Steve Vai Interview 2013


1)    Which of your songs best portrays you?

S- The next one.


2)    Who do you most like of the new music generation?

S-  My two boys, Julian and Fire, and their generation of friends are pretty cool too.


3)    Your most memorable concert?

S-  In 5th grade I was in the choir and there was a Christmas concert where I was given the lead solo part to sing. I remember as if it was closer to me than my own breath because I was totally 100% in the moment when the beautiful melody came out of my pre-pubescent mouth and resplendently resonated within the auditorium.


4)    The most incredible person you have met during your career?

S- My wife, Pia.


5)    How would you describe what it was like to be a rock star in the 70 and 80s?

S- Actually my “rock stardom” started in the mid 80’s. It was sort of like an adventure novel written by  Aristippus of Cyrene, edited by The Great Gatsby, published by Star magazine and read out loud by Helen Keller.  The book would be entitled “The Abuse of Freedom”.


6)    Can you tell us any stories from backstage at one of your concerts?

S- On the first night after the first show of my first big rock tour I did, I opened the door to my hotel room and looked out into the hall.

It looked as though a full on porno circus was taking place. Total bedlam. Walking down the hall naked on her hands was a girl I saw in the 3rd row that night at the show. Walking naked along side of her was one of the notorious roadies from the crew. There was an enema hose inserted into the girls butt and at the other end of the hose was a funnel that the roadie held in one hand. With his other hand he was pouring a bottle of wine into the funnel and then raising the funnel above the girls waistline.

I quietly closed the door and continued reading a book I was in the middle of at the time called “Autobiography of a Yogi”.


7)    What do you think about groupies?

S- I think everyone is figuring out life in their own way, but I also think that sex is good for you.


8)    Do you think real rock stars still exist? Who would you say was one?

S- The term “Rock Star” is starting to become a catch phrase and its meaning and application is morphing into something different than what it used to be.

The term rock star is more or less becoming representative of a person who emanates a weighty mystique, has a deep confidence in the way they carry themselves and in the delivery of their words and actions, can instigate anything from a sense of inquisitive interest in an individual to complete hysteria, can be shrouded in controversy, has the ability to be deeply influential on a life level, can be painfully loved or bitterly despised and represents something awesome that their admirers can only dream of achieving but know is virtually unattainable.

With this in mind one might say that Jesus Christ would have made a great present day rock star. And I have the perfect pair of sunglasses for him.


9)    Do you still keep clothes and accessories from the last decades? Which?

S-, Yes, I keep the ones my wife made which is about 60% of what I wore in the 80’s and early 90’s.


10)How has your look changed over the years?

S- When I “look” at people and things these days I see more deeply into their energy field and emanating presents. In the past my “look” was usually just in the mirror.


11)How many guitars do you have? And how many CDs?

S- I have 164 guitars… now 163 as I just gave one away (in my mind) in between the spaces and am working on getting that number down to about 10. I have more CD’s than time left in my life to listen to them all and they are all on that list of “things that are going away fast”.


12)Out of all the awards and accolades you have won, which one means the most to you?

S-  On Fathers day 2005 my son Julian made a little statue and gave it to me. Inscribed on its base is the words, “Worlds Greatest Dad”.

That would be the award that means the most to me.


13)A classical music piece that you think has a rock soul?

S- “Le Sacre Du Printemps”.


14)Which song and piece of clothing do you think represents the essence of rock’n’roll?

S- It changes with the passing trends and fashions. I could mention a classic rock song and matching piece of trendy apparel like a stainless steal earring or something from the 80’s, which is what I think you may be looking for. But for me all clothing and music trends are relative and subject to change and the coolest thing today will dissolve into passé faux pas by later today.

For me the most beautiful fashion is nakedness. Ha, imagine that. Wait a minute; let’s think about this.


It’s nice to be creative with fashions but I might say that the ultimate fashion statement may arise if our civilization transcended separateness, inhabitation and reticence and that fashion statement (perhaps for practical reasons might first be confined to the runway) will be complete nakedness without any obstructions or distractions from adornments such as jewelry, makeup, odd ball trendy hair-doos, nail polish etc. Pure nakedness just like the day we were born, being presented by the person wearing it with great confidence, inhibition and grateful expressiveness for every precious aspect of their own matchless, one-of-a-kind body. I guess this has been represented in art through the centuries.


In order to see and appreciate the profound beauty of the human body in its most natural state, one could assume that the state of mind of the perceiver would need to be in it’s most natural state, free from the obstruction of the adornments of opinions, hang-ups, judgments, desires or criticisms. Just a pure state of present awe for the phenomenon that is every inch of the human body  in it’s myriad dimensions.


But what a great runway presentation ay?

Nakedness is the most unique look anyone can have because every body is distinctively different. You can’t steel someone else’s look and there’s no planning necessary in designing or making this “outfit” as the greatest designer already completed it and continues to evolve it. And it’s totally free, and you already have one!


When a naked body is not immediately perceived as a sexual stimulus or something that should be hidden or ashamed of, then there can  be an appreciation for the profound and sacred beauty in every body that hides beneath the cloths. It would be the glorification and deep respect of the exquisite magnificence that lies in the infinite diversity that the Universe provides, even if they were an obese American… ( I think).


I’m not saying we should all be walking around naked, but perhaps there will come a time in the future that if conditions allowed, it wouldn’t be an issue to walk around naked. it would be a choice and It would be fine and beautiful. But do it today you can get arrested.


The human body will always be more amazing, fascinating and incomprehensible than any piece of fashion ware.

The soundtrack to this “fashion statement” could be the still silence that underlines any sounds in its foreground. But heck, that’s already there now too whether we have the ears to hear it or not.


So… At least “Take Your Cloths off When You Dance”. (FZ)


15)You have lived through the eras of vinyl, cassettes, CDs and now music sharing via the internet. How has music changed with the web?

S- Technology inexorably marches in the direction of the desire for immediacy and convenience and the web has made it possible for music lovers to get music almost immediately. At any given time in the history of technology we usually feel as though we have arrived at the final and best solution, but history proves that there is always an evolution and the digital age is no exception.


There is a technology that is brewing right now that is totally off the radar of our conventional awareness, but it is virtually guaranteed that someone, or a group of people, will come along and come up with a unique idea, then confidently move forward in creating that idea.


That person may not have even been born yet, who knows? But the materialization of this idea will once again revolutionize the way we live. And the direction this new way (or technology) will assert itself will be with tools that will allow us to live a cleaner, more qualitative and conscious life. For this to happen we will inevitably have to develop a deepening of our appreciation and connection with nature.


And at some point after that there will be another evolution in technology and perhaps that evolution will be the complete absence of technology. Wouldn’t that be nice?


And this is one of the infinite ways the Universe expands itself, by inspiring us and giving us the tools to bring into physical reality these inspirations. In reality, we are not really doing it at all as individuals but as one evolving thing that can be called consciousness itself.


Maybe that person is reading this right now and being inspired. If so, hurry up because I would love to see what you come up with before I die.  Here’s some food for thought, It’s totally possible for the elimination of the need for electricity in “light” of a cleaner power source that has no by product or side effect but can be created seamlessly out of thin air. If you believe that’s possible (and truthfully anything is) then you will create it.


16)Do you buy online? If so, what?

S- Yes, all the time. I buy books, gifts, music etc. But I also still very much enjoy visiting retail stores and shopping. These days when I’m online I’m mostly doing interviews like this one.

Many thanks