Steve Vai is considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the greatest guitarists in rock history. This guitar maestro has appeared with legendary musical acts such as Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth and G3. However, he has earned a majority of his notoriety as a solo guitarist. Albums such as “Passion & Warfare” and “Sex & Religion” has served as inspiration for numerous guitarists, both professional and amateur.
Along the way, he has gathered a dedicated fan base, and many of them will definitely be present when he takes the stage at Soul Kitchen on Thurs., Nov. 14 on his Story of Light Tour. Vai is also giving his fans a chance for an all-inclusive peek into what he experiences in the hours leading up to his show with the EVO Experience. This ticket includes a group discussion with Vai, followed by his sound check.
“I like talking with fans, and I know what it must mean to them to have an hour of my undivided attention,” Vai said. “It’s really a very charming setting. We can have anywhere between one to 60 people according to where we are in the world, but no matter how many people are there I usually spend up to an hour with them. Hearing from the people who have a real emotional investment in what I do can be education for me too. They ask different questions than most press people and are usually very passionate about the music. I feel more at home answering more personal questions with them.”
Over the past few years, Vai’s fans have had the chance to jam along with the guitar master’s “Naked Tracks.” When mixing a record, Vai always records a mix that features no guitar or vocals. This allows him to practice before tours or just try new cuts with his music. His first series featured five albums worth of these types of tracks. Now, he has enough material to release more in the “Naked Tracks” collection.
“It’s surprising to me to see how well received these tracks are,” Vai said. “There are a lot of players that enjoy playing along with these tracks and there are people who are interested in hearing these tracks without the guitar to see what the bed of the track actually sounds like.”
Vai, 53, continues to win over his disciples with his solo work on the guitar. While he may have performed with a number of legendary names, his true fans appreciate his solo work. In the end, he owes his success to his passion for playing guitar. According to Vai, he does not plan on slowing down anytime in the near future.
“I have always thrown myself into a creative idea that is exciting to me, and they never stop coming,” said Vai. “The winning over of new fans is inevitable if your work is charged with your passion. Somewhere in my head I instinctively felt that if you just work hard and continue to do the best you can everything will work out, and it has. I feel very fortunate that I have found my passion in life and never seem to lose the edge or the joy of being creative. Actually it increases more and more every year. It sort of refines itself. I think this is the case for anyone that finds their passion in whatever that might be.”