Steve Vai: “I don’t watch the news as I believe the vast majority of it is fear based”
The legendary guitarist on Game Of Thrones, The Great British Bake Off, and almost jamming with the Foo Fighters in a haunted house.
Image: C Flanigan / FilmMagic
While thousands of bands and musicians have been forced to cancel or postpone tours in the face of COVID-19, Steve Vai counts himself as one of the lucky ones – he had no live dates on the books for 2020. However, the global pandemic did throw a rather sizeable wrench into an elaborate recording project he had been planning.
“I was going to be in Europe for four weeks recording my orchestra music with the Metropole Orchestra in Holland and the Aarhus Denmark Radio Symphony,” the guitarist says. “It was supposed to kick off the last week of May and go all the way through June. It’s about four hours of orchestra music that I have that I haven’t released yet. It’s been performed, and some of the compositions are orchestrations of songs like Velorum, Call It Sleep and other selections from my catalogue. Probably about two-thirds of it is pretty intense, complex and dense, contemporary orchestra music. That I had to postpone. It’s fine – it’s just what is.”
Speaking from his Los Angeles home, Vai reports that the ongoing lockdown hasn’t affected his day-to-day life to any great extent. “I’m fortunate. I haven’t gotten sick, at least not that I know of,” he says. “For me, it’s relatively business as usual because I live in my studio anyway. I roll with the punches and I don’t even feel them as punches.
“I know that there’s a lot of challenges for people, both health-wise and economically,” he continues, “but I also see a lot of people are thriving as a result of COVID in various ways. Some have started new businesses, or they’ve found different types of jobs. Some have found different ways of doing their job. And a lot of people have found out things about living with their family that they never realised. There are advantages – you just have to look for them.”