Steve Vai calls this solo his “greatest accomplishment on the guitar”
No, it is not For the Love of God.
Image: Davide Sciaky / Alamy
Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai has named the solo he thinks of as his “greatest accomplishment on the guitar”, citing the solo’s “phrasing” and “neatness” among the reasons he believes so.
Looking back on some of the most important tracks of his career in a recent interview with Guitar Player, Vai revealed that it is the song And We Are One from his 2016 solo album Modern Primitive that he personally thinks of as his best work to date.
“I would go on record to say that I think the solo on [And We Are One] is perhaps my greatest accomplishment on the guitar,” Vai said. “That would be because of its phrasing, its neatness and its beauty. I don’t feel pretentious saying that, because I’m speaking within my capacities.”
“So if I say something is profoundly, deeply moving, and beautiful to me, that’s to me, you know? There may be others that feel that way, but it’s important that an artist invests their intimacy into their music, because it carries their DNA in it.”
“This is what people want: They want you, your unique creativity. They don’t want you to sound like somebody else. They can smell fake a mile away,” he added.
Explaining his thought process behind the birth of And We Are One, Vai said, “With this song, I told myself, ‘You’re going to record a solo here, where every riff is going to be unique for you. It can’t be anything you’ve done before, and it has to be innovative.’ In that one song, there is more phrasing and melodic intimacy than anything I’ve ever recorded. That’s why this song is so important to me.
“There is really a lot going on in my playing that might not be apparent to someone who isn’t watching me play this. Not that that is important in itself, of course. What is important is that when the listener hears it, they feel something.”
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