2016年是全球最著名的电吉他大神Steve Vai《Passion and Warfare》专辑发行的25周年，为了庆祝Steve Vai特意推出了唱片以及纪念款吉他。
华语第一吉他网站吉他中国也联系到了Steve Vai的经纪公司，并在7月25日做越洋电话专访了Steve Vai。那么，下面就让我们来看一看本次的采访吧。
Guitar China has been around over 16 years, it’s the most popular, professional guitar related website with most subscribers in China, it now has over a million subscribers and has sponsored more than a hundred foreign bands to perform in China, such as Dream Theatre, Megadeth, Tommy Emmanuel, and also, we are honored to have been the first organization to invite you and your band to come to China, that was Steve Vai Beijing concert 2004.
Let’s go ahead to start the interview, all these questions are what we have collected from your fans in China.
1.First question is how you think those super technical guitarists, like Djent, 7 strings, 8 strings guitarists.
Steve: Well, I think it’s fantastic to see, you know there is a spirit in humans that always push the bar, you know raise the bar. You can see that in all fields, music and art. So I think it’s a wonderful thing to see and I especially want to see it in music. I see that a lot of these young guitar players that are coming along and sort of standing on the shoulders of what came before them, I think it’s lovely.
2.Can you tell us something about your ninth album《Modern Primitive》
Steve: Yes, well my first solo record was funny little record. It called Flex-Able. And when I released it, I was experimenting and learning how to record, really just learning the whole music production. And I released that record and actually did very good and I put a band together. I was 22 years old, I put the band together called ‘The classified’ we wrote music and I started to record, I never finished the recording, because I joined the band called Alcatrazz. While I was in Alcatrazz, I got a record deal, so I started writing new music, and that became<Passion and Warfare>, and <Passion and Warfare> was a very successful record, I always had that music from Modern primitive, from The Classified I should have said. Sort of on the shelf, so I always thought one day I want to finish it. So when the 25th Anniversary <Passion and Warfare> came up, I thought it would be a great opportunity to finish that record and release with the 25th anniversary < Passion and Warfare>, because if you listen to the first record Flex-able and my next one <passion and warfare>, there is a huge gap, a huge different and a big maturity. So this music on <Modern Primitive> I finished recently, much of it was recorded over 30 years ago, so that’s why it called < Modern Primitive>. When you listen to it you can really hear that missing link, you know the missing link between Flex-Able and Passion and Warfare. And there are some really great crazy guitar playing on it, and some very adventurous and creative things because during that period, when you’re that young, you have like an innocence, fearlessness, and that exploded into all that music.
3. What about <Passion and Warfare> 25th Anniversary album?
Steve: You know back when<Passion and Warfare> came out it was more like 26 years ago, almost 27 now, that wasn’t really CD, so all CDs that were made, master tape were transferred through very early technology, so quality of the CDs compare to the original analog tapes is not really that great. So one of the things we did is we found the original master tapes and we re-mastered with unconventional technology, so the quality is so much better so much clearer. So it was completely re-mastered. And I also added some bonus tracks from that period. Now I’m on tour and we’re celebrating that record by playing the entire record from beginning to the end, so it’s really worthful.
4. How do you keep your creative inspiration? And remain so productive
Steve: Well I don’t know, because it’s never not then and there, one thing that I’ve always enjoyed the most, more than the success, more than the fame, more than the money, and all that are really good. But the thing that I enjoy the most is coming up with good idea and exciting idea in my mind musically, sometimes is a guitar riff, sometimes is a song, and that’s always been there, and I usually capture the moment of inspiration, it carries in it the seed of the entire song. So If I wanna record a piece of music, I have hundreds and hundreds of little seeds of ideas, and the moment I listen to them, I’m inspired. It’s been always there, you know inspiration is always there, it’s always kind of flow easily.
5. What do you think your biggest accomplishment is? Do you still practice?
Steve: Well, on one level, a world way level so to speak, I made some incredible accomplishments, more than I ever thought I would make, you know I’ve been revered as a great guitar player and very well respected, that’s really a blessing, it’s wonderful, but my greatest accomplishment, is a personal one, I’ve always wanted to understand life more deeply, and what I realize is in my head, all of unnecessary thoughts that creates stress and tension, and I learned to relief myself of these thought and create a tremendous amount of clarity of life and about life. So that’s the greatest accomplishment of my life, I don’t have to think so much.
6. What motivates you most to play guitar?
Steve: The idea that is the infinite the instrument of expression, guitar has been the most beautiful thing to me, every time I look at it, it just beckons me. It’s like a secret thing in a way, because when I put my hands on it, I know that I’m connecting the universe, so to speak. So there always got attraction to the guitar, and I love watching all the guitar players, I love seeing people do fantastic thing on the instrument, and I never think that will go away, 09:20 I have never not felt excitement when I even see a guitar
7. Do you have a solid schedule for guitar practice?
Steve: I used to do, and it’s gone to very changes, in my early days, and I have very regimented practice schedule, I was one of these guys that really wanted to have a lot of technique, so I practice a lot scales and exercises things like that, and eventually I have the technique I wanted and I started to develop more of the style, so to speak. And I was starting to recognize my own unique style, that’s what I practice the most. I look for the ideas that feel unique to me and exciting to me and work on them. I don’t really sit down and practice so to speak, I sit down just play.
8. So most of us admire your guitar Ibanez Jem 70V, we want to know more about it? What the difference between JEM 7V and Jem 70 V.
Steve: Well unfortunately I’m not familiar with the name of the guitars you know, the series number that kind of thing, but I can tell you this: The Jem has always pretty much been the same it’s the guitar that I developed many years ago, over 30 years ago. Because when I was young, I’ve always liked the convention guitar, like Stratocaster and Les Paul, but they never really had everything that I wanted on them, the things I wanted to do, I had a guitar built by a little guitar shop in Hollywood, and I wanted things that didn’t really existed in one guitar, like 24 frets with the whammy bar, a particular pick-up configuration that has 2 humbuckers and single coil in the middle and floating tremolo system that I can pull way way high on the guitar notes. And also the shape, you know most of guitars you couldn’t really play up in the high register without the body getting in the way of your hand, so I created a big cutaway and then I shaped the guitar
Sort of, what I say is sexy, you know, it’s sort of like Stratocaster but Stratocaster look more pedestrian, so I put more angle on it, and little more sharp edges, and it just looks more sexy, I like the way it felt. So it’s a unique guitar sort of at that time. And when I joined David Lee Roth band, there were lot of these companies that want me to endorse them, and they wanted me to play their guitar, but none of them really did everything I wanted them to do, so I said to all the company whoever the company who will make this guitar, the one that I designed, I will work with. Hands down, Ibanez came back with the finest instrument, the best support, and I went in the business with them, and we develop the Jem, Which was entirely based on my original guitar that I had made, the custom guitar that I had made, and they release the Jem, and also the RG, which was sort of Jem without the handle, you know because the Jem has the sort of Monkey Grip, and I wanted to have it there for some particular reason, you know I was bless with incredible good fortune, because the guitar became wide successful. And these days, the RG probably the third best selling guitar in the world, Stratocaster first, Les Paul and then the RG, and Jem still has very consistent sales, so through the year, we would change the look of the Jem, a little bit hardware here and there, but really the foundation of the instrument has not changed, so all the different models are virtually the same with just little different statistics.
9. Where is your sixth finger? You know we saw the hand print at the Hollywood Guitar center.
Steve: Haha Yeah, that’s because I have six fingers in my left hand, I called the wild advantage, the move so fast, you can’t see it though,
10. Besides Guitar, you have any other hobbies? I remember you used to be a bee keeper, you still do it?？
Steve: Yeah, I do, as a matter of fact I just got 2 new hives, It’s a very relaxing hobby, and the bees do all the work, and it’s an opportunity for me to be close to the nature, to be with the bees, because when you with them, you have to be very present, you got be with them. And it’s just amazing and fascinating little creature and they make honey, can you imagine? It’s very very easy hobby, and it’s become more popular, because the great problem we are having with the bee population. More and more people are becoming hobby bee keepers, and I highly recommended, it’s a very easy hobby, it’s fun and it’s great for the environment.
11. So Steve, do you ever plan to write an autobiography or Movie about yourself?
Steve: Well, I gotta approach many times to do something like that, and I thought about it I really don’t have a poll to write an autobiography yet, because I don’t know you know I see my life sort of very ordinary, and I’m uncomfortable writing about myself. I do have aspiration to write books. But maybe it will be stories that based on aspect of my life, and the discoveries that I made in life, but I would leave the writing of Steve Vai book to somebody else.
12. We know that you’ve been in China like 3 times, 2004 Beijing Concert, 2013 Shang Hai Beijing Concerts, 2014 BTV Beijing TV channel? How do you think of China? Any memorable moment?
Steve: Oh yeah I was also in Shanghai on my last tour, the first time I went was 2004, China was very different, it seemed to me to be very different, it’s very industrious place, and where ever I go to the world, I learn to enjoy the culture, I drink in the culture, so to speak, I really appreciate the diversity in the people in the culture. When I was in Shanghai, I was so amazed to see the city how advanced and how beautiful it is. In Beijing, we were there and also the friends took us around to all the important spots to see, there were so many little charming areas, you know the walking street, just the appearance, and the way that they light things, the way the lamps are, the little stores are, and I forget where it was, it was this water canal and stuff I really enjoyed very much in China. You know here is the thing, when you grow up in a country, like if you are an American, you are just taught about other places in the world, you as u are only fed one perspective, and you can develop and identity for the country based on what you are taught. What I learned from traveling around the world so much, there is so much more than what you learned in school, and there is such great diversity of culture and so rich in every different country. But one thing I also discovered was even though the person is from any part of the world, and life situation regards to the culture and all the things that happened to their life can be greatly differently of course. But the one thing that is same in all of us is our motion set point, when somebody in China feels sadness, frustration, happiness, anger, joy, it’s the same thing that anybody else in any other place in the world feels, even though their life situation completely different. So it’s very easy to assume that if somebody lives in a poor country like maybe India, or other places in the world, they would be unhappy, but that’s not the case, as matter of fact, statistically the happiest people in the world are in the very poorest country, so your experiences in life is not necessarily based on your surroundings or your wealth or your culture even, and that’s a beautiful thing to realize when you travel so much, you feel a connection with people. So even though I was walking around though China, and people you know ate different food, wore different cloth, had different look, I feel connection to them, I feel a human connection, and that’s a real beautiful thing.
13. The first time you were in China was 2004, it was also the first instrumental rock band concert, it has sort of caused a sensation in China rock n roll history, and inspired many Chinese guitarists. Do you still remember anything about that time?
Steve: Oh I remember entirely, I remember how difficult it was to get into China, because you know there was a lot of rules and regulations, and I respect those, because I understand you know the way the government desires to retain certain culture aspects, so I respected it and honored those things, and they felt that I was worthy enough to be able to come into the country. And I remember the show, because it was packed venue, and there were military people surrounding the stage, and I thought like Wow, I think they feel something crazy is gonna happen here. But by the end of show, everybody, including those military people jumping around and having a great time and enjoy the music. That’s one of the things that I remember the most.
14. Sometimes we can hear some eastern kind of music in your music, have you ever particularly listen to eastern music?
Steve: Oh yeah, absolutely. There is a lot of different traditional music that I like to listen to from around the world, Celtic music, Bulgaria Music, Japanese music, Chinese music and eastern music like Indian style music. Whatever the music you listen to, if you are a musician, it can inspire and influent kind of music you write, so there is quite a lot of my music you can hear this cultural, traditional music in it.
15. Many Chinese fans want you come back to China, you have any upcoming tour plans in China?？
Steve: Well, I don’t at this moment, but the talk of maybe bringing generation axe to China. And generation axe is a band, sort of show that we put together, that has one backing band and 5 guitar players, and those guitar players are myself , right now they are myself. Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Tosin Abasi, Nuno Bettencourt. We did an American tour and was very successful, we really enjoyed very much, we are looking into the possibility to bring it to Asia, maybe next year, but it’s not definite, I’m sure I will be back in China, I’m sure I will be back there. At some point of my life, you know if I live.
16. What would like to say to your fans in China?
Steve: Well, When I went there, I was so surprised, and touched by the passion and the support of the Chinese audiences, especially the guitar players. I saw so many great young talents, and so many people interested loving the guitar, and so in one way I felt very at home there, and I can’t be more grateful for the support that I received from Chinese audience, so thank you thank you thank you.
GC：Thanks for taking the time for our interview, we really appreciate it, have a fantastic show ahead, enjoy your tour, we look forward to see you in China, Steve!
2016年是全球最著名的电吉他大神Steve Vai《Passion and Warfare》专辑发行的25周年，为了庆祝Steve Vai特意推出了唱片以及纪念款吉他。