Steve Vai grapples with his three-necked beast in Teeth Of The Hydra video

We've already reported on Steve Vai's unique custom Hydra; a Steam Punk-themed, three-neck, multi-instrument beast. Well now you can see him play the song he composed with it on new album Inviolate; The Teeth Of The Hydra.

Somehow seeing this thing in action in Vai's skilled hands is even more incredible than what we've seen and read so far. But it was a huge challenge for him to begin with him.

“When I first sat behind the Hydra I just thought, ‘What were you thinking, Vai? How can you do this? You don’t have the independence. It’s impossible,’” Vai told us in a recent interview. “A familiar little voice came into my head saying, ‘Shut the fuck up and do this. You got it. You have got to know that you can do it; you just have to put the time in. So shut up, get out of the way, and just do it.’"

Steve Vai

(Image credit: Larry DiMarzio)

“I’ll be honest with you,” Vai added. “I’ll be intimate here, and I don’t apologise for this, and I don’t feel guilty, there came a point when I was working on the Hydra, and I was working on a section, and all of a sudden it clicked. And I saw myself doing it, I started to weep. 

“The joy was so great that I had to stop for a minute, and take moment of appreciation to the universe for supplying that idea and sticking with me until it reached that point of joyous performance in an elegant, seamless, magical, mysterious way.”

Steve Vai interview: “Joe Satriani has an ear like none other. When I was a kid he would say, ‘No, don’t vibrate it out of tune. You’ll sound like an idiot!’”

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.