Steve Vai: “I’m very fortunate in that whatever ridiculous ideas come into my head, the people at Ibanez can make them real”

Steve Vai
(Image credit: Larry DiMarzio)

On his spectacular new album, Inviolate, Steve Vai has created some of the most adventurous, magical and powerful instrumental music of his career. But it wasn’t the record he planned to make at all.

“The way the album came about was a complete surprise to me,” he says. “I was actually working on a solo acoustic album with vocals, something I always wanted to do. I was pretty far into it, but things beyond my control intervened, and I had to switch gears and recalibrate my thinking. I actually had no real choice in the matter.”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.