Steve Vai: Inviolate (CD) Release Date: 1/28/2022
Over the course of a more than 40-year career, Steve Vai has routinely transformed what would appear to be outrageously impossible into something very, very possible... and still also pretty outrageous.
From his days as Frank Zappa's "stunt guitar" player to his more recent expansive and exploratory solo work, Vai has continually challenged notions of traditional guitar playing and composition - and on more than one occasion even reimagined the very instrument itself. Which, he'll admit, is not necessarily his intention. "I don't sit around and say, 'Okay, what can I do now that pushes the boundaries?," Vai explains about his approach to the guitar. "What I do say to myself is, 'Okay, Vai - what are you going to do now that's going to interest you, that's going to fascinate you, and that's different than anything you've done before?" The answer to that question comes in the form of Vai's newest and 10th solo album, Inviolate, a nine-song opus that does indeed push the boundaries of instrumental guitar music - this time out, Vai quite literally invented not just a new guitar, but also a new guitar-playing technique. "An inviolate inspiration is one that comes to you completely pure," Vai explains. "It appears almost in it's completeness, and there's a recognition of it as being right for you - perfectly right for you. There's no excuses in it. There's no fantasy in it. There's just a recognition of 'yes.' And then you capture that in a way that's authentic to your unique creativity. Hopefully, that's what I've done with this record."