The COVID-19 pandemic has evidently lit a creative fuse within Steve Vai. Last year, the virtuoso revealed he's planning not one, but three new instrumental guitar records – the first two with clean and dirty tones, respectively, and the third with all “drop-tuned eight-string stuff”.
And now, to add to the pile of six- (and eight-) string material we'll likely be hearing from Vai in the not-too-distant future, he's also eyeing up an all-acoustic album with vocals, too.
Vai detailed the project in a new interview with The Cassius Morris Show.
“I always had this desire to one day just do an acoustic record – just me playing acoustic guitar and singing; nothing virtuosic,” he says. “There's a certain melody DNA that I have that whenever I come across a song idea that falls into that category, I kind of put it on the shelf under a different category.
“And I had a whole bunch of these, and I said, 'Okay, now it's time to make this acoustic vocal record with these songs.' So, that's what I'm working on. But I also have all the songs put aside and ready to record for an instrumental guitar record that I'm hoping will be the next record I work on.
“And then a tour. Like every other artist, I'm itching to get back on tour. And I've got a huge tour booked. We just don't know when we can start... [It will be] about 250 shows in about 52 countries. I have the itinerary, but it just keeps moving.”
The virtuoso also discussed his recent shoulder and trigger finger surgeries and how they've affected his creative process.
Holding his left hand up to the camera, he says, “before I had this surgery done, which is nothing – if any of my fans see it and they say 'what happened to your hand?' – I'm fine, I had trigger finger and they fixed it.”
He goes on, “but before this happened, my shoulder was screwed up and I couldn't use this [picking] hand, so I was playing with one hand. So I did a little song with one hand, [and] I'm gonna work on trying to get that out.”
And if you think Vai's creative output stops there, he's also planning a new Generation Axe live release, as well as additions to his orchestral record series, Sound Theories.
“The other project I'm working on that I'm very excited about is I'm recording a bunch of my orchestra music,” he explains. “I've got about four hours of orchestra music that I've had performed and I've had recorded, but I wasn't really crazy with the recordings.
“I've released Sound Theories Vol. I & II. And now, with this music, once it's recorded, I'll have enough, I think, probably up to 'Vol. VI' — I'll have 'III', 'IV', 'V', 'VI' [and] maybe 'VII'. I'm really excited about that.”