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Steve Vai returns with new song Little Pretty, announces album Inviolate

Steve Vai is back with new song Little Pretty ahead of the album Inviolate on January 28 2022. 

Unusually for Vai, he tracked Little Pretty's 'dark-toned fusion-funk workout' on a Gretsch hollow body guitar. “It’s on the wall with all the other guitars, and I’d always just look at it and go, ‘One day I’m going to play you,’” says Vai.

This is nine pretty dense all-instrumental compositions that I wanted to capture and record so I could get out there and play them live for people

Mission complete. “It’s very ‘Vai,’ whatever that means,” Vai chuckles describing what we can expect from Inviolate. “Someone else might be better than me at explaining what that is. But it’s just very honest music. Because a lot of my records, they're long and there's a lot of concepts and playing around with stories. This one has none of that. This is nine pretty dense all-instrumental compositions that I wanted to capture and record so I could get out there and play them live for people.” 

Vai has also confirmed that Knappsack and Candle Power – tracks released earlier in 2021 – are amongst the nine compositions. Vai originally composed and recorded the former using only his left hand following shoulder surgery. His surgeon, DR Knapp, called the sling his right arm was in during recovery a 'Knappsack'.

An inviolate inspiration is one that comes to you completely pure

The album version of the song records a new drum track from Terry Bozzio. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta also tracked for the album, along with bassists Bryan Beller, Philip Bynoe and The Dirty Loops' low end maverick Henrik Linder. Keyboardist  David Rosenthal also contributes. 

“An inviolate inspiration is one that comes to you completely pure,” Vai explains. “It appears almost in its completeness, and there’s a recognition of it as being right for you – perfectly right for you. There’s no excuses in it. There's no fantasy in it. There's just a recognition of ‘yes.’ And then you capture that in a way that’s authentic to your unique creativity. Hopefully, that’s what I’ve done with this record.”

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Rob Laing

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. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.