STEVE VAI - Taming The Wild Things Page 2
by Greg Pratt

"I was ready to get back to work and the next project I was slated to do was a studio record," he says, "which would have meant I would have been in the studio for quite some time and it would have been a long time before I got out on tour. So I decided to put a unique band together and go out and do a small run-a month in Europe and a month in America. I always like to change the band up and give it a facelift with different instrumentation. A couple of the concepts that I'd like to explore are with two string players and with two percussionists along with the drummer; another would be with a whole horn section. So I decided to do the strings since it was more in line with the orchestra project."

"So I dug into my catalogue," he continues, "grabbed a bunch of tracks, orchestrated them and we went to work for about 30 days, 12-15 hours a day in rehearsing the stuff and getting it in shape for the road. I regret I didn't go longer because this was really a great band and a unique show. It was really wonderful and I'm glad we captured it in Minneapolis there because it's a beautiful venue and the band was oiled up and just ready to go; I'm very happy with the way it turned out."

The addition of a violin player in this version of Vai's backup band is one that works wonders on the DVD, the back and forth between the hysterical lead guitar work and the just-as-hysterical violin playing jaw-dropping at times. But don't sweat it; this is still hard-rocking stuff.

"As soon as you mention the words 'violin' or 'orchestra' people immediately think it's going to sound like classical music," says Vai, "but it's not like that at all. I'm not a big fan of classic classical music. There's contemporary stuff I like, but when I write music for an orchestra it doesn't even resemble contemporary classical music."

And to keep things different all around, Vai is going to have a screening of the movie in Hollywood (on September 15 at the Egyptian Theatre); there will be a silent auction that night and there is also an eBay auction taking place, all of which benefit Hollywood Arts, a charity that Vai is on the board of directors of. OZZY, Tom Morello, Nicko McBrain and many other celebs (including sports folks and actors) have donated items for the auction.

STEVE VAI - Taming The Wild Things Page 3