“I’m not sure he gets the credit that he should”: Aerosmith’s Joe Perry commends Steve Vai’s “f**king phenomenal” guitar playing
“He’s a player that thinks way beyond guitar – he’s got music in his head in a way that just blows my mind.”
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Perry sits down in a new interview with Guitar World to discuss the guitar players that have inspired him most throughout his career.
“The players that influenced me were ones that made me feel like the guitar was a new instrument,” Perry says. “Electric guitar is interesting, though, because every other instrument seems to have roots going back centuries. But the electric guitar, arguably, is like an extension of the Spanish guitar, which is totally different.
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“Regardless, when you plug a guitar into an amp, it’s like a different instrument. I’m glad I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the geniuses that were able to stretch the limits.
He then points to Vai and praises his talent, highlighting that he’s not sure the virtuoso has received “the credit he deserves”.
“He’s just incredibly inventive. He’s a player that thinks way beyond guitar, you know? He’s got music in his head in a way that just blows my mind.”
“I saw Steve Vai play once back when he was with [David] Coverdale and Whitesnake, and some of the sounds he was making were just fucking unbelievable. I think he was playing a seven-string guitar and had some outboard gear that was doing shit that literally shook the building. He was fucking phenomenal. I’m not sure that he gets the credit that he should.”
For the most part, Perry says the guitarists who inspired him were largely music’s earliest guitar heroes.
“There will never be another Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen,” he says. “Sure, there are people now that can kinda play like them or maybe try and copy them, but those are the guys that did it first.”
He continues: “I can go online and find people who are phenomenal at guitar, but I’m talking about the trailblazers here. There are some wizards on YouTube that are incredible, but these guys are the ones that started it all.”