There are a lot of people who don’t want to hear any sounds emanating from my mouth,” says Steve Vai. That makes the news about Fire Garden, the guitar virtuoso’s latest album, extremely shocking: Steve Vai sings.
To his credit, Vai is not a whit defensive about a decision that may disturb even some of his most loyal fans. “I love to sing,” he says. “It has always been very close to my heart. I’m going for it on this record, even though I know I may be in for some harsh criticism.”
The truth be told, Fire Garden, Vai ‘s first release on 550 Music, is not his debut as a major-league vocalist. That’s his voice you hear on much of Flex-Able (Akhashic) and its sequel, Flex-Able Leftovers, the guitarist’s self-produced records from the early Eighties. Vai also did some lead vocals on his ill-fated Sex and Religion (Relativity, 1993), and he often sang background during his tenure as resident guitar monster with the late Frank Zappa.
.Steve Vai talks about singing live: “Yes, I’ll have to adjust my entire approach to performing. Normally, when I’m on tour, I can do 10 shows in a row with no days off. I prefer it that way. But you can’t do that when you’re the singer. Once I get through one song, I’m hoarse! It takes so much for me to sing those songs, so I’m still learning how to sing properly.”
Tracee Sings on “All About Eve” and “Genocide”.