I agree. Some of it reminds me of a solo you once played on a backing track for a lesson in Guitar Techniques magazine. It was the rocking side to your guitar personality and a lot different than the neo-classical style you’re known for.
I do hear about that occasionally. They wrote a backing track for me and I went in and just wailed over it. I remember the guy who was recording it saying, “Man, I think people are going to be surprised when they hear this. You’re playing be-bop and all this different stuff that I didn’t know you played.”
That’s what I hear on the new record. You’ve got rock, funk, blues licks and be-bop lines all over the record. All theses styles have been hiding and it’s great to finally hear them bust out. [Laughing]
I’ve always been a rock guy. That’s basically what I am, a rock artist. But I’m into lot’s of different styles of music, and I like to throw it all in and let it flow.
How did you track everything?
I did all my guitars at my home studio. Most of my stuff was done before the drums were down. I recorded it to loops or to drums that I programmed. The drummer had a totally finished track to play to. There were a few where he recorded to my demo and then I went back and re-did all the guitars. Most of the stuff was done backwards where the drummer played after me. In some cases I even left some of the loops in the song. On the song “Transcendence” there’s all this exotic percussion. That stuff was left in the track.
I’ve always had trouble tracking with the drummer coming in last.
You gotta have the right guy.
You got Van Romaine!
He’s amazing and did an awesome job. He locked in completely. A lot of guys can’t do that. Even if they’re great drummers, they can’t lock into a track that’s already finished. It’s hard. It always amazes me because the drummer is the timekeeper. A guitarist or bass player can overdub to drums easily because that’s what we’re used to doing, but drummers aren’t use to doing that. They’re used to being the timekeeper and having other people play to their groove. It can be tricky for a lot of guys but Van just killed it.
Are you happy with the new UFO record?
Yeah. I think it came out really great. This is the first time I've had two records coming out within a week of one another.
How has playing with UFO influenced your guitar playing on To The Core?
I’d say that all the live playing I’ve done has helped me become a better musician and player. You just get better when you play in front of people. You have to go with the flow no matter what they throw at you.
Before I forget, I flipped out when I heard your solos on Jordan Rudess’ Rhythm of Time record. I didn’t even know that was you until I checked the album notes!
Thanks. I played two solos on that for him. I remember I didn’t have a whole lot of time and my manager who manages Dream Theater asked me if I would do it. I was like, “I would love to do it but I don’t have a whole lot of time. I hope he doesn’t send me some complicated piece of music that’s like in 13/8 timing or something.” He was like, “Everybody’s saying that.” [Laughing] That guy is pretty damn serious.
I really dig hearing you in different musical contexts. I recommend you do more of that.
It’s cool because you get to play on a track that you never would have written for yourself, so you end up playing differently than you normally would.
It’s good for your fan base too. I’m sure there were a ton of Dream Theater fans thinking, “Who the hell is this guy?!” Next they’ll be tracking down your catalogue.
People find it funny that Jordan actually played on my second record. That was way back.
Some of your old fans would like to know if the Vicious Rumors demos will ever be released to the public.
I don’t know. I’m not in contact with those guys. I played on four or five tunes.
Supposedly there’s material out there that contains the holy grail of early Vinnie Moore.
I don’t have it. [Laughs] I don’t even know about this. We did one gig in somebody’s backyard, like an outdoor party. I think there’s a tape of that somewhere lingering around. The guy who probably knows is the bassist Dave Starr. That was a lot of fun and way long ago. [Laughing]