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Steve Vai (Steve Vai)

( Guitarist)

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Biography Steve Vai (Steve Vai)
Here is a stunning Martian landscape. A huge green creature is born from the depths of the misty bogs Orange. Giant eyes ominously hovering over ... toilet. Relax, friends.

It painted walls in the bathroom for guests in the house of Steve Vai. So, unfortunately, we are not on Mars. In the garden behind the house 36-year-old guitarist (he was born 6/6/60 - you can go crazy) walks with his 6-year-old son Julian. Papa Steve recently haircut, short hair he wore long, probably since childhood.

Yes, in this landscape there is nothing extraterrestrial. Is this itself a legendary ruler of space gitaryN

It turns out that after many years of intergalactic wanderings Steve Vai returned to earth. Although his album is called "Alien Love Secrets" (Mysteries of Love aliens), however, he was the most terrestrial of all the things that Steve has done for his amazingly diverse career. You probably remember that in 18 years, invited him to his part of Frank Zappa. Then he issued a stunning solo album "Flexable" and starred in the movie "Crossroads" in the role of Jack Butler. In addition, he replaced Yngwie in the group "Alcatrazz", Viva Campbell in "Whitesnake" and Eddie Van Halen as an accompanist David Lee Roth. He also recorded the virtuosic passages in the soundtrack to the movie "Bill & Ted's Exellent Adventure". In 1990, Steve released an ambitious album "Passion And Warfare", which in scope, virtuosity and breadth of scope is certainly a milestone in the whole development of heavy instrumental music. It appeared that its author has no weaknesses.

However, the next ambitious project Vai "Sex & Religion" not lived up to his promise. Although the album included a brilliant examples of guitar technique and good disagreed, however, according to the author, he was "a disaster". Studio recording collective (the group was called "Light Whithout Heat", not "Vai") quickly became out of control, Steve. In a planned tour in support of the album were to take part drummer and bassist Terry Botsio T. M. Stevens. Out of the studio was only vocalist Devin Townshend. Many critics have identified the album as pretentious and contrived. The project was a total failure.

Therefore doubly pleased to listen to this album, like "Alien Love Secrets". It is a casual humor "Flexable", drama "Passion & Warfare", intriguing harmony "Sex & Religion" and the virtuoso guitar skills, which has never let the author. Produced by Steve (with the assistance of Sergio Bass) and recorded with drummer Dean Castronova, this album is characterized by a single guitar sound, tight chord passages and, of course, stunning solo.

But that's not all! Before you visit India in order to "correct its own karma," Steve shot a video, which recorded the entire album "Alien Love Secrets". This he did in the past, purely for ease of transkrayberov (like Jesse Gress and Dave Uaythilla). Now this video is available, finally, to every fan of guitarist. Now Wai opens his record company to support the musicians, whose talent does not fit into the existing standards now. He prepares educational interactive CD-ROM, which, in his words, not only will give students an idea of music fundamentals, but also help them understand their own creative individuality. From Vai always expect a variety of surprises. In the near future he plans to finish a new, half-instrumental album, tentatively called "Fire Coma". It is based on the fantasy of astral travel in the dark subconscious of a rock star. Just like an interview with Steve passer, does not it liN

. Steve has always emphasized the close relationship between their technical and cultural aspirations, and in the subsequent interview, he goes further, offering an intellectual game for the development of our hearing from you
. Analyzing their victories, failures, Wai commented on his latest opus: "This you will not find on Mars!"

. Interview after the release of the album
. "Alien Love Secrets"

. What do you expect from this album, unlike, for example, from "Sex & Religion" N

. Guitarists showed no interest in "Sex & Religion"
. Indeed, it is not done for them. I just wanted to offer what I can do fairly well, because I knew that there are people who understand and appreciate my work. I had a desire to make a full record - with a rich, dense sound. I would like to experiment, try to sing something alone. I'm not such a terrible voice, he just does not rock. In addition, guitar fans do not want me to sing, because:
a) I - guitarist;
b) my voice is in the best case can be defined as the average.

But I'm too eccentric, to pay attention to such considerations! Now I have decided to release an album, and then make a video for playing the audience. However, I am certainly not going to sit 9 months in the studio, sweating over a huge sculpture. I had 27 tracks, and some of them were the most common blunt guitar compositions. Besides the fact that I - a guitarist, I am also a fan of the guitar. I am in love with this damned tool. Thus, the album "Alien Love Secrets" was to answer the question, what happens if Steve locked in a room with a guitar. At this writing there is no guitar overdubs, except for the songs "Kill The Guy With The Ball", in which I signed the party rhythm guitar.

Music on the "Alien Love Secrets" is quite simple. Idea comes to me, then I hear a song and imagine how I would play it on guitar. It is nice to know that from the beginning to the end you said guitar - this is a very personal feeling. As the old Van Halen records, when the impression that you are in the same room with Eddie. It is quite another great arrangements, as in "Passion & Warfare". I just pull them. I'll always be happy to make music.

Your latest album is quite easy.

I must say honestly that this is not improvisation. I had to pretty to work hard. Gets something right. However, this did not happen often. I'm not so talented to take a guitar and immediately create a masterpiece. I need a lot of work, something to keep from something to give. This recording has become a serious challenge to my ears. And the most valuable place in it - a subtle points of articulation and phrasing interesting that many people simply ignored the. But I worked on them until such time until the desired result sought.

For example, one moment in the song "Juice", when I pulled the string up until it touched the sensor. I wanted it sounded clean, that there are no overtones, either before or after. It is very difficult to perform some "whine" with no extraneous noise. But it is precisely for this and I tried. In another snippet, I omit the lever of the 3rd string, and then pull it to the note A. When the string tension is weakened by means of a lever, the string vibrates differently, because it sags. Therefore, it must deal with it in the right place at the right time. This can be done magnitovvody sensors, when the string is moving in their direction.

Arrangement "Juice" - a standard boogie. But phrasing it like Eric Johnson.

Free demo recording of the song I made 6 years ago. But, despite this, it never entered into any one of the albums. In it lies the essence of guitar instrumentalism. I knew that I would criticize, but I also knew that he could write cool things - I just really like this. I wanted to make a record, for which there would not be ashamed. I would be absolutely frank with you. I finished it, after I heard a song by Eric "Cliffs Of Dover". I thought to myself: "What a good thing - it is me and like to boogie". Then I took this track from his desk and resumed work on it.

Who is devoted to track "The Boy From Seattle" N

Naturally Hendrix. With this track, I had trouble. Generally things are obtained from riffs. I have to "datovskoy" film accumulated a few thousand of these ideas and riffs, even ready orchestrations that would suit some instrumental albums. "The Boy From Seattle" is very similar to hendriksovskuyu "Wait Until Tomorrow". I love Hendrix, especially the chord game, nothing I can do about it. So, I decided that this track will look like a complete guitar play. But she sounded so in hendriksovski, which itself has become a dedication to this musician. When it came to solo, I wanted to play something blues, with the pure sound. But then I thought: "All this is wonderful - but where's the VayN" And then I recorded a second solo.

In solo bugged several golosovN

This is one guitar with Delay. I just played against the backdrop of delays. I used the "Roland SDE-3000" because "Eventide H3000" does not provide sufficient time delay. A "Roland" gives two and a half seconds. You play a note, and in the following proportion of it appears on the left, and another two on the right shares. That's how this effect is achieved. However, these need to be able to use it, otherwise get porridge. Thus, I had to construct a solo, in which delays served to their melodic function. Probably, it would not talk about it, but I really like this solo. I love to listen to him.

And it was a passage from the Indian sound right before the last akkordomN

You pulls 2-S string with neck and it makes a "wee-wee". I had often used this technique, though, this time he first turned out in such a melodious. I borrowed it from the Indian violinist L. Sankara. You take note, and then make a quick slides about a quarter tone. The result is something reminiscent of Indian music. However, for the first time I encountered with this technique when I was 14 years old. When I took lessons from Satriani, he turned away, put his guitar to his lips and did something like. I was intrigued, but he did not want me to see how he succeeded, Joe tried to convince me that he does it with his lips or teeth. I asked him to show, but he did not agree. I do not remember exactly, whether it was he finally discovered the secret, then I thought of it yourself. But in any case, it was fun.

What harmonic material ispolzovalsyaN

This miksolidiysky fret. Chord progression remained diatonic, did not appear until some unexpected chord, created special sound. When there is an interesting series of diatonic chord, he always makes a certain color. My favorite piece is just preceded by a solo. I like the bass line, which creates a very special mood.

I already talked about those moments in the compositions, which I am particularly impressed. So, here in front of a small solo chord riff, which I use my "trademark" phrasing. It does not require special virtuosity, but it's one of those pieces that I especially close.

Tell us about the song "Bad Horsie". Which system you ispolzovaliN

It was a system of D, in which the 4-th string was lowered to P. The basis of this arrangement is that my character did Jack Butler in the movie "Crossroads". I even came up to her special history. This is a terrible dream in which a brave Indian galloping across the prairie on horseback, and people are paving the rails for pursuing their trains. In fact, on a horse galloping I. When we reach the high grasses, the train is nearby and ready to crush us. After all, in the tall grass is not clear where the rails. I was very upset. Suddenly my horse into a bursting smoke of the steel stallion.

I played the guitar, issuing all these locomotive sounds. If you listen to this track, you can imagine me carrying on the back of this, like a locomotive, iron horse. That's what this thing.

Arrangement "Ya-Yo Gakk" proves that no one compares with you in the art to imitate the human voice on the guitar.

It was foolish to wish for at the expense of the rest. For me it is perfectly natural desire to imitate the guitar sounds different, including the human voice. When I worked with Frank Zappa, I took off his vocal lines and play them on guitar. This is a very interesting way to construct a melody. "Ya-Yo Gakk" sounds like a simple pop song. However, first of all, I recorded a half years of my son Julian, when he sang this little ditty. I have accumulated hours records "Ya-Yo Gakk". I am one of the category of fathers, whose hand is always a video camera or tape recorder. When I first heard him muttering those words in my head I got a plan lyrics. Finally it is time to do it, and I went down to the studio, drove all the tracks from the "Ya-Yo Gakk" in the computer and started editing them. Five days I worked 15 hours to finish the only vocal track, because I had to pick all the fragments corresponding to the desired tone.

Then I put them on the verse and adjusted so that all ended up in proportion. I used a 7-string guitar and the tone in.

I tried to keep all the nuances of voice, Julian, all these chetverttona and all that is characteristic of human speech. You need to get rid of the scheme "note-fret, and concentrate only on the simulation of sound. In all of these songs I did not want to use the traditional approach, when the guitar plays the melody on the background of the rhythm section (bass, plus drums). I wanted to get ritmogarmonicheskuyu picture in which each track retains its role, even when the guitar plays solo. Therefore, in the song "Bad Horsie" I used a form of "question-answer". All built around a rhythm that complements the melody. The same can be said of the compositions "Juice" and "Die To Live". A "The Boy From Seattle" entirely based on the chords. When there is a melody, which is a guitar solo, I'm taking the rest to achieve the effect of equilibrium.

And what about "Kill The Guy With The Ball" N

Well here I have no excuse (laughs). There are certain techniques using a brush, I'm working on now is not so much as before. This energetic movement of the brush allows you to quickly play in the complex dimensions. This is a combination of fast beats down and up. However, "Kill The Guy With The Ball" - a controlled chaos. I tried to create different tonal structure, using the E-major as a support and playing in the background of all sorts of melodies. Scattered on the background of E chord sounded Fmaj, creating an eerie tension. Rhythmically there is also a lot of interesting things - various complex dimensions. In addition, I used a rather complex technique when playing low notes on the background of triads in uppercase.

All of these triads have a scheme quint-tonic-third, and the main counterpoint is observed in the countermovement line between bass and chord. It begins with the chord and the corresponding bass notes, then these parties chromatically disperse in opposite directions.

The main riff I wrote in college, but now just included it in this track. I am pleased that you appreciate her. I thought that all will miss her deaf ear. And there are many interesting. This is a great product - I can not listen to him without emotion. The second part of "Kill The Guy With The Ball" is called "The God Eaters". It is very dense chords, against which the sounds this otherworldly melody. Apparently audiences guitarists will not pay attention to it, because in it there is nothing like that could be printed in the guitar magazine. There are no typical guitar riffs, harmony alone. However, interest in their chords and melodies motion.

In the play "Tender Surrender" influenced by Carlos Santana.

I was 15 years old when I went to the store and heard the song "Europe". I immediately bought a plate and keep listening to it while not remember all the fine nuances. It was then, even before his acquaintance with the music of Hendrix and the Age, I discovered that the guitar can be totally dominated from start to finish, while in the foreground and playing only the melody. This is a song - a real melody in pure. Then, when I began to enter the Beck's, I heard "Because We've Ended As Lovers". This was following a revelation. I remember a solo by Roy Buchanan in his version of "If 6 Was 9". Playing on "Telekastere", he pulled a note, and very tearful, then suddenly they stopped howling. He used these maudlin tone as the effect.

Same thing in "Tender Surrender" and I made. In the end I play fast, and suddenly begins to pull a note. I did everything I could to this note sounded as possible "whining". It is very difficult, but how effective! And then again followed by rapid passage. Three cycles culminated in "Tender Surrender" I think the best of everything that made for his life. I consciously thought of undulating development with periodic culmination. When such a culmination of successful and emotionally and melodically, it is a great pleasure. I'm not sure that someone can feel it as much as I. I put this track in the end because I wanted it to be just the seventh. On all my albums seventh track is a ballad. At the "Flex-Able" it was a "Sleep", for "Passion And Warfare" - "For The Love Of God", in "Sex & Religion" - "Touching Tongues", and on the "Alien Love Secrets" was the "Tender Surrender ".

What happened to you especially difficult from a technical point zreniyaN

To achieve accurate intonation of notes uppercase. It is difficult. As in the composition "Die To Live", is not so difficult to play slide, how many true intone. When you use the slide, string sags under its pressure, and you do not get the desired zvukovysotnost, focusing only on the frets. By the way, Yngwie can wonder exactly intone.

How can I avoid the use of the good old cliche or trite frazN

If you want to learn to play what you feel - you need to learn to listen to your "third ear". You've probably heard about the "third eye". So - this is the same, not only with respect to vision, and hearing. This is what he hears your consciousness, so the ears have nothing to do with it. Play schemes and understand the fingering - it's pure mechanics. But before you play something, you have to wonder from where does your inspiration. You have to stretch a thread from his mind to his fingers. And for this you need to learn to hear. And sometimes so tempted to grab a tool and "wet" recklessly, by the way, sometimes it turns out. But what still born melodiyaN It is not derived from scales and fingerings. It arises in your mind and picked up your "third ear".

Imagine that you are playing solo. Stop for a moment and listen to what happens in your head. Listen to the accompaniment, and think of a melody. Forget about the fingers and gamma. Form a melody in his mind, and then try to reproduce. I am sure that you get something different from the game "the chip". You can also try - though it is quite difficult - to learn to listen to power. If you are comfortable with that, you get the feeling of complete freedom. It seems that it is simple, but when you play, you do not hear the result. Do ye imagine to themselves, that is, you hear only what you want to hear. Try, however, move away from what makes your fingers, and listen to the amplifier. You can not hold, and begin to manage the process. This is precisely the exercise for the "third ear". This will help you get to such things, to which with some scales and fingering not dobereshsya.

For many years I spent wandering on the fingerboard. Once started running his fingers, you will already be difficult to break away from this activity. In my youth it was for me a kind of computer game. However, this does not work your mind. And it must be occupied by more serious things.

How important for a musician has distsiplinaN

To become proficient in your instrument, you must be disciplined enough. When you are subjected himself to some routine, you are bringing up their will. This seems to overcome addiction to alcohol or drugs. At first it seems that you can not cope with it themselves. However, in order to save yourself, you have to look inside themselves and connect these sources of internal energy, to which you have never had to go. When I started making music, I literally could not stop.

I kept pushing myself. This is related to spirituality, because you have to sink into the depths of his consciousness. In each of us lies a particle of absolute truth. Imagine a huge dump truck with sand, inside which is a priceless jewel. All these little grains of sand are a different set or the results of psychological trauma, in your previous life or even earlier ... To get to the truth, you must razgresti all this rubbish.

You develop your masterstvoN

Yes. I probably could play even better. I know the secrets of how to become a truly great guitarist, but I do not have enough time for this. This requires 95% of the absolute attention (because they give 100% you just can not). I try to be realistic. In my life was when the guitar meant to me. Music and now everything for me, but now I have my family and much more. I would be happy if I could sit down with the guitar for six months or a year and again to get used to your instrument. I am pleased with the album "Alien Love Secrets". But this is just a little bit of what I am able to create - and that I still someday will build. To date, this is not the worst of what I had done.

But strangely, I know the secret of perfection, but using them in day teaspoon. I want to dig deeper. I want to get a closer relationship with his instrument. However, in my life much hindered: concerts, interviews and so on. So I was not able to return to the guitar.

To become a guitar otshelnikomN

Yes. That was what I wanted all my life.

Tools and equipment.

All that I built in 1989 - says Steve Vai, pointing to the technical equipment of their home (Hollywood) studio. - The first thing I wrote here, was the album "Passion & Warfare", as well as the guitar tracks for "Whitesnake". Vai continues to use 40-channel remote API, but when writing "Sex & Religion", he replaced the amps remote workers for similar devices SSL 990. ... Which sounded very sharply, - says Wai - and we went back to the previous version, which is why the last album sounds much warmer ".

Massive guitar sound was received by the splitter "Systematic Sound Limited". "I played on one guitar, but in each composition there are four or five different sounds, - explains Steve. - I have long tried to split the guitar signal into several components, but so far I have not come across a device that would have done so without prejudice to the final result. I tried everything and I can say that it is this lotion - that it is necessary ".

The signal from the guitar, Steve went through a lot of different amplifiers and their simulation. In the workroom above the 3 columns (4x12) with speakers "Celestion 30" he has established 100-Watt "Bogner Ecstasy", "Marshall" JCM 900 and "Laney" GH2100-L. On tour, he still carries with him Okonechnikov "VHT". The sound of a transistor amplifier Steve gets with "Fender Performer", a "Fender Deluxe" he also always at hand. One way splitter is connected to a rack unit "SansAmp", which is coupled with the dynamics simulator "Palmer" PD1-05. Sometimes used stereoeffektor "Zoom". Microphones "Shure" SM-57 and "Sennheiser" 421 are located close to the amplifier, a "AKG" C-24 and 414 removed and the amount of reflection.

Basically, Steve plays on "Ivo", one of his white guitars "Ibanez" Jem-777 series, or its twin, "Pogo". Both sensors are installed "Di Marzio Evolution". However, for the song "The Boy From Seattle" Vayu needed "Strat": "I listened to three dozen" strata "and selected the two tools. One of them was the release of the 73rd year. However, the track I recorded on an entirely new Japanese "The strategy". He pushed all and cost me only 500 dollars, although I had planned to allocate to "Strutt" a heap of money ". When recording the strings used "Dean Markley Blue Steel" caliber 009-042 and translucent green mediators of medium thickness (medium). Steve's wife - Pia, a former glam band "Vixen", brought the bass "Fender Precision", in which Wai and recorded the bass.

Despite the abundance of amplifiers, solo Steve played through an ordinary lotion "Boss DS-1 Distortion". Among the more complex Delay he chose the "Lexicon" PCM 80, PCM 70, PCM 60 and 300 for shock, as well as "mc. Spatial Expander "a chorus and flanging. In the song "Die To Live" to create more stereo effect to use the device "DigiTech TSR-24. Concert rack Vai continues to include "Roland SDE-3000" and harmonic processor "DigiTech DHP-55". In addition, he uses a variety of compressors "Urei".

Initial sounds of song "Kill The Guy With The Ball", which Steve called "Venusian vocals, were obtained using the pedal" DigiTech "(with a special custom electronics), harmonizer" Eventide H4000 Ultra "and EQ. "I wanted to get the most unthinkable guitar sound, which is only possible - says Wai, - in the sense of distortion frequencies. And believe me, that this is just a few of what I'm capable. However, I did not want to overload this album with such things, because people would say: "What is this dermoN" And they always said it would.

. Steve Vai: the service of dyavolaNIntervyu the eve of 40 years (2000)

. Interview for Guitar Spilien (2000)

. Interviews for the company Ibanez (2000)

. Steve Vai talks about JIMI HENDRIX
. Steve Vai - his first guitar

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