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listing of Steve’s Guitars.
That is so cool. You have one of the all-time
great marriage success stories in rock history.
never gone anyplace with less than five
Michael Jackson records.
I look up to her because she’s smart, incredibly intuitive, she understands me, and she’s
been with me through everything. She was
with me through my neurotic music years
when I was on tour for tremendous amounts
of time. We have two beautiful kids who are
crazy teenagers now.
What music are you listening to now?
Oh yeah. I really thought he was so brilliant. I
have Allan Holdsworth stuff, Devin Townsend
stuff. I listen to Edgar Varèse… contemporary composer György Ligeti… I just got the
new Dream Theater record and was really
blown away. I like Jeff Buckley. I got Leonard
Cohen’s new stuff…
simple for you. That’s what you’ll be your
best at. That’s going to give you the most
powerful product. Obviously, you have to find
your audience, because you can be as honest as you want and some people just aren’t
going to like it. I respond to any genre of
music that I feel is being performed honestly.
I go through different things. I was listening to the new John Frusciante record, The
Imperium, I think it’s called. I really like that.
I discovered this band that’s been around for
a while that I’ve never heard called Anthony
and the Johnsons. It really struck my heart.
Oddly enough, for the past ten years I’ve
You listen to a lot of different things, but
those influences don’t create conflict within
your style. They only help.
The one artist I turn to before I turn to any
other stuff is Tom Waits. I carry virtually
every one of his records. I am absolutely
enamored with that man’s voice, music and
lyrics. When I discovered him, it was like I
had a new quality of life.
Can you do the Tom Waits voice?
This is our 360 here. I’ve discovered that you
can’t second-guess. The best thing you can
do is just do what feels natural, obvious and
[in the Tom Waits voice] No. [Laughs]
STEVE VAI’S GEARBOX
Ibanez JEM7V with DiMarzio Evolution pickups
Ibanez Universe UV777BK 7-string with DiMarzio Blaze II pickups
Carvin Legacy II
Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound .010–.046
Ernie Ball RPS-9 Slinky Nickel Wound .009–.042
Ernie Ball Coated Electric Titanium Super Slinky .009–.042
Ibanez Jemini Distortion
Digi Tech Whammy Pedal
Morley Bad Horsie Wah
Morley Little Alligator
108 PREMIER GUITAR OCTOBER 2009