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Steve Vai



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Steve, first I would like to say thank you very much for this interview. Here we go:
No problem.

The Story Of Light  was released in September. How are the reactions, from your fans and the press? Are you contented with the feedback you got until now?
I’m very happy with the feedback. It’s actually better than I expected. The record charted in almost every country around the world and the reviews are quite positive. The folks that follow my music seem to be very happy with the record and are accepting the great diversity in my music.

It´s a great album, with awesome melodies, much spirit, creativity and feelings! Why did you decide to name the CD  The Story Of Light?
This record is the second installments of songs in a quadrilogy I am working on. The first record was my last studio record and it's called  Real Illusions: Reflections. The new record is actually called  The Story of Light, Real Illusions: Of A...

In the last scene of the story the main character, Captain Drake Mason, presents a book that he wrote to the towns people. The name of the book is "Under it All" and the first chapter is called, "The Story of Light". The light that is referred to is the light of consciousness. The title just came to me.


Aimee Mann and Beverly McClellan sing with you on this album. How did it come to this cooperation, why did you choose this both voices?
Beverly MeClellan was chosen because she kicks ass and is perhaps the most naturally gifted singer I have ever seen. I first met her when she was singing at a Grammy event and she just captivated me. I thought she would do a great job on  John The Revelator  so I sent her the track and she was interested in contributing.

I had known Aimee from Berkley college of music. We lived in the same apparent complex. My girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife, was Aimee's best friend in college so I had Aimee's music in our house through the years. I had written a very sweet acoustic piece and in fitting it into the story I needed a female counterpart to sing with. I started to write the lyrics and hit a block so Pia, my wife, suggested I call Aimee. Although I liked Aimee's music I thought our styles were very different. To me she is a brilliant poet and her voice is charged with a delicate vulnerability but also a strong confidence. The track I wrote was acoustic so I decided to send it to Aimee and she liked it and agreed to collaborate. Aimee wrote all the lyrics and sang on the song with me. It was a beautiful collaboration.

What are the most important inspirations when you are writing new songs?
A really good unique idea.


From the musician's point of view, could you please tell me: what were the most important experiences and impressions on the way from the very first ideas to the finished album?
The ideas come first and if the idea is compelling and exciting enough then I throw myself into it. When writing a song it’s important to me that there is a thread within it that resonates with my musical voice and has some element of uniqueness to it in regards to anything I’ve done in the past. There needs to be at least one, if not many, guitar phrases that I have never done and at the end of the day the song needs to sound confident and charged with an emotional investment that is in line with the songs intention.

In concerts you change the guitar quite often - how many guitars do you own, how many of them do you take with you on tour?
I own 264 guitars and I take about 13 with me on tour.

At the moment you are on  The Story Of Light  world-tour. Does everything work as expected until now, and could you please introduce the musicians, who perform with you on stage?
This tour is going smashingly well and when I think that it’s my first full length solo show and tour in 5 years I realize that I need to tour much more.

The musicians are Dave Weiner (guitar), Jeremy Colson (drums), Philip Bynoe (bass), and Deborah Hensen (harp, vocals, keyboards).


Will there be a DVD, recorded during the current tour?
Yes, but I am still looking into a different way of presenting it. I’m usually not satisfied with doing the conventional thing over and over.

If you would have the freedom to choose: in which city, in which location and in front of/on which place of interest - worldwide seen - you would like to play a gig sometime?
I would like to be the first artist to perform in orbit around the Earth. Floating in my tin can.

You are in the music biz for a long time now - can you tell us some very special or important moments in your career?
I was 4 years old and I walked up to a piano and hit a note. I noticed that to the right the notes go higher and to the left they go lower. It was at that very moment that I had a massive epiphany and the entire infrastructure of music became clear to me. It also dawned on me that the creation of music was infinite and that I in fact had the potential to create infinite tapestries of music for the rest of my life.


What technical enhancement was the most important for you as a musician?

What CDs are spinning in your CD/MP3 player the most these days?
Tom Waits  -  Bad As Me, Devin Townsend  -  Epicloud

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Please come and see the show if you can. I promise you will enjoy it and feel great when you leave.

Thanks for your time. We wish you all the best!

Live-Photos ©2012 by Hans Clijnk





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