There are a lot of people who don't want to hear any sounds emanating from my mouth," says Steve Vai. That makes the news about Fire Garden, the guitar virtuoso's latest album, extremely shocking: Steve Vai sings.
Joseph Campbell, one of the world's foremost authorities on mythology, once outlined in a simple paragraph the plot followed by every classic adventure story from The Odyssey to Star Wars. "A hero," Campbell explained, "ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this adventure with the power to bestow gifts on his fellow man."
As a guitarist, singer, musician and composer, Devin Townsend has done and seen it all. After starting out in the early 1990s as the singer in Steve Vai’s band, Townsend then went on to form the band Strapping Young Lad, releasing five albums between 1995 and 2006. After that band was dissolved, Townsend went on to form the Devin Townsend Project, releasing a series of four individual albums of different moods.
Most musicians love a good movie. Cinema offers a fun, relaxing respite after your typical five-hour, finger-grinding guitar workout. But what's a guitar player to watch when documentaries get too heady and musicals neglect our favorite instrument?
It's two days before Christmas, and at Guitar World, the atmosphere is giddy. Ax slinger extraordinaire Steve Vai is coming to town, coming to these very offices, in fact, bearing a preview tape of Skyscraper, the album he's co-produced with David Lee Roth.
Steve Vai's career, thus far, has been a series of one hard act to follow after another. First, he replaced Adrian Belew as the resident wang-bar king in Frank Zappa's band. Next, he replaced the incredible Yngwie Malmsteen in Alcatrazz. And now, as the lone guitarist in David Lee Roth's band, he has the dubious distinction of being compared to Eddie Van Halen, at least in the mind of the public.
There’s something about classical guitar that just blows me away. The classical world’s version of shred is so technically mind-boggling and gorgeously rendered at the same time. And Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin is truly a master of this genre.
The late Frank Zappa made his first Guitar World cover appearance with the March 1982 issue, during the magazine's third year of publication. The cover calls him "America's Most Misunderstood Genius," and the original story by John Swenson starts on page 34. Here's part two of that interview.