is hitting all the right notes as guitarist with
spoke to him at his studio about
what it's like to be in orbit with Pete Way and
about his soon-to-be-released solo album,
and also about his new endorsement with Dean Guitars
recently returned from the UK after the latest round
of UFO shows, and later this year you'll be out with
UFO again in Germany, England and for the first time,
a tour of Russia. What has the reaction to The Monkey
Puzzle album been like, and how have the shows been
going so far?
reaction has been extremely positive. It is awesome
to see people in the audience singing the lyrics to
the new songs. It is always a great thing that the
fans know the new music. The shows have been going
very well and have been very exciting as always. A
lot of energy from the band and the audience. It is
great to be a part of the UFO world family!
are soon to release another Vinnie Moore album. How
far forward is this project - how many tracks are
there, who's on them, and what is the inspiration
behind them? And when is it likely to be available?
album has 11 songs and is being mixed right now by
Paul Northfield who also did the latest Dream Theater
CD as well as many Rush records such as Moving Pictures.
Van Romaine (of the Steve Morse band) played drums
and JD DeServio (Black Label Society) played bass.
Tim Lehner (Zeroesque) did the keyboards and I even
have a guest named Hurricane Hank from the George
Thorogood band playing sax on one tune. I think this
is my best creative effort yet. It has taken a while
because I have been on the road so much and I can't
wait to get it out there for people to hear. I can't
give a release date yet.... but I will as soon as
I know. It won't be much longer.
an intense three years with UFO which has seen regular
touring, two studio albums, and a live cd/dvd, how
much of the UFO style has seeped into your new solo
the first time in Sheffield in August we saw you playing
guitars. Tell us about these guitars, and about
what prompted the change?
I have to be honest ..... probably not really anything.
A band with vocals is a much different approach than
an instrumental guitar record. so it is really two
totally different animals and two different mindsets.
My solo stuff is more open and I go into many different
musical directions. With UFO I write more from my
rock side because that is what is right for the band
stylistically. It is great for me to have two different
creative outlets like this.
have been playing Dean guitars since July and am seriously
diggin' them. They are making some great stuff and
are an extremely hot company right now. We have been
working together on a VM signature model which should
be available in early 2008 and it is going to be smokin'.
These guys really know what they're doing.
I had two or three phone conversations with Josh Maloney
from their custom shop about the details of what I
wanted, and they put together a guitar for me within
like 10 days. I
went down to Tampa to visit them and was floored by
how great the guitar played and sounded. I could have
used it onstage that very night. The guys working
in the custom shop are great players themselves and
I think this is a big reason why the guitars are so
Pat Baker is quite a shredder and he tweaks my guitars
and when I get them they feel great.... I don't have
to do anything but play. We are making some small
refinements to the sig model but are pretty close
to finalizing the design. Besides the VM model, I
have fallen in love with my Dean Z79. I have
wanted a guitar with a 24 3/4 scale for quite a while
but other things wouldn't stay in tune for me. The
Z stays in tune extremely well and sounds way cool.
I am extremely excited to be with Dean and see great
things in the future.
Your 1987 album Mind's Eye has recently been celebrated
as one of the best instrumental albums of all time,
and was also voted #6 in the "200 Greatest Guitar
Recordings of All Time" by Guitar One Magazine.
What was it about that album that you think won you
it is hard to say exactly. But... if I were to guess....
I would say that it is probably because it was a very
energetic record with lots of all-out extreme guitar
playing. I have always considered myself more of a songwriter
and melody guy though, as opposed to just a guy who
shreds on guitar. I would venture to guess that the
extreme guitar delivered in the form of songs and melodies
made the record stand out as it did. But who knows really....
maybe it was the cool eye on the cd cover? It certainly
seems to have stood the test of time and this is something
I never expected or even thought about when I was 21
making that record.
anyone who's only recently discovered Vinnie Moore via
UFO, which of your albums/tracks would you suggest gives
the best cross-section of your work so far?
a tough question. I have explored a lot of directions
so it is hard to recommend just one album. I think you
have to hear more to get the full picture. But maybe
The Maze or Defying Gravity show more diversity than
the others??? But then again Time Odyssey and
Out Of Nowhere are totally different than anything else.
So....... please buy them all, people.
You've played with many legends over the years, including
Alice Cooper. What would be your ideal line-up as
an ambition to record and tour with?
are so many players that I admire and would love to
work with. I think it would be amazing to play with
Flea and Chad from the Chilis. That is one bad ass
energetic rhythm section.
are your top three musical heroes - and why?
is almost an unanswerable question because there have
been so many. To mention only 3 would be excluding
so many people who have been major inspirations to
me. OK, I will attempt to answer but the answer I
give right now may not be the same answer that I would
give next week or next year!
one..... I would have to say Stevie Ray Vaughan. He
always played with so much passion and with every
ounce of energy that he could possibly muster. He
put everything he had into every note he played and
played with so much soul. Every time I hear him it
gets me excited and brings out the little kid in me
who is fascinated with guitar, and it simply makes
me wanna pick up a guitar and play. That's powerful.
Sometimes when I am in a rut or frustrated, I put
on Live at The El Macombo and that inner flame that
Stevie has picks me right up. (By the way..... that
performance is one of the greatest performances of
our time). When music is played with passion it is
contagious. It is a tragedy that this guy is no longer
with us.... he would be one guy that I would love
to hang with for an hour.
Hendrix. Because he came along and was doing things
musically and with his guitar that were totally different
from anything else happening in his era, or anytime
before. People hearing him for the first time in the
60s must have been thinking that this cat is from
another planet or something. I can think of no-one
else that was so different from their time period
as him. I admire that in a big way. His influence
on everyone was immeasurable. Even if someone was
not a big fan of his directly, they still picked up
his influence. 2nd..... 3rd generation and beyond.
If Jimi never existed, I shudder to think what music
would be like now. But I tell you, it would be different.
If you were somehow able to erase an artist from history,
there are not many instances where you could say that
things now would be as drastically different as if
you took out Jimi's influence.
hmmmmm..... I dunno. there are so many. Probably Edwardo
Van Halen because he made me wanna play guitar too.
Such an exciting player who was a monumental inspiration
can't be a walk in the park touring with UFO. They
are legendary for their crazy ways. (Pun intended!).
What's it been like?
Overall it has been a blast playing with these guys.
It took a while for me to realize that I could not
really take things too seriously in this band - if
you do, it will basically just drive you mad. Once
I realized this and learned to just go with the flow,
it was a lot easier. You can't be too serious or perfectionist
in this environment. It just doesn't work. It's like
a dysfunctional family. I tell people all the time
that I am playing in the real life Spinal Tap and
I tell you it is absolutely 100% true. A comedy movie
needs to be made about this band. All they would need
to do is bring cameras and film the day to day happenings.
People would shit themselves laughing. It's insane.
some of this insanity with Get Ready To Roll!
OK, well one time Pete Way took a little model squirrel
from a restaurant we were in, and he carried it around
for the whole tour and constantly gave quotes in Mr
Squirrel's voice. He would say things like "hello
Vinnie, is that an ecologically friendly guitar you
are playing?" None of us had any idea what the
hell he was ever talking about. But he brought that
squirrel with him even onstage and put it on top of
his amp every night. We hid it from him once and he
freaked out. Now he has it at home. Also, Pete has
had some great falls onstage. It would be awesome
to have a compilation of all his falls and have fans
vote on the best fall.
You've got a very active MySpace page, and have a
great rapport with your fans via the internet. How
important to you is this kind of communication, and
important. I have always had this type of communication
with the fans from doing guitar seminars where I have
been able to talk to fans first hand. But with the
internet it is exponentially bigger. I talk to people
from all over the world and that is amazing to me
- a big asset.
from music what things are most important to you?
and sex. Not necessarily in that order though!
would you like to be doing musically in five years
music and following my muse wherever it leads!
© Get Ready To Roll - 25th September 2007