STEVE VAI Talks Performing YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's "Black Star" On GENERATION AXE Tour - "It Was One Of My Highlights From Each Night"

June 29, 2019, 4 months ago

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STEVE VAI Talks Performing YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's "Black Star" On GENERATION AXE Tour - "It Was One Of My Highlights From Each Night"

Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi, collectively Generation Axe, will release The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live In China) via earMUSIC / Edel on June 28. Find a full album preview below.

Vai recently spoke with Total Guitar Magazine about the tour and the Generation Axe tour and the release. Following is an excerpt from the interview.

TGM: For many fans, hearing you and Yngwie Malmsteen pair up for "Black Star" feels like history in the making...

Vai: “This was something I’d been dying to do for decades and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It was one of my highlights from each night. Yngwie is a very accomplished and supreme musician. He has incredible ears and I don’t know if he’s shared his ear with another guitar player in the past like he did on this. We’ve been very close for many years, friends for like 30 years. We’ve always respected each other. When we did the G3 tour, we bonded more and became buddies - that’s when we became really good friends. That’s important, because it allows the vulnerability of opening yourself up in your playing.

When I listen back to that recording of 'Black Star', I marvel at how we’re playing off each other and every sentence is spoken together. It’s quite remarkable. I was thinking maybe this is just me thinking this because I’m involved and hear it as metal poetry… but it sounds like a lot of other people get it, too.”

TGM: The way you play off each other near the end, bringing the dynamics right down, is incredibly light and delicate...

Vai: “That delicate part of 'Black Star' requires two people to be connected in a musically intimate way. There’s vulnerability and opening that allows the space for each of us to contribute. It’s like having a great conversation with somebody. That’s how you get the good stuff! There’s no reason to compete in his mind. There’s no threat, and I think that’s necessary in order to go into the deeper realms of listening and responding. Nobody does what he does and that’s a beautiful place to be. That’s the way I feel in my mind and that’s the way everybody should feel... nobody can do you better.”

Read the complete interview here.

Generation Axe: The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live In China) will be released as a CD Digipak, Limited coloured 2LP+Download and Digital. Pre-order the album here.


Generation Axe - "Foreplay"
Tosin Abasi - "Tempting Time"
Tosin Abasi and Nuno Bettencourt - "Physical Education"
Nuno Bettencourt - "A Side Of Mash"
Nuno Bettencourt and Zakk Wylde - "Sideways"
Zakk Wylde - "Whipping Post"
Steve Vai - "Bad Horsie"
Yngwie Malmsteen - "Valhalla" / "Baroque n Roll" / "Overture" / "From A Thousand Cuts" / "Arpeggios From Hell" / "Far Beyond The Sun"
Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai - "Black Star"
Steve Vai / Zakk Wylde / Nuno Bettencourt / Tosin Abasi - "Frankenstein"
Generation Axe - "Highway Star"

Album preview:

"Highway Star":



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