Dave Weiner retires from Steve Vai's band after 23 years, and announces his successor

Dave Weiner (left) and Steve Vai perform on stage at Sala Barts on July 21, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Jordi Vidal/Redferns)

Dave Weiner, who has spent the last 23 years touring with Steve Vai as an electric guitar player, has announced his departure from Vai's band.

In a video posted to his YouTube account earlier this week (November 14), Weiner told fans that after more than two decades he felt it was time to "choose a new adventure."

"[For] 23 years I've been honored, privileged [and] blessed to play with a living legend," Weiner says. "The gratitude that I have is immeasurable. 

"As life has it, you get to choose your own adventure, and I feel it's time to choose a new adventure after these 23 years of playing together." 

Vai appears by Weiner's side in the video, saying, "Dave has been an incredibly beautiful soldier – [an] absolutely accomplished musician. I can't even quantify our good fortune [over] these 23 years. 

"We had so much fun," Vai continues. "We've seen so much, we've been through so much, we played so many notes, we've played some great shows."

Weiner then clarifies that he's not done with the guitar, music or touring, before revealing another surprise. His departure from the Vai camp was so orderly and amicable, it turns out, that he both recruited and helped train his successor in Vai's band: Dante Frisiello.

"Dante was on our European tour, helping out and occasionally getting on stage," Vai explains. "I've been listening very carefully to the way he plays and his parts, and I feel [that] he's completely accomplished and up to do a beautiful job at picking up [where Weiner left off]."

From what we can see on YouTube (opens in new tab), Weiner is still a part of Vai's band as of right now, and will, we assume, remain with them through the end of their ongoing Inviolate US tour, after which he will fully cede his place to Frisiello.

To see Vai's upcoming itinerary, and purchase tickets to his shows, visit the guitarist's website (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.