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This article was originally published in issue #51
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'Modern Primitive' is made up of partially written and recorded material with Steve's early 1980s band The Classified — consisting of Stu Hamm on bass, Tommy Mars on keyboards, Chris Frazier on drums and Sue Mathis on vocals and keyboards.
In 2016 as part of the 25th-anniversary celebration of Steve Vai's magnum opus, 'Passion and Warfare', Vai remastered and re-released the classic album along with a brand new companion disk titled; 'Modern Primitive'. Earlier this month, with the new record now finally available as a stand-alone release, Steve spoke with Guitar Interactive Magazine editor, Jonathan Graham about the process of putting 'Modern Primitive' together, working with Devin Townsend once again, the meaning behind "Mighty Messengers" and more.
'Modern Primitive' is made up of partially written and recorded material with Steve's early 1980s band The Classified — consisting of Stu Hamm on bass, Tommy Mars on keyboards, Chris Frazier on drums and Sue Mathis on vocals and keyboards. The release also acts as the seventh instalment of the Steve Vai "Secret Jewel Box", (an ambitious and highly collectable ten-CD box set) that was originally released in December 2001.
Available now through Favored Nations Entertainment — Vai describes the project the "cro-magnon missing link" between his first two albums; 'Flex-Able' (1983) and 'Passion And Warfare' (1990).
“The songs on Modern Primitive were written and recorded back then with virtually no expectations for the future”, Vai stated.
“As a result of this, there was an opening up to a powerful and personal creativity that has allowed me to find the most stimulating music I could from within. So far it’s my favourite album of the ones that I've made”. To hear this from Steve is no surprise, as the album features some truly emotive compositions that range from the exceptionally fiery to the most delicate and melodic along with some truly bizarre masterpieces that could unquestionably only be from the mind of Steve Vai. Not to mention the over thirty years worth of recording advances and musicality added to the songs.
From the playful yet always tasteful, "Fast Note People" to the dense and somewhat intense, "The Lost Chord"; Modern Primitive is essential listening for all Steve Vai fans and reminds us just why after thirty years he is still considered one of the most respected guitar players in the business.