Steve Vai

Steve Vai is best-known as a virtuoso guitarist, equally capable of blistering runs and dazzling six-string soundscapes. But as evidenced on his latest album, The Story of Light, his reputation as an artful composer is gaining in stature. Vai was recently asked by M – Music & Musicians in which field – composer, or guitarist -- he would like his legacy to lie. “It doesn’t matter to me, frankly,” said Vai. “I try to move in the moment and do what’s most compelling and natural. If I’m eager to get my point across on guitar, I do that. If I want to compose, I do that. The way an artist is perceived is in the hands of the people doing the perceiving. And that’s all over the place.”

Vai went on to say he recognizes that his guitar skills remain his primary calling card. “I would guess most listen to me because they like the way I play guitar. But there are others who like it when I compose things and work with orchestras. There are people who like when I sing. And there are people who don’t like those things. It’s a smorgasbord—and everyone is welcome at the table.”