautiful. It was this cheap Teisco Del Rey guitar with all these pick-ups and this whammy bar. He said, I don’t want to play it; I’ll sell it to you for $5, and that’s when my world changed.


VD: What keeps the instrument relevant for you?

SV: The realization that the creation of music on the instrument is infinite and will never not be fresh and new. It’s a playground for your imagination constantly. And whenever I pick up the instrument, I see the infiniteness of its potential, and that just is a lovely thing because whenever you’re engaged in something, in a creative way, that gives you that feeling of enthusiasm for what you’re creating, it makes every day like Christmas. And it’s like that for me, every time. It’s never been any other way. Sure, there’s ruts that you can get into and dry spells, so to speak, but even through the dry spells, I feel that my inspirational army is gathering all of its tools together for another attack.


VD: What was the evolution like from being a sideman to solo artist to audio producer? What have you enjoyed about each of these aspects of your career?

SV: I was always fortunate in that, the majority of the time, I’ve engaged myself in things that I found to be very enjoyable. If I was, say, a musician hired by Frank Zappa, I found great joy in learning his music the way he wanted it performed. And then when something like the opportunity to play in “Crossroads,” the movie, came along, I saw how I could contribute in an effective way, so that made that interesting and exciting. And then when I was a sideman in those big rock bands in the ’90s — The David Lee Roth Band, Whitesnake — they were fantastic opportunities to get on a stage with a large audience and learn how to permeate that audience with my ego, so to speak.

All of the time, through all the years, I had two things in my favor that I think were great strengths, that I didn’t even know I was employing. One was my ability to visualize, and the other was my comfortable desire for independence. I’ve always been independent, and when I finally released my own album “Passion and Warfare,” my first huge solo record, that gave me the opportunity to be much more independent than I was before. It was a beautiful kind of evolution of independence.


VD: The 25th anniversary release of that album is coming up next year, right?

SV: It’s this year, but I don’t think the package for it is going to come out until next year. I came up with some ideas that are taking a lot more time than I would have expected. I kept saying, “Hey let’s try this, hey let’s try this.” It’s due tomorrow. “Let’s push the deadline.”


VD: Of all the people you’ve collaborated with and/or toured with, who was the most out there and why?

SV: There was an out there-ness to all of them. Frank Zappa had his unique, creative imagination, and some may consider that out there, so there was some pretty fun, far out, out there kinds of things with Frank. Everything else in comparison, that I’ve done, had its opportunity for moving outside the circle a bit, being a little out there, which was inexorable for me because I’m not really comfortable unless I’m a little left of center.

Most of those were in relatively conventional settings. But with Frank, it was anything, anytime, anywhere, as long as it’s interesting and funny and enthusiastic. Frank created a forum where you can express your potential in ways that you didn’t even realized you had, and that was one of the geniuses of Frank Zappa. … He had a knowingness of your potential beyond your knowingness. I know that sounds odd, but Frank was able to look at you and feel you and know what your potential was and would give you an opportunity to exaggerate your potential. That’s why musicians who have worked with Frank many times have a reputation of being these elite, top musicians. It was really Frank pulling it out of you, but he did it in a really organic way. He’d never ask me to sing a song the way Ike Willis or Ray White would sing it, and he’d never ask me to play something on the guitar that he knew was not really intuitive to me, but he saw an opportunity in me to have somebody play particular, bizarre melodies that never belonged on the instrument. So I jumped into those kinds of things and found myself doing things that I never thought I’d be able to do.


VD: You’ve been nominated for 15 Grammys and won three, along with quite a few other prestigious awards throughout your career. Do you put any stock into those types of accolades? What makes them important or not so important?

SV: On one level, yes, it’s a great honor to be recognized for our contributions because a lot of times musicians put their heads down and just grind away. It’s nice when someone taps you on the shoulder and says, guess what, you’re doing pretty good. Those kinds of awards are sort of inspirational, but I honor them for what they are.

On another level, whether they were there or not, I don’t think it would have changed my enthusiasm for writing a piece of music or for continuing to try to find innovative things to do on the instrument. They’re good on one level, but the challenge arises when you start creating an identity for yourself based on your accolades. The trap is in starting to create an image of yourself of being the one who has 15 Grammy nominations, three Grammy awards, all these awards here, magazine covers. It’s not hard to start creating a concept of yourself of being one of the great ones, and then that can easily overpower or overshadow, for a period at least, your connection with your true inspiration. Your place in the world becomes more important, and you start reaching for things to hold on to your cache. And that stuff all comes and goes all the time anyway.

I’ve gotten trapped in the ego coming in the back door, so to speak, from all of those accolades, but at the end of the day, you realize the vital thing is the quality of your inspiration, and that’s based on the quality of your consciousness, which is based on the quality of the thoughts that you choose to think in your head.


VD: Tell me about the second installment of the Vai Academy in Vail, Sunday, Aug. 2, through Thursday, Aug. 6. How did this annual guitar camp get started, and what makes it unique?

SV: I’ve always loved teaching, and I started giving guitar lessons when I was like 14, I think. When you teach, you learn, and through the years — I started probably 15 years or so ago — I started doing these, I call them Alien Guitar Secrets master classes. I just finished a tour of Brazil, 11 cities of master classes. I really enjoy that, and I was hoping that at some point I would do something like a camp because the camps started to become popular. I always put it off until thought I had a good enough idea that was somewhat different than a conventional, giant, three-day guitar lesson.

Last year, we did our first one, Vai Academy: Evolution of a Song. It was four intensive days of going through the process of discussing song inspiration, how to evolve your ability to find inspiration in writing music, and then there was a lot of academics involved, like how to protect your intellectual property, how to start your own publishing company and register their music — it’s essential, and a lot of musicians don’t understand it.

Then we actually wrote a song and recorded it with all the players, 150, and they saw the process of recording. I had engineers give classes on the best way to capture your music, how to treat the stereo spectrum in an audible way. They learned about EQ, mastering, about microphones, and then we mixed it, and then I had the professionals come in and talk about the music business. I think it’s vital that a musician understand at least the surface of the music business, so that they can navigate it and also learn how to protect themselves.

And then I showed them how to take their music and put it up online, instantly, to virtually all of the major digital aggregates all over the world. And then we had classes on marketing, how to market yourself, how to build a story, and it was fantastic.

But this year, I wanted to do something totally different. So the theme this year is the guitar itself. I’ll be having people come in that are giving classes on the actual construction of the guitar. Many players don’t understand why a guitar sounds like it does, the various tones that certain woods can introduce, the way a neck is built, why the necks sound a particular way, the infrastructure of electronics of the instrument, the way pickups work.

Last year, we had Guthrie Govan, Vernon Reid. And this year, we have Eric Johnson and Sonny Landreth, and every night, it’s just a huge, fun jam session, where I get to play with every camper — I call them campers, but it’s Vail, Colorado, in a five-star resort; there’s nobody with a tent (laugh). This year, the class is really going to be useful, interesting and engaging for people that love the guitar and are even just beginners at the age of 50, you know?


VD: Your CD-DVD set “Stillness in Motion” came out in April. What was the catalyst for that project, and how has it been received?

SV: Every time an artist goes out on tour, there’s always some kind of evolution in their performance, their stage presence, their technique. And I like to document that each tour. So on the last tour, I wanted to go out on a very long, extensive tour, so I could really focus on getting deeper into the note, so to speak. So I had this tour that had us through 253 engagements in 52 countries — it took two years — and I visited places I had never gone and that I was told no American artist had ever played.

I spent a month in Russia; we played through Siberia and all the way through Kiev when the war was on. There was one show here in L.A. that AXS, a cable TV station, wanted to film and broadcast live to about 35 million homes. So as part of the deal, I got all of the tapes for that. I received this beautiful nine-camera shoot of this show at the Nokia in L.A. and thought, let’s make this a DVD.

That was simple enough, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to have something that was different and unique, so I came up with this idea to create this bonus footage that is sort of a chronological tour diary, that has some kind of photo or video, on or offstage, form every place that we went. So you can imagine the massive undertaking because I had them collect all sorts of media from fans, crew, the band, my wife, myself, the Internet, and then put it in chronological order

That’s “The Space Between the Notes,” the 3 hours and 40 minutes of bonus footage. I feel that it’s one of my greatest achievements. It’s so interesting to watch how this band traversed the globe, twice, and what it’s like to be on tour. And what you notice is how happy we are. There’s no drama in my band, we love each other, and we love doing what we’re doing, and we’re constantly feeling gratitude. We cultivate the feeling of gratitude, and that’s extraordinarily powerful. It makes for a wonderful life experience. You can get some of that from watching “The Space Between the Notes.”

http://www.vaildaily.com/news/17510345- ... mp-in-vail


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:20 am 
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TONIGHT - 2 March 2016
9:00pm Eastern Time
local FOX affiliates

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Hell's Kitchen
(Gordon Ramsey)
10 Chefs Compete

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Steve Vai performs for the 10 remaining chefs. During dinner service, they work to impress celebrity guests Garcelle Beauvais and Jonathan Loughran.

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view Steve Vai's performance here :arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhc3zFXgYxE


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am 
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I'm going to see Vai on the Generation Axe tour April 9th with Yngwie, Zakk wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi. There will be a few notes played that night.

www.vai.com/generation-axe-a-night-of-guitars-tour/


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:34 am 
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Mr. Nice Guy wrote:
TONIGHT - 2 March 2016
9:00pm Eastern Time
local FOX affiliates

Image

Hell's Kitchen
(Gordon Ramsey)
10 Chefs Compete

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Steve Vai performs for the 10 remaining chefs. During dinner service, they work to impress celebrity guests Garcelle Beauvais and Jonathan Loughran.

Image

view Steve Vai's performance here :arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhc3zFXgYxE

If you miss it tonight, it is on CITY TV on Friday evening.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:48 am 
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Wow. He played guitar, on Hell's Kitchen, for a whole minute!

with band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wucUrOG3jNo

solo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhc3zFXgYxE

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:11 am 
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I stopped buying his releases and listening to his music a long time ago. And when watching what he is doing now (on Youtube or whatever), I think it is totally uninteresting and many times just horrible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:06 am 
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The Enduring Passion of Steve Vai

Interviews By Ron Hart

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Photo by Larry DiMarzio


“I’ve been coming to Europe for 35 years,” declared guitar great Steve Vai from Helsinki, Finland, en route from his hotel to the Kulttuuritalo venue he'd be playing that night. “Like any other place it changes and evolves. The first time I played here was with Frank Zappa in ’82. That was my first time in Europe ever, and it was a blast. Well, it was scary. I was so young at 21, and touring with Frank Zappa at that age was terrifying!" he laughed.

Now, four decades later, Mr. Vai has returned to Europe for his latest tour as bandleader. This time he is on the road in support of the 25th anniversary of his 1990 solo masterpiece Passion and Warfare, a deluxe edition of which will be available on June 24. The bonus material to the remastered album, meanwhile, is a collection of compositions Vai had begun recording in between his stints in former Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet’s heavy metal act Alcatrazz and David Lee Roth’s blockbuster solo band alongside bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Greg Bissonette.

Entitled Modern Primitive, this lost LP contains some of the most adventurous music Vai has ever recorded, embellishing upon his stint as Frank Zappa’s one-time protégé more than anything else he’s ever released by taking detours into synth-pop, classical, jazz and even singer-songwriter fare and filtering them through his one-of-a-kind playing. Vai can also be heard this year on the M83 single “Go!” off their latest album, Junk, playing rings around the kinetic sweetness of J-pop star Mai Lan. Meanwhile Ibanez, the guitarist’s longtime axe of choice, will be releasing three limited editions of their Steve Vai Universe line of seven-string guitars featuring swirled finishes coinciding with the color schemes of the Passion and Warfare album cover art.

In this exclusive interview, Noisey caught up with Mr. Vai on the streets of Helsinki to speak with him about his appearance in the 1986 Ralph Macchio guitar film Crossroads, his brief stint in Whitesnake, and that time he played on a Public Image Limited album, among other intriguing tales from this true American original.


Noisey: What else do you remember about your first European tour as Zappa’s “stunt guitarist”?
Steve Vai: It was a very important tour for me, because before that between the ages of 20 and 21 I was kind of in this funk, a depression of sorts. And I was kind of coming out of it when I was on that European tour with Frank. I was starting to feel an easiness and a lightness, and it was beautiful. It was Europe in the summer, and we went to Italy, which very few bands had done at the time. As a matter of fact, we were the first band to play in Sicily. My family is Italian, so it was really nice to be there for that time and to heal.

It must have been interesting to go from Frank Zappa to David Lee Roth. Eat ‘Em and Smile turns 30 this year.
Does it really? I didn’t even know. Strangely enough, I still see Billy Sheehan and Greg Bissonette; we go to dinner like once a year. We play quite often together and communicate all the time. Actually, the last time we got together they had mentioned it was the 30th anniversary of Eat ‘Em and Smile. There is this cool place in Hollywood called the Lucky Strike bowling alley, and they have open mics on Wednesday nights and said I should come down and do a little tribute to the album with them and play just a couple of songs off the record. I’d love to do that, you know, like, “Yankee Rose” and “Shyboy”. And I was like, “Hey, let’s just invite Dave and see if he’s interested”, and he was. And we were all set to play, and all of a sudden the fire marshal closed the place down because there were way too many people in there. We had 1,700 people in a 300 seat venue. It turned into this big fiasco with fire trucks and all this stuff. It was a great band. We even decided it might be in our best interest to do a reunion tour for that record. It’s something that we’re actually kicking around, maybe.

That would be amazing.
It really was such a good band, you know, and we had great success. It was great for all of us. I mean, I was in my mid-20s when I was out on the road with Dave, and I virtually became a rock star overnight so to speak. Touring with Dave Roth in the 80s was one of the coolest things you can imagine. And as a kid who had the dream, we lived it good and hard [laughs].

Did DLR know you from Alcatrazz or Frank Zappa?
Well, there were a lot of things in play that put his radar on me. But the main thing was that he had a relationship with Billy Sheehan, and Billy was the first guy he got for the band. It was Billy who recommended me. And at the time, I had a lot going on. I had Zappa and the thing of being a Zappa musician. I had “The Attitude Song”, which Guitar Player was all over, and then I had Crossroads. So I had all eyeballs on me, so to speak. But when I got together with Dave, I think he was auditioning a couple of other guitar players. But as soon as we got together, there was smoke.

And between your time with Alcatrazz and Roth, you created the music that would become Modern Primitive?
After I had recorded Flex-Able, which was really this fun, bizarre, innocent, naïve record; I had put a band together and thought, “Hey, maybe I can be a real musician here and make records.” [Laughs] So I began writing a lot of material and began to track a bunch of stuff (which was material we performed in the band) which was called The Classified. But then after that I joined Alcatrazz and then Roth, so I had to put all my solo aspirations on the shelf. And when I was making Passion and Warfare, I had a completely different musical sensibility. However, I thought it would be nice to add the Modern Primitive stuff to this 25th anniversary reissue of Passion and Warfare and not only use the tracks I had but finish some of the material that I wrote from back then. And it felt very instinctive to me, because Modern Primitive is this missing link between Flex-Able and Passion and Warfare. It’s one of the most favorite records that I ever made, because it’s so adventurous and dense and quirky

You recorded Passion and Warfare while you were in Whitesnake. At the time, the music on the album was some of your loudest and most visceral to date. Was it a reaction to your experience making and touring behind Slip of the Tongue?
It was a reflection of me breaking away from conventional rock at the time. I’ve always had that music from Passion and Warfare in my blood, and I just turned my back on everything and focused purely on that. I thought my career was over at the time, and then I am making this very uncharacteristic record for the period. But to my surprise, it hit a nerve. I’m very fortunate. But it was cool being in Whitesnake. The thing that attracted me to that band was getting to play with David Coverdale, and the songs for that album. The music on Slip of the Tongue was already written and recorded, all they needed was the guitar parts added in, so it was easy for me to go in and do that.

How did you become involved in the 1986 film Crossroads?
Well, it was an interesting situation. I was working in Alcatrazz at the time, and Ry Cooder was scoring Crossroads, and he called up Guitar Player magazine and asked who the hotshot guitar player of today was. And they played him “The Attitude Song” over the phone, and he sent me the script. And I read it, and saw it required this accompanying guitar duel, not as if I wasn’t already so much of a ham [laughs]. But I knew how to build and construct a guitar duel, and I worked with Ry on that and it turned out very cool. Then I meet the director Walter Hill, who asked me if I’d be interested in being in the movie. At first I was like, “Well, I’m not really an actor.” But after reading the script, I thought I could do something there. And Walter Hill is the kind of director where he lets the actors do what they needed to do and gave just very minimal direction and just let me and Ralph Macchio do our thing. If you get a chance to see this tour I’m on now, you will actually get a big kick out of it, because it opens up with a clip from Crossroads.

Another interesting collaboration you enjoyed in 1986 was your participation on Public Image Limited’s Album. How did that come about?
Bill Laswell was doing the production in addition to playing bass on the record, and they were looking for a guitarist and my friend who was friends with him had recommended me. It was a really easy gig for me; I had just one day to do everything and they gave me a tremendous amount of freedom to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t have to worry about all the things that come along with being a solo artist, so it was great. It came out really cool.

Did you get to spend any time in the studio with John Lydon?
He didn’t come in until after I finished everything. But he listened to it and he turned and said to me, “This is fucking great, man!” in his classic accent [laughs]. Then he asked me to join PIL. I couldn’t, but that would have been interesting.

How much were some of the great punk guitarists on your radar at the time, like original PIL guitarist Keith Levene or even like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd of Television or Robert Quine and Ivan Julian of The Voidoids?
The only exposure I had to that genre was really my girlfriend at the time, who is my wife now [laughs]. She was a punk, and she was always putting me on to all that new wave and punk stuff that was coming out back then. Then when I was going to school at Berklee, there was a strong underground punk movement on campus, and there were a couple of really punky clubs I used to go to.

How did you link up with M83 for “Go!”?
I get offers like that all the time, they come across my desk. But obviously I can’t do them all, and I only choose the ones that are interesting. And for this song, a friend of mine was producing it and asked me to do it, so I was like sure! I didn’t realize how big M83 was, and when the press came out there was a lot of coverage. But I liked the way it turned out, it came out pretty cool.

It really is a great thing to see these younger acts bringing you guys aboard for projects. Another amazing collaboration has been between Rihanna and Nuno Bettencourt.
Nuno is a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you that. He actually wound up being her musical director. He’s a very smart and intuitive person, and incredibly talented really. I’ve always known of him, obviously, but it wasn’t until this Generation Axe tour that we were on earlier this year that we really bonded. I think it was definitely a score for her. Nuno is a very accomplished solo artist in his own right beyond Extreme, and Rihanna to grab him was I think a nice coup.

So if a Frank Ocean or Lorde called you to go on the road with them, would you do it?
No, I don’t think so. It would have to be an extraordinary situation where it felt like my contribution was appropriate.

Catch Steve Vai on his Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary World Tour:

June 17 - Leuven, Belgium - Het Depot
June 18 - Gutenstetten, Germany - Ibanez Guitar Festival
June 20 - Warsaw, Poland - Progresja
June 21 - Prague, Czech Republic - Lucerna Music Bar
June 23 - Vienna, Austria - Simm City
June 24 - Dornbirn, Austria - Conrad Sohm
June 26 - Paris, France - Le Trianon
June 27 - Solothurn, Switzerland - Kofmehl
June 28 - Schaffhausen, Switzerland - Kammgarn
June 29 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg - den Atelier
June 30 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Les Docks
July 2 - Rome, Italy - Rock In Roma (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 3 - Sogliano Al Rubicone, Italy (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 4 - Ascoli Piceno, Itlay - Piazza del Popolo (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 5 - Grugliasco, Italy - Gru Village (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 6 - Gardone Riviera, Italy - Teatro del Vittoriale
July 7 - Udine, Italy - Castello di Udine
July 10 - Weert, Netherlands - Bospop Festival
July 11 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 12 - Offenbach A. Main, Germany - Stadthalle (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 13 - Bonn, Germany - Kunst!rasen (G3 with Joe Satriani & The Aristocrats)
July 16 - Cordoba, Spain - Anfiteatro Axerquia
July 17 - San Javier, Spain - Auditrio Parque Almansa
July 18 - Madrid, Spain - Jardines de la Complutense
July 19 - Valencia, Spain - Jardines de los Viveros
July 20 - Palma, Spain - Teatro Trui
July 21 - Barcelona, Spain - BARTS Club Paral.lel 62
July 23 - Lisbon, Portugal - Cultural Centre of Belem
July 24 - Vila, Portugal - Hard Club
July 28 - Budapest, Hungary - Park Budapest
July 30 - Tbilisi, Georgia - Tbilisi Open Air

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/steve-vai-interview-2016


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:52 am 
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In the early 80s, Frank Zappa recorded an album called The Man From Utopia. He asked his transcriptionist and stunt guitarist, Steve Vai, to transcribe one of his live improvised vocal tracks and double it on guitar — perfectly copying every syllable, word, and inflection. The result was a song called The Jazz Discharge Party Hats. Maybe it wasn’t Vai’s idea, but I doubt Zappa would have assigned the task to anyone else if he didn’t have His Little Italian Virtuoso around. Listen to it.

All of that nuance that Steve attuned himself to while working as a transcriptionist for Frank went into his music. The dynamics, the little flourishes, even the bizarre burps and squeaks — every musical phrase is decorated and emphasized in its own unique way. Personalized in excruciating detail. Frank Put Steve Through Hell On A Daily Basis. And it shows.

A few years later, Steve used that same wacky vocal-guitar-doubling technique on his own album, Flexable. This time around, he used a recording of his friend ranting about how happy she always is (could this be a mockery of Los Angeles, where he was living at the time?). It was called So Happy. Why would someone want to do that again, but at a faster tempo? It’s crazy.

Speaking of Flexable — he recorded the entire thing himself in his garage and it made him millions of dollars. Can you argue with that?

Then, In the late 80s, he went on to be the co-designer of the Ibanez JEM series of guitars, and in the early 90s, the Ibanez Universe, which was the first modern, commercial seven-string electric guitar. This started the trend of metal bands tuning or stringing their guitars lower. Along with Mike Patton, you can blame Steve for Nu Metal.

Around that time, he did a lot of work in developing patches for the Eventide H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer, which played a central role in the creation of his concept album, Passion & Warfare — more of a paranormal soundscape than an encyclopedia of licks. How many different sounds can come out of a guitar? Listen to that record and find out.

Recently, he was quick to adopt a crazy (but apparently very practical) way of fretting guitars called True Temperament. He’s having all of his guitars redone with those squiggly frets. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing them everywhere in a few years.

What It All Meant To Me
Passion and Warfare had deep personal meaning to me. As an alienated and severely-tortured high school kid, I clung to that record as my only friend. I was rejected by everyone, bullied constantly, my family exploded, my world was falling apart around me, but somehow Steve Vai understood and gave me a way out. I believed that if I sacrificed everything else, I could be like him. So that’s what I did. I failed every class in school, ignored every responsibility, and practiced guitar every possible moment of my day. I even went to bed silently practicing, after the lights were turned off. My mom was smart enough to sign me up for two guitar lessons a week, because I probably would have committed suicide if I didn’t have something to be good at.

Playing guitar was only a “gateway drug” for me, and I eventually realized I wanted to combine audio, video, design, and writing into one creative medium. My point is, music is only one way to be creative. Even if I was originally inspired by a guitarist, it was his artistic concepts that always hooked me. It’s easy to get trapped in your instrument and not realize it is only a tool to make sounds, and a concept album like Passion and Warfare is a perfect example. It’s not just scales and chords — it’s a fantastical microcosm inhabited by supernatural beings. (What, you don’t hear them?)

His Music And Playing
From an analytical standpoint, Vai’s own music and playing are unusual for a rock guitarist. Here are seven examples:

•He often slides down to a note instead of up. Eh?
•His vibrato is circular, combining both horizontal and vertical into one smooth technique.
•He emphasizes dissonant notes in his solos, such as resolving to a b5 at the end of a phrase – or even moving drastically out-of-key, giving it a cock-eyed sound.
•In the style of late-1800s composers like Stravinsky and Prokofiev, Vai will move in non-diatonic sequences or stacks of intervals, and harmonizes them in parallel, with unexpected layers of instruments. It’s strange architecture, pointing off at unexpected angles, like a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
•He’s an expert showman, and has his own vocabulary of bizarre hand signals and dance moves to communicate his ideas. What’s wrong with that? Why is music the only way to tell a story?
•He uses the whammy bar as a melodic tool, not just as a thing to yank on when he’s nervous and running out of ideas during a solo. For example: on the song Frank, the entire guitar solo is played using only harmonics and whammy bar.
•His early albums are full of symbolism, numerology, and subliminal messages. His melodies often have secret words to them, and you can sometimes catch him mouthing them when playing. If you listen closely, you can find a lot of things buried in his mixes — or if you listen to them while asleep, which I did every night.
Other people have done those same things, but Vai really made them his own.

In His Own Words
I’d like to end this tribute post with some excerpts from an email Steve sent me just over 3 years ago, shortly after I auditioned to play bass in his band. He has always been very supportive of my creative career… and coming from that guy in the David Lee Roth video who first inspired me to take music seriously, that was the highest honor.

On Courage
“It takes a lot of courage sometimes to stretch outside of the box. Sometimes we have to put aside public and even fan approval and search ourselves for our own honesty when it comes time to enter the creative mode. I struggle with this too. All those little voices that tell us it’s not good enough, it’s going to be criticized, no body understands it, etc. You’re not alone. We need to make choices on many levels when it comes time to create. I wish you could have had an opportunity to work with Zappa. He was a master of focus and confidence. It did matter to him what people thought but he still did what his inner convictions dictated. If anything, this was what I saw most in Franks brilliance. He just did it the way he envisioned it with no excuses. That’s real courage.”

On Being Misunderstood
“There will always be brilliant music and art that will never be experienced or appreciated by someone other than the person who created it. I believe that the cathartic process of creating the work is the point more than having the rest of the world get to hear it and adore it. I believe that when we are dead it won’t matter to us so why worry now. If we can be satisfied with just going through the process of making it with our best foot forward then we have won the game. The ironic thing is that if we can approach our work with a relatively detached attitude of the desire for it to be appreciated in perpetuity, then every bit of appreciation we get is a bonus. Trust me, I’m not an authority on these things and I hope to not be coming off preachy but these are just the things that make sense to me, even though I look at my shelves that are covered with literally thousands of hours of music that I know will never be heard. That music is my treasure and perhaps is not meant for the world.”

About My Audition For His Band
“I appreciate that you came down to auditions but was a bit surprised. Listening to your music it’s obvious to me that you have a special vision and need to march to the beat of your own drummer, both figuratively and literally. You have a unique musical vision and I would encourage you to explore that and not be confined in a band like mine where my musical vision would stifle you. I only say this to perhaps inspire you because there are people who want Sir Millard Mulch at his most creative. It would be difficult for you to follow your musical aspirations if you were confined to playing under someone else’s direction. Plus, I am a fierce band leader when it comes to my music and I settle for nothing less than what I want and it will never be ay different. Musicians that are in my band understand this and this allows them to contribute enjoyably. Part of that vision is to allow them, at times, to rise to the occasion for their own potential as creative people, but not all the time and they get that. They are cut out for it. For the most part my goal is to create a catalog of music that is undiluted by outside influences. It’s a struggle but it’s just the way it is. I understand your feelings. Please don’t worry. You are very creative at the things you do and being fiercely creative comes with a price and part of that price is the frustration we experience when we feel that what we are doing is important and vital and is not being appreciated. You’re in good company. I say this with respect for your work and hope to encourage you to continue to search yourself for the music within you that you know you are capable of creating. Just go for it my friend!”

Thanks, Mr. Vai.
- carl king

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:17 am 
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Maps wrote:
•He often slides down to a note instead of up. Eh?
•His vibrato is circular, combining both horizontal and vertical into one smooth technique.
•He emphasizes dissonant notes in his solos, such as resolving to a b5 at the end of a phrase – or even moving drastically out-of-key, giving it a cock-eyed sound.
•In the style of late-1800s composers like Stravinsky and Prokofiev, Vai will move in non-diatonic sequences or stacks of intervals, and harmonizes them in parallel, with unexpected layers of instruments. It’s strange architecture, pointing off at unexpected angles, like a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
•He’s an expert showman, and has his own vocabulary of bizarre hand signals and dance moves to communicate his ideas. What’s wrong with that? Why is music the only way to tell a story?
•He uses the whammy bar as a melodic tool, not just as a thing to yank on when he’s nervous and running out of ideas during a solo. For example: on the song Frank, the entire guitar solo is played using only harmonics and whammy bar.
•His early albums are full of symbolism, numerology, and subliminal messages. His melodies often have secret words to them, and you can sometimes catch him mouthing them when playing. If you listen closely, you can find a lot of things buried in his mixes — or if you listen to them while asleep, which I did every night.
Other people have done those same things, but Vai really made them his own.


Uh.... sliding down to a note is at least as old as stringed instruments.

What's the point here Maps? Expert showman? Harmonics and whammy bar? Stacks of intervals? Credit for Nu Metal? (that last one in particular is cringe worthy). All that matters is the end result.

Quote:
He uses the whammy bar as a melodic tool, not just as a thing to yank on when he’s nervous and running out of ideas during a solo.

Melodic tool? I figure if a guy is "running out of ideas during a solo" he can end the damn solo. Tools are for working on yer car.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:21 am 
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