Shredding to the Core
On-line magazine - 5th September 2010
He is one of the quintessential shred guitarists who released a string of heavy & intricate guitar albums from his debut Mind's Eye back in 1986, to keeping the spirit of technical axework alive with 90's albums such as The Meltdown & Out of Nowhere to his latest offering, To the Core among other records. Having made a handful of appearances on albums by Alice Cooper, Jordan Rudess, & Vicious Rumors, Vinnie Moore was primarily known for his six string attack. But that all changed when he was given a chance tom join UFO in the early new millennium, after Michael Schenker left for good. Out of this came The Visitor in 2004, and since then there have been two more studio albums and a double live album.
However, his involvement with UFO wasn't simply being a sideman/guitarist, this involvement immediately led to the his co-penning of most of the material the band has released since he joined, where Moore brings more to the table than just his guitar prowess. Now a new compilation has been unleashed by the band focusing on their latter material titled Best of a Decade (SPV Records), spanning the band's years as a hard rock powerhouse after the turn of the millennium, where even some added live recordings of classics such as "Lights Out," "Let it Roll," & "Doctor Doctor" are thrown in representing the recent lineup.
"It was very cool, joining UFO," begins Moore about his involvement in the band, "When it came to writing the material I also wrote vocal lines and not only the instrumental stuff; when I joined those guys, I knew I was going to be writing vocal tunes and be part of the band, so that was really exciting for me especially that I grew up listening to UFO as a kid; I was influenced by those guys - to me it was a very cool gig and it was more appealing as in 'it wasn't like some kind of hired hand situation,' where they just want someone to come in and play guitar; they needed a full band member who was a writer and could contribute to the songs. Also touring has been great, just being able to get to these places all over the world really, we have been to Japan, Korea, all over Europe, and Scandinavia, so it's been very cool to go out there and play for the fans"
Separating his solo career with UFO he is able to both balance it out as well as keep it all detached from one another, "When looking at UFO's The Visitor and my solo album, To the Core, it was two totally separate things, two totally separate processes," explains Moore, "I worked on the solo stuff at home here in between touring with UFO - I would spend some time on it at home, go on tour again, and pick back up after touring. I recorded and wrote all of it at my home studio and I did it in the off space of things and the UFO thing, I put together some ideas and sent them to Phil Mogg, who writes the lyrics, and we went about it that way."
For years he was seen playing Music Man guitars as a weapon of choice, however, recently he has found a new weapon to play, "I have been with Music Man for a while, they are a great company and they make great guitars, and have a lot of friends there," says Moore, "I was kind of looking for something new, and I felt it was time to get something new going on for me. I looked around at a few different companies, and Dean seemed to be the most receptive and the most excited to work with me and do things together. One thing was being able to produce a signature model, it just felt really good - everybody there is cool, they have a custom shop down in Florida, and there is just a good vibe and I was confident that they would build me something neat, something I would be happy with and of course, be able to use."
And how has he seen himself evolve as a guitarist over time? " I think over the years I have evolved into a better songwriter, as well as a more tasty player and this is good, because that's what you want to do as an artist, grow as time goes by and keep bettering yourself and keep exploring new territories and new ideas and that is the quest that goes on."
Even at a time when metalized guitar solo albums were underground, he left Shrapnel to ink a deal with Mercury Records for his second solo album - he would then later sign to Relativity Records, who at one point, were at the forefront of heavy metal. There would be a return to Shrapnel in the late nineties - as he has seen all ends of the business side of record companies as he explains, "It was an interesting process, it was great to be part f it all, back in the day with Shrapnel and all that. I shifted around a bit with the labels, and at one time it seemed like a good idea to go with a different bigger label and that's what I did with Time Odyssey, and that wasn't necessarily true, so I went with Relativity who at that time, were releasing guitar records, so that made sense at that time."
St this time there isn't any thing planned in the way of making a guest appearance on someone else record as he hints, "Those things are never planned in advance, those things you just have to do to be a part of something, they just kind of happen in an instant."
UFO will be in the main focus for him as he is in writing mode for the next studio album, "We are just getting stared on that, hopefully we will be recording next year and I am just starting to put together lots of ideas and put them out, so we are at the very beginning of the follow up to The Visitor. "
At this time he does have a couple of instructional videos under his belt, including Advanced Lead Guitar Techniques & Speed, Accuracy, & Articulation; there are hopes to do another one in the future, "I have thought about doing a new one, I'm not sure yet, if it's in the cards or not. I'm certainly not opposed to it and I actively do clinics for Dean Guitars and sometimes ENGL amplifiers," concludes Moore, "I haven't been doing those as much as I have been doing in the old days because I am with the band so much , but that is something that I am always into doing. But for the most part my focus is the new UFO record and touring - so we are moving forward as we have done. I also have plans as a solo artist to continue making records, touring and doing shows with my solo band as well."
Copyright & Publishing: 2010 Tommy Hash for Ytsejam.com
CLICK HERE to read a review of UFO's The Visitor
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