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  • Interview: Steve Vai

    Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:22:03

    Interview: Steve Vai - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Steve Vai Photos

    • Steve Vai - LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Musician Steve Vai arrives at the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute To Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
    • Steve Vai - BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 09:  President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow (L) and musician Steve Vai attend The GRAMMY Foundation's 14th Annual Music Preservation Project at the Saban Theatre on February 9, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
    • Steve Vai - ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 15:  Musician Steve Vai (R) attends the 2011 NAMM Show - Day 4 at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 15, 2011 in Anaheim, California.

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    Steve Vai Videos

    • Steve Vai - Weeping China Doll (Live in L.A.)
    • Steve Vai - Building the Church (Live in L.A.)

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    If you want to learn how to write a song, then you have to attend the Vai Academy Song Evolution Camp June 23-27 at Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. The legendary shred sensei Steve Vai will guide you through songwriting and everything that comes afterwards for a professional musician. There's never been a musician camp like this one, and there's no better man to learn from than Vai.

    In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Steve Vai discusses the Vai Academy Song Evolution Camp and so much more.

    For more information go here!

    Did the idea for Steve Vai's Vai Academy Song Evolution Camp come from fans asking you questions over the years?

    The reason I know this is what people want is because this is what I wanted all along. Ever since I was a kid, this is what I wanted. How do you do it? It didn't take me too long to figure it out because I released my first record when I was 23-years-old. It's not so complicated. Most musicians have this intimidation about it. I took an interest in the business. It's a great business. The music business can be a really great business if you're not intimidated by it. It's all a reflection of your attitude on it. I had good attitudes at times and bad attitudes, but I understood it. Plus, I worked for Frank Zappa from the ages of 18-to-23. That was an amazing education because he was very independent.

    What do you hope to get out of the experience?

    I think everything any of us does in life boils down to a single common denominator. We're serving people. We serve each other somehow. Eventually, what you're doing talking to me will serve someone somehow. When I make music, it's serving the people who are interested. That's what I feel like I'm doing with this camp. I have particular information that's come to me through my experience. I have an excitement about it. I have an interest in it. Everything I do in my career, there's an interest and excitement. Being able to teach it, share it, and show it is exciting to me. I'm fulfilling my function, so to speak. I'm getting the feeling of accomplishment, which is doing for others. We all really have that in us.

    What do you like about the retreat element of it?

    Well, I'm a big nature fan. I'm a strong believer that environments have energy to them. That's very obvious. If you're in a city, you know it. Right now, I'm driving through the streets of Colombia in South America. The streets are filled with people shopping, little shops, and it's a whole different culture than anything you've ever seen in America. There's an energy to it that's very different. If you're up in the woods in a beautiful environment, there's an energy there too. Any energy field you're in is conducive to a particular way of creating. That will contribute to whatever you create. I've been to that part of the country before, and it's absolutely stunning. It's just beautiful. I think it's going to be a wonderful environment very conducive to the creative process and help people be able to pay attention and be present. When you're in nature, you're very present. You're much more aware of your environment than when you're being bombarded by tons of frenetic energies.

    You'll leave knowing how to start a real career in music.

    I agree.

    What do you see happening next for Vai Academy Song Evolution Camp?

    It can go a lot of different ways. One thing I've discovered is you learn how to fine tune something after you go through it. After you do it, you find, "Well, that worked." It's an evergreen idea. This could be a six-month course. Maybe one day it will be. Right now, my plan for the future of it is to go one step at a time and see how this class turns out, how's it been absorbed, how it could be presented more practically, but if it works well, I wouldn't mind making it an annual event.

    Rick Florino

    Will you be attending Steve Vai's Song Evolution Camp?

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    Tags: Steve Vai, Frank Zappa

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