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October 2009 - Guitar World




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August 2009


by Dr. Matthew Warnock. August 2009

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore has long since established himself as one of the leading rock guitarists of his generation. After impressing Mike Varney of Shrapnel records at the age of 12, Moore was chosen to showcase his guitar talent on a national Pepsi commercial which brought him his first widespread exposure as a guitarist to watch out for. Since then Moore has found success as both a leader, including his vastly popular first album Mind’s Eye featuring Tony MacAlpine on keys, and as a sideman in such bands as U.F.O., Vicious Rumors and as a member of Alice Cooper’s band. With over 25 years in the business, Moore continues to steadily release new material and perform to sold-out venues all over the world.

Moore’s latest CD, To the Core, showcases the guitarist’s advanced melodic approach, his lightening fast chops and ability as a modern rock songwriter. The album also showcases the many different styles and genres of music that have influenced Moore over the years. Moore’s writing and soloing melds elements of rock, blues, jazz-fusion and metal to form a musical style that can only be described as Vinnie Moore.

Recently, Moore began working with the Dean Guitar Company on the Vinman 2000, which features Moore’s signature Shredhead humbucker pickup. The guitar is made with a maple top, alder body and maple finger board. The VM-2000, as it is also called, comes with a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge, the Shredhead pickup on the bridge and two DiMarzio single coil spaced noise-cancelling humbuckers in the middle and neck positions. With the release of his new signature guitar, Moore is giving his fans a chance to play with the same killer tone that he has become famous for. Strap on a set of .10s, tune down a half-step, and any guitarist can step into Moore’s musical shoes in the comfort of their own practice room.

Currently touring to support To the Core and working with the Dean Guitar Company on the new Vinman 2000 model, Moore is shows no sign of slowing down as he heads into his second quarter century in the business. With a seemingly endless source of new musical inspiration, Moore is reflective about the events that have brought him to this point in his career while maintaining a steady focus on his musical future.

* * *

Matt Warnock: There are many influences that come out in your playing on To the Coresuch as rock, blues, jazz fusion and of course the hard rock and metal. With such a variety of influences in your background, how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you play before?

Vinnie Moore: I would say basically I’m a rock guy who likes a lot of different styles of music and who throws a number of different elements into the rock genre. I’ve always been a rock guy but maybe a little more adventurous than your normal rock guitarist.

Matt: On tunes like “Panic Attack” and “Fly,” just to name two, there are elements of rock, fusion, metal, funk and blues. Was it a conscious decision to feature these different styles out on these tracks or did it just happen organically as the writing process progressed?

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore: I just play and go with the flow and let it happen naturally. As soon as I plan or have thoughts about doing a particular thing, I’m not being creative anymore. To me, I just go for it and let the music flow. That’s when I’m truly inspired and the best stuff comes out, in my opinion. So no, I don’t like to plan anything out that way.

There have been times when I have, say, seven songs finished for a record, and I had to think about what type of tunes would best fill out the rest of the recording. That type of thing has happened in the past, but for this album I had a lot of material to choose from, so I just kept writing and tried not to force anything, just let it flow through. All those influences kind of came out naturally. I’m into a bunch of different styles of music so those things just seem to come out by themselves without me having to force them.

Matt: Many guitarists prefer to write away from their guitars for various reasons and either write tunes on the piano or apart from an instrument all together. Do you write with your guitar in hand or do you prefer another method when composing?

Vinnie Moore: Mainly it’s when I’m playing guitar. I keep a little Sony cassette machine close by when I’m playing, which has been my greatest writing tool over the past 20 years. Then, when an idea comes up, or pops into my head, I play it and record it. After the initial inspiration other ideas seem to begin to come to me and the song starts to come together.

Most of these ideas come to me when my guitar is in my hands, but a lot of times if I have a song in my head, I’ll walk away from the guitar and do something else for a bit. Then, what seems to happen is as I’m going over the idea in my head it begins to develop naturally without me having to really think about it. Those ideas kind of ferment up there. Once I have a couple of ideas going I’ll walk away from the guitar and often have to come back to it five minutes later because I’ve got a new idea I want to work out and songs can come about that way as well.

Matt: On To the Core did you have all of the tunes completed when you went into the studio or did the songs transform and grow once you started laying down the initial tracks for the album?

Vinnie Moore: They always grow during the recording process but I have a studio at home, which is where I record, and I’ll record the tunes to loops or drum patterns and with this record I totally finished most of the tracks at home and then the drums and bass were added after. There might have been about three songs where I actually played after the drums.

I’m very meticulous when I demo things. In the past I’ve laid down demos and they end up sounding just like the record and I’d have to go back and redo the whole thing again in the studio. Now that the technology has gotten better I can lay everything down at home and then just add the other instruments later which saves me from having to do the whole album over again. It’s great to be able to capture the initial inspiration and get it down on tape instead of having to go back and redo it when the initial inspiration isn’t there anymore.

Vinnie Moore - To the Core

Vinnie Moore - To the Core

Matt: The album has a very “orchestral” feel to it as far as the texturing and layering is concerned. Do you sit down and think about all of the overdubs you are going to use beforehand or do those come after the initial tracks have been laid down?

Vinnie Moore: It all starts to happen pretty naturally, and I think it’s a bit of a blessing and a curse that once I have an idea I just keep hearing new things to add to it. At a certain point, I have to stop adding things and be done with it, or else I could add stuff forever. I try to strike a balance between throwing too many things into the mix and not having enough stuff on the track, trying to find a mixture of textures that’s just right for that song. I’ll come up with an initial idea for a song, and then as I get it down on tape I’ll start adding things as I hear them, just trying to go with the flow of what I’m hearing.

Matt: For the guitar solos on the album, how much preparation was involved beforehand? Did you have an idea of what you wanted to play or were they conceived in the studio?

Vinnie Moore: There are usually two directions I follow with my solos. One is that I just start improvising and it’s a cool vibe and I nail it, or get close to nailing it, then I just go back and fix or add a few things to finish it off. The other approach I use is sort of composing the solo one phrase at a time. Where I’m thinking about which chords I’m playing over the top of, that type of thing.

Both approaches work but I prefer the easier way of just playing off the top of my head and hopefully something good comes out right from the beginning. That’s the best way. Though the solos that I build one phrase at a time, they’re good too. They have a different feel to them, I’m glad that I can do both.

Matt: For a guy with incredible chops you show a lot of restraint in your solos. There’s a good mix of vocal-type riffs and burning runs in your solos. Is this something that comes naturally to you or have you had to work on holding back from only using your chops to create interest in your solos?

Vinnie Moore: That might have been more of a thing early on, when I would play more notes and had to be conscious of it. But now it’s all slowing as I’ve matured over the years. Music in general, whether it’s guitar, saxophone or whatever, has always been emotional to me. Playing fast and being a technician will work sometimes but it’s not always the thing. The melodies and the feel is always more important to me.

Dean Vinman 2000 (VM-2000)

Dean Vinman 2000 (VM-2000)

Matt: Guitar playing has seemed to follow this pattern since the 1980s, when guitar pyrotechnics were the thing, to today’s scene when things are a bit more subdued as far as soloing is concerned. Did the change in the music scene have an affect on your soloing approach or was it just how you developed as you matured as a musician?

Vinnie Moore: I think it happened to me naturally as I grew as an artist. I tried not to pay attention to what other guys were doing over the years. As a matter of fact, players like Jeff Beck and David Gilmour had a big influence on me when I was young, but so did guys like Al DiMeola, so I’ve had both technical and melodic players influence me over the years.

I think in the early days I was just doing my thing, not really paying attention to what was going on at the time, and really, I’ve always been a melody guy. Whether I’m playing slow or fast, even on the early stuff, there are still melodies and there are still songs. I’ve always thought that the song is most important. You can’t just put down a couple chords and solo over it and that’s a song. The song has to be the most important and the playing side of things should be less important.

Matt: How much time do you have to spend everyday maintaining your chops?

Vinnie Moore: I tend to play everyday when I’m at home, and if I do that I find that I can maintain my chops no problem. I used to carry my guitar with me on the road all the time and I’d play on show days, being bored in my hotel room. I used to play a lot and now I don’t bring my guitar around with me, I just do the gig. We do a 90-minute show every day and that’s enough. Otherwise I feel like I’m playing too much.

The gigs for me have been better by not practicing on a gig day. I will grab the guitar and play for 30 minutes or so before we go on stage but that’s it. Then on off days I’ll make sure I practice for 15 to 30 minutes just to maintain the physical stuff. I used to get in the habit of playing because I was nervous, kind of a neurotic thing, but I try to avoid that now.

Matt: Did you ever have a period in your life when you practiced hours and hours a day, especially when you were first learning the instrument?

Vinnie Moore: I’ve been through both phases. When I first starting getting serious about guitar, at around age 14, I tried to practice a couple of hours a day which was a big deal for me. As I got more obsessed with the guitar, I had times when I practiced seven to ten hours a day but it was because I loved doing it. I never really thought about practicing that much, I just loved doing it and kind of became obsessed with it really.

Matt: On the tune “Jigsaw,” from your new album, you play some slide guitar during a few sections. Have you always played slide or is this something new that you’ re exploring?

Vinnie Moore: I’ve played slide a little bit over the years, but I don’t consider myself a great slide player. I wrote that song awhile ago, sometime in the ’90s, it was just something I had laying around. I’ve always liked the song but it just never seemed to fit on any of my other albums, but it seemed to fit on this one. I decided to put it on the new album, I changed the groove a bit, but I still had to practice the slide to get it down. I went back and listened to some Allman Brothers records, Live at the Filmore especially, to study up on Duane’s slide playing. That really helped me get into shape for that track. It’s not something that I do a lot- – I never practice it- – so that’s something I had to practice when getting ready for this album.

Matt: What gear did you use on the album?

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore: I used a lot of different guitars on the album. I was a Music Man endorser when I started the album so I used my “Silhouette” special, which was my main guitar at the time. I used like three of my Strats, a Les Paul and somewhere in the middle of doing the record I became a Dean endorser and designed a guitar for them, so I used two or three of those guitars on the record. As far as effects there were almost to many to name, but a few would be a Fulltone choralflange, an Arion chorus, a Boss PH3 Phase Shifter…

I started off with the idea of using a bunch of different amps on the record, I have about ten different heads, so I planned to use them all to get different tones for different songs. Then I found I was spending so much time testing out different amps as opposed to playing that it got on my nerves. I ended up using only a couple of amps, mostly a Marshall JCM-2000 and an Engl Special Edition and they just worked. I set up the mics and just went for it.

Matt: What gauge of strings do you use in order to get that thick tone while still being able to play as fast as you do?

Vinnie Moore: I use a standard .10 set which I find is a good balance between slinky and not too slinky. There were a number of songs where I tuned down and had to use .11′s to get that heavier sound.

Matt: Is it hard on your hands to play that fast on those thick strings?

Vinnie Moore: I’m used to it now. When I joined UFO we tuned down a half-step and I’ve gotten used to it. I think that helps make the .10′s feel lighter, but I’ve always used .10′s, even when I tune to A440 standard pitch. I’ve gotten used to them over the years and just think they’re the best gauge for me.

Matt: When you were ready to finish up the recording process and were mixing the tracks how conscious were you of the track order and how that relates to the album as a whole?

Vinnie Moore: I’m conscious of it but tried not to get into it too heavily on this record. Back in the day, we had two sides to records so we had to be more aware of the order. We couldn’t start the second side with a ballad or something. I knew I wanted to start off with an energetic track and then tried to mix things up so that there weren’t two tracks in a row with the same feel. I put it together kind of quickly keeping that criteria in mind.

Matt: You’ve managed to maintain a long career in the music industry, which seems to be a rarity these days, with most bands being lucky to get a second album out before the fans move on to something else. What do you think has been the “secret to your success,” so to speak, as far as your career is concerned?

Vinnie Moore: I think persistence is a big thing, and I have a passion and love for making music. Also, there’s nothing else I would rather, or would even know how to do. There have been rough times, as there have been for everybody, and I’ve just hung in there and went with my heart.








July 2009 - FORCE Magazine No. 106 (Madrid, Spain)

Contains both Vinnie Moore and UFO reviews - Anyone have this?




GUITAR Club - July/August 2009 - Italian Magazine



Young Guitar - July 2009 - Japanese Magazine




Chitarre - July 2009 - Italian Magazine




Best Outstanding Guitar Solo: Rock Bottom by Vinnie Moore

To The Core debuts in the Rock Hard European Charts at Number 9 in Rock Hard Magazine

Rock Hard Italy - July/August 2009 - Italian Magazine





GUITAR Techniques - July 2009 - UK Magazine




GITARPLUS - June 2009 - Indonesian Magazine




Guitar World - June 2009

Vinnie's Dean advert appears in the June issue of Guitar World




Vinnie Moore Dean Guitars

'Vinman 2000' Advert



June 13th 2009

UFO Interview

A Conversation With Guitarist Vinnie Moore

UFO has been doing their thing for almost 40 years now. The British legends still have three original members (vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker), and unfortunately original bassist Pete Way wasn’t able to participate in the recording of The Visitor because of health concerns. American shredder Vinnie Moore has been in UFO for the past five years or so, and he fills us in on UFO’s latest, his new solo CD, his Dean signature guitar and some of his all time favorite guitarists.

Chad Bowar: Give us a preview of UFO’s latest CD The Visitor.
Vinnie Moore: It rocks and rolls! There are some melodic tunes and some strong blues influences.

Was the writing/recording process any different than usual?
No, it was the same process as we followed in the past. It all starts off with the music and then vocals and lyrics are added. We get together and rehearse and then go into the studio to record drums and bass. Guitars are done at my studio.

Who did the bass parts since Pete wasn’t able to participate?
Peter Pichl from Hannover, Germany.

Is being on two different continents difficult, or does technology make it easy?
It's actually preferable when you play in a band with crazy people like the guys in UFO! Technology definitely helps, but also we get together when we need to do so. But there was one song in particular called “Hell Driver” that never would have been on the record had it not been for technology.

Our drummer Andy was almost finished recording drums in Germany when I came up with this song at home in the U.S. while watching an episode of The Simpsons. I made a quick demo of it and uploaded the demo files to a server, and then emailed everyone to tell them they should give it a listen. I got a call the very next morning at 10am (4pm in Germany) and the drum track was already finished and they played it for me. It is one of my favorite tracks on the CD and would not have made it without the internet....and Homer.

What are your expectations for the album?
To bring in a higher level of hot girls to our shows. I expect to sell a lot of copies damn it!

What are UFO’s upcoming tour plans?
We are doing a lot of European shows in June (mostly UK), as well as festivals in Germany and Italy. We tour America later in the year.

With a catalog spanning 40 years, how in the world do you put together a setlist?
It's not easy. And no matter what we do, we will always hear "I wish you would have played such and such." It's just impossible to not leave something good out. We try to cover the classic tunes and also some of the newer stuff.

You also just released a solo CD To The Core. What can fans expect?
It's an all instrumental guitar based rock CD. There are lots of elements of the many styles of music I am into such as bluesb, bebopc funk, techno and metal, but it's all delivered in a rock context. There are lots of cool rhythms and I think it'll make people wanna shake their booty and rock. It isn't just a bunch of guitar wankin' though, it's more about songs and creating a mood.

Was it planned to release your CD and the UFO CD so close together, or is that just how it ended up?
It just ended up that way. My solo CD has been finished since late 2008 before we even started on the UFO CD. But Mascot wanted to release it in the spring so we waited a little while.

Will you be playing any solo dates?
I have a handful scheduled for Italy in July between UFO dates. There will be more later, but there are no specifics yet. But I can't wait to do some solo shows.

I’m sure a well-known guitarist like you had many endorsement offers. What is it about Dean guitars that you chose them?
The fact that I really liked everyone there on a personal level and that they were willing to make the dream guitar that I wanted. Most of the guys that work there are great players not just businessmen. The owner of the company is an excellent bassist, and the guys involved in designing Dean guitars are all really good guitarists. It all made sense. I am proud of the signature guitar we created.

What makes the VM-2000 different than a standard guitar?
The shape of the neck is awesome. It feels very natural in your hand. The body is alder, but has a thin laminate maple top for aesthetics. I didn't want too thick of a piece of maple as that tends to brighten the sound. The guitar sounds great and feels great. It has a pickup in the bridge that I designed with Pat Baker of Dean.

You’ve given many guitar clinics over the years. Do you enjoy teaching the next generation of guitarists?
Sure. It's cool to potentially be an influence on someone. And also I learn a lot from them.

Any plans to do any more instructional DVDs?
None at the moment.

Who are some current guitarists you think have a lot of talent?
Guthrie Govan is great, Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) also.

Who is the best guitarist ever?
There are too many great ones to just name one. Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore, Allan Holdsworth and many more.

What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in the music industry over the years?
Probably the internet and the digital downloading and file sharing thing.

What have been the high and low points in your career so far?
I have both of them during the course of a regular day! The low was in the mid ‘90s when playing guitar was uncool. The high point was maybe when I released my first couple records and was very successful at such a young age.

Anything else you’d like to mention?
Yes, come out to our shows and rock with us, and then buy me a beer!




June 2009 - Getting To The Core:

An Exclusive Interview With Guitarist Vinnie Moore Of UFO

Influenced by the music of Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Queen, guitarist Vinnie Moore first picked up the instrument at age 12 .

After traveling the familiar route of playing clubs and bars, the Delaware born musician was discovered by legendary Shrapnel Records head honcho Mike Varney through a magazine article in Guitar Player Magazine, leading to not only a contract with the label but also the opportunity to write and perform (only his hands are seen) in a national Pepsi commercial in 1985.

The release of his debut all instrumental album 'Mind's Eye' in 1987 heralded the arrival of a supreme talent on the then overcrowded shred guitar scene of the 1980's. Despite the overabundance of virtuoso players whose sole reason for existence seemed to be to display how fast they could burn up and down the fretboard, Moore quickly rose to the top of the heap, with the release garnering him 'Best New Talent' awards from Guitar Player, Guitar and Guitar World magazines. Going on to sell over 100,000 copies, it brought him directly into the spotlight of the guitar world.

Over the next decade and a half Moore continued to impress, releasing five critically acclaimed studio and one live album. A high profile stint with rock legend Alice Cooper on both the 1989 'Hey Stoopid' album and accompanying tour served to increase his visibility and extend his influence.

While the fortunes of many players in the scene declined with the shifting of popular musical tastes in the early 90's due to the arrival of grunge - resulting in instrumental rock and any form of music with guitar solos to fall largely from favor - he continued to be extremely popular world wide, conducting hundreds of guitar clinics throughout Japan, Scandanavia, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, England, Germany and Australia.

In 2003 Moore joined renowned British hard rock icons UFO after the departure of guitarist Michael Schenker for 2004's 'You Are Here' album. While initially there was some resistance from some die-hard fans of the band unable to come to grips with anyone filling the shoes of the heroic German legend, the release of 2005's superb live DVD/CD 'Showtime' and 2006's' studio offering 'The Monkey Puzzle' seemed to silence most critics, cementing Moore's status as a world class player within the group setting.

This year has seen a renewed flurry of activity from Moore with first the release of a brand new UFO studio album 'The Visitor', which despite the absence of founding bassist Pete Way - currently battling liver disease and unable to record or tour with the band - shows the rock veterans returning to form with arguably their finest release since 1995's 'Walk On Water'. Tempering their time tested brand of Euro based heaviness with a healthy dose of 70's styled blues rock, the influence of the guitarist is stamped throughout the recording. Both compositionally and via stellar axe work he shines from start to finish.

Just released also is Moore's first instrumental solo album in eight years 'To The Core'. Wonderfully diverse, encompassing hard rock, blues, jazz and funk, the recording is a fine showcase for the prodigious talents which have made him one of the most influential and important guitarists to emerge out of the virtuoso boom in the mid to late eighties.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Moore to discuss the brand new UFO album, his solo work, his thoughts on the state of his playing and much more.

Special thanks to Jon Freeman at SPV for coordinating, and a BIG thanks to Vinnie Moore for doing this interview with Nightwatcher's House Of Rock!

Interview and text by Nightwatcher © 2009

June 11, 2009

Nightwatcher's House Of Rock : First off, I'd like to talk with you about the new UFO album, 'The Visitor', which is coming out worldwide via SPV. Now that the album's finished, are you pleased with the results this time around?

Vinnie Moore : Yeah, I'm definitely happy with the way it came out. The selection of songs, and overall I think it's a strong record with a lot of different musical vibes. I'm definitely happy about it.

NHOR : The band reportedly initially wrote 35 songs for the album before paring them down to thirteen in Hannover, Germany. What was the criteria for a song being kept or discarded, and how was that process conducted? Was there a vote?

VM : First of all, I don't know where the 35 number came from. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration from somebody, I'm not sure. Maybe we had more like 20 songs, I would guess. Basically you put them all together, and there are certain ones that right away are so strong that you know they're going to be on the record. "Saving Me" was one of those. "Rock Ready" was another one. From the moment I sent those to Phil and he heard them he just responded so positively from the get go. It was just obvious that they were going to be on the record.

Then there are a lot of other songs, and you have to leave something out, and decide which ones to go with. It's a matter sometimes of just getting together and playing, seeing how it vibes when you all play together and jam on the song. The other thing is Phil's voice a lot of times has a lot to do with it. Perhaps what key the song's in, and what range he can sing it in. So that has a lot to do with it as well. Then you just have to go for it all based on feel. Sometimes also it's a matter where we have two or three in this style, so we need to pick another style. You need to be a bit eclectic in terms of mixing it up by having different tempos and feel.

NHOR : Were there any songs that didn't make the cut which you personally felt were worthy of inclusion?

VM : Yeah, that's always going to happen, whether it's a Vinnie Moore solo record, a UFO record, or probably any band. You don't really want to put more than ten, eleven, twelve songs on a record. So there's always going to be extras. A lot of times you can catch those later on down the road.

NHOR : There's a very bluesy vibe on several songs throughout the album. That's an undercurrent which has characterized all three of the albums the band has released since you joined in 2003, but it seems even more pronounced on this album. Was that intentional on the band's part? I know Phil and you are both big blues fans...

VM : I think that's where it comes from. But I don't think that it was a conscious effort. I don't think anyone really decided for it to be that way. It just sort of happened in rolling along with things. I'm a big blues fan, and always have been. Phil, I was really surprised when I first got to know him, that he's such a big blues fan. I didn't know he was into that style of music, but he is. I think that when both of us are put together, it's just a natural result. It's a common ground that we share musically. I think that style fits his voice really well too. He shines in that style.

NHOR : The first sounds you hear on the album, on the into of "Saving Me" are you playing slide guitar. Who are your reference points when it comes to playing the blues? You've previously mentioned Albert King as being one...

VM : When I was growing up Albert was one of the first ones. It just so happened that my stepfather had the 'Live Wire/Blues Power' album. It became a huge influence on me. There was also Chuck Berry, B.B. King...I just loved all of that stuff. Even rock players who I heard later on were guys that were influenced by the blues. There was Hendrix, Trower...people like that. You could hear the blues in their playing. You could even hear it in guys like Robben Ford and Larry Carlton, who are more fusion guys. But they all have this common base, and that's the blues. It's infectious. It's amazing how it's prevalent in so many styles of music. You can hear it as an underlying current.

NHOR : On "Stop Breaking Down" and "Can't Buy A Thrill" your solos are reminiscent of Uli Jon Roth in terms of your tone and phrasing. How much of an influence would you say Uli has been on your playing?

VM : He actually was not an influence on my playing. I didn't even really hear him until much later on. But we toured with him, I know him, and he's a great guy. He's certainly a great player. He's not one of the guys I grew up listening to, simply because I never heard of him when I was a kid. I wish I had.

NHOR : This is your third studio album with the band since joining in 2003. Are you feeling fully integrated into the band, and not so much "the new guy?"

VM : I've pretty much felt integrated from the very beginning. I think it's because the guys made me feel that way. Phil especially made it clear from the get go that he was looking for an equal member to come in and be a major contributor in the writing, and that's what he wanted. It was great for me to come into that type of situation. I felt right at home right away.

NHOR : There was resistance among a certain faction of Michael Schenker fans when you joined the band. Do you feel you're making strides towards winning over the die hard Schenker fans?

VM : I don't know. I actually don't even pay attention to it all. There are much more important things to pay attention to. I would guess that there are some that nobody's ever going to win over, even if it were Jesus himself playing. (Laughs) It's like to a hard core KISS fan, any guitarist who comes in, no matter how good they are, somebody's going to be going, "Hey, it's not Ace!". But I can't waste time thinking about that.

NHOR : One notable situation on this album is the fact that for the first time in over 20 years founding bassist Pete Way isn't involved in the recording due to his current battle with liver disease. Seeing as Pete has been there from the beginning, and has been such an intregal part of the band for the vast majority of the albums, what was the mood going into the studio with Pete not there?

VM : I really wished he could be there, and be part of it. I hoped that would happen, but it just wasn't going to work out. He's a nice guy, I really like him, and he'll be missed that's for sure. To the fans, he such a big part of the band, and he is such a big part of the band, it's a shame that things went this way.

NHOR : How is Pete doing these days? Is there a point at this time where he may be well enough to rejoin the band?

VM : I really don't know at this point. I hope so, I really do, but I don't think anybody's thinking that far ahead. Everybody's thinking, okay we've done this record, and we know we've got to tour most of the year and beyond. It doesn't look like he's anywhere in the plans, for this upcoming year anyway.

NHOR : With Pete not being there, did you record all the bass tracks as well?

VM : No, we had a guy named Pete...a session guy from Germany, where we were recording, come in and do the bass. What happened was, we went into rehearsals in Hannover, Germany...Pete wasn't going to be there, and Andy Parker really felt like he needed a bass player to play off of at rehearsals. I didn't really think that we needed anybody else, because if Pete's not going to be there, I vote for nobody at all. But everybody else pretty much wanted somebody there just to make some low end rumble. It's really more important to a drummer, as a drummer locks in with the bass player, which is what Andy wanted.

So we just brought in this local guy to kind of sit in with us and play the songs. As it turned out he was a really cool guy, we really liked him, and he was a great player with a real feel for the songs. So, we figured hey, let's get him to come in and play on the record. Because at that point we didn't even know who was going to do the record.

NHOR : What are your favorite tracks personally on the album, and why?

VM : I like "Saving Me", "Hell Driver", "Rock Ready" and "Living Proof". I like "Saving Me" and "Rock Ready" because of the blues vibe we were talking about earlier, and "Hell Driver" because there's nothing else like it on the record. It's a real rocker, which you always have to have. I like "Living Proof" because it's really funky.

NHOR : Speaking of "Living Proof", that funk element isn't something that's normally heard on a UFO album...

VM : That's my definite influence. Good or bad, or for better or worse. Surprisingly enough, that's one that Phil heard, and from the very beginning he definitely reacted to the song and loved it. It was one of his favorites. I was surprised by that, because I thought he might hear it and think - "Hmmm, that's not right for UFO". But he was hooked on that one.

NHOR : You can hear the Albert King influence coming through on the licks you play on the track as well...

VM : Man, I love Albert King. You can hear him in so much of Stevie Ray Vaughan's music also.

NHOR : Coming from your background as being known as a "guitarist's guitarist", do you ever feel some sense of relief since joining UFO in the sense that the band has fans from all areas, musician and non musician, vs. say your solo gigs where you'll undoubtedly have a group of guitarists standing in the front row with their arms crossed , with the attitude of "Okay, impress me"?

VM : Right, "Impress me" (Laughs) I'll be totally honest with you. It is a little bit easier, because you hit the stage as a band. So the weight is on everybody's shoulders. Whereas if I go and do a solo gig with my band, because it's as a solo artist I feel more pressure. If I'm doing a clinic, I'm just standing out on stage by myself, with a track that I'm playing to, and it's all on me - all eyes are on me. That's a little bit more stressful. I'm used to it, and I of course deal with it no problem, but I will tell you that going on as a band is so much more relaxed and easier.

NHOR : There's no more critical of an audience than playing for a roomful of guitarists when you're a guitarist....

VM : Exactly. They're mainly male, and the ones who show up that are female are usually with one of the guys, their girlfriends or wives, and that doesn't help at all. (Laughs)

NHOR : Last year the band played a set at the three day Rocklahoma Festival in Oklahoma. What was that experience like for you, and is that something which you'd be interested in doing again?

VM : I'd definitely like to do that again. I think it was really cool. We had a blast. We arrived a day or two after the big tornado came through and destroyed one of the stages. So we kind of saw the wreckage when we came in. But it was a beautiful day when we played. We liked it, and we'd definitely like to go back and play there again.

NHOR : UFO is, or in Phil's case not, celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. Have there been any discussions amongst Phil, Andy, Paul and yourself regarding how long the band will continue?

VM : (Laughs) "I don't want to be Status Quo". I emailed him that link, and told him, "Ah, so you're a bit of a Status Quo man, are ya?" (Laughs) As for any discussions, no, I don't think we're that organized and together to think that far ahead. Since I've been in the band, it's like we're kind of going with the flow. We're not thinking that far ahead.

NHOR : Phil's voice, after all these years still sounds fantastic. Is there anything that you've noticed that he does to keep his voice in shape like it has?

VM : No. The guy doesn't practice. When we're backstage before a show he doesn't sing a note. Sometimes we'll have opening bands, and there will be this singer in the next room doing these vocal exercises, and he'll just laugh and go, "Please". The guy does nothing. His voice holds up really well on the road too, it's great.

NHOR : As you brought up earlier you're on tour to support the album. How long do you anticipate the band being on tour this time around?

VM : We're kind of on and off. We're in England and Germany for most of this month, then we have Italy for a bit in July, and scattered festivals throughout the summer. We'll be touring America I believe starting in October, and then head back to Europe sometime again after that. There are lots of shows coming up this year.

NHOR : Has there been any talk at all about releasing a DVD from this tour?

VM : I haven't heard any rumblings about that, but I'd love to do that. That'd be really cool.

NHOR : In addition to the new UFO album, you also have a new solo album 'To The Core' which is your first solo release since 2001's 'Defying Gravity'. Why has it taken so long between solo albums, and what can one expect, stylistic- wise?

VM : One of the reasons it's taken such a long time is that I've been on the road so much with UFO, and recording with the band. So it's been hard to dedicate a lump of time to doing my solo thing. I've kind of been doing it in between touring and whatnot. It's taken longer than expected, plus I'm a bit of a perfectionist, sometimes to a fault. Left to my own devices I take a long time anyway. It's a problem I've always had. Those are probably the two factors in it taking too long to do. (Laughs)

It's a rock record, it's a guitar instrumental record basically in the rock style, with a bunch of other elements thrown in musically. Blues of course, jazz, be bop, techno, funk...that's one of the cool things about doing the solo record is that I can just kind of explore, be adventurous, go in any direction I want, and it all works.

NHOR : How do you feel this album compares in relation to your previous albums? Would you consider this a departure from what you've done before?

VM : I think it's a lot different from the last two I've done. It's a lot different than 'The Maze' and 'Defying Gravity', but it's not unlike some songs from those records. It's more like rock songs from those albums, and less like some of the classical influenced stuff. I would definitely say there's a lot less of the classical influence, and more rock. It's probably more versatile and varied. I covered some new ground on this one that I haven't in the past. It's more diverse, and it touches on some new areas which I haven't explored before.

NHOR : It's been over 20 years since the release of your first solo album 'Mind's Eye', which is considered by many to be one of the best instrumental guitar albums to come out of the 80's shred scene. It's one which has influenced many players all the way to the present day, and was probably the best selling of all the Shrapnel releases. Looking at it today, how do you feel the album holds up?

VM : Wow, has it been that long? This is not a 20th year anniversary. I don't want to be like Status Quo. (Laughs) As for how the album holds up, that's a really hard thing to answer because it's me. It's hard to have a perspective because I'm so close to it. I think in a lot of ways though it holds up. It certainly holds up technically, as far as the guitar playing without a doubt.

My one wish for that record has always been that I had more time to spend making it. I remember recording all the guitars in about four days for the album. It was pretty insane. There wasn't much time to do it. But I think the songs, composition - wise hold up too.

NHOR : When you first came to prominence as a guitarist in the late 80's, although you immediately were embraced by other guitarists and fans, the critics had a field day, calling you an Yngwie Malmsteen clone. How did that make you feel? It seemed that there was a lot more of a Ritchie Blackmore influence in your playing at that time...

VM : It certainly wasn't the worst thing in the world because he was, and is such a great player, so you could be compared to a lot worse. But after awhile it's going to get old no matter who it is. I can hear what people were saying, it's the classical influenced rock guy with a lot of technique. You hear elements of Al DiMeola and Ritchie Blackmore in there also. So for people who don't know that style very well, it may sound the same, but I think when you get into it a little more, I think our songs are way different compositionally.

NHOR : In what ways do you feel that your playing has progressed since the 1980's? Do you feel you're at your peak as a musician?

VM : Yeah. I just love what I'm doing and I'm always trying to get better. I think I've become a better songwriter over the years. I think I've gotten better at expressing myself. To be honest, my technique's not as good as it used to be, as the 23, 24 year old kid who was just shredding all day long. But that's okay. I don't mind that at all. I'll take that because I'd rather be a better musician and a better songwriter. That's more important to me.

NHOR : Grunge came along during the early 90's and kind of forced guitar soloing underground and out of the mainstream for many years. Any thoughts on why that happened, and do you foresee the art of guitar playing coming back?

VM : I don't know why it really happened. I always guessed that maybe it was because there were so many people who came out during the shred thing that perhaps it got a little tiring. But it could have had nothing to do with that. No one will ever know for sure. I already see it coming back a little bit. People are into playing again. Well, at least 'Guitar Hero' (Laughs) It's hard to see where things are going. Hopefully kids will keep learning to play and be excited about rockin' out.

NHOR : You just mentioned this...As a guitarist, what is your take on video games such as 'Guitar Hero'?

VM : You know, I've never actually played 'Guitar Hero', so I have no idea what it's all about. But I'll tell ya, I've had lots of younger kids come up to me and say, "Hey, can you play "Iron Man"?" or something like that. I'm like, how do you know that song? It's always from 'Guitar Hero'. So that's kind of cool. I think with this new generation of younger kids it's helped the music get to them. It's great.

NHOR : Have you ever been approached to have any of your songs included?

VM : No, not at this point. Actually, I'm lying. I did at one point a few years ago, and it almost happened, but for whatever reason at that point it didn't.

NHOR : Would you be open to having to having that happen now?

VM : Absolutely. I'd have to be crazy not to. It'd be totally cool.

NHOR : Are there any new guitarists whom you've seen or heard that you're particularly impressed by?

VM : There are guys like Ron Thal, who's not necessarily new, but he's great. Guthrie Govan is great as well.

NHOR : You first came on the scene, and are considered one of the prime exponents of the shred school of guitar playing, so to speak. Having that connotation...Do you feel that has been a help or a hindrance on your career?

VM : It's probably been both actually. I don't want to be labeled as just that, because I think I do a lot more musically that's outside of that. So it's kind of limiting in a way that term, to be considered just a shred guy. I think there's more about what I do than just that.

NHOR : Just listening to your albums it's obvious that there's much more than that. However, having said that, once one gets tagged as something, it's extremely hard to shake...

VM : Especially after the first records were so heavily in that direction. They judge you by your first work, and it's hard to become detached from that.

NHOR : During your off time from UFO you continue to also conduct guitar clinics all over the world. What is the most prevalent question you get asked regarding your playing?

VM : I'll get asked things like, "How do you write?" A lot of people I guess don't have a lot of experience with writing, and they just want to know how you do it. Like how you come up with a song. Where does it start, and how do you end up with a finished song. That's one of the things that's harder to explain, because if it's playing you can say practice these exercises, drills and learn new scales. Everybody's been told that, been taught that by a teacher, but nobody's really been taught how to follow their creativity and actually come up with something new.

NHOR : You've toured as part of Alice Cooper's band, opened for Rush on tour, played numerous festivals...What has been your most memorable gig thus far in your career?

VM : I guess probably one of the coolest things ever was the first time I played as a solo artist at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. Because that was the place where I saw all the concerts when I was a kid. That's where you sit in the audience and dream that someday you'll be up there onstage playing The Spectrum. And I actually got to play there, and it was very memorable and it was the coolest experience ever.

NHOR : Did you have all your friends and family in the audience that night?

VM : Sure, they all showed up. I maxed out the guest list that night for sure. (Laughs)

NHOR : Did you feel nervous that night being in front of all those people who knew you?

VM : Yeah. Not only was it the gig at The Spectrum, but it was also the first night of that tour. We were out doing clubs, then we found out we'd got the opening slot for Rush. We just literally stopped our club tour...we were at my house, drove from my house to the gig. We hadn't even met Rush, hadn't played with them, didn't know anything. We just showed up and did the gig that night. It was pretty crazy and nerve wracking.

NHOR : What was Rush like to tour with?

VM : It was pretty awesome. It was a lot of fun. We didn't come into a lot of contact with those guys, but when we did they were very cool guys. It was cool to see them play every night too.

NHOR : On the flipside of that, what has been your most 'Spinal Tap' moment?

VM : Our most Spinal Tap moment since I've been with UFO is a gig that we actually didn't end up doing. We flew into Italy just for this one festival, all this pain in the ass to get there, it was a beautiful day, other bands were playing, and about twenty minutes before we went on the skies got black. A storm rolled in, there was a torrential downpour, with lightning. The scaffolding above the stage was falling apart. All of our gear was on stage, and our techs came backstage and said, "Look, all your guitars, your pedals, your amps...everything is out there onstage. They won't even let us go out there and touch it, and it's getting drenched".

So we waited and waited, the storm passed through, and we never got to go onstage. I just remember getting my guitars and wrapping them in blankets so they would dry out on the tour bus. (Laughs) All my pedals were shot because they had got soaking wet. So we had gone all the way to Italy for this gig and we didn't even do it. I remember my guitars weighing about three pounds heavier than they normally did, because they were so soaked.

NHOR : Last year saw the introduction of the Dean USA Vinman 2000 Vinnie Moore signature guitar. For years you somewhat were resistant to the idea of having a signature guitar. What made you change your mind ?

VM : I had a bad experience in the past where the signature guitar they made for me in the shop wasn't the same guitar I was playing. It was frustrating. I thought I'm never going to do this again, because I'd go out and do clinics, and people would come up and say, "I bought your guitar. It's just like yours, right?" It was a terrible feeling, because it wasn't.

When I started talking to Dean Guitars I just got a great vibe from these guys, and I've known Elliott, the owner, since the early '90's. I used to do clinics for his music store in Florida. He just basically told me that they wanted to make a signature model and they were willing to do anything to make it exactly what I wanted. And they were. That was the difference.

NHOR : There are a lot of signature guitars from various artists in the marketplace these days. What is it about your signature guitar that makes it stand out from all the others?

VM : It has a 'VM' on the fretboard. (Laughs) I think that the shape of the neck makes it really comfortable for the left hand, and that's one of the things that's really important to me.

NHOR : Your debut release 'Mind's Eye' was tabbed by Guitar One magazine as #3 on their list of the top 10 shred albums of all time, and #6 on their Top 200 guitar albums of all time. What would you say are your top 3 guitar albums of all time?

VM :Jeff Beck's 'Wired', Larry Carlton's album which has "Room 335" on it, 'Larry Carlton', and I would also have to say Van Halen's first, 'Van Halen'.

NHOR : What is it about Jeff's playing that hits home with you so much?

VM : I don't know what it is about that guy, he just strikes a nerve. He's not the most technical guy, but he plays really cool common things, and he's so recognizable. Not everybody has that quality. There's like a handful where they can play one note and you know who it is, and he's definitely one of those guys. Blackmore's like that, Santana's like that as well. Carlos Santana has been a huge influence on me from way back.

NHOR : What is the best advice that you would give to a young player starting out?

VM : I would say find a teacher. Someone who can show you how to get from point A to point B as quick as possible. Just love what you're doing and have fun with it.

NHOR : Is there anything else that you'd like to say to all the fans out there?

VM : I would like to say since we're touring a lot, and we hope to see them out there. If we're playing in your town, we hope to see you at the show, and buy my new record damn it. (Laughs)




May 2009 Interview



Guitar Techniques - April 2009



Guitar Player - JANEIRO 2009 (N° 165)

Riffs: Vinnie Moore


Krishta's Exclusive Interview with UFO Guitarist Vinnie Moore

By Krishta Abruzzini, Pacific Northwest Writer
Thursday, March 12, 2009 @ 4:26 PM

“…I am just finishing up the guitars. The record is called 'The Visitor' and will be out on June 2nd, I think.”

Vinnie Moore received his first guitar as a Christmas present. He played with the box it came in more than the guitar. Little did he know, the contents of that box would not only be his future career, but would etch his name among the immortal gods of rock. Nice Christmas present, mom!

Vinnie chatted with me recently about his long-anticipated solo CD as well as the new UFO album. Despite his many accomplishments within an industry consisting of megalomaniacs, Vinnie remains grounded in his unassuming demeanor.

KNAC.COM: Your start as a professional guitar player came from a 4-track demo you sent to Guitar Player Magazine, which was picked up by its ‘Spotlight’ column written by Shrapnel Records exec Mike Varney. What was that demo like?

Moore: I think the tape I sent to him had about 6 instrumental tunes and 2 with vocals. It had some shreddin’ guitar type stuff as you would expect, and I covered some different directions stylistically to show some diversity.

KNAC.COM: At that time, did you think you had a chance of ever playing professionally?

Moore: I was hoping like hell but didn't know if it would all work out or not.

KNAC.COM: What was it like for you to get that phone call that your demo had been chosen?

Moore: It was very exciting. Almost unbelievable.

KNAC.COM: This led to your first professional work in the music business which was writing and playing the music for a national Pepsi commercial. In 1987, Shrapnel released your breakout album, Mind’s Eye in which you were given the title "best new talent" in Guitar Player, Guitar and Guitar World magazines, and Mind’s Eye sold more than 100,000 copies. Not bad for a guy at what, 22 years old?

Moore: Yes, I think I was 22 at the time. It was definitely a magical time for me. So many things happened so quickly; way more than I had ever imagined. In a matter of months, I went from some kid playing guitar and recording in his bedroom in Delaware, to doing a Pepsi commercial...making a record...winning awards in the guitar magazine readers polls...and making a best selling instructional video. It's pretty corny to say, but it was indeed a little bit fairy tale-ish.

KNAC.COM: So it was it a surreal time for you.

Moore: Yes, it was pretty surreal. But I was real busy doing my thing, so I didn’t spend too much time sitting around to think about it all. I was traveling a lot and just kept pushing forward.

KNAC.COM: You’ve come into your own signature sound through the years and have been placed in a progressive neo-classical style. What exactly does that mean?

Moore: I have no freakin clue. My earlier stuff had quite a bit of influence from classical music so that splains the neo-classical part. When i think of progressive, music bands; Yes, Jethro Tull...and early Genesis come to mind. I don’t sound anything like any of them. So I guess the term was kinda generalized to categorize anything that wasn't simple and straight ahead.

KNAC.COM: I know you consider yourself a ‘rock’ guy, so what style would you give yourself as far as a genre is placed?

Moore: Hmmmmm...With my solo stuff...I am a little bit all over the place stylistically. I love music and as long as it's good and played with passion, it doesn’t really matter what style it is. So I have been influenced by rock, jazz, blues, funk, r&b,'s all good. If it's a good song, it transcends style. I guess you could put me in the explorer category.

KNAC.COM: You’ve been a member of Alice Cooper’s band; you toured the U.S. on the Operation Rock ‘N’ Roll tour, and also performed on Alice’s album “Hey Stoopid”. What was it like working in that camp and with Alice?

Moore: I had a blast doin’ that. It was cool to be part of a band after doing the solo thing for quite a while prior to that.

KNAC.COM: Was it a difficult decision or natural progression for you to go play with Alice Cooper; especially after coming from a career in which you had complete artistic freedom, to playing someone else’s songs?

Moore: It was definitely a much different scenario being a hired hand. But I knew I would continue doing my solo stuff too. So it wasn't like I gave anything up to do that gig. But inevitably, it was clear that the hired hand thing wasn't going to be what I wanted to pursue on a long term basis.

KNAC.COM: Your own band has toured extensively as a headliner and also was chosen as opening act for legendary rockers Rush on the Northeast leg of their ‘Rock the Bones Tour. Do you feel more accomplished with touring your music, or is it all satisfying to you?

Moore: It is always great to go out and play solo shows.

KNAC.COM: You also toured Japan as a member of the T.M. Stevens’ Band, which included Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic) on keyboards, Wil Calhoun (Living Colour) on drums, and Al Pitrelli (Megadeth) on guitar. That sounds like a dream of a lineup!

Moore: That was a real cool tour. Funky as hell.

KNAC.COM: How did you hook-up with the UFO boys?

Moore: One of my guitar techs, named Jerry Carillo had also done sound for UFO. He knew that they were looking [for a guitarist] and recommended me. They asked me to send some of my stuff. I put about 11 tunes I think it was, on a CD and sent it to their manager. At that time, I actually wasn’t real sure if I wanted to do it or not. I was a big fan of UFO growing up and already knew how to play a lot of their songs...but I just wasn’t sure about it right away. I didn't really think I would hear anything more about it, but about 10 days later they called and said that Phil Mogg wanted me to join.

KNAC.COM: Obviously you were not just a ‘hired gun’ for UFO, as you were a major songwriting contributor on the 2004 SPV Records You Are Here. (Smart publishing move!)

Moore: As I said, the hired gun thing is not really what I wanna do. I feel beyond that at this point in my career. I have too much creative energy and need to write. When (Michael) Schenker was in the band, he wrote a lot of the tunes. What Phil wanted was for a guy to come in and play that same kind of role. They needed a songwriter and I think this is a big part of his decision to ask me to join. There are lots of guys that can shred on a guitar....but he was looking for someone who could write with him.

KNAC.COM: What’s it been like working and touring with Phil Mogg & company?

Moore: It's always quite the experience…especially when Pete Way is in the band. For the most part, it has really been a blast. We all get along really well....and the fans have been great.

KNAC.COM: What happens when Pete Way is around? Any experiences you can share?

Moore: Bad things man....bad things. Haha. I couldn’t explain that one to you in a week. Let's just say he is more spinal tap than spinal tap. He drinks quite a bit of white wine onstage and has had some of the best falls ever. I wish we had them all on video. It would be absolutely hilarious.

KNAC.COM: UFO has a new release coming out this year?

Moore: Yes and I am just finishing up the guitars. The record is called The Visitor and will be out on June 2nd, I think.

KNAC.COM: I think a lot of people don’t realize there’s a lot of work to being a professional musician. Tell me what a typical day is like for you.

Moore: Making the UFO record has been pretty crazy. But music is a labor of love for me so I never count the costs. It started with me getting a bunch of song ideas and sending them to Phil. He chose the ones he liked best. We got together in Hannover, Germany to rehearse for a week in January. Andy went into the studio in Germany to lay down drums and I went home as I record my stuff in my studio. We totally utilize the internet to send sound files back and forth. They would upload drum and bass tracks, and I would download them and record guitars. Then send them my stuff. In fact, one night i was playin’ guitar and watching the Simpsons. I came up with a cool part, then more related ideas started flowing. Before I knew it, I had the skeleton for a new song within 10 minutes. I started to think a little, and realized that we didn’t really have a song for the record like this one, so I went into my studio and laid it down. At 11pm, I uploaded it and then sent emails to our manager and the engineer in Germany saying 'hey guys...give this one a could be cool". The next morning at around 10...they called me and played it for me with Andy's drums recorded on it (they were 6 hours ahead). So on a whim...wham...we have a new song...this wouldn't have been possible if Al Gore hadn’t created the internet. Back to the question...I find myself constantly writing and recording.

KNAC.COM: Do you like being on the road?

Moore: Hmmmmm....not really. I love the being onstage part....and also it is cool to hang with the guys and see the fans. But the charm of seeing different cities has unfortunately worn off. There is so much traveling involved. I have always been a home body. I don’t go out of the house for days sometimes when I am home.

KNAC.COM: Do you consider yourself a technical or emotional player? I.E; Yngwie Malmsteen vs. Steve Vai

Moore: I think I have both of these qualities. I have a certain amount of technical ability, but to me...playing from the heart and soul is what it's all about. It's all about the passion and expressing your emotions. At times, having more ability physically can make it easier to play from the heart. If the physical part is transparent, then I can concentrate on the music and not waste my mental energy thinking about fighting with the guitar. When the physical part is second nature, then you can just focus on and get lost in the music.

KNAC.COM: You also conduct a lot of guitar clinics all over the world. What would you say is the most important thing you can teach a young player?

Moore: To listen to as many styles of music as possible and to realize that you can spend a lifetime learning. Music is endless. Also, try to always wear a condom.

KNAC.COM: As a beginner, would you recommend starting off with an acoustic or electric guitar?

i would say electric because it is a little easier to play and I think a beginner would be more inclined to stick with it.

KNAC.COM: You’ve been endorsed by Dean now for how long?

Moore: For about 2 years.

KNAC.COM: You have designed your own signature guitar through them. What were you looking for?

Moore: Something that sounded great, looked great, and felt transparent in my hands.

KNAC.COM: You also designed your own humbucking pick up. What sets your design aside from the others (Les Paul)? What tone were you going for (for both the guitar and pick up)?

Moore: I like a natural tone. So my goal was to get a pickup that didn’t color things too much. I wanted it to sound very natural so that you could hear the pick hitting the strings and the fingertips fretting the notes.

KNAC.COM: Is there a set-up you use that enhances this?

Moore: Not really. But I find that I don’t use as much distortion on my amp as most people. This helps keep it more clear and natural.

KNAC.COM: Are you predominately going for a clean, non-distorted tone then?

Moore: Not entirely clean. I like some overdrive so that it sings.....but not a lot of the fuzzy, scratchy stuff.

KNAC.COM: What effects pedals or gear do you use that is a 'must have'?

Moore: Probably my wah pedal and a delay. Sometimes I realize I am stepping on the wah out of habit and considered leaving it at home because I didnt wanna be too dependent on it. But instead I have made a conscious effort to only use it when it's really needed. My guitar tech says that he cant even tell my delay is on because I use just a smidgeon of it. I like to use it to add just a little ambience but hate when there is too much delay and it masks your sound.

KNAC.COM: You have a new solo release coming out May 18th titled “To the Core”; tell me about that.

Moore: It has been a while since I have done a solo CD. I have been on the road so much that is has taken me quite a while to finish this. I think it is my best record yet by far. I went in some directions stylistically that I havent done before. I like to explore. It's an instrumental guitar record but it's not just a bunch of wankin off...I like to write songs a create moods.

KNAC.COM: What directions did you go in?

Moore: Well it's basically a rock record of course....but I don’t wanna be limited by that. I like to mix it up. I have a tune with an R&B vibe, some tunes with a little bit of a techno vibe.....and I think I may have showed more of my funky side too. I have a lot of bebop in my phrasing also. And there is the sound of a motorcycle in "Into the Open Highway"....just that there is worth the price of the CD. hahah

KNAC.COM: Is it hard coming up with a title for your songs, being there are no lyrics? How about for the album?

Moore: I find it very difficult to come up with a record title. I would come up with something I thought was cool and then an hour later think,"nah, thats not good enough”. Then I would see titles that other bands had used and think…"did they really call their CD that? That absolutely sucks". haha. In the can second guess forever but the title really doesn’t matter a whole lot.

KNAC.COM: Will you be touring your solo release?

Moore: Yes. At the moment, I have some shows lined up for Italy. That's all I know for now but there will be more. I cant wait to play some solo shows. It has been a while.

KNAC.COM: Do you have your touring band lined-up?

Moore: Not yet.

KNAC.COM: Do you play any of your solo stuff whilst out with UFO?

Moore: Whilst? Good one...very English. Nah....only UFO tunes.

KNAC.COM: If you could form a super-band, with any of the players you wanted, who would it be with?

Moore: Well, I think someone like Carmen Electra on vocals, and the guitarists from the Robert Palmer addicted to love video. On bass, Tal who is playing with Jeff Beck rules. That would be absolutely perfect for me. For backup vocals...Shania Twain and Gwen Steffani would be great. That would totally rock.

KNAC.COM: You missed Sheila E on drums! Must have hot drummer chick.

Moore: Yes, that sounds good. Welcome to my way of thinking. ha

- See more





Guitar World - November 2008 - Vol 29/No. 11


An interesting article, The Story Of Shrapnel Records

'Dawn of the Shred' with Mike Varney

Vinnie Moore article

where he reflects on his labels history in a Guitar World interview


Vinnie Moore 1991




Guitar World - July 2008



Vinnie Moore Interview

Metal Moment Podcast Host, Chiaki Hinohara has posted a VM interview (Episode 10)

Conducted at 'The Independent', San Franscisco, during the USA LIVE in 2008 tour in May 2008

CLICK HERE For the English version only (10 minute mp3)



VM Radio

Vinnie Moore Radio Interview during the USA2008 LIVE Tour





December 2007 - Russian Rock Magazine, 'PRO-ROCK'



Vinnie More

2007 - Vinnie Moore - Hyper Guitar Odyssey



METAL HAMMER Nr.188 - 5.2007 /in Polish/



- Anyone have this?



May 2007 - 'Planet Guitar' Vinnie Moore interview (German)



2007 - 'Guitar Player ' have a
two page spread in April 2007 issue



gennaio - 2007

Paul Gilbert
Vinnie Moore
Tom Araya
Jet & Wolfmother
Patrick Abbate
Ralph Towner
Massimo Priviero
Joscho Stephan

Anyone have this? - please send me the VM article.



vinnie moore

vinnie moore

April 2007 issue of Gitarre and Bass





Fuzz #4 / 2007
Ur innehållet:

John 5
Vinnie Moore
Fender VG - syntstrata
fender stratocaster 57
Gibson Les Paul BFG
Jackson Randy Rhoads
LDT EC1000

I see that Vinnie appears in issue 4 of FUZZ magazine.

If anyone has a copy, can you scan the VM section it and send it to me?
I am guessing that its a Swedish Magazine.



Vinnie Moore

February 2007 issue of Gitarre and Bass have a 4 page article on Vinnie
A neat feature that the magazine offer, is that you can listen to Vinnie himself




2007 - Japanese Magazine - 'Young Guitar' have a

UFO_ young Guitar

three page spread in January 2007 issue






February 2007 InstruMentalCase Interview




Guitarra Total 104

Special Thanks to Raul Gallego from Spain for sending me the scans / details










November 2006 - Hitparader

Various top 100 lists, including All time top 10 shredder kings:
1. Steve Vai
2. Joe Satriani
3. Paul Gilbert
4. Yngwie Malmsteen
6. Marty Friedman
7. Tony MacAlpine

8. Vinnie Moore

9. Steve Morse
10. John Petrucci.

(Notice number 5 is missing - Senior editor! take note!!)

Top ten of the top 100 Bass/drummers: 1. John Bonham 2. Lars Ulrich 3. Gene Simmons 4. Tommy Lee 5. Steve Harris 6.Nikki Sixx 7. Geddy Lee 8. Geezer Butler 9. Vinnie Paul 10. Cliff Burton

Top 10 of the top 100 Metal guitarists: 1. Eddie Van Halen 2. Jimi Hendrix 3. Jimmy Page 4. Angus Young 5. Tony Iommi 6. Jeff Beck 7. Randy Rhoads 8. Eric Clapton 9. Joe Perry 10. Kieth Richards.

VOCALISTS - Top 10 (of 100) - 1. Robert Plant, 2. Rob Halford, 3. Steven Tyler, 4. Chris Cornell, 5. Bon Scott, 6. Freddie Mercury, 7. Bruce Dickinson, 8. Ozzy Osbourne, 9. Paul Rodgers, 10. Ronnie James Dio





September 2006 - Article - 4 page feature + Technical Performance




September 2006 - 'Interview with Vinnie Moore',
Webzine Heavy Metal - on-line Magazine




August 2006 - 'John 5 - Rob Zombie's essential tunes',
Article in Guitar World - Meltdown




GuitarOne - June 2006

Lessons Feature





15th March 2005 - 'Interview with Vinnie Moore', - on-line Magazine



June 2005 - Interview




Vinnie Moore

July 2005 GlamMetal Interview



Rocknetwebzine on-line interview - March 2005



Guitar One Magazine's February 2005 issue


2005 - Guitar One Magazine's February 2005 issue



January 2005 - UK's Total Guitar magazine

Interviews and features on Good Charlotte, Slipknot,
Slayer, Maroon 5, Nirvana, Cream, Keith Richards,
Hoobastank, Objects of Desire, Steriogram, Justin Hawkins,
GU Medicine, Head Automatica, Graham Coxon,
Andy Cairns, John 5, Vinnie Moore and Rammstein




August 2004 - 'Interview with UFO's Vinnie Moore and Pete Way', - on-line Magazine



June 2004 - Interview with Vinnie Moore on-line dutch magazine gitaarnet



8th April 2004

Vinnie Moore

Photo ©2004 Frederic Surelle

A really informative, warm and much anticipated Vinnie Moore interview from Batttttty.






March 2004

vinnie moore

4-page japanese article from 2004










Guitar One - February 2003 'Now and Then' feature





Defying Gravity REVIEW



This article originally appeared in VG's July '02 issue


July 2002 - Vol. 16, No. 9














February 2001 - issue of UK's music magazine "guitar TECHNIQUES"



...March 2001 ISSUE - PART 2



20th November 2001

Vinnie Moore

November 20, 2001

Give us a little background on yourself.

Well, my name is Vinnie Moore. Nah. Play guitar. Had my seventh record just come out called Defying Gravity. I've been playing guitar for years and years. Just basically love music.

Did you take guitar lessons or did you teach yourself?

I took guitar lessons for about five years and then I decided to stop taking my lessons. I bought a four track recorder. I just started experimenting with writing songs and developing my own style. So a little bit of both. I studied a lot of different types of music just from listening to records but I also had lessons in the first four or five years to kind of get me started and pointed in the right direction. I learned some of the real important basic stuff like theory and whatnot.

Did you go to school for any of that?

Nah, just a private instructor and turntable.

I remember those. Who were some of your musical influences and why?

Some of the earliest influences were guitarists like Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Brian May, and Jeff Beck. Then as I started playing and getting a little better I started getting into some fusion guys like Larry Carlton and Al DiMeola. Then some jazz guys like Pat Martino and Joe Pass. I was also into Hendrix and Robin Trower and Frank Marino. Carlos Santana. I had tons and tons of influences and the reason I had so many is because each of them had a different style and just expressed themselves in a different way. There was a lot to be learned from each of those players.

How did you get interested in the music business and how did you get started?

I didn't have anybody in my family who played a musical instrument. I just kind of got interested in guitar for some reason because I was just getting into bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple and that kind of got me interested in guitar. I got a guitar one year for Christmas and just became more and more into it as the years went on. At some point I knew that that's what I wanted to try to do. To be a guitarist professionally.

Do you have any tips for aspiring musicians who want to become a guitar virtuoso such as yourself?

Basically all the basic stuff like practice a lot, find a good teacher who's going to point you in the right direction and give you some really good information, and then listen to a lot of different guitarists and just a lot of different styles of music that may not even be guitar oriented. Just try to learn as much as you can. There's a lot of different music out there and it's all there for the taking. It all can help you get better at what you do.

What kind of gear do you endorse and why?

I endorse Music Man guitars. I've been playing the Silhouette Special for about six years now. Maybe seven. I just love the guitar. I endorse Demarzio pickups also because I like the sound of those and they're pretty much the only two companies that I endorse. Ernie Ball strings. I've been using those for years and years also.

How many guitars do you own and which one is your favorite?

I have probably between 30 and 40. My favorite is my Music Man Silhouette Special. It's been my main guitar for six or seven years and I just really love the sound of it and the feel of it. Kind of gotten used to it and it's been basically turned into my baby so to speak. I've gotten other Silhouette Specials that I like a real lot also. I have two or three but it's the purple one for some reason. I play it most of the time and it's just the guitar that I like most.

Some musicians have their own line of equipment like sticks or guitars. Have you thought about doing something like that yourself?

A signature model? I've actually done that in the past with another guitar company called Ibanez. At this point there are no plans to do it again. But, yeah, a lot of people are doing signature artist models. At this point I don't really know if I want to do that.

How did you get involved with the Deep Purple tribute album?

There were actually two of them. There was one that T. M. Stevens did called Deep Purple New York and I played a solo on that one and I also did the Mike Varney Deep Purple tribute. Kind of odd. Within a year and a half I played on two Deep Purple tribute records. If you're talking about the Shrapnel one, I basically got a call from Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who asked me to do it. They sent me some tapes and I just did a couple of solos at home and sent the tapes back to them.

Your toured and recorded with Alice Cooper. What was it like to work with him?

It was awesome actually. I had a blast doing that gig. It was just a lot of fun and the other guys in the band were really, really good players. Eric Singer on drums and Derek Sherinian on keyboards. Stef Burns on guitar and Greg Smith on bass. We had a blast doing that tour. It was kind of fun playing those tunes because I grew up listening to a lot of Alice's stuff. It was kind of an awesome experience actually.

How did you get to work with Cooper?

I was in the studio doing a record called Meltdown and an A&R guy at Epic, Bob Pfeiffer, was looking for players to play with Alice on his record. He was having all kinds of guitarists come in like Slash and Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. They asked me to play on the record, the Hey Stoopid record, and I ended up doing two tracks, "Dirty Dreams" and "Hurricane Years". Then they started to put the tour together and they asked me to do it, the tour, and also my bassist at the time, Greg Smith. We kind of both got the gig together and went out and did the Hey Stoopid tour in America. I left a short time after that to pursue my own stuff but Greg Smith actually hung out and stayed with the band and he's still playing with Alice even today.

How do you feel about Cooper as a performer?

I think he's great at what he does. Totally into the theatrical thing and it was real interesting to be a part of something like that because I had never done anything like that before. There were just so many cool things going on onstage. It was like a little show and it was very interesting.

Do you prefer being a solo artist over being in a band?

I like doing both but I definitely like being a solo artist more because then I get to pursue my own direction. I can pursue my own vision and just do what I want. There's more total freedom. I get to express myself in exactly the way I want but there's something to be said for being a sideman also. It's kind of cool being a part of someone else's vision and just playing more of a secondary role. That's kind of fun also. Each has it's own merit.

Why do you enjoy doing guitar clinics?

It's just a way for me to connect with my audience. I actually learn a lot from guitar clinics because there's a lot of dialogue. There's a lot of question and answer and I learn from the people. What they like about what I do. It, a lot of times, helps steer me in the right direction because I learn just what things that I'm writing and playing are connecting with them. Sometimes it's surprising and sometimes it's not to learn exactly what they're digging.

You've put out two instructional videos. What all is involved in that?

Basically you just plan out in advance what you want to cover in your video. Then you pretty much show up and they start filming you and you basically just teach and play. I did both of my videos really quickly. They're an hour long. The first one I did in about 65 minutes and the second one took no longer than an hour and 20 minutes. I just go in and knock them out and all the work is done in advance. All the preparation.

How did you get on the Shrapnel Records label?

Actually I've been on that label twice. My first record, Mind's Eye, came out and that was on Shrapnel. Then I kind of went to some of the bigger labels for a while. I was with Polygram, Mercury, and Epic and Relativity. Then at some point I went back. My latest three records have been on Shrapnel. The Maze, the Live! record, and the new one, Defying Gravity.

Do you prefer that label over the other ones you've been on?

You get lost in the shuffle with some of the bigger labels because they have lots of big artists. They tend to pay a lot more attention to the bigger artists so you kind of get overlooked. Whereas on the smaller labels, especially Shrapnel or a label that kind of specializes in the guitar stuff, you get a lot more attention. There's things to be said for both but at this point it's kind of better being with a more boutique type of label that does guitar stuff and understands guitar stuff.

Can you tell us a little about your latest release, Defying Gravity?

I have Steve Smith on drums. Dave LaRue from the Dregs on bass. David Rosenthal on keyboards. Stylistically, it's really varied. There's some heavy stuff in there. There's some more Latin acoustic sounding stuff. There's some soulful ballady type of stuff. I'm really trying to mix it up and just incorporate a lot of different elements and express a lot of different things. Cover a lot domain stylistically.

I like the "Out And Beyond" track. I thought that sounded really good.

Thanks. That's actually one of my favorites on the record.

Are there any tracks on the new CD that really stand out the most?

I like "Out And Beyond" a lot. "Last Road Home". I also like the song "Equinox". Kind of stands out. A lot of times with me, it's not the shred stuff that is my favorite stuff. A lot of the guys who are playing guitar seem to like the shred stuff the most. I tend to like the real soulful and the melodic stuff like "Out And Beyond" and "Last Road Home". I'm just into that a lot more. The more expressive stuff.

A lot of people are impressed with guitarists like Vinnie Vincent because they can shred a guitar but I feel it takes away from the melody of a song. I like melody more.

Yeah, me too.

How did you get together with the gentlemen who play on your CD?

Dave LaRue on bass played on my last record also. I had played with him in the past and loved his playing. So basically he was my idea. Steve Smith from Journey and Vital Information was the record company's idea and he's incredible so it was a great idea to me. David Rosenthal on keyboards was an old acquaintance of mine. I had known him for years and always thought that it would be great to get him to play on one of my projects and so I thought he would be good on this one.

What would you attribute your longevity in the music business to?

I think it's just sticking to what I do best and what I love doing instead of jumping on any of the bandwagons. I've watched music change a lot. The popular styles over the years have been all over the place and I haven't jumped on any of the bandwagons. I've just continued to do what I love doing and continue to play from the heart and from the soul. I think people can kind of feel that. They know if you're not feeling it and they know if it's not real. They know if you're trying to fake it. You can't get away with it and so I think I've been lucky in a lot of ways but also just sticking to what I love to do. It's been a real advantage.

You have those who play music because they actually like it and you have those who want to get rich.

Money and fame.

What do you think of the music scene today?

Just as always, there's some good stuff out there and some crappy stuff out there. Just like always actually.

Are there any artists you haven't worked with yet that you'd like to work with in the future?

There would be tons of them actually. Anywhere from Jeff Beck to Carlos Santana. I could just go on and on.

Vinnie Moore





Internet interview - 2000



February 2000 - Metal Hammer



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