Steve has changed over the years

This is the forum for all Steve Vai-related discussion including Steve's albums, videos, performances and frequently asked questions.
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BeyondSamsara7
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Steve has changed over the years

#1 Post by BeyondSamsara7 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:11 pm

Hello all, this is my first post here. I went all the way back to the first ones and they go all the way back to early 2003!!.

I re-discovered Steve about 5 years ago, I remember 5 years before that I watched the G3 DVD from 1996, and I was stunned with the way he performed FTLOF, at that moment I decided I needed to start playing the guitar one day, a day that occured about 5 years later -.-.

Going back to the main topic, and related to this particular performance I mentioned, it seems Steve has changed a lot with the way he performs over the years. Now that he's launched the PAW tour I see it more than ever. These are my observations, but it seems Steve doesn't have as much torque as he used to 10 years ago. The way he performed, and moved back then seemed more graceful and attuned with the music. I've noticed he's kind of slowed down, he doesn't seem as light on the fingers, I've watched bootlegs on Youtube from 2007, 2005 and even as far back as 2001, and back then he seemed to have more energy, and his fingers looked light as feathers, and were fast and precise, now he honestly seems to be making an effort to play his songs, back then he made it look so easy. I don't know if it's because he waited 7 years to make a new record, and then focused on doing compositional/orchestral work, and less guitar-oriented stuff. But I don't feel the impact and the force he used to carry before, the energy or the speed. Since the "Where the Wild Things Are" tour, he's been mellowing down more and more.

To Mr. Vai and all of the fans here, do not take this as a negative remark, it's just an observation that I've made. Steve is still as amazing as ever, I just feel his flame is starting to lose heat. If this is the PAW tour Steve was yearning for for so many years, then Steve needs to go ballistic on the guitar!! I need to see total mayhem!!

P.S Steve bring the long hair and highlights back!!, oh and also.... Give us some Triple Neck action would ya!? You need to spoil us more. :guitar :guitar :headbang :headbang

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#2 Post by Vaifan1982 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:54 pm

You might want to read this which will explain the reasons for his playing adjustments. Very tragic circumstances.

http://www.guitar-bass.net/interviews/l ... -of-being/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Whereas most of the adjustments to Vai’s playing are conscious goals he pursues, a recent horrific experience in Argentina has forced one upon him.

‘It was a bizarre set of circumstances,’ Steve recounts. ‘I’ve never told this story… well, maybe just once, because it’s kind of macabre. We were in South America and I was very ill. I needed to go to the hospital, and I made the terrible mistake of going into a public hospital in Argentina.
‘I got into this place and it was absolutely filthy and disgusting. The emergency room was so bad that they put me in intensive care. There were people literally dying around me. They put me in a bed that had a blood stain this big in it’ – Steve’s hands indicate a patch the size of a football – ‘and I couldn’t move or anything, ’cause I was really sick. This nurse was poking holes in my arm and they were screwing it up, so they put an intravenous drip in my right arm.

‘After a while I had to go to the bathroom, and they took the IV and just gave it to me. So I walk into the bathroom and my blood is just going back up into the IV. I asked the nurse what I do with this, because the blood is all backed up, and the woman just picked the thing up and let all the coagulated blood go back into my arm! It felt like my arm was on fire, it was the worst thing ever, and she’s just slapping my arm and saying it’ll go away.

‘When I was flying home a few days later all the veins in my entire arm got hard. It’s not good, and they were popping out. Inside your veins you have a very thin membrane, it’s like a one-cell membrane, and if that gets destroyed they don’t come back, so your arm has to figure out a way to get the blood around. What was really concerning was that when I landed I lost the hearing in my left ear and I had to go and get these brain scans and go on these heavy drugs and stuff.
‘Everything’s fine now, I feel relatively bulletproof, but I lost a little bit of the picking in my right hand. So I had to change my style a bit because I can’t do that fast picking scale kind of stuff anymore – which is good, because I don’t really like how fast picking scales sound. You don’t really hear it in my music, you know?

‘As I say, the universe will provide, and it’s pointed me in different directions of playing, and I don’t feel any limitations whatsoever. I’m not concerned about picking fast, I’ve done enough of it. I plan on continuing to evolve my playing, I just hope it’s not a life threatening situation that causes me to do so.’ "

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#3 Post by Prezidentman » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:05 pm

To a degree I agree but we all change and age. No one's gonna have the energy they had at 25 when they're in their mid 50's. I think all wish some things never changed but that's life.
I think Steve and his band are doing a pretty tremendous job on this tour pulling off the entire P&W album 26 years after its release.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#4 Post by Vaifan1982 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:11 am

I agree Steve and the band are doing an amazing job, they set the benchmark with every show! Thanks for the music and never stop creating, we are extremely grateful.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#5 Post by BeyondSamsara7 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:27 pm

Vaifan1982 wrote:You might want to read this which will explain the reasons for his playing adjustments. Very tragic circumstances.

http://www.guitar-bass.net/interviews/l ... -of-being/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Whereas most of the adjustments to Vai’s playing are conscious goals he pursues, a recent horrific experience in Argentina has forced one upon him.

‘It was a bizarre set of circumstances,’ Steve recounts. ‘I’ve never told this story… well, maybe just once, because it’s kind of macabre. We were in South America and I was very ill. I needed to go to the hospital, and I made the terrible mistake of going into a public hospital in Argentina.
‘I got into this place and it was absolutely filthy and disgusting. The emergency room was so bad that they put me in intensive care. There were people literally dying around me. They put me in a bed that had a blood stain this big in it’ – Steve’s hands indicate a patch the size of a football – ‘and I couldn’t move or anything, ’cause I was really sick. This nurse was poking holes in my arm and they were screwing it up, so they put an intravenous drip in my right arm.

‘After a while I had to go to the bathroom, and they took the IV and just gave it to me. So I walk into the bathroom and my blood is just going back up into the IV. I asked the nurse what I do with this, because the blood is all backed up, and the woman just picked the thing up and let all the coagulated blood go back into my arm! It felt like my arm was on fire, it was the worst thing ever, and she’s just slapping my arm and saying it’ll go away.

‘When I was flying home a few days later all the veins in my entire arm got hard. It’s not good, and they were popping out. Inside your veins you have a very thin membrane, it’s like a one-cell membrane, and if that gets destroyed they don’t come back, so your arm has to figure out a way to get the blood around. What was really concerning was that when I landed I lost the hearing in my left ear and I had to go and get these brain scans and go on these heavy drugs and stuff.
‘Everything’s fine now, I feel relatively bulletproof, but I lost a little bit of the picking in my right hand. So I had to change my style a bit because I can’t do that fast picking scale kind of stuff anymore – which is good, because I don’t really like how fast picking scales sound. You don’t really hear it in my music, you know?

‘As I say, the universe will provide, and it’s pointed me in different directions of playing, and I don’t feel any limitations whatsoever. I’m not concerned about picking fast, I’ve done enough of it. I plan on continuing to evolve my playing, I just hope it’s not a life threatening situation that causes me to do so.’ "
Wow.... Thanks for posting this, that explains a lot. I was wondering if something bad had happened, your fingers don't just lose potency like that, specially after playing for so many years. I'm glad it wasn't something life threatening though, that nurse could've potentially killed Steve, that blood clot could've circulated into his heart and Steve would've been gone. I'm glad he's still with us.

What about Triple Neck though?- I would really like to see Steve play I know You're Here again, the only times he played it was in the G3 with Yngwie back in 2003, that was 13 years ago :S. It's a beautiful song even though most of it was improvised.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#6 Post by BigBadMoFoGangsta » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:50 pm

Prezidentman wrote:To a degree I agree but we all change and age. No one's gonna have the energy they had at 25 when they're in their mid 50's. I think all wish some things never changed but that's life.
I think Steve and his band are doing a pretty tremendous job on this tour pulling off the entire P&W album 26 years after its release.
I don't think you read the story about Steves misfortune in South America. Sure everybody gets old biologically. But people age differently. Steve has been a vegetarian for most of his life and I expect him to age much more gracefully than others. I guess what I am saying is that I don't think it's absolutely impossible to be as good at playing the guitar at age 50 as you were at 25. It depends on how you have taken care of yourself.

By Steves own admission, his playing sounds like it has been affected ever so slightly by the bad experience in South America, not by his age. The body heals itself over time given the proper treatments. Steve can be as good as he ever was in time.

If Gravity Storm came as a result of this misfortune its just another good example of something good coming from something bad. Gravity Storm has to be one of the coolest songs ever. It's got that special mojo in it! :D

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#7 Post by EyE » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:30 am

The way of living varies across the world, due to norms, values, traditions, food, exercise, rest, etc. Steve lives pretty healthy compaired to most people. I guess his work load is way higher then an average person at his age. Playing guitar the way he does on such a high level has an impact on his muscles/body eventually. It's just the way the human body works. Besides playing the guitar he has a business to run and numerous projects that most of us underestimate how much work it takes.
If you ask me, Steve is aging just fine.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#8 Post by Prezidentman » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:55 am

EyE wrote:The way of living varies across the world, due to norms, values, traditions, food, exercise, rest, etc. Steve lives pretty healthy compaired to most people. I guess his work load is way higher then an average person at his age. Playing guitar the way he does on such a high level has an impact on his muscles/body eventually. It's just the way the human body works. Besides playing the guitar he has a business to run and numerous projects that most of us underestimate how much work it takes.
If you ask me, Steve is aging just fine.
Yeah, I can't imagine the amount of energy it has to take just to perform the way he does night after night. But there's so much more than that...the travel, interviews, soundchecks, Evo experiences, business issues, working on other projects etc. It's a wonderful, busy and satisfying life I'm sure, but at the same time it has to be extremely demanding to manage all of these things and perform at the highest level each night.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#9 Post by EyE » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:51 am

Prezidentman wrote:Yeah, I can't imagine the amount of energy it has to take just to perform the way he does night after night. But there's so much more than that...the travel, interviews, soundchecks, Evo experiences, business issues, working on other projects etc. It's a wonderful, busy and satisfying life I'm sure, but at the same time it has to be extremely demanding to manage all of these things and perform at the highest level each night.

It is demanding, for sure but to a certain degree. When you do certain things that don't feel as work to you it will give you energy and joy. You have to find a balance it that though.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#10 Post by BeyondSamsara7 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:34 pm

BigBadMoFoGangsta wrote:
Prezidentman wrote:To a degree I agree but we all change and age. No one's gonna have the energy they had at 25 when they're in their mid 50's. I think all wish some things never changed but that's life.
I think Steve and his band are doing a pretty tremendous job on this tour pulling off the entire P&W album 26 years after its release.
By Steves own admission, his playing sounds like it has been affected ever so slightly by the bad experience in South America, not by his age. The body heals itself over time given the proper treatments. Steve can be as good as he ever was in time.

If Gravity Storm came as a result of this misfortune its just another good example of something good coming from something bad. Gravity Storm has to be one of the coolest songs ever. It's got that special mojo in it! :D
Well.. I'm honestly still quite disappointed with Steve's performances for the most part. I respect the fact that he had a really bad experience and it wasn't his fault. So I guess I'm being childish, but Steve not only lost his fast picking, he lost his tapping, and a lot of his "grace" so to speak. His playing kinda looks clunky now, but it's alright, I don't expect any of it to get better, the past is the past. The days when his tentacle hairs were blown out by a fan, and his fingers caressed his being into infinity are over. These are the days of the progressively slow and mellow Vai. Indulgent Vai is NO MORE. Not even a balance......

Talking about the PAW tour, it's good.. but not as good at it could be. I've watched a lot of videos of it on YouTube, and as I said previously, his playing looks very clunky in some parts. I mean yeah, he's playing songs he hasn't played in many years, like Blue Powder and Erotic Nightmares and some others, but it seems like that isn't the only problem, he himself admits that while making P&W he was experimenting with many ways of production, therefore making it very difficult to play the record live. This means that, the way the band is set up now is not ideal- it is much less than ideal. It would've been ideal to launch this tour when all the guys from The Breed were around (Site news say that Tony Macalpine is coming back but for only a few shows in the west coast.)
I don't know what is going through Steve's mind, he launched the tour a year after the P&W anniversary, now the long prophesied 3rd installment to the Album trilogy series is being exponentially delayed. Why do I have the feeling the it's going to be 7 years once again? Is it the whole 777 thing, is the last album going to be his final breath and potential epitaph? Seriously folks.... Steve is a lovely guy, but he seems... Disconnected.

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#11 Post by Prezidentman » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:17 am

BeyondSamsara7 wrote: I've watched a lot of videos of it on YouTube
Think you really need to go see the actual show first. It's easy to criticize things based on amateur youtube videos, even though there's some really nice ones as well. Yes, his playing has changed but I think Steve and his current band really pull off performing the whole Passion&Warfare album quite well. The show I saw in June was one of the best times I've had at a gig in a long time.
BeyondSamsara7 wrote: He himself admits that while making P&W he was experimenting with many ways of production, therefore making it very difficult to play the record live. This means that, the way the band is set up now is not ideal- it is much less than ideal.
Think that has to do more with the fact that he has to frequently change sounds and use a variety of different effects to pull the songs off live. Not that you would necessarily need more people or a different band altogether to somehow make it sound better.
BeyondSamsara7 wrote: It would've been ideal to launch this tour when all the guys from The Breed were around
Matter of opinion. I personally would have preferred the Fire Garden tour lineup.Neither is happening, so...
BeyondSamsara7 wrote: The long prophesied 3rd installment to the Album trilogy series is being exponentially delayed. Why do I have the feeling the it's going to be 7 years once again?
Don't think it's been delayed as such as the release date of the 3rd album has never been announced. It's a big project and he has said he's in no rush to complete the trilogy and wants to do a different record before doing the last RI installment.
BeyondSamsara7 wrote: Is it the whole 777 thing, is the last album going to be his final breath and potential epitaph?
why???
BeyondSamsara7 wrote: he seems... Disconnected.
Think he just does things the way he wants to and when he wants to at a tempo he's comfortable with nowadays.
Anyway, these are just my opinions.
Peace

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#12 Post by Bryceybhoy » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:36 pm

BeyondSamsara7 wrote:I've noticed he's kind of slowed down, he doesn't seem as light on the fingers, I've watched bootlegs on Youtube from 2007, 2005 and even as far back as 2001, and back then he seemed to have more energy, and his fingers looked light as feathers, and were fast and precise, now he honestly seems to be making an effort to play his songs, back then he made it look so easy.
Nonsense. I was at Steve's show in Leeds a few years ago. Hardly anyone turned up. It would have been easy to just turn up, play, and leave. Instead, he put on the best show I've ever seen him do....and I've seen him six times. He was the most energetic I've ever seen him. People need to stop watching YouTube videos and thinking they're at the fucking concert. It's completely different. You're not in the room. :headbang

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Re: Steve has changed over the years

#13 Post by BeyondSamsara7 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:29 am

Bryceybhoy wrote:
BeyondSamsara7 wrote:I've noticed he's kind of slowed down, he doesn't seem as light on the fingers, I've watched bootlegs on Youtube from 2007, 2005 and even as far back as 2001, and back then he seemed to have more energy, and his fingers looked light as feathers, and were fast and precise, now he honestly seems to be making an effort to play his songs, back then he made it look so easy.


Nonsense. I was at Steve's show in Leeds a few years ago. Hardly anyone turned up. It would have been easy to just turn up, play, and leave. Instead, he put on the best show I've ever seen him do....and I've seen him six times. He was the most energetic I've ever seen him. People need to stop watching YouTube videos and thinking they're at the fucking concert. It's completely different. You're not in the room. :headbang

I know, I really want to see him live, hopefully it won't be too long until I can do that.

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