Interview with Steve Vai Part 1

The Name of Steve Vai, the unsurpassed master of guitar, is widely known among rock musicians. About him and his work you can hear a lot of different opinions. Frank Zappa called him the “little Italian virtuoso”. He was invited to star in the film Crossroads, where he played the role of a guitar virtuoso who has sold his soul to the Devil, although producer Ry Cooder was looking for this role of a musician, playing “better” Eddie van Halen (Van Halen). Apparently, David Lee Roth agreed, that’s why I asked in my group after leaving van Halen. His first teacher Joe Satriani considered Vai’s outstanding and talented student. Also many of the name Wai is associated with the virtuoso playing of the guitar!

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The double album “Sound Theories, Vols. I & II”, released by Epic Records, was a dream come true Vai to record their orchestral compositions. In the first part of the album classic songs Vai’s “For the Love of God”, “Liberty”, “The Murder” and “Attitude Song”, played his guitar together with the symphonic orchestra “Netherlands Metropole Orchestra” began to sound in a completely new way! The second disc is reserved purely orchestral versions of compositions written by Steve.

In the mid-80s in an interview with Guitar Player magazine, You mentioned that many of the songs wanted to make arrangements with the orchestra. I guess that desire was finally fulfilled.

Yes! I always wanted to be a composer! It interested me as much as playing guitar. I wrote my first orchestra score when I studied in high school. When I first discovered the music of Frank Zappa, I realized that he not only played guitar, but he wrote the arrangements for his compositions. It was a kindred subject, than I myself have always tried to do. The period in the early 80-ies was very fruitful for me as a composer. It then had to write the song “Frangelica Pt. 1” and “Helios and Vesta”.

You write music on the guitar?

It depends on the work if you want to play at the same time a large number of notes in a chord, the guitar really useless. For example, in the song “Helios and Vesta” at the same time you have to play 9-10 of notes on a single instrument, such things are the guitar will not play. In such cases, I use a piano. In General, most of the tunes ripens in my head, and then I write them on paper.

As Mozart.

Yes [smiles]. Many of the melodies do arise in my head, but sometimes it happens when I’m experimenting, playing guitar.

Hard to guess what the second part of the orchestral album, “Sound Theories, Vols.II” was written by guitarist.

Thank you. It’s funny. I love the guitar, but the ability to play well on it non-congenital. I am constantly working on his technique and make every effort. But when I write music, I don’t make such efforts, I know that I want to get in the end. When I sit down with pencil and paper to write a piece of music for 60-70 people, I feel true satisfaction.

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