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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Steve Vai
Category: Other Musicians
From: Eddie Yoon (Scottsdale)

I'm really a rock music fan/player who is also very interested in jazz. I know you are into a variety of musical genres and it's cool to know you can did Pantera and Nine Inch Nails as well as Miles and the 'Trane. As far as modern rock guitarists are concerned, your comments about Joe Satriani seemed quite positive. What are your thoughts on Steve Vai? I think he's the only other musician that I've seen who compares to you in terms of overall mental and spiritual dedication to music. Sure Steve plays out that whole rock image thing and he went through his phases as the top hired gun for acts like David Lee Roth and Whitesnake, but overall, I think he's one of the most creative and compelling rock guitarists out there. And the guy is real straight: doesn't smoke and doesn't do drugs. He's somewhat of a maniac as far as attention to detail, knowing a lot about theory, and practice, but that's what makes him so interesting as a rock player. Your comments about Steve would be really interesting. Have you ever met him? Can you imagine doing something with him in a rock format in the tradition of "Roots of Coincidence"?

Pat’s Answer:

steve is truly awesome. when i hear the kind of control he has over all of the aspects of his sound, it kind of amazes me, especially as a guitarist. it is so funny how, almost overnight, (upon the release of the video of "smells like teen spirit") that whole world of rock almost became culturally obsolete. steve is survivior of that, i believe, because essentially, as you pointed out, he seems like he has a particular musical sensibility in his head that he is determined to get out. it doesn't surprise me to hear that he is a pretty straight ahead guy. here is a trivia item for you - my brother mike was steve's 1st semester theory teacher at berklee in the early 80's! (he said even then, he was off the scale talented)