Steve Vai Says Eddie Van Halen Revolutionized Rock Guitar While Recalling How It Felt Competing With Him

Iconic guitarist Steve Vai opened up about the time when he worked with former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth during an interview on BBC Radio and revealed that playing the guitar for somebody who has been the greatest pair with the legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen was inspirational rather than a competition.

As many of you know, David Lee Roth has been the frontman of Van Halen for more than a decade, creating numerous monumental works with the band, such as their self-titled debut album, their sixth studio album ‘1984,’ and fourth studio album, ‘Fair Warning.’ During his time with Van Halen, the band’s fans have been loving the duo of Roth and the iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

After his disembark from Van Halen, the legendary frontman went on assembling a supergroup including bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette in late 1985 along with guitarist Steve Vai. The iconic guitarist worked with David Lee Roth for four years and was praised and loved thanks to his unique guitar playing style.

During a recent interview, Steve Vai opened up about playing with Van Halen icon David Lee Roth and revealed that being the guitarist of a musician who previously worked with a legendary guitarist such as Eddie Van Halen for such a long time has never been a competition for him since it would be a losing game from the start.

Therefore, Vai preferred to stay true to himself during his tenure with David Lee Roth and draw inspiration from the great Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen whom he admired and appreciated as a guitar player. Thus, he managed to stay out of a comparison between himself and one of the greatest guitar players of all-time.

Here is what Vai said:

You were the guitar voice behind Dave Roth who people were used to hearing, and the chosen one himself – Edward. And I admired Edward so much. I love that old Van Halen stuff and he really revolutionized rock guitar.

So I couldn’t in my mind consider competing because it’s foolish! You can’t compete with Van Halen. So the way I looked at it was, ‘That was that, but now this is this, and I’m going to do my best to put my voice into it.’

Because to try to sound like him would have been a terrible defeat. I didn’t feel any competition, I felt like he was an inspiration. Van Halen was Van Halen, and Dave Roth had different aspirations in a sense to some degree.”

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