Originally published in Guitar World, October 2009
Vinnie Moore sits down with Guitar World and discusses his new solo album, To the Core.
It's been more than two decades since Vinnie Moore released the Eighties neoclassical shred masterpieces Mind’s Eye and Time Odyssey, but although interest in super-technical playing is on the rise, he has no plans to cruise down that road again. For the past six years Moore has been a member of UFO, capably replacing legendary guitarist Michael Schenker and placing his own stamp on the band’s last three studio albums, including their latest effort, The Visitor. Moore has also completed an instrumental solo album, To the Core, which displays his ever-expanding musical palette.
“I’m into a lot of different styles of music,” he says. “To the Core includes a lot more of my influences. My style is still recognizable, but I try to create songs with moods and atmospheres—something with substance that takes you in different directions emotionally. There’s some funk-oriented stuff and some heavy stuff. One song has an R&B/hip-hop vibe and there are even some techno elements. I’m trying to mix it up to keep it interesting.”
Moore stuck to a relatively simple rig when recording To the Core, using primarily Engl Special Edition and Marshall JCM2000 heads. Most of the tonal variation came from manipulating the guitar’s volume control and pickup settings. Several Fender Strats played key roles, but toward the end of the album Moore took delivery of his first Vinman 2000 signature model prototype, a Super Strat that he developed with Dean Guitars. Moore collaborated with Dean on the model’s body and neck shape and also helped the company voice the DMT Vinnie Moore Signature bridge humbucker, which is available separately.
Moore says his return to his stylistic roots was inspired in part by his immersion in the bluesy, classic rock sound of UFO. “My early influences were blues and blues-based rock players,” he says. “I didn’t get into the classical-oriented stuff until after I had been playing five or six years. I haven’t necessarily gone full circle, but now I’m incorporating all of my different influences better than I have in the past.”