Wow! Didn’t expect these to be announced so soon, but Music Radar has the scoop on several killer new Ibanez models for 2013, including the RG550-XH, effectlively a new version of the RG2011SC, the 30-fret beast released a few NAMMs ago (and used in the studio by Dragonforce, according to Herman Li in my April 2012 interview), the new Iron Label series and … a Premium version of the venerable ‘green dot’ Universe 7-string!!! The UV70 features DiMarzio Blaze pickups and the same basic styling as one of the most missed early Universe models. Get the lowdown here.
Steve Vai needs no introduction.
Your new album The Story Of Light is a bit of a departure and it’s been a while since you’ve released a studio album of new material. Where did this one come from?
I guess it came from the same place the other ones came from, but maybe a little bolder. I searched my inner ear more and I gravitated towards things that excited me, as opposed to some things that I thought should be on there. And it’s also the second instalment of a trilogy of records that have a story to it, and as a result the songs are built around characters and situations and events in the story. So when you have something like that to go by, it can inspire you to do certain things that you may not ordinarily do if you just sat down to write a song.
WOW! Here’s one for the ages. The very first Ibanez Universe prototype is being sold by Vai’s former engineer Richard Landers to fund medical expenses in the family.
According to this Guitar Player interview, “Vai got his first 7-string, a prototype, while he was working with Whitesnake, and played that guitar on most of Whitesnake’s 1989 album Slip of the Tounge. He suggested a few subtle changes – the original neck was a little too chunky, for example – and the prototype was soon honed into the Ibanez Universe 7-string.”
Here’s Steve with the guitar:
Some more info:
“Here is the ORIGINAL Prototype 7 String guitar as designed by the mystical and magical guitar wizard and modern-day Mozart of melody & noise, STEVE VAI. (Credit also to the fine folks at Ibanez for helping Steve realize his vision of what would become a new entity in the evolution of the guitar.)
We are auctioning this guitar on behalf of Steve’s long-time engineer, Richard Landers, whom he gifted it to in 1990. According to Richard, the guitar was received with much appreciation and stored away and has now only seen the light of day some 20+ years later. He never intended on selling it but is now only considering it’s sale in order to raise funds for some medical needs within the family.
The bridge of the guitar is not one piece, but actually TWO bridges which have been cut and put together to form what is probably the first 7-string locking tremolo. The nut has been fashioned in this way also. You can can see the seams in the close-up photos. Also, the 21-24 frets are scalloped which I understand are not standard on any model Universe guitar.”