Adrian Vandenberg Explains Why He Doesn’t Compete With Steve Vai

Whitesnake’s Adrian Vandenberg dialed in with ‘We Go to 11’ and talked about the time he had with Steve Vai during the making of 1989 ‘Slip of the Tongue’ and the subsequent tour. When asked Adrian how it was to work with Steve, he answered:

“It was really great. I mean, many people thought ‘Oh man…  There’s going to be a competition.’ I never look at music, at all, as competition, because for me, music is one of those things that you can’t compete with because it’s all about emotions for me. It’s not like a sports match where you can say ‘This guy was faster than the other one.'”

Vandenberg continued by describing the differences between his own style and Vai’s style and shared his thoughts about him:

“Steve, of course, everybody knows he’s like a world-class player. But our styles are so far apart, so different. I’m like a completely melodic player, that’s how I see it. And, Steve’s got his own universe that he plays in. He’s got all these wacky bits and pieces that he does and we really enjoy doing together. We’re still great friends, we still stay in touch.”

Adrian previously talked about these times. It was said that Steve was a difficult person to work and tour with, however Vandenberg managed it very well. In a 2021 interview, he described the situation in detail:

“Steve was quite busy with proving that he was the next hotshot guitar player, he was pretty present with that, so if somebody does that – I’m not on stage to prove myself. I’m on stage to express myself. Steve was great, he was very nice, and we actually got along great during the tour, we had a lot of fun, which you can see in the ‘Now You’re Gone’ video, for instance. And it’s all fine by my when somebody wants to do his thing in a band and it’s another guitar player, I always got the attitude, ‘Go ahead, do you whatever you think you should be doing, as long as it works within the band context.’ And we did a great tour.”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.