VHS Archives #85: Steve Vai’s passion for Whitesnake, Warfare & Wanking (1990)

MuchMusic’s Terry David Mulligan was always one of their best interviewers, and here he has a nice informal chat with (then) Whitesnake’s Steve Vai!  TDM asks a loaded question about leaving Whitesnake and going solo.

Vai is always forthcoming and in this entertaining interview you’ll hear about the Passion & Warfare concept, lucid dreaming, the tuba, David Lee Roth, and of course wanking.


Check out a second Much interview with Vai by Denise Donlon by clicking here.


  1. As you know Mike, Vai is my biggest influence along with EVH. He has these old writings talking about the philosophy of playing notes that I read a lot in my teens. One was where you would do crazy things like just play one note over and over to internalize its purpose. Other thing was astral projection and stuff like that. I never had the kind of dreams and esoteric experiences he experienced, but his musical philosophy just radically changed my thought process as a musician.

    Makes sense I got into UCLA auditioning with For the Love of God haha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks man! Will read.

        He also used to do a lot of fasting. Actually I started doing a fast every once in a while because of him. But I can’t work all night like he does.


    1. It’s a fantastic album. I like when Steve says “there’s a lot more bottom end on CD”. It was actually because of this interview right here that I bought CD instead of cassette. And I still have my original 30 year old CD.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alwasy! But he was well researched. I was watching some Steve Anthony stuff and I was actually getting irritated. He just seemed like he didn’t care. He was so laid back that it became irritating. I don’t know if that was a shtick or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good timing. I’ve been getting into Passion & Warfare again recently and reading some Vai stuff online. Definitely an interesting fella and a helluva player. Helluva player.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my opinion: the most creative guitarist in rock. He does things you and I wouldn’t even dream of. Like, for example, taking an octave and chopping into ten intervals called “novas” and having a special guitar fretted to that specification. He’s done that. Played with bleeding fingers. On a 7 day fast. With every bizarre pedal they make.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I don’t know about that, Mike; I dream about doing that kinda stuff all the time! Ha! Kidding.

        Seriously, though, the worst thing I could have done the last few months is listen to Joe Satriani after Vai. Two technically great players, but only one of them is wildly creative. He’s outrageously good.


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