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Music

Steve Vai: The Complete Current Q & A

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Steve Vai, still in fine form after nearly 40 years of guitar wizardry



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I don’t remember if it was Pete Townsend telling Clapton, or the other way around, but when they saw Hendrix in concert for the first time, one told the other, “Man, I just saw someone who’s going to put us all out of work.” Who’s the guy you feel could put you “out of work”? Is there anyone you look up to?

Yes: Allan Holdsworth. When I look at any guitarist in the world, the analytical head of mine kicks in and I know in my head what they’re doing. Is not that I wish I could do that or I would even try it; I’m perfectly happy with them doing it. But when I listen to Allan Holdsworth play, I’m stunned. I can’t believe how amazing, and beautiful, and musical and melodic he is. It’s almost as if he’s undiscovered. He’s way ahead of his time and I just don’t think he’s understood.

Are you eating? I hope it’s veggie stuff.

[Laughs loudly] I apologize for eating doing the interview!

No problem, as long it has no meat.

I just finished and no, it’s no meat at all.  It’s an eggplant sandwich.

Good. Unlike you, I’m the vegetarian that criticizes other. I’m the militant pain in the ass type. Are you a veggie for ethical or health reasons?

Well, I’ve been a vegetarian for 32 years now. I haven’t talked much about it. You’d tell people you were a vegetarian back then and they’d think you’re weird. But it just works for me. When I started I wasn’t very healthy, I didn’t feel good, I was going through a lot of mental depressions. Being a vegetarian was one of the things I did to change my whole life. It works for me on a health level and on a moral level. I just feel better, but I don’t criticize anybody nor do I care at all what anybody eats.

Anything else?

I’m really excited to be [in San Antonio]. Look at the [tour] reviews on ticketmaster.com to see what to expect. It’s really hard for me to convince people to come to the show. When an artist says, “Come to my show!” What does it mean? It doesn’t mean anything.

Really? You have trouble convincing people to come? I find that hard to believe.

It’s more effective if they hear it from somebody else. [The show has] gone as long as three hours, but it’s usually two and a half. Is that long? It doesn’t feel long when you’re watching it, but you’ll have to be the judge of that.

An Evening with Steve Vai

$29-$31
Doors at 7pm Wed, Nov 20
Backstage Live
1305 E Houston
(210) 698-2856
backstagelivesa.com

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