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Steve Vai Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (62)

Overview (3)

Born in Long Island, New York, USA
Birth NameSteve Siro Vai
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

American guitarist, songwriter, composer and producer. He first learned guitar by studying under Joe Satriani and also studied at the Berklee College of Music. He started as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa in 1978, joined his band in 1980 and stayed until 1983. He formed two separate bands, the Classified and 777, and began recording music in his own professional studio. This material would be released as his first solo album, "Flex-Able," in January 1984. Vai replaced Yngwie Malmsteen as the guitarist for Alcatrazz and played on the album "Disturbing The Peace." Vai left the group following the tour to join David Lee Roth's solo band following Roth's departure from Van Halen. After playing on two successful Roth albums, "Eat 'Em And Smile" and "Skyscraper," Vai went solo again, buying out his Warner Bros. Records contract and signing to Relativity Records. He also replaced the injured Adrian Vandenberg on Whitesnake's "Slip of the Tongue." Vai's second solo album, "Passion and Warfare," was released in 1990. He has continued performing and recording ever since.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: JasonIK75

Spouse (1)

Pia Maiocco (1988 - present) ( 2 children)

Trivia (6)

Vai wrote two tracks on the soundtrack, plus he wrote and performed every air guitar solo for Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).
Keeps bees as a hobby; harvested over 900 pounds of honey in 2001.
His sons are named Julian Angel Vai and Fire Vai.
Recieved a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Instrumental Rock Performance" in December of 2005 for his song "Lotus Feet" from the album "Real Illusions: Reflections"
In the movie Crossroads (1986), he plays a demonic rock guitarist who has a final "cutting-heads" guitar showdown with Ralph Macchio. Both Vai and Macchio were born and raised on Long Island, New York.
For director John Carpenter's John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars (2001) soundtrack, music producer Bruce Robb called upon his talent, along with some other famous rock musician friends -- Anthrax, Guns N' Roses' guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, and Elliot Easton (formerly of The Cars). The results yielded an award-winning soundtrack, and Vai can been seen in the DVD behind-the-scenes bonus feature filmed while recording in Robb's Cherokee Studios.

Personal Quotes (62)

[on Deep Purple's longstanding exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - they were eventually inducted in 2016 after being eligible for 23 years ] As far as Deep Purple goes, I mean, they're iconic. Their contribution is unquantifiable, and as far as the politics involved in things like awards, you know, I don't think anything, because I know what they mean to me, and I know what they mean to the people who like them. Awards are very politically based.
I can tell you this: I'm an extremely passionate individual. I try to be careful how I display it because you never know how people are going to take it.
You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back.
I've learned over the years that you're going to be most successful at the things you're most excited to do. Every artist has a special set of tools. When you really use those tools, and you make yourself feel really good about the product you create, I think you'll find an audience for it. I've been very fortunate in that respect.
I think every artist subconsciously wants to evolve themselves. Sometimes they get stuck in ruts because of pop culture, peer pressure, stuff like that. But what excites me most is exploring my own musical insights and expanding upon them.
The older I get, the more I just like plugging directly into my amp. I'm tired of trying to impress myself with weird sounds. It's about the notes more.
We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess. Favored Nations will be branded as the home base for inspired musical talent.
I loved the guitar, and I had all of this music in my head. My passion for the guitar and the ideas for what I could create musically were equal. So that's where I was.
I could never overstate the importance of a musician's need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good 'inner ear' - the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening - is the most important element in becoming a good musician.
I'm always pursuing knowledge; I'm a seeker of spiritual equilibrium - and music is a big part of that.
Criticism can be devastating. When push comes to shove, we are all very sensitive.
Most people are fascinated to see someone play an instrument in an inspired way. We are moved by witnessing musical brilliance, and it was this notion that led me to purchase the GuitarTV domain 10 years ago.
Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity.
I have a deep love for life and my fellow human beings. I try to understand everything that everybody does, even if it seems wrong to me.
Acting, at least for me, is very unreal, and when I'm doing it, I actually feel embarrassed.
I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites.
When you get down to it, the way that the music affects you individually is the most important thing, and when you let things like the location of a band get in the way or have an effect on your overview, you're cheating yourself out of a really good time.
I don't think I approach my songs differently from other artists. You get a big picture of it, and you imagine the song and hear and feel it, and that big picture is like a snapshot, and it comes to you as fast as it takes to click a camera.
All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her 'ear' - the understanding and recognition of musical elements - for guidance.
The only time I'm miserable is when I can't keep an instrument in tune.
If you're feeling emotional when you're creating something, it'll sound that way.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument.
The classical guitar has a dynamic to it unlike a regular acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back. It's an extremely dynamic instrument.
If I remain true to what's in my heart, that's all the success I need.
Still to this day, I am deeply satisfied when watching a guitar player who is connected with their art and instrument. GuitarTV helps you tap into that connection, and to each other.
I created this picture of this character who would play the guitar effortlessly, who had no limitations, performing beautiful music, and he moved around with great acrobatic skills, just capturing the audience and being a great entertainer.
I know it is common nowadays for artists to start labels but this is a thoroughly constructed vehicle for inspired talent. This is a market that we've been living, breathing and eating for our entire lives - one where a huge void currently exists. Favored Nations is a long-term commitment.
I knew that I was going to have a life as a musician, because I always felt the pull. I don't remember ever having to make a choice.
I didn't have any aspirations of becoming famous or successful; in fact I was scared to death of all that. I remember somebody once said that if a rock musician goes on tour, he goes insane. I was very impressionable and I carried this useless weight of fear around with me about going on tour, all because of this thing somebody said.
I awake, I meditate, get the kids off to school, go to the gym, go to the Favored Nations office, and usually at around 1 pm I'm home and do music the rest of the day.
That's the thing about great artists: They find the thing that's most obvious to themselves, what's most conscious and natural, and they put it out there and the audience comes.
My main calling in life is to seek and achieve spiritual balance, and to express that through my instrument. Everything else is here today, gone later today.
I was always one of those guys who was a seeker after truth. I want to know what's going on.
It just happens in life, where you resonate with a particular artist. Or it can be a kind of food or a fashion - you discover it and it gives you a whole new lease on life.
I've never really heard anybody imitating anything of mine the way they do with Edward Van Halen's stuff.
I designed a guitar for Ibanez and then they started manufacturing it - it's called the Jem - it's 26 years old and I still play it. As a kid I liked Les Pauls and Strats, but they had limitations for the kind of playing I wanted to do.
History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals. We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess.
Reps once took chances on art, History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals.
Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.
I loved the idea of recording. The idea of sound-on-sound-recording captured me as a young kid, and once I realized what it was I had an epiphany. Before I was even playing the guitar, I would create these lists of how I would record things and overdub them, like Led Zeppelin song, 'I could put this guitar on this track...' and so on.
When I was young, I wasn't a misfit or anything. I had friends in all the different social groups. But I had issues - just personal issues, insecurities and other things that had happened in my life.
I was a kid, 12 or something, when the Partridge Family was big on TV. I liked the curly cord running from the bass to the amps, which were real fancy. That cord looked so cool. I said, 'Wow! I gotta play something like that!'
A lot of those little things that I really like doing are just moments of cool articulation, just little moments of phrasing that probably go over everybody's head.
I've been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I'm just not interested.
As a musician, I look for certain things that stimulate me. And what I look for is something that's an evolution on a particular genre that I never heard before.
What I look for in music is artistry, sincerity, and simplicity, and Tom Waits has all of that. I want to make a connection to the creator.
I'm a big fan of cultural music, and that's how I try to expand my playing, by listening to music that is not conventionally American.
When I was a teenager in the '70s, I was really into those great bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen and Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper.
I wanted to be a composer before anything else. And my sister was listening to Led Zeppelin in the other room! When I heard that, it was a game-changer.
I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard West Side Story, and it had a huge impact on me. If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today.
The blues scale was the first thing I learned. It's just a pentatonic scale with a flat seventh and a few notes that sound cool when you bend them. And because people have amalgamated the blues into this rock-blues scale, if you're using it, you better sound like a real authentic blues player.
It's very hard to come across as a passionate human being in print. People can't hear the inflections in your voice.
When I was growing up, the blues did seem too simple to me. I was just a muso.
You can never deny the immense talent, rock credibility and iconic historical contribution that Van Halen made.
I've always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one's musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not.
Favored Nations is a long-term commitment. Our hope is that those who are passionate about real musicianship will want to hear and own most of our albums. We will set out to attain the same direct relationship with our customers that we have with our artists.
My past is very interesting, and I treasure it, but to write about it, it's just not on my radar.
It's hilarious, because my guitar has what's known as a tremolo bar or a whammy bar. And the whammy bar is probably the most alien thing on my guitar that could possibly relate to a classical guitar.
I have an independent record label called Favored Nations on which I released an album by an artist called Johnny A, who plays an arch top Gibson through a Marshall, but the tone is all in his fingers.
I can count on one hand the people who are legendary in my book, and Tom Waits is certainly right at the top. It's funny, though: When I tell people that I like Tom's music, it surprises them.
Ray and I do not draw salaries, Any profits will be re-invested into marketing the music we believe in.
[on Brian May] In that whole genre, in that whole period - he's one of the most unique contributors. He doesn't get credit. Because what he does is so rich and so specific, and so deep, it fits so well in Queen music, you just feel it as part of that music. But when you break it down and when you look at it from a guitar player's point of view, it's unique, and nobody to this date could do what he does and make it sound like that. He is an iconic player. His tone, his choice of melody notes, he doesn't just do solos. His solos are melodies, and they're perfectly in place.

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