Steve Stevens Says He Realized He Should Leave Vince Neil Band After Van Halen Tour

Guitarist Steve Stevens recently appeared as a guest on The SDR Show and reflected on working with Vince Neil during the ‘Exposed’ tour. The guitarist stated that for him, focusing on his solo career after that tour was the right thing to do at the time.

Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil released his debut solo studio album, ‘Exposed,’ in 1993,  just after leaving the band. Neil approached several musicians to put a band together and record the album. His original plan was to have Adrian Vandenberg and Manic Eden on guitars, but later on, they were switched with Steve Stevens.

Stevens was in Vince Neil’s band between 1992 and 1994. He played all the bass and guitar parts for the tracks on the album and toured with the band. Neil’s band went on tour and opened for Van Halen in their 1993 tour to promote the album. It also coincided with the time grunge had started to increase in popularity and dominated the rock scene.

When it comes to why he left Vince Neil’s band, Stevens recently raised this issue and said he didn’t know where rock music was heading when grunge came out. Recording the album and also touring with Neil and Van Halen were terrific experiences for him but he also felt threatened by the increasing popularity of grunge at the time. The guitarist explained that it didn’t affect Van Halen much. Still, they began performing shows in smaller venues, so he thought that concentrating on his solo records would be a better option for him since rock music was losing ground.

Steve Stevens’ statements on working with Vince Neil:

“We actually supported Van Halen for six weeks, and that tour was already booked. That was one of the enticing things for me about doing the record with Vince. Ron Nevison was the producer who had done all those great heart records and also did ‘Quadrophenia.’ Doing the album and doing the tour with Vince, with Van Halen was an amazing, fantastic time, but we were almost like in a bubble because all of this grunge stuff was happening.

If you are Van Halen, you are impervious to that, it doesn’t matter, but once we finish that tour and we’re getting booked into clubs and smaller venues, it kind of gave me the impetus to do my ‘Flamenco’ record because I didn’t really know where rock music was heading, and it was a time for me get back to my roots. It’s all music to me.”

You can watch the full interview below.