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
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 album?
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
the first time in Sheffield in August we saw you
guitars. Tell us about these guitars, and about
what prompted the change?
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 awesome.
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.
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 this accolade?
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
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
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
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 to me.
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
got a very active Facebook page, and have a great
rapport with your fans via the internet. How important
to you is this kind of communication, and YouTube
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!